Fun factor to go up a notch in Marina Bay area

Fun factor to go up a notch in Marina Bay area
DBS will add six bigger sailboats to its oversubscribed sailing programme. The combined fleet of 14 boats will mean that sailing sessions – which the public can register for online – will be increased to twice a week from July.

The Marina Bay waterfront will continue to be a vibrant playground for the public, with DBS pledging to pump in another $12 million over the next three years to fund activities in the area.

The major tenant in the Marina Bay financial hub, which said in 2013 it would spend $10 million from then till this year to draw people to the area, hopes to double the number of people at their bay events to 40,000 a year.

It will keep its marquee events, such as the annual Marina Regatta or monthly Movies by the Bay, which have pulled in a total of 60,000 people from 2013 to date.

But the bank will turn up the fun factor by a notch for its oversubscribed sailing programme, which has let over 7,500 people try sailing so far.

From July, six bigger sailboats will be added. Each of these new elite racing boats will be 18m tall - about five storeys high - and can carry 12 passengers.

Such sailboats - named the Swedish Match 40 - will be the first in Asia and were used by top sailors in competitions. They will arrive from Europe next month.

Chartering one of these vessels in Europe would cost about $10,000 per day, said Ms Karen Ngui, DBS' managing director and head of group strategic marketing and communications.

The current fleet of eight 6m-tall boats can take only four people each. The combined fleet of 14 boats will mean that sailing sessions - which the public can register for online - will be increased to twice a week from July.

The boats, which will be helmed by professional sailors from the Singapore Sailing Federation, are expected to take 20,000 people out to the bay area a year.

"Singapore is an island, but because we are so built up, we forget the water side of things," said Ms Ngui yesterday at a media conference.

"It's going to be such a treat for people to ride these huge boats and be able to steer them."

For the first time, DBS will carry out surveys next year to find out what people would like to see or take part in at Marina Bay.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic's senior tourism lecturer Michael Chiam said that more events could be held. He suggested a water festival, where people can try water- skiing or dragon boating, and reviving dragon dances on boats.

"The urban beach and good festivals are great ideas. But more can be done to line the whole Marina Bay waterfront with activities, cultural shows and bazaars," he said.

Ms Belinda Lim, 55, said the new sailboats would give her a higher chance of clinching a spot. Tickets, which are free, are typically snapped up in 15 minutes.

Ms Lim, who runs a food business, also suggested sectioning off a part of the water for sea sports.

"Let people walk on the sea in inflatable bubbles, or try wakeboarding," she said.

"Also, you need the area to have buzz. Buskers and stiltwalkers will help, or bazaars with local designers and food trucks."

limjess@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 26, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.