The Singapore Airport on Thursday unveiled a new complex with gardens and a 40-meter waterfall — the tallest indoor waterfall in the world — flowing from a glass and steel dome to reinforce its status as Asia’s air transport hub.
The huge project (Jewel) that cost Singapore $ 1.25 billion according to local media, includes several four-story theme gardens, as well as 280 shops and restaurants, a hotel and a cinema. It also offers family-friendly attractions, labyrinths and an art exhibition space.
The 135,700 square-meter building connects the three terminals of Singapore Changi Airport. Intended to attract travelers passing through the airport, the resort is also designed for Singapore residents.
The resort opened for a limited number of visitors this week and is due to welcome the general public starting Wednesday.
For Changi, which is already the seventh largest international airport for international traffic, it is a way to stay in the race to attract travelers from other hubs like Hong Kong and Dubai. “Passengers spend more time passing through airports, so there is a need to strengthen infrastructure,” said Jayson Goh, Changi Airport Group Manager.
But Brendan Sobie, chief analyst at the Asia Pacific Aviation Center, questioned the appeal of the project for these travelers. The Jewel complex will be “used primarily by local residents and some departing passengers” from Singapore, he said.
“Attracting passengers in transit is unrealistic since they will have to go through immigration checks and there are already a lot of very good services (inside) that make Changi one of the best airports for transit,” he noted.