SINGAPORE: Jewel Changi Airport welcomed its first visitors on Thursday (Apr 11) as it opened its doors to the public for a preview of its wide range of offerings.
The 500,000 people who registered for the preview will get a sneak peek into Changi Airport’s S$1.7 billion project between Apr 11 and 16, ahead of its opening on Apr 17.
Jewel Changi Airport has more than 280 shops and food and beverage (F&B) outlets, with 95 per cent of lease space already occupied, said Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Jewel will also feature early check-in counters and kiosks, a baggage storage service and a 150-seat Changi Lounge. There is also a 130-cabin hotel within the complex.
"It is our vision for Jewel to be a destination like no other," said head of leasing at Jewel Changi Airport Development Tan Mui Neo.
Visitors to Jewel can look forward to a slew of long-awaited new-to-Singapore brands that will open their first stores alongside familiar homegrown favourites such as In Good Company, Supermama and Tiger Street Lab.
About 50 per cent of its tenant mix consists of brands that originate from Singapore, with a dedicated retail cluster of homegrown brands on Level 1 that is meant to be a one-stop shop for travellers looking to bring home a piece of Singapore.
Construction of Jewel began with ground-breaking in December, 2014, with structural works completed by 2017.
THE JEWEL CENTREPIECE
The 135,700 sq m complex, which is built on the site of the former Terminal 1 open air carpark, is designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie and features a distinctive dome-shaped facade.
The centrepiece of the attraction is the 40m HSBC Rain Vortex - the world's tallest indoor waterfall.
Mr Ashith Alva, head of projects at Jewel Changi Airport Development told CNA that water falls through the roof at a velocity of 10,000 gallons per minute. During the light and sound shows in the evening, this is reduced to 1,500 to 2,000 gallons per minute.
Mr Alva added that water is circulated through pipes concealed within the building, where a water tank with a 500,000L capacity and the control room is stored at basement 3 of Jewel.
He also said that it took water feature design firm, WET, two years of conceptualisation with up to seven models before construction began.
Surrounding the rain vortex are 52 speakers hidden within the Shiseido Forest Valley, added Mr Alva.
Mr Jeremy Yeo, head of user experience for Jewel Changi Airport Development, said that there are 120 species of plants in the Forest Valley, five per cent of which are local. They include ferns and orchids.
He highlighted that the temperature in the Forest Valley is a constant 23 degrees Celsius, and that specially curated plants include two olive trees from Spain that are each more than 100 years old.
In a media release, Jewel Changi Airport Development CEO Hung Jean said: “The vision for Jewel Changi Airport is to be a destination where ‘The World meets Singapore, and Singapore meets the World’.
"The unique proposition of world-class shopping and dining, seamlessly integrated with lush greenery, fulfills the needs of increasingly discerning travellers for a meaningful and experiential journey, even for brief layovers."
At a media briefing, Ms Hung added that the airport expects a footfall of around 40 to 50 million guests annually, and that Jewel is targeted at not just locals but also transit passengers who have a more than five-hour layover in Singapore.