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Construction begins on Singapore’s Mandai Park heritage and nature precinct
The Mandai nature and wildlife park planned for an area near Singapore Zoo has commenced its development phase with a ‘ground-seeding ceremony’ and revealed fresh details about the project.
Developer Mandai Park Holdings (MPH) says the S$1 billion (US$703 million) project will include a bird park, a rainforest park, an indoor attraction and eco-accommodation. Aside from these attractions, there will be plenty of public park and landscaped spaces with boardwalks, walking trails, streams and a waterfall.
The plans have been in the works since September 2014, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed plans to “transform” the zoo by 2020. The environmental impact assessment has now been cleared by the Singapore Government.
The new bird park will absorb Singapore’s existing Jurong Bird Park, which is relocating after almost 50 years, and bring the attraction up-to-date with new innovations and technologies. When the bird park, the first stage of the attraction, opens in 2020 it will be home to a huge variety of birds and will continue to feature presentations and interaction opportunities to help educate guests about the creatures.
One of the key attractions at the new Bird Park will be an underwater and "overwater" habitat for sub-Antarctic penguins. The developer said it would provide visitors a "fly with the penguins" experience - one that creates the impression of penguins "flying" through the water.
Speaking at the recent ceremony, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran promised “a rejuvenated experience in Mandai” saying that the project will enhance Singapore's identity as a "city in a garden" and provide career opportunities for Singaporeans interested in conservation research and hospitality.
Minister Iswaran elaborated “with a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, Mandai will be a hub for nature education and research as well as a leading nature destination in Asia."
The second stage of the attraction will be a Rainforest Park, taking visitors through the biodiversity found in South East Asian foliage, and allow them to see the trees from recreated caverns, a boardwalk and an aerial walkway.
Mandai Park Holdings’ Chief Executive, Mike Barclay explained “we plan to offer highly differentiated experiences at each of our five wildlife parks, augmented by indoor displays and a variety of food and beverage offerings.
“With the attractive public spaces and more opportunities to stay overnight, we hope to encourage families and groups of friends to spend more time enjoying and appreciating Mandai’s extraordinary wildlife offerings.”
When completed, Mandai’s eco-tourism hub is expected to attract more than 10 million visitors each year, as well as generate a significant number of jobs in conservation research, tourism and hospitality.
Here Barclay stressed that the five parks will run as an integrated precinct that would allow staff to rotate and work in the different parks and in various functions.
He explained “we currently employ about 1,000 people full-time and we have many part-timers working with us. Our scale of operations will grow.
“We’ll have two new zoological parks here to staff up here in Mandai. We’ll have a hotel product - an eco-lodge product - and also an indoor centre, so there will be a lot of job opportunities.”
Currently the Jurong Bird Park and the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari attract about 4.6 million visitors each year.
Images: Artist's impressions of Mandai nature and wildlife park. Courtesy: Mandai Park Holdings.
24th January 2017 - SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT COMMITS TO INCREASING OPEN SPACE FOR EXPANDING POPULATION
27th June 2016 - SINGAPORE’S FORMER RAIL CORRIDOR TO BECOME A LINEAR PARK
11th January 2016 - WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE WELCOMES RECORD BIRTHS AND LOOKS TO STABILITY
3rd December 2015 - CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND AT GARDENS BY THE BAY
7th September 2015 - SINGAPORE PLANS NATURE-THEMED PRECINCT
4th August 2014 - SINGAPORE RIVER SAFARI LAUNCHES NEW CRUISE ATTRACTION
3rd July 2014 - SINGAPORE RESIDENTS ENJOY NEW ECO-GARDEN
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