Video – Jewel Changi Airport Open

Singapore

Four years after work started to transform an open-air carpark into a 10-storey complex with shops, restaurants, leisure attractions and facilities for travellers, Jewel Changi Airport is ready for its public unveiling.

Over the next six days, from 1pm on Thursday (April 11) to 10pm next Tuesday, about half a million people who had signed up for free preview tickets are expected to visit.

Jewel will open its doors to all from next Wednesday. Located next to Terminal 1, it is connected to T2 and T3 via air-conditioned travelators.

The $1.7 billion complex is an investment in Changi Airport’s future and Singapore’s continued success as an aviation and tourism hub in an increasingly competitive environment.

Mr Lee Seow Hiang, chairman of Jewel Changi Airport and Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) chief executive, said in a statement on Thursday: “Jewel Changi Airport is a valuable addition to Singapore’s world-class tourism attractions and aviation facilities.

“We look forward to welcoming the world to Jewel, whether they are travelling to or through Singapore.”

Jewel’s highlights include a 40m-tall indoor waterfall and a five-storey garden with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs.

There are more than 280 shops and food and beverage outlets, including famous New York burger chain Shake Shack (to open next Wednesday) and American fast-food chain A&W, which will re-enter the Singapore market after more than 10 years.

The first Pokemon Centre outside of Japan is located at Jewel, a joint venture between CAG and CapitaLand.

The 135,700 sq m complex will also offer play attractions as well as a hotel and aviation facilities.

To be available from June 10, the attractions include a 50m-long suspended bridge, with a glass floor that will allow visitors to look down at the greenery below; a 250m-long bouncing net, which at its highest point will be suspended 8m or three storeys above the ground; and other highlights such as mazes and slides.

When Jewel opens, travellers will be able to access an early check-in lounge serving passengers of 26 airlines, including Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot.

This will cover 60 per cent of all traffic at the airport and will be open from 6am to midnight daily. There will also be facilities for all travellers to store their hand luggage round-the-clock.

This will allow travellers to have a worry-free experience while they shop, dine, relax and play to make the most of their time before flying out of Singapore, said Jewel Changi Airport.

Those flying through Singapore will have to exit the transit area to visit Jewel and check in again before their next flight.

They don’t need to check in their bags again if their airlines offer the early check-in service.

Otherwise, they can deposit their bags while they tour Jewel and pick them up when they are done.

Ms Hung Jean, chief executive of Jewel Changi Airport, said: “The unique proposition of world-class shopping and dining, seamlessly integrated with lush greenery, fulfils the needs of increasingly discerning travellers for a meaningful and experiential journey, even for brief layovers.”

Jewel will also house the first YotelAir property in Asia, with 130 cabins that can be booked for a minimum of four hours; for short daytime layovers or overnight stays.

Mr Lee Chee Koon, president and group chief executive officer of CapitaLand Group, said: “The combined catchment of residents and Changi Airport’s growing passenger traffic makes Jewel a compelling proposition to draw international brands to Singapore and empower homegrown retailers to connect with a global audience.”

Jewel is designed by a consortium led by Safdie Architects, helmed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who also came up with Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Safdie said: “Jewel Changi Airport juxtaposes the centre of being in nature and enjoying a vibrant marketplace, dramatically extending the concept of airport to serve as an urban centre, engaging travellers, visitors, and residents, echoing Singapore’s reputation as ‘The City in the Garden’.”

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Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak pleaded not guilty on Wednesday (April 3) to seven charges at the start of his much-anticipated trial linked to the alleged plundering of state fund 1MDB in a financial scandal that shocked the world.

Dressed in a dark blue blazer, white shirt and purple tie, the 65-year-old made his plea from the dock at the Malaysia High Court where he faces three counts of criminal breach of trust, one charge of abuse of power, and three counts of money laundering involving RM42 million (S$14 million) from SRC International, a former unit of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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Singapore submits nomination to inscribe hawker culture on Unesco list, Singapore News – AsiaOne

SINGAPORE – The Republic’s nomination to inscribe hawker culture in Singapore on the Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was submitted on Wednesday (March 27).

The nomination includes letters, photographs and videos demonstrating community support for the bid.

The photographs feature an Indian Muslim hawker preparing briyani, a Chinese hawker demonstrating a chicken rice recipe, and a father and his children enjoying the chendol dessert, among other snapshots.

A 10-minute video was also produced to give a 12-member Unesco evaluation body – comprising six experts qualified in various fields of intangible cultural heritage – a better understanding of hawker culture in Singapore.

The nomination documents, to be available for public viewing from July, were jointly submitted by the three organisations driving the bid – the National Heritage Board, the National Environment Agency, and The Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore.

Using the evaluation body’s assessment and recommendation as a guide, a 24-member intergovernmental committee will then decide on the suitability of inscribing Singapore’s hawker culture.

The results will be announced at the end of next year.

If successful, hawker culture will join 429 other cultures of other countries which were inscribed since the list was established in 2008.

These include Belgium’s beer culture, Indonesia’s bamboo musical instrument angklung, China’s shadow puppetry, and kimjang, or the making and sharing of kimchi in South Korea.

Singapore’s first such submission in the category of intangible cultural heritage comes after the Botanic Gardens was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2015.

If inscribed, it could help to further lift the profile of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The list is not intended to define the origins and ownership of cultural practices.

Instead, the bid will be assessed based on the criteria of meeting Unesco’s definition of intangible cultural heritage, how the potential inscription will increase awareness of Singapore’s hawker culture, how the existing and future safeguarding measures promote the continued practice of the culture, whether the nomination involved the community, and whether it is part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage inventory.

The nation’s inventory, comprising 70 elements so far, including pilgrimages to Kusu Island and Malay weddings, was established last April.

In a joint statement, the organisations driving the bid said the attempt received “overwhelming support” from Singaporeans since it was announced last August.

They noted that apart from hawker associations, more than 850,000 pledges of support and over 31,000 messages have been registered across various platforms.

They added that their social media movement also generated 810,000 likes and comments in support of hawker culture.

The statement said: “A successful nomination will demonstrate to the world how proud we are of hawker culture in Singapore, encourage greater appreciation for our hawkers, and show our commitment as a nation to safeguard hawker culture for generations to come.”

They added that the submission of the nomination documents is a milestone in Singapore’s Unesco inscription journey to better recognise and protect the island’s intangible cultural heritage.

The nomination documents took into account input from a nomination committee, comprising representatives and stakeholders from various sectors, including hawker representatives, academics, community partners, non-governmental organisations and other government agencies.

Singapore’s bid has received some criticism from across the border. Some Malaysians have claimed that their country is a street-food paradise and that Singapore’s hawker version is not that special.

Key characteristics of Singapore’s hawker culture include hawker centres serving as community dining spaces for everyone, and how it is a reflection of Singapore’s multicultural society.

There are more than 100 hawker centres in Singapore and more than 80 per cent of the population visit them at least once a week.

Other features are Singapore hawkers’ mastery of culinary skills and how hawker culture thrives in a highly urban environment.

Messages written by Singaporeans in support of the bid note that hawker centres serve as spaces where “a variety of multicultural cuisines” can be found under one roof and where “people of all races gather to eat together”.

via Singapore submits nomination to inscribe hawker culture on Unesco list, Singapore News – AsiaOne