Sands SkyPark changes face of Singapore’s skyline

It boasts a casino, restaurants run by some of the world's most iconic chefs, 1.3 million square feet of exhibition space and will soon unveil an arts museum and 4,000 seat theater. But all the people of Singapore were talking about Thursday was the SkyPark that sits on top of the US$5.7 billion (4.6 billion euros) Marina Bay Sands.

The 2560-room resort was officially opened on Wednesday and the first visitors were allowed in to the SkyPark which links its three towers. With space for two restaurants itself, along with stunning infinity pools, jaccuzis and gardens, The SkyPark offers stunning views out over the city of Singapore and out to the Singapore Straits.

The architect behind the stunning structure is Israeli architect Moshe Safdie who in the past has been behind the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington.

And while he was sure the public - and international tourist - would be drawn to features such as those restaurants, run by the likes of Michelin-starred Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud, among others, the basic design of the project was to provide people with something to savor.

"It is a building that will change the way people look at Singapore,'' he told Relaxnews. "As an architect I am aware of the legacy buildings such as these leave behind and you can see already the impact it is having here. It was designed for the enjoyment of the people of Singapore - and the many visitors who come here. And I am sure people will enjoy themselves here for a very long time.''

Safdie's words would be music to the ears of the Singapore tourism industy, which has high hope for the Sands project, matched now with the sprawling Resorts World Sentosa complex which also boasts a casino, hotels and a Universal Studios theme park. Each resort caters for different aspects of the market here in Singapore - the Sands targeting the high end while RWS tries to attract primarily youth and families.

Both are hoping to dig into the enormous tournover being generated by the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau, which in the past five years has toppled Los Vegas as the most lucrative gaming ground in the world.

The Singapore Tourism Board announced this week it expects tourism numbers to swell following the opening of the new resorts - and people from Hong Kong at least have been answering the call.
The STB estimates 330,000 people from Hong Kong alone will visit Singapore this year - a rise of 12per cent from last year.


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