Singapore’s Orchard Road to Be Spruced Up

SINGAPORE ~ Singapore’s prime Orchard Road shopping belt will be spruced up in a makeover worth S$40 million (US$27.6 million) to enhance its appeal to tourists, the government said this week.

Under the makeover, the area will have improved road and pedestrian mall lighting to complement its tree-lined boulevard, the Singapore Tourism Board said in a statement.

The busiest section of the shopping precinct, which draws more than seven million visitors annually, will also feature a so-called forest theme made up of the area’s famous Angsana trees, it said.

Margaret Teo, assistant chief executive for leisure at the tourism body, said it was necessary to invest in Orchard Road’s infrastructure and services to make it an “even more compelling lifestyle hub.”

The improvements would “open up many more entertainment and outdoor spaces for events and activities to create a more vibrant streetscape, thus enhancing the lifestyle experience on Orchard Road,” she said.

The upgrade is expected to be completed by April 2009.

Orchard Road features strongly in Singapore’s push to spice up its appeal to visitors.

The government has put up land sites in the precinct for tender to developers, who have already begun work on the construction of large new shopping malls.

Singapore is also building two casino resorts, expected to open by 2010, and will stage the first ever Formula One night race next year.

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