To develop Langkawi into a world-class travel destination and yet protect the island’s natural heritage, the government has instituted a strict set of Controlled Development Policies to ensure the conservation of nature. Any new developments authorized by LADA must be in accordance with the following guidelines :
- Urban development is limited to the main town centres of Kuah, Padang Matsirat and Padang Lalang (Satellite Town ).
- Tourism development is encouraged in town areas and the areas around Datai Bay, Tanjung Rhu, Burau Bay, Pantai Tengah and Pantai Cenang.
- Building height cannot exceed four stories except in Kuah town (maximum height in Kuah is set at more than 15 stories in certain areas).
- To ensure environmental sustainability, the cutting of trees shall be kept to a minimum.
- The main areas of rice cultivation are designated as protected areas, and they are regarded as one of the tourism products offered in Langkawi.
- Developers are not allowed to build any structures closer than 20 metres from the beach, and up to 80 metres from the beach in some areas.