Medan is the capital of North Sumatra province in Indonesia. Located along the northeastern coast of Sumatra Island, Medan is the third biggest city in Indonesia, behind Jakarta and Surabaya. With 2,097,610 inhabitants at the 2010 census, Medan remains the largest settlement outside of Java Island. Bordered by the Strait of Malacca, Medan is a busy trading city as the strait is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. Medan is the gateway to the western part of Indonesia, accessible via the Port of Belawan and Kuala Namu International Airport (the second largest airport in Indonesia), make the city known as the third largest city in Indonesia by economy after Jakarta and Surabaya, this city economy is linked well with Malaysian cities (Penang and Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore by trade, service and natural resource exchanges. Both the seaport and the airport are connected to the city center via toll road and railway. Medan also became the first city in Indonesia to have an airport supported with train service.
The city was founded by Guru Patimpus, a Karonese man who named a swampy land in confluence of Deli River and Babura river as Kampung Medan (Village of Medan) as the first settlement. In 1632, the Deli Sultanate was established by Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan, who became its first king. In the 18th century, the eighth king, Sultan Mahmud Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam, started a relationship with the Dutch. Jacob Nienhuys, a Dutch tobacco merchant, pioneered the opening of tobacco plantations in Deli Land. The area's name changed to Medan-Deli when it was established by Dutch tobacco commerce after the formation of the Deli Company. With the help from the 9th Sultanate Sultan Ma'mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam, and also the well-known Chinese businessmen Tjong Yong Hian and Tjong A Fie, the rapid development of the economy transformed Medan-Deli into a big trading center with the nickname het land dollar, aka the land of the money. The Deli Railway was established for shipping rubber, tea, timber, palm oil, and sugar industries from the city to Belawan, a port town located north of Medan. Medan was briefly the capital of the State of East Sumatra, which was established in 1947 as a result of the Dutch "police actions" against newly-independent Indonesia and later became part of the United States of Indonesia from 1949 to 1950. Following the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia, Medan became the capital of North Sumatra in mid-1950.
Medan was dubbed by the Dutch Parijs van Sumatra due to the city's resemblance to Paris. Lamudi, a worldwide real estate portal, recognized Medan as one among six cities in Asia to feature and preserve several colonial architectural sites, while accompanying its growth as a metropolitan city.
In recent years, the city has undergone rapid development, and has seen large scale infrastructure projects such as a new airport, seaport, elevated railroad, toll roads, and a planned mass rapid transit system. Residential property prices in Medan have also trended upward over the period from 2013 to the first quarter of 2015, according to Bank Indonesia (BI). According to BI, Medan’s residential property price index rose from 205.24 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 212.17 in the fourth quarter of 2014, and to 214.41 in the first quarter of 2015.