Orchard Road under construction


ORCHARD Road, Singapore’s premier shopping street is currently undergoing major landscape and infrastructure enhancements.
Work on the Dh100 million project, which aims to enhance the pedestrian experience along the famous road, is expected to be completed by February 2009, according to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
The revamp includes the introduction of state-of-the art lighting, creating new areas to stage events, introducing more integrated walkways, and developing a livelier pedestrian mall.
“Orchard Road has consistently been ranked as the most visited attraction in Singapore and is an ideal place for Middle Eastern tourists to enjoy some of the best shopping in the world. The re-development project promises to significantly enhance the beauty of this street and will help redefine Singapore’s changing landscape,” said Jason Ong, area director, Middle East and Africa, STB.
“Our priority in planning the works schedule is to ensure that businesses along Orchard Road would be able to continue their operations with minimal disruption so that shoppers in the malls would not even realise that works are on-going at the street level,” he added.
The retail gateway is being divided into three themed zones: the Orchard Zone, a forest themed stretch with urban ‘green rooms’ serving as rest spots, the floral themed Tangin Zone coloured with crimson flowers, the Somerset Zone exuding spicy scents of cinnamon and nutmeg in tribute to the area’s early years as a spice and fruit plantation.
Some of Singapore’s signature events and celebrations take place on Orchard Road, including the annual Singapore Fashion Festival (next one is from March to April 2009) and the annual Christmas in the Tropics Light up – creating a buzz of excitement on the street throughout the year.
Apart from the upgrading, three brand new state-of-the-art shopping and entertainment centres are being built along Orchard Road, including ION Orchard opening in late 2008, and Somerset Central and Orchard Central, both opening in 2009.
ION Orchard, meaning ‘I on Orchard’, is set to be the new ‘centre of gravity’ in this shopping belt, showcasing upscale shops and luxury apartments, according to its owners Singapore’s Capital and Limited and Hong Kong’s Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited.
Strategically located at the junction of Orchard and Paterson roads, the ION Orchard is the retail component of the retail-cum-luxury residential Orchard Turn Development.
Orchard Central features a 13 storey, 160 metre frontage retail space and will be Orchard Road’s tallest mall.