Since the opening in April, Changi Airport's latest attraction- Jewel has drawn international acclaim and become an icon Singaporeans are proud of attracting about 50 million visitors since it opened 6 months ago. The figure, which includes repeat customers, has surpassed Jewel's initial target of drawing 40 million to 50 million visitors yearly.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a ceremony to officially open the 135,700 sq m complex said on Friday (October 18) "Jewel has become one of the instantly recognizable icons of Singapore. It resonates with Singaporeans because it reminds us that when we dream big and apply ourselves, nothing is impossible."
PM Lee recounted how the original plan was to replace the old open-air carpark next to Terminal 1 that now houses Jewel, and increase the number of parking spaces. But to realize the area's potential, the team conceptualizing Jewel came up with a retail and entertainment concept that transformed the idea of what an airport could be.
On Friday, he added, “while there were many doubts, Jewel was completed on time and within budget - a huge achievement considering the ambitious concept.” The 10- storey complex has undoubtedly made Changi Airport more competitive.
He noted that world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who designed Jewel and attended the ceremony on Friday, had rated the difficulty of constructing the complex's dome nine out of 10. Mr. Safdie also designed Marina Bay Sands. The entire project, which is a partnership venture between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and CapitaLand, costs about $1.7 billion.
Changi saw 65 million travelers last year, including those in transit. PM Lee said he is confident that with Jewel, that record will be broken this year.
He also congratulated the CAG team, its partners, and every person "who helped conceive, cut and polish this beautiful gem at the center of Changi Airport today".
Crowds vary at different time periods, she noted. "Definitely the peak was in April when it first opened, and then there will be peaks and less (busy periods)."
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