When Jewel Changi Airport first gave us a sneak peek of what to expect last year, we were pretty impressed by the lush foliage and towering 40m-tall waterfall packed into a majestic indoor space, filled with abundant natural light in the day. And now that we’re just months away from 2019, the S$1.7 billion dome-shaped development has revealed more tidbits of information about the retail, dining, and entertainment concepts that it’ll be housing.
Let’s just say, we got a glimpse of the impressive structure (model-sized, of course) at its show suite in Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, and damn, were we impressed by the cool futuristic vibe of it all. Unfortunately, photos and videos were not allowed on site, so we’ll just have to make do with these renderings below.
First off, Jewel Changi Airport is slated to open its doors in the first half of next year, and in typical Singapore style, it’s a “first” in our country — the “first multi-dimensional lifestyle destination to integrate nature, play, and retail elements on a large scale,” to be exact. If you don’t speak PR, that just means it’s a massive space enveloped in greenery, housing play attractions, food and beverage brands, and plenty of shops to tempt you into parting with your hard-earned cash.
From what we’ve seen of images and architectural models, it’s gonna be quite the tourist (and local) attraction come 2019 — after it opens, we’re pretty sure Changi Airport will be almost impossible to beat on any list ranking the world’s best airports. (Editor’s Note: muahaha)
Directly integrated to Terminal 1, with link bridges connected to Terminals 2 and 3, the 137,000 sqm complex is spread over ten stories — five above ground and five below — with more than 280 shops and restaurants, 130 hotel rooms by Yotel, and garden greenery as far as the eye can see. Close to 90 percent of the retail space has already been leased out, with numerous new-to-Singapore brands and homegrown labels on the line-up.
For little ones and the young at heart, play areas include bouncing and walking nets, hedge and mirror mazes in garden settings, and play slides inspired by Cloud Gate (aka the “Chicago Bean”). If you’re got a couple hours to kill, Shaw Theatres will be screening movies at its 11 cinema auditoriums, including an IMAX one.
At the Canopy Plaza, an events space with a capacity of 800 to 1,000, dining areas will offer slightly longer opening hours, from breakfast to late night dinner and drinks under the stars. Alternatively, you can book yourself a slot at any of the 16 restaurant terraces studded within each level, all of which offer gorgeous views of the Forest Valley and Rain Vortex (which glows with a light and sound show in the evening).
As for the brands that are making their debut in Singapore, you would’ve heard news of Shake Shack and A&W by now — the former is known for its burgers, crinkle-cut fries, and frozen custard ice cream, while the latter is returning to our shores to feed hungry diners with coney dogs, root beer floats, and a Jewel-exclusive menu that includes best-sellers from across the globe, such as Japan’s cream cheese burger and Indonesia’s “golden aroma” chicken.
Pokémon fans will be psyched to hear that there’ll be a Pokémon Center Singapore, a first outside of Japan, hawking merch like toys, stationery, trading card games, and video games. Plus, Nike is launching its largest outlet in Southeast Asia, offering an extended range of sporting goods, alongside customized tees.
Other F&B operators new to town include Xiao Bin Lou and Yu’s Kitchen from Chongqing, China — a fine dining concept with theatrical performances and a casual restaurant respectively — Norway’s Pink Fish, with fresh Norwegian salmon in salads and wraps, Peruvian eatery Tonito, and Swiss artisanal chocolatier Läderach.
On the local side, expect to see quirky knick knacks from Naiise Iconic (with in-store activities and a cafe in its duplex space), porcelain designs by Supermama, Peranakan culinary maestro Violet Oon’s largest restaurant, a European-inspired menu by El Fuego, a new concept from Collin’s, and the world’s first Tiger Street Lab, with seasonal brews containing local ingredients and merch created in collaboration with Singaporean designers.
Once Jewel Changi Airport opens, it’s expected to receive about 40 to 50 million visitors a year, 60 percent of which will be locals — another reason for us to make the trek out to the East.