Marina Bay Sands
|Marina Bay Sands|
|Location||Downtown Core, Singapore|
|Address||10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956|
|Opening date||27 April 2010soft opening) (|
23 June 2010 (official opening)
17 February 2011 (grand opening)
|No. of rooms||2,561|
|Total gaming space||15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft)|
|Signature attractions||Sands SkyPark|
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
The Sands Expo and Convention Centre
Marina Bay Club
Marina Bay Sands Art Path
|Notable restaurants||Bread Street Kitchen|
DB Bistro Moderne
Sky on 57
|Owner||Las Vegas Sands|
|Website||Marina Bay Sands|
The Marina Bay Sands (abbreviation: MBS) is an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay within the Downtown Core district of Singapore. At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion (US$6.88 billion), including the land cost. It is owned by the Singaporean subsidiary of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
Designed by Moshe Safdie, the resort includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-metre (1,300,000 sq ft) convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000-square-metre (800,000 sq ft) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, a large theatre, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating crystal pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex includes three towers topped by a connecting 340-metre-long (1,120 ft) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,902 people and a 150 m (490 ft) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 66.5 m (218 ft).
The building and its surrounds was originally set to open in 2009, but its construction faced slight delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages, aggravated from the global financial crisis at the time. This pressured Las Vegas Sands to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort within considerable time. It ultimately decided to open the integrated resort in stages, which was approved by the Singaporean government.
The resort and SkyPark were officially opened on 23 and 24 June 2010 as part of a two-day celebration, following the casino's opening on 27 April that year. The SkyPark opened the following day. The theatre was completed in time for the first performance of Riverdance on 30 November. The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December, but has been permanently replaced by a digital new exhibit also known as Digital Light Canvas, an attraction done by Japanese art collective teamLab. The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011. It also marked the opening of the seven celebrity chef restaurants, such as Gordon Ramsay. The ArtScience Museum opened to the public and the debut of a 13-minute light, laser and water show two days later on 19 February 2011 marked the full completion of the integrated resort.
As of 2020, its crystal pavilions are anchored by an Apple Store and the world's largest Louis Vuitton boutique, both located on a floating island at 1,900 m2 (20,000 sq ft), which is connected to the Shoppes via an underwater tunnel. Marina Bay Sands is also set to have a fourth tower constructed in the near future, adjacent to the existing tri-towers, at an approximate USD 3.3 billion investment, in its bid to attract more international visitors.
Marina Bay Sands is one of two winning proposals for Singapore's first integrated resorts, the other being the Resorts World Sentosa, which incorporates a family-friendly Universal Studios Theme Park (Universal Studios Singapore). The two large-scale resorts were conceived to meet Singapore's economic and tourism objectives for the next decade and will have 30-year casino licenses, exclusive for the first ten years. Bidders were assessed based on four criteria: tourism appeal and contribution, architectural concept and design, development investment, and strength of the consortium and partners.
On 27 May 2006, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was declared the winner with its business-oriented resort. LVS submitted its winning bid on its own. Its original partner City Developments Limited (CDL), with a proposed 15% equity stake, pulled out of the partnership in the second phase of the tender process. CDL's CEO, Kwek Leng Beng said his company's pullout was a combination of factors—such as difficulties in getting numerous companies he owns to comply in time, as well as reluctance of some parties to disclose certain private information in probity checks required by the Singapore government. However, Kwek was retained as an advisor for Sands' bid.
Las Vegas Sands initially committed to invest S$3.85 billion in the project, not including the fixed S$1.2 billion cost of the 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) site itself. With the escalating costs of materials, such as sand and steel, and labour shortages owing to other major infrastructure and property development in the country, Sheldon Adelson placed the total cost of the development at S$8.0 billion as of July 2009.
Las Vegas Sands declared the undertaking as "one of the world's most challenging construction projects and certainly the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built". It expected the casino to generate at least $1 billion in annual profit. Two months after the initial phased opening, the casino was attracting around 25,000 visitors daily, about a third being Singaporeans and permanent residents who paid a $100 daily entry levy or $2,000 for annual unlimited access. Half a million gamblers passed through the casino in June 2010. In the third quarter of 2012, the revenues of the Marina Bay Sands fell almost 28 per cent from a year earlier.
For the economy, Marina Bay Sands was projected to stimulate an addition of $2.7 billion or 0.8% to Singapore's Gross Domestic Product by 2015, employing 10,000 people directly and 20,000 jobs being created in other industries.
On 3 April 2019, Sands announced a $3.3 billion expansion of its Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore. The expansion will include the construction of a fourth hotel tower containing 1,000 luxury suites and a 15,000-seat arena.
Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) have to pay a Singapore $100 fee for a one time entry and a S$2000 fee for an annual pass. The fee was changed on 4 April 2019 to S$150 for a one-time visit and S$3000 for yearly visits.
Design and construction
The resort is designed by Moshe Safdie, who says it was initially inspired by card decks. The prominent feature of the design is the three hotel towers, which has 2,500 rooms and suites, and a continuous lobby at the base links the three towers. The casino has a four-storey central atrium with four levels of gaming and entertainment in one space. In addition to the hotel and the casino, other buildings include a 19,000 m2 (200,000 sq ft) ArtScience Museum, and a convention centre with 110,000 m2 (1,200,000 sq ft) of space, capable of accommodating up to 45,000 people. The resort's architecture and major design changes along the way were also approved by its feng shui consultants, the late Chong Swan Lek and Louisa Ong-Lee. Aedas were responsible for employing all consultants and for developing, co-ordinating and implementing the design. The structural engineering for the project was handled by Arup with Parsons Brinckerhoff the MEP engineers. The main contractor was Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.
The three towers are broader at the base and narrow as they rise. Each tower has two asymmetric legs, with a curved eastern leg leaning against the other, creating a significant technical challenge in its construction. Substantial temporary structures were necessary to support the legs of the tower while they were under construction, and required real-time monitoring for continual assessment and analyses in the course of their erection.
A distinctive feature of the hotel is the SkyPark, a three-acre park on top of the building with swimming pools, gardens, and jogging paths. The structure bridges all three towers with a segment cantilevered off the north tower. The hull of the SkyPark was pre-fabricated off-site in 14 separate steel sections and then assembled on top of the towers. There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimetres (20 inches). In addition to wind, the hotel towers are also subject to settlement in the earth over time, so engineers built and installed custom jack legs to allow for future adjustment at more than 500 points beneath the pool system. This jacking system is important primarily to ensure the infinity edge of the pool continues to function properly.
Marina Bay Sands was originally planned to be completed in a single phase in 2009, but rising construction costs and the financial crisis forced the company to open it in phases. The first phase's preview opening was further delayed until 27 April 2010, and the official opening was pushed back to 23 June 2010. The rest of the complex remained under construction and was opened after a grand opening on 17 February 2011.
On 27 April 2010, Marina Bay Sands had the first of a planned 3 to 4 phase openings. The casino, parts of the conference hall, a segment of the Shoppes, 963 hotel rooms and the event plaza were opened at the auspicious time of 3:18 p.m as part of the "preview opening".
The Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) held the first conference at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on 2–5 May 2010, but the event was marred by uncompleted facilities and power failure during a speech. IPBA withheld payment of S$300,000 and was consequently sued by Marina Bay Sands. In June IPBA counter-sued, describing the venue as a "complete disaster" and that its earlier payments had been imposed by "duress, fear and force". An "amicable settlement" with undisclosed terms was announced in August.
On 23 June 2010, the resort had its official opening with a "2-day celebration"; this includes the Sands SkyPark, the Event Plaza along Marina Bay, more shops, additional dining options and nightlife offerings, and the rest of the hotel rooms. First day events included a "World Championship Climb" on the glass facade of the building to the SkyPark, with seven teams of 21 top rock climbers from around the world competing, and an evening concert for 4,000 invited guests and customers, featuring one international rapper such as Kelly Rowland and one national contemporary R&B such as Sylvia Ratonel. The SkyPark was opened on the second day at 2 p.m., with about 2,000 adult tickets costing S$20 each sold.
The Sands theatre was completed in time for the first performance by Riverdance on 30 November 2010. The ArtScience Museum opened its doors to the public at 10 am on 19 February 2011. The musical The Lion King made its debut on 3 March 2011. The floating pavilions were opened when the tenants Louis Vuitton and Pangaea Club finished their refurbishment and opened on 18 September 2011 and 22 September 2011, respectively. The Lion King ran its last show on 30 October 2011.
Marina Bay Sands has three 55-storey hotel towers which were topped out in July 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare roof terrace, Sands SkyPark. The observation deck provides panoramic views across the bay.
In front of the three towers include a Theatre Block, a Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block, which have up to 1,000 gaming tables and 1,400 slot machines. The ArtScience Museum is constructed next to the three blocks and has the shape of a lotus. Its roof is retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and laser shows when opened at night. In front of the Event Plaza is Wonder Full, a light and water show that is the largest in Asia and was produced by Laservision. The ArtScience Museum and Wonder Full show opened on 17 February 2011.
