In a city full of towering skyscrapers, one building really sticks out.
Singapore is one of the most remarkable city-states on the planet. And one of the most remarkable places on earth is also home to one of the most remarkable structures.
In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of fun and interesting facts about Marina Bay Sands, an amazing building in Singapore.
1. What is Marina Bay Sands?
Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort in Singapore that is owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is based in Paradise, Nevada in the United States.
An integrated resort means there are multiple entertainment facilities available This includes a casino, a hotel, shops, restaurants, facilities for shows, and much more.
Marina Bay Sands is characterized by its 3 towers which are connected by a massive Skypark that can hold up to 3,900 people.
Just as observation decks in other skyscrapers such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, The Shard, or the Gherkin, it’s the perfect place to get amazing panoramas from downtown Singapore and Sentosa Island.
2. When was Marina Bay Sands Built?
Halfway through the 2000s, Singapore decided to allow a select number of companies to construct integrated resorts in a bid to attract more tourists to the city-state.
In the process, the winning applicants were granted casino licenses for 30 years, of which the first 10 years were exclusive. The criteria the winners were based on were:
- Tourism appeal and contribution.
- Architectural concept and design.
- Development investment.
- Strength of the consortium and partners.
On May 27, 2006, Las Vegas Sands was announced to be the winner. After a lengthy construction phase which was frequently delayed, Marina Bay Sands was opened on February 17, 2011.
3. Where is Marina Bay Sands located?
As the name suggests, Marina Bay Sands is located right alongside Marina Bay and right across the Downtown Centre area of Singapore.
The area surrounding Marina Bay has a mixed-use including commercial, residential, hotel, and entertainment.
Apart from Marina Bay Sands, another interesting landmark in the Marina Bay area is the Waterfront Promenade and shopping mall. This cost the Singaporean Government about $35 million to create.
4. How was Marina Bay Sands designed?
The towers of Marina Bay Sands have a peculiar shape. They are wide on ground levels, narrow down as they go up only to become wider again on top floors. This gives the impression that there are two towers are leaning against each other.
The resort has been designed by Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian architect who is said to have been inspired by a deck of cards when constructing the building.
Maybe he spent a bit too much time on the blackjack tables before making his decision? who knows…
The Art Facts team did some more research on Safdie, and one of his other creations is “Raffles City” towers in Chongqing, China. You can clearly see the resemblance with Marina Bay Sands.
5. How did Marina Bay Sands’ construction go?
The main contractor in charge of the construction was Seoul-based construction company “Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.” The structural engineers were London-based “Arup” and US-based “Parsons Brinckerhoff.”
The construction of Marina Bay Sands didn’t go exactly as planned. The grand opening on February 17, 2011, was almost two years behind schedule.
The main reason was the financial crisis which didn’t allow the developers to meet deadlines. Rising construction costs didn’t help either,
6. When did Marina Bay Sands open?
Because of the delay in construction, the management decided to postpone the grand opening. During the opening phases, parts of the building remained under construction until the grand opening.
This means that the opening was actually held in phases.
- Soft opening – April 27, 2010 – The casino, some shops, and 963 hotel rooms.
- Official opening – June 23 – 2010 – The Skypark along with more facilities.
- Grand opening – February 17, 2011 – Opening of all facilities.
7. Is Marina Bay Sands the most expensive building in the world?
Marina Bay Sands has often been referred to as one of the most expensive buildings in the world.
While that’s not exactly true, it is described as “the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built.”
8. How much did Marina Bay Sands cost to build?
With the land cost included, Marina Bay Sands cost a staggering S$8 billion to construct. That’s the equivalent of USD 5.88 billion.
9. How big is Marina Bay Sands’ infinity pool?
The Skypark contains an infinity pool that has a total length of 146 meters (490 ft). This makes it the longest elevated pool in the world at a height of 191 meters (627 ft).
The infinity pool gives you the illusion that you’re at the edge of the building while in fact there’s a basin to collect the overflowing water on a lower level which then gets pumped back into the pool.
The pools are made up of 191,000 kilos (422,000 lbs) of stainless steel and can hold 1,425 cubic meters or 376,500 US gallons of water.
10. How many rooms are in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel?
The three hotel towers have 55 stories each and the hotel has a total of 2,561 rooms. The lobby of the hotel on the ground level covers all three towers making it one giant lobby.
The Marina Bay Sands hotel is one of the biggest hotels in the world, but apparently, it’s not big enough!
On April 3, 2019, The Marina Bay Sands management announced the plan for a fourth hotel tower containing over 1,000 luxurious rooms and a 15,000-seat arena.
The total price tag for the expansion: $3.3 billion!
More fun and interesting facts about Marina Bay Sands
11. The Skypark is the world’s largest public cantilevered platform as it covers a space of 1 hectare. It actually overhangs the north tower by 67 meters (220 ft).
12. If you’re into gambling, then there are over 1,000 gaming tables awaiting you and over 1,400 slot machines in the world’s biggest atrium casino!
13. Make sure not to gamble what you can’t afford to lose! The main winner will always be the house. The proof is in the numbers as the casino rakes in about $500 million in yearly profits!
14. The Spectra show is one of the most amazing water laser shows in the world and the biggest in all of Southeast Asia. The music during the show is played by a 140-piece symphony orchestra, created by some of Singapore’s most famous composers.
15. You must really stand in awe if you see what’s included in the Marin Bay Sands resort. It even has a museum that makes most of its counterparts look pretty ordinary (apart from maybe the Centre Pompidou in Paris).
The ArtScience Museum is part of the complex, has an amazing architectural design that resembles a lotus flower, and even though it has a permanent collection, it mainly holds exhibitions with curated pieces of art from museums all over the world.
16. The convention center included in the Marina Bay Sands resort complex covers a space of 110,000 square meters (1,200,000 square ft) and can hold up to 45,000 people.
17. It’s reported that there are a lot of high rollers coming to the Marina Bay Casino. Over 150 wealthy gamblers come and have some fun every week. If you play big, you can lose big as well. One Singaporean man lost over $400,000 on a single game of cards, which is the ultimate record. Better luck next time!
18. In a resort-like Marina Bay Sands, you can definitely expect some fine dining restaurants. In fact, it’s home to one of the most expensive restaurants in Singapore. And if you have been to Singapore, you know all restaurants are expensive! Dinner will cost you about $600 per head.
19. Marina Bay Sands contains an underground labyrinth of pathways which is used by the staff to move unnoticed from one place to the other. This secret labyrinth is called the “heart of house” and is so big that new staff is bound to get lost.
20. It’s no surprise that you get amazing views from the Skypark on top of the hotel towers. Especially at night you really get an amazing view from Downtown Singapore and Marina Bay.
21. So how did they build the roof of Marina Bay Sands, the Skypark? Well, they actually pre-built 14 separate steel segments on a different location, brought the segments to the construction site, lifted them, and assembled them on top of the towers.
22. The Marina Bay Sands resort also has a huge shopping mall with over 300 stores, covering an area of 93,000 square meters (1,000,000 square ft). It’s fittingly called “The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.”
23. If you want to take a boat ride through the “shops” then you can! There’s a canal running through the shopping mall that allows you to go back and forth in boats resembling the gondolas in Venice.
24. There’s an average workforce of over 10,000 people working in Marina Bay Sands! The staff must eat and it’s estimated that they consume over a million kilos of food every year.
25. The Marina Bay Sands towers have been featured numerous times in various franchises of “The Amazing Race.” The task was simple: walk in between two of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel towers on a tightrope!