A decade ago, Jakarta attracted fewer than a million visitors a year but today the Indonesian capital is one of the world's most dynamic cities. New shopping malls, entertainment complexes, commercial centres and five-star hotels have sprung up at lightning speed across the city, home to an estimated 12 million people. The 45-hectare Sudirman Central Business District, housing the new Jakarta Stock Exchange, is a showpiece of modern architecture. A new 'Waterfront City' has been designated on the northern shore to allow for further commercial and leisure industry expansion. The city's infrastructure is also being rapidly developed. Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta International Airport has been modernised and a new toll road links it to the city centre. In addition, a multi-million-dollar expansion project financed by the Asian Development Bank is under way at the nation's largest port, Tanjung Priok, in north Jakarta. Measures are being introduced to ease traffic congestion as car ownership increases. About 30 per cent of families in the capital own vehicles. A 15-kilometre Mass Transit Railway system modelled on Hong Kong's MTR, linking Jakarta's northern and southern suburbs, is scheduled for completion by 2001. Last year, the number of visitors to the capital hit 4.3 million. By 1998, the tally is expected to exceed five million. The city has also fast-tracked its way through the rankings of the 'most visited' destinations in the Asia-Pacific region to sixth spot. 'This is a city to be taken notice of,' said Michael Burchett, general manager of the new Regent Jakarta - the latest five-star hotel to be opened by a Hong Kong-based group in the city. Jakarta is wooing the global convention business with two new convention centres - Jakarta Fairground Kemayoran and Jakarta Convention Centre. The city's growth has spawned many new nightclubs. Hong Kong-based Elite Concepts last month opened the latest, named Jalan Jalan, in the heart of the embassy district. But the city has not forgotten its roots. A neighbourhood of quaint medieval-style homes with red-tiled roofs called Old Batavia, built around a network of canals, during the past 20 years has been restored to its original state and is today one of the most fascinating and picturesque areas of Indonesia. In the restored warehouses of the former Dutch East India Company, where Indonesian hero Diponegoro was imprisoned in a dungeon before being exiled to South Sulawesi, spice trade and Dutch colonial memorabilia are preserved in the Maritime Museum. The city's historic supreme court building has been converted into a Museum of Fine Arts housing the Chinese porcelain collection of former Indonesian vice president Adam Malik. Batavia's old City Hall, a magnificent two-storey colonial monument dating back to 1710, is now the Jakarta City Museum housing a massive collection of antique furniture.