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Monday, September 29, 2008

Marina Bay Sands to open by end-2009

From left: Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, Dr Miriam Adelson, LVS president and COO William Weidner and Lynn Weidner looking at the model of Marina Bay Sands project

Come late 2009, Singapore’s vibrant Marina Bay waterfront will feature a new and magnificent destination - The Marina Bay Sands.

The Marina Bay Sands is being developed by Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp, a leading global integrated resorts developer and an industry leader in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) market in the US.

According to Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd general manager George Tanasijevich, construction of Marina Bay Sands is on-track and on-target for an end-2009 opening.

The total size of the Marina Bay Sands site exceeds 15 hectares with the MICE space occupying more than 120,000 sq m; three hotel towers with more than 2,600 rooms; over 750,000 sq ft of retail and F&B outlets; theatres with approximately 4,000 seats; casino and an event plaza which will accommodate 10,000 people.

“Our three hotel towers; MICE facilities; casino and theatres areas are expected to be topped off in mid-2009. Currently, the development of Tower 1 is at level 13; Tower 2 at level 11 and Tower 3 at level 9.

“In the MICE area, sub-structure works are well established and progressing, and superstructure works are well underway and rising above ground.

“Casino sub-structure works are also progressing well and superstructure works are about to commence above ground,” Tanasijevich told StarBiz.

Las Vegas Sands, which was awarded the bid for Singapore’s first integrated resort (IR) in May 2006, will invest more than S$5bil to develop The Marina Bay Sands, said to be one of the largest investments in the world for a single IR.

The IR is expected to generate S$2.7bil to Singapore’s annual gross domestic product and create 33,000 jobs throughout the economy by 2015.

Tanasijevich said the Marina Bay Sands’ opening would be a powerful catalyst to propel Singapore’s status as a leading MICE hub and enhanced the city state’s position as one of the world’s premier business and leisure destinations.

“As the first luxury IR in Southeast Asia, Marina Bay Sands will offer all visitors new and world-class experiences in dining, shopping, entertainment and MICE.

“It will combine state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facilities, luxury hotel facilities, an iconic ArtScience Museum, Las Vegas-style gaming, theatres, entertainment and an unparalleled spread of shopping and dining outlets in one landmark structure.”

In addition, the design of the development, by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, is unique and will integrate seamlessly with its surroundings at downtown Marina Bay.

Two iconic architectural features of Marina Bay Sands are the inspiring ArtScience Museum and the sky park offering expansive 360 degree views of Singapore’s city skyline.

“Marina Bay Sands is committed to helping Singapore achieve its economic, tourism and social goals. To that end, we are working closely with the Ministry of Manpower, Workforce Development Agency, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore Tourism Board to ensure that there is a sufficient pool of skilled talent for the sector.

“Key opportunities moving forward include leveraging and building on Singapore’s status as a premier destination for MICE events. Last year, the business travel and events sector earned over S$5bil for Singapore, establishing a new record

for the MICE sector in the city state.

“Singapore was also ranked as the top international meeting city in the world by the Union of International Associations for the first time this year,” he noted.

The company’s in-house MICE team is leveraging on its extensive experience operating in Asia to market the IR’s MICE facilities to its global network of event organisers.

The team has received an enthusiastic response from organisers of events for industries including medical/ pharmaceutical, finance, IT/telecoms and logistics.

“Marina Bay Sands aims to help position Singapore as a leading leisure, tourism and MICE destination, and support the country in achieving its goals of increasing tourism receipts to S$30 billion and visitor arrivals to 17 million in 2015.

By The Star (by Angie Ng)

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