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Sneak Peek At Singapore Changi Airport’s Spectacular New Jewel



Singapore (CNN) — A 250-meter-long bouncing net three stories above ground. A 50-meter-long suspended bridge with glass-panel flooring.

Walking trails amongst a lush jungle of animal-shaped topiaries in a five-story terraced garden. A 40-meter-tall waterfall cascading from an opening in a vaulted glass roof canopy. An art sculpture made up of four giant, integrated slides.

And that’s just scratching the surface.

The thrilling attractions at Singapore’s SGD$1.7 billion (US$1.27 billion) Jewel Changi, an addition to Changi Airport due to open in 2019, will boost the already impressive offerings of a facility that’s been voted best in the world for six years in a row.

With its “delicate” latticework of glass panels framed in steel, the distinctive donut-shaped Jewel is first and foremost a central hub, connecting three of Changi Airport’s current four terminals.

But it’s also potentially a destination in its own right, featuring a large mall to entice locals and visitors alike.

Conceived by Moshe Safdie as a new “magical garden,” hopes are high that the award-winning architect’s impactful building will become as celebrated as his Sky Pool at Marina Bay Sands.

“I wanted to explore a new kind of urban space, a space you go to as a matter of course, because you need to shop, because you’re flying out somewhere, and yet it’s a garden — somewhere that says ‘let’s rethink what the public realm is, let’s rethink what it is to shop,” Safdie tells CNN Travel.

While the gardens dominate the five higher floors, retail and airport facilities will take up the five floors below ground level.

“I think one of the reasons [we won] the bid was that the other submissions looked like malls and felt like malls, while this one, you don’t think of it as a mall, because it’s a new kind of experience. It makes us rethink what urban centers could be like if we stretch our thinking.”

A new garden for Singapore

The initial brief for Changi Jewel requested a few essentials.

“Some airport expansion space for Terminal 1, some checking in, a fair bit of retail and an attraction,” Safdie recalls.

“I came up with the concept of a magical garden, which was immediately embraced by CapitaLand [the developer who commissioned him as part of its bid for the project],” he says. “From then on, the project slowly evolved.”

Often promoted as a ‘City in a Garden,’ Singapore has worked hard to develop the pervasive greenery throughout its concrete jungle. It expanded its famed Botanic Gardens — a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015 — with the development of Gardens by the Bay, which opened six years ago.

Made up of 101 hectares of prime real estate at the city’s Marina Bay district, it includes two large glass conservatories, heritage gardens, man-made lakes and Instagram-friendly Supertrees.

“We were well aware that Singapore is already a well-endowed city in terms of gardens, so we wanted to offer something different,” says Safdie.

“I think you go to Gardens by the Bay because you want to learn about plant life, enjoy the sub-tropical environment — it’s an education process and a destination. Our garden offers a very different experience, it’s still light-filled, giving you this impression of being outside, but it’s completely indoors.”

Safdie’s sketch of the Jewel structure.

Safdie says he explored a variety of shapes through numerous doodles and sketches before settling on this donut-like torus shape, with a distinctive diagrid steel and glass roof.

“We had height limits, because of the aircraft and control tower, and we also had to work with the constraint of the site — which is rectangular — so it had to be an ellipse or a combination of paraboloids.”

Achieving his vision has not been without difficulties, especially as a monorail train connecting two of the terminals will pass through the middle of the site.

“It was a tricky geometric program because we couldn’t create a symmetrical torus as the waterfall would have been right above the train. It took a lot of computer work to create an asymmetrical torus where the center is actually off-center,” he says.

“But I think that turned out to be a beautiful form, giving it a particular elegance.”

Designed to handle up to 10,000 gallons per minute, the central oculus is key to managing the heavy rains that fall over Singapore. Safdie points out that the resulting waterfall output will be recycled through the building.

Controlling the amount of sunshine coming through without generating too much heat and still bringing in enough light for the plants to thrive, and save energy, was solved by incorporating triple Low-E glass.

