The Integrated Resorts of Singapore

Integrated Resorts by definition are resorts with mixed development like hotels, restaurants, convention centre, theme park, shopping centre, casino etc. Because of the gaming component – casino, integrated resorts development has stirred a great controversy among the Singaporeans.

The Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Long announced the cabinet's decision to develop 2 integrated resorts in Marina Bay and Sentosa. The Singapore Government stated that the aim of the Integrated Resorts is to boast the country's tourism industry. There has been very keen competition from the neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. According to the Government, the Integrated Resorts are expected to create some 35,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

There has been debate among the Singaporeans on the plan to build Integrated Resorts. Religious groups and social workers voiced their disapproval at the negative social impact of gambling.

The Government however, promised to have a proper and strict safeguard to limit the social impact of gambling, among others exorbitant entrance fee and the casinos would not extend credit to local population.

Marina Bay Sands

It is located at the Marina South of Singapore. Currently, there are a few pretigious hotels operating like Ritz Charlton Millenium, Oriental Hotel, Marina Mandarin and Pan Pacific Hotel. It will have a panoramic view of the sea and tranquil environment.

The Government of Singapore called for request for concept in December 2004. It received overwhelming response from the industry. A total of 19 bids were submitted during the request for concept.

In the formal bids later, 4 companies / consortiums submitted their tender including: – (i) MGM Mirage / Capital Land, (ii) Harrah's Entertainment / Keppel Land, (iii) Las Vegas Sands and (iv) Genting International / Star Cruises.

Eventually, Las Vegas Sands succeeded in their tender, by committing the highest development investmetn of S $ 3.85 billion. The concept was designed by Moshe Sofdie consisting of 3 layers shells containing conference halls, 3 hotel towers linked to top floor of a sky garden.

Resorts World at Sentosa

Sentosa which means transquility in Malay is a popular island resort in Singapore. Previously, it was known as Pulau Belakang Mati (Island of Death from Behind). Statistics shows that it has been visited by some 2 million people annually. It has a sheltered beach of more than 2 km in length on the Southern coast, historical Fort Siloso from World War II, two golf courses and 2 5-stars hotels.

The island has an area of ​​5 square kilometres. 70% of it is covered by secondary rainforest. It is the habitat of monitor lizards, monkeys, peacocks, parrots as well as native flora and fauna.

Since its inception of development in 1972, some S $ 420 million of private capitals and S $ 500 million Government fund have been invested to develop the island.

3 consortiums submitted their proposal on 10 October 2006. They are: (i) Kerzner International with Capital Land; (Ii) Genting International with Star Cruises Universal Studios and (iii) Eight Wonder with Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, Melco International Development Limited, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc.

The bid were reviewed by a ministerial committee and a tender evaluation committee and results were announced on 8 December 2006. Genting International and Star Cruises won the bid. Genting committed to a development investment of S $ 3.85 billion.

With these 2 Integrated Resorts completed and in operation by late 2009, Singapore will be placed at a totally better position in tourism industry in the region as compared with its competitors.

Source by Chai Yong

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