Glittering Macau Reaches for the Stars
There’s more than a touch of Portuguese and Chinese to the makeup of today’s Macau.
Where else in Asia would you find a version of Venice with Grand Canal and serenaded gondola rides?
And that’s just the beginning of a story which is as far reaching as the year 2020.
As construction continues on the 29.5km Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge, to open at the end of 2016, ground has been broken in a number of hot spots on the Cotai Strip, reclaimed land linking the islands of Taipa and Coloane and home to large entertainment precincts as the City of Dreams, Sands (The Venetian) and the Galaxy.
Such is the building boom in Macau that the landscape is covered in towering construction cranes on completing such projects as the Parisians, to feature a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower, complete with observation deck and 200-seat restaurant. It is due to open next year.
Of giant magnitude will be the construction of a French Versailles-like Lisboa Palace, a project valued in excess of $AUD4.5 billion complete with three hotels including a Palazzo Versace and another designed by Karl Lagerfeld, the chief designer for the Chanel and Fendi fashion houses. This project is expected to be completed in 2017.
The City of Dreams, which celebrated its fifth anniversary, has begun work on a new hotel tower, the 40-storey complex featuring a 30m-high lobby atrium, restaurants, spa, ultra lounge, sky pool and as many as 780 guestrooms, suites and villas exceeding 5 star standards. It is expected to open in 2017.
MGM is celebrating a new and exciting chapter in the company’s history with the breaking of ground on yet another Cotai project – a contemporary precinct which will include 1600 hotel rooms. It is expected to open in early to mid-2016.
Wynn Resorts has a 1700-room entertainment and hotel complex, also to open in 2016.
As a further extension to Macau - population 600,000 - a new ultra-modern Macau University has opened on neighbouring Hengqin Island along with new residences and hotels.
The island – which remains under the China mainland rule - is also home to a giant resort and theme park, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, a $5 billion attraction and described in the media as “China’s answer to the USA’s Orlando.” This expansive park features a circus and open zoo, mega rollercoaster ride and a whale-shark tank, as well as a massive 1880 hotel rooms, a conference centre, spa and indoor water park.
Details: Macau Government Tourist Office, phone (02) 9264 1488, or check out www.macautourism.gov.mo