Each of the 9,000 panels covering the facade is unique in size and shape, weighing between 250 and 300 kilograms, and they have a 16-millimetre air gap, which also helps reduce aircraft noise intruding into the Jewel.

Installing the panels has been like putting together a giant jigsaw and required careful execution when moving the panels from the ground to their place on the soon-to-be iconic structure.

Staying on top

Changi Airport handled 62.2 million passenger movements in 2017, with about 30% as transit passengers, a proportion that has broadly remained unchanged, says Ivan Tan, Changi Airport Group spokesperson.

“A trend that we have observed is an increasing number of passengers are taking up ‘self-connect’ options, which means they purchase two separate tickets and plan their own transit itinerary),” says Tan.

Hung Jean, CEO of Jewel Changi Airport Development, says “the tourism mindshare that Jewel aims to capture will significantly augment Changi Airport’s status” as a leading international air hub.

The new Changi Jewel will further cement Singapore’s position as a leading international air hub.

“We are observing a trend where more and more travelers are spending less time in major cities and are instead, exploring less discovered destinations to gain meaningful experiences beyond leisurely vacations,” says Hung.

“This makes the role of air hubs even more important in their travel journeys as these savvy travelers prefer to book their own flights and choose the airports they wish to transfer to and transit in.”

Jewel’s positioning as “a lifestyle destination uniquely fashioned with luscious landscaping to mirror Singapore’s reputation as a ‘Garden in the City’,” will make Changi Airport a compelling destination that can fill travelers’ needs for such experiential journeys, Hung says.

With 75% of the overall construction completed, visitors can already appreciate the Jewel’s distinctive shape, but they will still have to wait several months before experiencing Safdie’s magical garden and other attractions.

  • Safdie's sketch of the Jewel structure.

  • The new Changi Jewel will further cement Singapore's position as a leading international air hub.

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Globetrotter Of The Week (Sandra Ankobiah)



As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you’ve allotted for vacation. -John Battelle

Its Tuesday already and Sandra takes us to Turkey, after all a lawyer needs a break. So Sandra landed on turkey about a week ago in the company of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Dr.Dele Momodu and she seems to be having a time of her life.

The three did not only visit the country for relaxation but also took the pleasure and time to visit some wonderful sites in the city of Kapadokya and experience their culture. Did I forget to make mention of the cave hotel they lodged in? The Kayakapi hotel is to die for.

One can tell Sandra made good use of the beautiful weather and didn’t let us down in those white tee’s, jeans, awesome blazzers and sneakers. She didn’t forget to create some memories.

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Kaya Tours Fun Trip To Ada



Ghana’s tourism is incredibly diverse both in terms of Cultural heritage and Leisure marvels.

Indigenous Tour Operator in Ghana 🇬🇭, Kaya Tours Ghana Limited has successfully delivered an incredible domestic fun trip to Ada, one of the best eco tourism hotbeds with endless possibilities.

According to Mr Abeiku Aggrey Santana , CEO of kaya Tours “ our aim is to offer the best possible tour packages within the shortest time from Accra and bundled in a luxurious affordable content “ when you think tourism , think 360 he added.

The 2 days 1 night journey was carried in an all luxurious bus with wifi, Fully Airconditioned, Bedroom, LCD TV’s , toilet and bathroom with kitchen and microwave oven.

“The route to Ada can be exciting with Adventure safari depending on the creativity of the tour Operator and the ground handler” , Santana opined.

The bus first stopped at A1 raceway where the patrons participated in Go Kart racing competition.

The fun party bus comprises of hit song maker Article wan , Radio Presenter Nana Romeo , Journalist publisher Nii Mustapha Attractive, Artiste Manager and Event Consultant Godwin Dogbe and some selected fans.

After the grand durbar of the Asafutufiam festival, the revelers joined the busting night life activities in Ada , Brightest spot for a live band session with the vintage Sappers band.

Early next morning , we woke up peacefully to the sounds of cockerels crowing and the refreshing breeze from the lake and sea.

We sigh contentedly, quickly growing excited and drove 36 kilometers to Holy Trinity Spa , Sogakope.

Holy Trinity Spa is essentially the ultimate romantic destination for holidays, vacation and getaways.

At the Spa the team was welcomed with drinks at the riverside where they fed ducks and later crocodiles.

Holy Trinity Spa at Sogakope has exquisite services in an ambiance where you can reconnect with nature. The spa has horses, camels , rabbits , birds, crocodiles , and water sports including Boat cruises.
In recent years Kaya Tours has established a firmer footing in Ghana’s domestic Tourism.

The company has organized tours to Kwahu, Cape Coast , Kumasi, Axim, Akosombo, Tamale , and now Ada.

Poised on delivering exciting tour packages to conform with the changing demands both local and international standards.

Report by
Abeiku Aggrey Santana
Tourism Destination Management Consultant.
Kaya Tours Ltd

Email: [email protected]


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Russia’s Red Tourism



The RED SQUARE in Moscow city is so amazing with Museums, Castles and the history of the Soviet Union is so delightful.

It’s summer time in Russia now, beautiful weather with plenty Sunlight, fascinating tourist sites surrounded by the Parliament, The Kremlin, State Historical Museum, Saint Basil’s Cathedral you can’t miss this impression sight something definitely worth visiting.

“The North Pole, Arctic land and the way of life of indigenous people” are the attributes of Of tourism, attracting a growing number of adventurous souls to Russia.

This year marks the centenary of the 1917 Revolution of Russia , though there is No official announcement of any such event.
So I joined the World Trade Center Accra, on its trade mission to Russia to explore tourism potential in that region.

Russia has an amazing rich history in “its cities like Moscow and Saint Petersburg very well documented and preserved to attract huge tourist numbers.

Russia is the biggest country in the world with a land size of about 17.1 million square kilometers and sits between Europe, Asia and the Arctic with eleven (11) different time zones.

Russia’s Tradition and Religion is deemed a major part of the country’s historical heritage. The Russian government views Independent religious activity as a major threat to social and political stability , an approach which started from the Soviet period.

From the 12th to the 15th Centuries , Russia lands began to consolidate around Moscow but Russia was rather small at that time but by the 16th Century, the powerful European empire began to annex new territories.
Smaller countries like Georgia, Armenia , Belarus , Siberia , Uzbekistan , Azerbaijan, and others could not resist Russia like Persia ( present day Iran and Iraq ) and Turkey from the empire.

By the 20th Century , there was a revolution of the Soviet Socialist Union.

There are 41% Russian Orthodox, 1.5% Other Orthodox, 4.1% Unaffiliated Christians, 25% Spiritual but not Religious, 13% Atheism , 6.5% Islam and others. Our tour guide and interpreter gave an excellent presentation of the account of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Orthodox Church was alternatively known as Moscow Patriarchate which claims its exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Christians irrespective of their ethnic background who resided in the former member Republics of the Soviet Union , excluding Georgia and Armenia. The Greek Orthodox churches through Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem was established in Russia by Kievan Prince Vladimir for almost six (6) centuries.

In the early part of the 20th Century the Russian Tzars autocracy was destroyed which led to the rise of the Soviet Union.

There are beautiful buildings with crowds of people in Moscow the capital city being guided through the RED SQUARE by tour guides. Amazingly you would want to visit there during the day and the night because the experience between the two day parts are not the same.

The RED SQUARE in Moscow can boast of Museums,Castles and the history of the Soviet Union is so delightful.

It’s summer time in Russia now, beautiful weather with plenty Sunlight, fascinating tourist sites surrounded by the Parliament, The Kremlin, State Historical Museum, Saint Basil’s Cathedral you can’t miss this impression sight something definitely worth visiting.

Among the notable heritage attractions in Moscow is the spectacular monumental Architectural Complex of Moscow Kremlin, Saint Basils Cathedral and the Red Square.

Kremlin is the fortress of Moscow overlooking Moskva river to the south Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square to the East and The Alexander garden to the west. Tourist spend hours at this attraction immense with a solid compound, churches, shops, restaurants, museums, state regalia and magazines shops.

It was a life time experience walking around the wall of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.


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Copyright © 2018 George Britton