Singapore Super-Casino Contract Awarded

Genting International of Malaysia was awarded a contract to build a $US3.38 billion casino complex in Singapore that will attract families with a Universal Studios theme park and an outdoor marine park.

Singapore government officials said they picked Genting and its partner Star Cruises because of the company’s ability to attract new and repeat tourism. The city-state has said that it wants to raise its profile as a “family destination” and the Genting proposal fit this profile better than the other two plans submitted.

“The proposal reflects our vision of the Sentosa integrated resort as a large-scale family resort with its host of world-class family leisure activities and other strong offerings,” Deputy Prime Minister S. Jayakumar told reporters at a news conference.

Singapore expects Resorts World at Sentosa to contribute 2.7 billion Singapore dollars to the country’s economy, or about 0.8 percent of its total gross domestic product.

Trade Minister Lim Kiang said it would also add 30,000 jobs. The resort will open in 2010 on a 49-hectare plot on Sentosa Island.

In a statement, Lim Kok Thay, chairman of Genting International and Star Cruises, said the new resort will “change the face of tourism in the region.”

“We are confident that by 2010, Resorts World at Sentosa will attract 15 million visitors.”

Genting’s winning proposal includes six hotels comprising more than 1,800 rooms. The marine park will contain a whale shark lagoon.

The Universal Studios park – the second in Asia after Osaka’s – will have 22 attractions, 16 of which will be specifically designed for Singapore. There will also be a Dreamworks animation studio.

Universal Studios will take up about half of the site.

The plan also includes meeting facilities, retail stores, and a 1,600-seat theatre that will present shows produced by members of the creative team behind Cirque du Soleil.

— Philip Brasor