Spearheading a thriving nation emerging from recession, political icon – and then Senior Minister – Lee Kuan Yew felt that the rising wave of global business developments necessitated Singapore to reciprocate accordingly. His aspirations for the island state materialised in 1995 as Suntec City – a commercial, convention and retail hub that quickly assumed the role of the city’s heartbeat.
In June 2012, similar foresight drove Suntec's management company, APM Property Management, to commission a S$410 million (US$324 million), two-year revamp that will ultimately see the 79,432 sqm property expand into one 93,000 sqm, all-inclusive facility by 2014. As part of the development, Suntec City and its existing Suzhou-style gardens will welcome a sky garden that will offer alfresco dining.
The Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, or simply Suntec Singapore, recently hosted its first event, the Special Olympics Singapore National Games Closing Ceremony, following the completion of its own sleek S$184 million (US$145 million) makeover. Comprised of six levels of exhibition space the venue now houses 31 meeting rooms of up to 11,000 sqm. Prior to refurbishment the facility hosted momentous events like the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the World Economic Forum’s East Asia Economic Summit, and the 61st Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.
The world-class venue provides free wifi, a well-equipped business centre and concierge, and access for the disabled. It is surrounded by cultural beacons like the Asian Civilisation Museum and the Esplanade theatre. Over the past few years, it has lent its patronage to the likes of the Singapore Arts Festival, the Celebration of Drums and the Singapore Writers Festival. Its recent honours include top recognitions from the Singapore Tourism Board, the National Arts Council, the Excellent Service Award, the AIPC Innovation Award and the Human Resources Excellence Awards.
Originally designed to resemble a left hand – four fingers and a thumb – holding a brass ring, Suntec’s four 45-storey towers (with up 1,300 sqm of lettable floor space each) and one 18-storey tower (2,601 sqm) will be interconnected by a scenic rooftop canopy. The convention centre, offices and retail space will also be knit closer to facility's 82,500 sqm of shopping space, as well as its surrounding attractions by sheltered, air-conditioned link ways. High-speed escalators will whisk shoppers, workers and delegates to their desired destinations, while a three-storey, 60-metre-wide Big Picture screen, comprising 664 full-colour 55-inch HD LED screens, has already been installed and holds the record as the largest of its kind in the world.
The extremely feng shui-orientated mall will welcome 60 per cent new tenants, including several new flagship stores that will join existing prominent names like Gap, Levi’s and Sincere Fine Watches. The refurbishment will bring Suntec City’s restaurants, which will soon welcome the likes of Mad For Garlic and new outlets from The Paradise Group to its fold, closer to its iconic fountain. The Fountain of Wealth was once the Guinness record holder for the largest fountain in the world. Its metal and inward-spurting streams were meticulously designed according to feng shui advice.
Besides the plethora of historic landmarks that encircle Suntec City, such as Raffles Hotel, The Fullerton Hotel, the Merlion, Marina Bay and Parliament House, conveniences seamlessly linked to the hub include City Hall station on the MRT North-East Line, and the Esplanade and Promenade stations on the MRT Circle Line. Nearby hotels include the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Conrad Centennial Singapore and the internationally recognisable Marina Bay Sands.
The convention centre is run by Suntec International, and boasts over 18 years of venue management expertise. Suntec International has currently been engaged as the business events consultant for the new Penang Waterfront Convention Centre in Malaysia, a 10,000 sqm, column-free, multipurpose hall that can be transformed into a 9,000-seat concert arena.
Renovation cost: US$145 million
Number of meeting rooms: 31
Total space: 93,000 sqm
Largest room: 11,000 sqm
Recent events: Special Olympics Singapore National Games Closing Ceremony
Prior to refurbishment: Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the World Economic Forum’s East Asia Economic Summit
CONTACT 1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City, Singapore 039593
TEL +65 6337 2888