The Malaysian Newsprint Industries (MNI) started up a greenfield paper mill in Mentakab in the year 1999. MNI is one of the biggest scale paper factories in Southeast Asia.
Mentakab has a daily night market (pasar malam), selling things from clothes to food, from flowers to newspapers. There is also a recent proposal that the current pasar malam is going to be renovated to be like Petaling Street (China Town).
Mentakab has one of the largest Hypermarkets in the area. This department store is located in the busiest area of Mentakab where the night market is just a stone's throw away. Traffic jams are common in this area. The traffic jams become worse during peak hours.
Food and drink
There are some fast food outlet available in Mentakab. They are Pizza Hut, KFC and McDonald's. Mentakab locals spends hours in coffee shops during weekend nights.
Mentakab is a place offering the best Chicken Rice. The chicken which has been tenderly cooked and the gingered rice makes the dish frequently sought after by locals. The Mentakabians (non-muslim) will be lining up like bees to buy Chicken Rice during lunch hours. Sometimes the queue even extends to almost 30 meters.
There are seven primary schools in Mentakab: SJK(C)Mentakab 1, SJK(C)Mentakab 2, SK Abu Bakar, SJK(T) Bandar Mentakab, SK Bandar Mentakab, SK Batu Kapur and SK Chatin.
The three secondary schools in this town are SMK Hwa Lian, SMK Mentakab and SMK Seri Semantan. SMK Hwa Lian have appeared as one of the best school in Pahang because of outstanding academic achievement. SMK Mentakab is the only secondary school in Mentakab which provides Form 6 (equivalent to 'A' levels).
One of the country's fastest growing private universities, the Open University Malaysia's (OUM) Local Learning Center for the west Pahang region is also located in Mentakab. OUM caters to the open and distance learning method of obtaining tertiary degrees. Courses offered include degrees in Business and Management, IT and Engineering. Students consist of working adults from all sorts of age groups, economic and social backgrounds. The learning method for OUM includes self-study, online interaction and bi-weekly face-to-face tutorials, normally during weekends.