The world is eyeing on this JEWEL. This gigantic jewel, worth SGD$1.7 billion, sparkles like diamonds under the sun. From a distance, it looked like a futuristic building from a Sci-fi movie. Even from the photos (which I took with my mini Canon EOSM10), this interior of Jewel looked surreal.
JEWEL is Singapore Changi Airport’s latest development which has just opened its doors to the public on 17 April 2019. Before the official opening, I went a day earlier for the special preview. The attraction was equally packed even though access was only granted to preview ticket holders. Both Singaporeans and foreigners are equally excited about this latest addition to Changi Airport that even international media from all the world has come to see how spectacular this attraction is.
But here’s the pertinent question. Is this worth the hype? And with the construction of Jewel Changi Airport, will Singapore Changi Airport clinch the Best Airport title in the world again?
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Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel is described as a lifestyle destination which boasts an eclectic mix of play attractions, shopping and dining experiences, accommodation and aviation facilities. To us locals, it is just another shopping mall which is way bigger and grander. This supersize mall also housed one of Singapore’s largest climate-controlled indoor gardens. To put it simply, it’s like merging Gardens by the Bay with an urban shopping mall.
For most visitors, the highlight of Jewel is the 40-metre-tall HSBC Rain vortex. But for me, the star attraction is the Canopy park. This park will feature unique play attractions like the Canopy Maze, Manulife Sky nets and Discovery slides.
If you haven’t already noticed, the names of some attractions have insurance company names tagged to it. That’s because some of these attractions are partially funded by these well-known insurance companies in Singapore. To me, it is sad to know that we have to even commercialise the names of these attractions.
Getting to Jewel
Emotions aside, let’s talk about how accessible this new attraction is. You can get to Jewel via Terminal 1, 2 and 3. That day, I entered Jewel via the pedestrian bridges connecting Terminal 1 to Jewel. The linkway leads me to the main entrance of Jewel.
From this perspective, Jewel looks like a huge flat dome. And if you look from the top down, I can imagine it to look like a giant doughnut with a hole in the centre.
It is strategically located right behind the control tower and in the midst of the three airport terminals.
It’s a Lucky Doughnut
You see, that’s where the water flows through. I’m not quite sure if world-renown architect Moshe Safdie had designed Jewel with Feng Shui in mind, but Jewel had got all the 5 Feng Shui elements (fire, earth, water, metal and wood) incorporated into its design. That is perhaps why you can hear the constant ringing of the cash registers at Jewel.
HSBC Rain Vortex
This rain vortex is more than just a man-made waterfall. Its clever design and the used of mirrors and glass which somehow result in the rainbow phenomenon where white light is split into 7 colours. Once again, I had no idea if this was intentional but it is just truly brilliant.
When I was at the Rain vortex around 3 pm, I saw the crowd gathering around the Rain Vortex and marvelling at the wonderful sight of the rainbow. It was a big and beautiful rainbow that arches across the base of the vortex.
The water that discharged from the top of the building will cascade down into this funnel-like glass basin where it will be circulated through the concealed pipes hidden within the building.
It is must be a really tricky task for Safdie’s team of architects design this almost challenging centre-piece which suspends in mid-air.
It’s an Energy-saving building
There are several eco-friendly features present in Jewel. With the glass and steel facade, natural light is able to stream in, thus saving the need for having to use artificial lighting.
The showering mist of droplets from the Rain Vortex helps to cool the interior along with the lush greenery which absorbs heat and light energy.
Rainwater is also collected through the Rain Vortex where it can be then recycled. Excess rainwater would also be used to water the plants at the canopy and forest valley.
Take a short hike through the forest valley
While I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I read that some locals mentioned that they felt as if they were in Jurassic Park the moment they saw the lush greenery.
There were indeed a lot of greenery. Imagine being surrounded by more than 2,000 trees and palms. No wonder some felt like they were in a Jurassic Park.
Eat and Shop till you drop
Shopping and eating are both Singapore’s favourite pastimes. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the dining options here at Jewel. From the cheaper common street food options to high-end restaurants and bars, you will be able to find something that suits your budget.
Welcome back, A&W Singapore!
There’s A&W, a fast-food restaurant which we dearly missed since the last outlet in Singapore was shut down years ago.
Hello Shake Shack!
Singapore welcomes its first Shake Shack outlet at Jewel. I have not tried Shake Shack burgers but everyone seems to be raving about it. Where good food is, there you will find Singaporeans queuing.
Shopping and Entertainment
There’s also the World’s first Pokemon Centre, a movie cinema and 130-cabin YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport hotel – all housed under one roof.
One-of-a-kind Canopy Park
To me, the most innovative attraction at Jewel is the interactive play areas at Canopy Park. This is the kind of park where you would want to stay and play there for hours.
Canopy Park will only open in June 2019. And this is the place where you can literally walk on air (with the sky nets) and jump on the bouncy nets. Get lost in Singapore’s largest Hedge maze and the world’s first Mirror maze set in a garden.
You mustn’t miss checking the Discovery Slides which is Singapore’s first large-scale interactive play sculpture.
I should be heading back to Jewel again soon. What about you?
With all these new exciting attractions and installation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Singapore clinches the Best Airport title again.
Watch our vlog on Jewel Changi below!
Jewel Changi Airport
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily