IN PHOTOS: The newly unveiled ‘Jewel’ at Singapore’s Changi Airport

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IN PHOTOS: The newly unveiled ‘Jewel’ at Singapore’s Changi Airport
An indoor waterfall, lush gardens, and airport lounge facilities are just some of the features at Jewel Changi Airport

MANILA, Philippines – Singapore’s Changi Airport on Thursday, April 11, unveiled its latest development called Jewel Changi Airport, a sprawling complex built to increase Changi’s capacity.

Contained under a steel-and-glass dome, the 137,000-square meter complex was designed by architect Moshe Safdie, whose work includes iconic structures such as the Marina Bay Sands, Habitat 67, and the United States Institute of Peace.

The development was reportedly built for SGD 1.7 billion ($1.25 billion), and includes gardens growing over 4 stories, a 40-meter indoor waterfall, a hotel, a cinema, 280 retail and food outlets, and easy access to the airport’s 3 terminals as well as the airport MRT station.

It also includes airport facilities such as early check-in counters and kiosks, baggage storage services, and the Changi Lounge, a 150-seat lounge with shower facilities.

CHANGI LOUNGE. Travelers can relax at the 150-seat lounge, which also has shower facilities.

CHECK-IN FACILITIES. Passengers can check in to their upcoming flights at these terminals.

FOREST VALLEY. Visitors can enjoy the walking trails at this indoor garden, which includes more than 900 trees and palms, and 600,000 shrubs.

LUSH GARDENS. The Forest Valley gardens are 4 stories high.   SKY NETS. Kids and adults alike can feel like they're bouncing on treetops at this attraction.

PETAL GARDEN. The flowers in bloom introduce Singapore to travelers as a 'Garden City.'

TOPIARY WALK. The garden features whimsical animals among its lush greenery.

Jewel Changi Airport was built not only for travelers but also as a destination for locals. (READ: 2 ways to explore Singapore in a day)

It is part of efforts by Changi – the world’s seventh busiest airport for international traffic – to attract long-haul travelers over other hubs such as Hong Kong and Dubai.

“Passengers are spending a longer time as they transit through airports, which is the reason why there is a need for us to increase the amenities,” said Jayson Goh, a senior executive at Changi Airport Group.

But Brendan Sobie, chief analyst at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said that Jewel would “primarily be used by local residents and some departing passengers.” (IN PHOTOS: Touring the Singapore of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’)

“Attracting transit passengers is not realistic as they would need to clear immigration and there are so many great facilities (inside the airport) already that makes Changi a top transit airport,” he said.

At any rate, the development welcomed its first visitors this week, and will fully open to the public on April 17. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/

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