Click on Jakarta or Palembang to read more

Indonesia signed a Host City Contract for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang during the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly in Incheon in 2014. 

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi had been due to host the Games but pulled out due to economic concerns.

The OCA, initially, said that China, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates were major candidates under consideration.

Indonesia came out on top, chosen because of its well-equipped sports facilities, adequate transportation networks and plush hotels.

The OCA originally planned to hold the Asian Games in 2019 rather than 2018, so that the event would be held in the year immediately prior to the Summer Olympics, rather than two years before. 

After they were awarded to Indonesia, the OCA decided to keep the Games in 2018, so that they would not interfere with the Indonesian general elections due in 2019. 

Back to top

Where is Jakarta?

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, a country composed of more than 13,000 islands, and is located on the northern coast of West Java.

Home to nine million people, the city is a mixture of representatives from the more than 300 ethnic groups that make up an Indonesian population of over 180 million people.

Jakarta is officially a province and owing to its vast size is broken down into five cities - North, South, East, West and Central Jakarta.

Covering a total area of 637.44 square kilometres, it is the cultural, economic and political centre of Indonesia.

It has an extensive communications network with the rest of the country and the outside world.

The city is viewed as an area of contrasts, with modern high-rise buildings often lying next to more traditional dwellings.

Jakarta is home to nine million people ©Getty Images
Jakarta is home to nine million people ©Getty Images

Back to top

History

Jakarta has historically been an important trading city and was officially proclaimed the national capital of Indonesia in 1949, four years after the country’s independence from The Netherlands.

It has also proved to be the principal gateway to the rest of Indonesia, as its transport links via air, land and sea have resulted in bringing tourism into the area.

As a consequence, Jakarta has developed into one of the most diverse metropolitan cities in the region.

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the largest and most modern of its kind in Indonesia and the country’s main gateway, serves a growing number of international airlines and domestic flights.

Jakarta has a Governor, Anies Baswedan, and its five cities are all headed by a Mayor.

Governors were previously appointed by the People's Regional Representative Council, but in 2007, the first-ever election was held and was won by Fauzi Bowo.

Jakarta’s economy predominantly depends upon financial services, while manufacturing and trading are also vital.

Key manufacturing industries include automotive, biomedical sciences, chemicals, electronics and mechanical engineering.

Anies Baswedan, pictured on the left here with Indonesia President Joko Widodo, is the current Governor of Jakarta ©Getty Images
Anies Baswedan, pictured on the left here with Indonesia President Joko Widodo, is the current Governor of Jakarta ©Getty Images

Back to top

Sport

Jakarta has been a regular host of international sporting events, having staged the fourth edition of the Asian Games in 1962, in which 12 nations competed in 13 sports. 

Additionally, Jakarta has hosted the Southeast Asian Games more than any other country in the region, having staged the multi-sport event in 1979, 1987, 1997 and 2011, when they co-hosted with Palembang.

In 2007, Jakarta hosted football's Asian Cup final at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 76,127 and is home to the Indonesian men’s team.

The city also staged the 2015 Badminton World Championships having previously hosted the event in 1980 and 1989. 

Jakarta has staged the Southeast Asian Games on four occasions and most recently in 2011, when it co-hosted with Palembang ©Getty Images
Jakarta has staged the Southeast Asian Games on four occasions and most recently in 2011, when it co-hosted with Palembang ©Getty Images

Back to top

Palembang

Palembang is the second-largest city on the island of Sumatra, after Medan, and the capital city of the South Sumatra province.

It is also the seventh-largest city in Indonesia - after Bandung, Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, Semarang and Surabaya - and one of the oldest in the Malay Archipelago and Southeast Asia.

It is located 618 kilometres from Jakarta. 

Palembang is located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra, with a land area of 369.22 square kilometres and a population of more than 1.7 million.  

It has a history of being the capital city of the Kingdom of Srivijaya, which controlled a large part of what is now Indonesia, Malaysia and Southern Thailand.

The west coast of Sumatra was at the epicentre of an earthquake in December 2004, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean and killing between 230,000 to 280,000 people in 14 countries.

Palembang's main landmarks include Ampera Bridge and Musi River, which splits the city into two.

The north and south banks of the river in Palembang are known as Seberang Ilir and Seberang Ulu respectively.

Palembang has attracted migrants from other regions in the Malay Archipelago throughout its history, making the city a multi-cultural one.

It has also absorbed neighbouring, as well as foreign, cultures and influences, including those from coastal Malay, inland Minangkabau, Java, India, China and Arab nations.

Two years after co-hosting the 2011 Southeast Asian Games with Jakarta, Palembang staged the 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games.

Palembang hosted the 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games ©Getty Images
Palembang hosted the 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games ©Getty Images