SINGAPORE - The much-anticipated Jewel Changi Airport, with more than 280 shops and food and beverage outlets, will open its doors to the world on April 17, 2019.
Before the opening, a public preview will be held from April 11 to 16 for Singapore residents eager to be among the first to see the 10-storey development.
Registration will open online at jewelpreview.com at 6am on March 12, and each person can register for up to four people.
A total of about 500,000 free tickets will be available, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said in a statement on Thursday (March 7). It came after Jewel's opening date was announced by Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min in Parliament during the debate on the ministry's budget.
The public preview, CAG said, will run in four three-hour time blocks from 10am to 10pm daily.
Visitors can shop and dine at more than 90 per cent of Jewel's shopping and dining outlets, which will be open.
The only area that will be off-limits, for now, is a 14,000 sq m Canopy Park - the size of 11 Olympic-size swimming pools - located on the top floor of Jewel Changi Airport.
It will be open to the public only in the middle of the year, the airport said, without giving a date.
The park will feature a 50m-long suspended bridge with a glass flooring that will allow visitors to look down at the greenery below; a 250m-long bouncing net, which at its highest point, will be suspended 8m or three storeys above ground; and play attractions including mazes and slides.
When Jewel opens, travellers will be able to access an early check-in lounge serving passengers of 26 airlines, including Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot.
This is among the aviation facilities that include integrated ticketing and baggage services for fly-cruise and fly-coach transfers, all of which will improve the travel experience of travellers, said Dr Lam when he announced its opening date on Thursday.
Jewel, with its distinctive dome-shaped facade made of glass and steel, is sited next to Terminal 1 (T1) and linked to T2 and T3 via air-conditioned linkways fitted with travelators.
It is designed by architect Moshe Safdie, well-known for his iconic Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.
In his latest effort, the highlights include a five-storey garden with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs, with two walking trails. There is also a 40m-high Rain Vortex - the world's tallest indoor waterfall.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir), chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, said : "I must confess that before I visited the Jewel in early February this year, I had my doubts about the need for yet another shopping area at Changi Airport, given the shopping opportunities already available at the existing terminals.
"Instead, what I found was a beautifully designed garden concept recreational centre which complements the existing airport and exemplifies our position as a garden city. It will also create many job opportunities for Singaporeans."
Responding, Dr Lam said: "I am happy to hear from Mr Sitoh that he believes Jewel Changi Airport will be a delight for visitors and Singaporeans alike."
He added that apart from Jewel, plans are on track for other infrastructure developments in Changi, for example, the construction of the future T5 in Changi East.
Upgrading works on T2 will also start soon. It will be expanded and refreshed, with automated check-in kiosks, biometric-enabled bag drops and automated immigration gates, to offer passengers greater convenience from check-in to immigration to their flight, he said.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.