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Armed with multiple interests, Wong Zijia has been contributing articles and photography about design, travel and tourism, among others, to magazines and books published in Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Although Singapore’s high-end property prices have been skyrocketing over the past three years, hungry buyers still snap them up within hours of them going on sale.

One prime example was the St. Regis Residences penthouses that were sold to the tune of about US$18 million each. Its sister development The St. Regis Singapore hotel has the bragging right of providing customised Bentleys for its guests but this will not last long as Capella Singapore’s fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantom cars will give it a run for its money when it launches.

Capella Singapore, due to launch end-2008, is just one of the many hotels opening on the Sentosa Island - Amara Sanctuary just launched and six more hotels will sprout up on the grounds of Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS), including Michael Graves' Hotel Michael. The hotels will help deal with the fun-loving crowds expected to throng RWS's casino and Universal Studios Singapore.

Singapore’s second integrated resort at Marina Bay, The Marina Bay Sands, is also creating a circle of excitement around it. Local property giant Keppel Land is racing with time to complete Daniel Libeskind’s residences Reflections at Keppel Bay, Keppel Bay Bridge, Ocean Financial Centre, Marina Bay Suites at Keppel Bay and the entire Marina Bay Financial Centre.

Besides legalised casino gambling, Singapore’s fun factor will be amplified by its inaugural hosting of Formula One in 2008. F1 fans were thrilled by news that there will be night racing – a first for the elite championship. Shopaholics can look forward to two spanking new shopping malls ION Orchard and Orchard Central, which are the latest additions to the shopping belt Orchard Road in more than a decade. Meanwhile, a turtle-shaped dome proposal edged out a horseshoe-shaped design and a “crumpled-tissue” design to win the bid for the Singapore Sports Stadium in Kallang.

Serious thought about aesthetics has even infiltrated industrial projects like the one-north initiative whose masterplan was conceptualised by Zaha Hadid. One part of the project, Fusionopolis, has just entered Phase 2B of development. Fusionopolis houses research and development institutes dedicated to infocomms, science and engineering. In aviation, Singapore has been making waves with Singapore Airlines as the first airline to launch the A380. There are eight gates in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 to handle the A380 aircraft.

The 655-square-kilometre island-state still has room for art. Instead of witnessing death sentences being meted out, the old Supreme Court building will now be part of Singapore’s “cultural renaissance” with its latest incarnation as the new National Art Gallery of Singapore. School of the Arts will help to nurture a new generation of artists for the “renaissance”, as termed by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.