The SkyPark has the world's longest elevated swimming pool, with a 146-metre (479 ft) vanishing edge (a concept called an infinity pool) located 191 metres (627 ft) above ground. The pools are made up of 422,000 pounds (191,000 kg) of stainless steel and can hold 376,500 US gallons (1,425 cubic metres) of water. The SkyPark also has rooftop nightclubs such as Lavo (New York, Vegas) and Cé La Vi, gardens, hundreds of trees and plants, and a public observatory deck on the cantilever with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. The SkyPark is accessible only to hotel guests for security reasons. However, there have been several successful attempts of non-guests getting access to the pool. For example, Kimberly Connor, a US citizen, did so in February 2016 while knowing it would be breaking the law. While Emma Balmforth, a Canadian, also managed to gain entry in August 2016. The hotel has said that it would take action at any unauthorized entry.
The Shoppes is the main shopping mall at Marina Bay Sands, with close to 93,000 m2 (1,000,000 sq ft) of retail space with over 300 stores and F&B outlets, featuring boutiques such as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Chopard, Valentino (fashion designer), Dior, Dunhill, Vertu, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent Paris, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, Blancpain, Vera Wang Bride, an Hermès watch boutique, and Herve Leger.
A canal runs through the length of the Shoppes, in the same style as The Venetian in Las Vegas. Sampan rides on the canal are available for guests and shoppers at the shopping mall, similar to the gondola rides available in the Venetian. Also housed within the Shoppes are six of the ten Celebrity Chef restaurants—Bread Street Kitchen (by Gordon Ramsay), Cut (by Wolfgang Puck), Waku Ghin (by Tetsuya Wakuda), Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza (by Mario Batali), Long Chim (by David Thompson) and DB Bistro & Oyster Bar (by Daniel Boulud).
There are two crystal pavilions. Previously, it was decided that one of the pavilions will house two nightclubs—Avalon and Pangaea. In addition, the second pavilion houses the world's largest Louis Vuitton boutique, in addition to being on a floating island, at 1,900 m2 (20,000 sq ft), which is connected to the portion of the boutique in the Shoppes via an underwater tunnel. The pavilion was eventually vacated by both Avalon and Pangaea and are now anchored by an Apple Store.
The Sands Theatre seats 2,155 people, and has hosted shows such as The Lion King, Cirque Éloize, A. R. Rahman's Jai Ho, and Wicked. Next to the theatre is a skating rink (synthetic ice) measuring 600 m2 (6,500 sq ft).
Moshe Safdie designed an Art Path within the resort, incorporating installations by five artists including Zheng Chongbin, Antony Gormley and Sol LeWitt. The pieces are meant to play on environmental influences including light, water and wind, integrating art with architecture.
By Mass Rapid Transit (MRT):
- Bayfront, Downtown, and Promenade stations on both the Circle Line and Downtown Line
- Marina Bay station on the Circle Line, North South Line, and Thomson–East Coast Line
- Marina South station on the Thomson–East Coast Line
By public bus:
- Services 97/97e, 106, 133, 502/502A, 518/518A, NR1, NR6
By water taxi:
- From Grand Copthorne Water Front, Raffles Landing Side, Boat Quay, River Side Point and Robertson Quay
In response to the 2020 Singapore circuit breaker measures that started on 7 April 2020, Marina Bay Sands announced that it would shut down all hotel facilities as well as attractions such as the ArtScience Museum, The Shoppes, food and beverage outlets, and its casino.
On 19 June, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, including tenant F&B outlets restarted operations with enhanced hygiene and safety protocols, and were only open to Sands Rewards Club (SRC) members. On 1 July, the ArtScience Museum, the Casino and Sands SkyPark Observation Deck joined the other venues in resuming operations, albeit progressively. Again, access was restricted to SRC members only, and in the case of the casino only those SRC members holding Gold status or higher and who were below 70 years of age or existing Annual Levy Holders are authorised access.
In popular culture
- The towers of the Marina Bay Sands have made multiple televised appearance on various franchises of The Amazing Race including the fourth season of the Asian edition of The Amazing Race, the first season of the Australian edition of The Amazing Race, the second season of the Israeli edition of The Amazing Race, and the twenty-fifth season of the original American edition of The Amazing Race, all of which featured a tightrope walking task between two of the resort's towers.
- A partially destroyed version of the structure was featured in the 2015 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, which takes place 10 years after a biochemical disaster has rendered most of Singapore's eastern half inhospitable. The trailer of the 2016 movie Independence Day: Resurgence has a scene depicting the destruction of the property after being caught in the gravitational pull of a hovering alien spacecraft.
- It was featured in the 2018 American film Crazy Rich Asians, both in a scenic B-roll of Singapore, as well as a setting towards the end of the film.
- Both the completed and partially destroyed versions of the structure are featured in the opening, various parts of the film, and the end credits of the 2019 animated film Detective Conan: The Fist of Blue Sapphire.
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