Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Monday, December 11, 2006

Genting Wins Bid for Sentosa IR

I am so proud to be Malaysian. The great Malaysian gaming operator, Genting has won the bid for the coveted (well, not as coveted as the Marina Bay IR) contract to build the Integrated Resorts(IR) for Sentosa Island seeing off rivals Kerzner International and Eighth Wonder. One of the winning factor of the bid is Genting's focus on creating a family oriented resort which they are good at, looking at how Genting Highlands has developed to be a world-reknowned family resort. They have brought in Universal Studios with an exclusive contract where no other Universal Studios can be built anywhere else in South-East Asia for the next 30 years. There are 16 rides designed just for Singapore, the world's largest oceanarium with over 8 hectares of aquatic animals from the tamest of dolphins to the fiercest of sharks. There is also a Maritime Museum that explores the facsinating Silk Route that engages visitors with their five senses. Last but not least is Genting proposal to build a learning and research center for maritime which will upgrade Singapore's R&D in biomed.

A total of 6 hotels with 1830 rooms will be built. This comes up to an estimated investment of $5.2 billion which one third will be funded by equity and the remaining through project finance term loans from GE and local banks. I can feel the tension felt by the chairman, Lim Kok Thay to raise the money fast enough to fund this whale of a construction. Winning the bid is one thing. Getting the funding for it is another. Even though one would have planned for it beforehand, getting $5.2 billion out of thin air even with their enormous cash reserves is no easy feat. Next is the ability to deliver what they promised with the completion date of early 2010 to help grow Singapore's economy up by $2.7billion and to raise 30,000 jobs by 2015.

So, what brought Genting to its success? Some speculated it was due to the good relationship between Malaysia and Singapore. Some say Genting is a good candidate to win the bid, for they are given more opportunities to be stakeholders in Singapore investments. Of course, this is a speculation but nevertheless, it does give them some leverage in winning the bid. Even if Genting does not win the bid, its partner Star Cruises might still be working with the winner of the Sentosa IR. However, we all know that there is a better synergy between Genting & Star Cruises, thus the wheel does not need to be reinvented.

Singapore has proved yet again that favoritism/nepotism do not play a part in their decision making as both local/GLCs companies who were bidding were not at any advantage to win the bid. Whatever is said, I am glad it is Genting that won and I can't for Singapore to finally have its own Universal Studios. Next, who will be building Disneyland in small little Singapore? ;)

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas & Snow in Singapore

Its snowing in Singapore! For a country on top of the equator, it is amazing how one can still enjoy four seasons. I went to the top of Mt Faber after one hectic Thurs night to find out that patrons are required to pay $3 per entry to experience the snow show that is held at 8pm, 9.30pm & 11.30pm. The entrance fee can be contraed off against any drinks or meal purchased on top of the hill. Just like it's name, 'The Jewel Box' was a very beautiful restaurant with amazing view of the night skyline. It overlooks the serenely lighted Sentosa Island and HarbourFront. Lights from the ships that docked by the island gave the sea a beautiful shimmering silhoutte.

At 9.30pm, when the music started, we knew it was the beginning of snow in Mt Faber. Kids were running around trying to cusp snow in their delicate but chilly hands. Santa claus and santa angels were strolling ard giving a more christmas like adventure with kids asking to take photos with them, ven tho I wished the santa was giving away presents rather than taking money from kids parents to buy the photos. Snow made of foam were falling from the rooftop blown by huge fans to create that snowing effect which I deem was almost real, well at least better than the small round styrofoam used in other places.

The surprise of the night did not end there as while relishing dinner, one guy suddenly when onstage to dedicate & sing 2 love song to his beloved girlfriend which he then followed with a proposal on bended knee. this indeed stamp a mark on The Jewel Box as one of the most romantic spots in Singapore.

Last but not least, a visit to Mt Faber will not be complete without a visit to their spacious opened-concept toilet in which the walls are made of glass so that users can relish the panaromic view below.

It is funny how a country that I would deem impersonal due to its bullish and fast-moving nature will not compromise on slowing down to create the magic of christmas. Neon bulbs of various colors light the streets everywhere and peeking into every building presents a sight of tall christmas tree with amazing ornaments to behold. I savour the sights when I walk past the lobbies of big office towers when I head home late at night. I have yet to explore the wonders of Orchard Road when it is in all its glory. More to come....