Allan Zeman has lived in Hong Kong for over 37 years and is heavily involved in the local community. He is known as Father of Lan Kwai Fong, being the founder and Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings Ltd, the major property developer and food & beverage operator in Lan Kwai Fong. He is also the Chairman of Ocean Park.
Zeman is a member of the Tourism Strategy Commission, Commission on Strategic Development, Business Facilitation Advisory Committee, Board of the Urban Renewal Authority (U.R.A.), HKGCC and Community Chest. He is also a Director of The “Star” Ferry Company Ltd., Wynn Resorts Limited and HK Arts Festival. Zeman is an Independent Non-executive Director of Pacific Century Premium Development Limited, Sino Land Company Limited, Tsim Sha Tsui Properties Ltd and The Link Management Limited.
Zeman’s construction and development interests are primarily focused in Far East Asia, British Columbia and North America. His Asian operations encompass Hong Kong, China and Thailand, predominantly Phuket. Core projects completed to date include commercial, residential and mixed-use developments.
Zeman started working at the age of 10, he dropped out of college at 16 and by age 19 he was working for a lingerie company. He made his first fortune by importing clothes from Hong Kong. As he frequently travelled to Hong Kong for work in the 1970s, he eventually moved to the city in 1975 at the age of 20.
In 1983, Zeman opened California Restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, a narrow street in Central. He bought the entire block in 1984 and thus launched his career as both an entertainer and property developer. In 2004, Zeman was invited by the then-Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa, to become the chairman of Ocean Park. He managed to raise visitor numbers despite the opening of rival Hong Kong Disneyland, make the park more attractive and remarkably, the park generated record profits.
A 2007 Forbes article, refers to Zeman as Hong Kong’s Mouse Killer because of the success that Ocean Park is having while Hong Kong Disneyland struggles to survive.
In addition to being the Father of Lan Kwai Fong, he also is thought of as a property tycoon, entertainment guru, business whiz, film producer, theme park saviour, fashion trader, overseas investor and government adviser. In February 2007, Style Magazine (published by the South China Morning Post) named him as Stylemaker of the Year.
The Chief Executive appointed Allan as a J.P. in 2001 and awarded him the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2004. In the same year, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws (L.L.D.) from The University of Western Ontario, Canada.