Singapore begins Orchard Road rejuvenation
Major landscape and infrastructure enhancements are currently being made to Orchard Road, Singapore, according to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Work on the iconic shopping district is expected to be completed by February 2009, which is two months ahead of schedule.
The Dh100 million project will enhance the pedestrian experience along Singapore’s premier shopping street by introducing state-of-the art lighting, creating new spaces to stage events, introducing more integrated walkways, and developing a livelier pedestrian mall.
“Orchard Road has consistently been ranked as the most visited attraction in Singapore and is an ideal place for Middle Eastern tourists to enjoy some of the best shopping in the world. The redevelopment project promises to significantly enhance the beauty of this street and will help redefine Singapore’s changing landscape,” said Jason Ong, area director, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board.
“Our priority in planning the works schedule is to ensure that businesses along Orchard Road would be able to continue their operations with minimal disruption so that shoppers in the malls would not even realise that works are on-going at the street level,” he added.
The retail gateway is being divided into three themed zones: the Orchard Zone, a forest themed stretch with urban ‘green rooms’ serving as rest spots, the floral themed Tangin Zone coloured with crimson flowers, the Somerset Zone exuding spicy scents of cinnamon and nutmeg in tribute to the area’s early years as a spice and fruit plantation.
Some of Singapore’s signature events and celebrations take place on Orchard Road, including the annual Singapore Fashion Festival (next one is from March to April 2009) and the annual Christmas in the Tropics Light up – creating a buzz of excitement on the street throughout the year.
Apart from the upgrading, three brand new state-of-the-art shopping and entertainment centres are being built along Orchard Road, including ION Orchard opening in late 2008, and Somerset Central and Orchard Central, both opening in 2009.