Revamped Downtown East celebrates 30th anniversary
First established as NTUC Pasir Ris Resort in 1988 to provide affordable, no-frills recreational experiences to Singapore's workforce, Downtown East has evolved rapidly over the years.
Today, it is a one-stop lifestyle destination for the social and recreational needs of union members and the public alike, as people from different age groups and backgrounds enjoy the attractions and facilities.
They include the country's first nature-inspired accommodation D'Resort, an expanded Wild Wild Wet water park, as well as over 110 retail, dining and entertainment options at Market Square - E!Avenue and E!Hub.
This month, Downtown East - which is managed by NTUC Club, the leisure and entertainment arm of NTUC - will celebrate the completion of a five-year, $200 million redevelopment project.
NTUC Club chief executive officer, Mr Lim Eng Lee, told The New Paper: "We have revamped Downtown East in our efforts to make it more inclusive to everyone, while still remaining affordable."
He added: "Customers' standards have gone up. Over the years, they have complained about the quality of some facilities so it's important to make changes to meet the demands of the people."
Wild Wild Wet, which opened in 2004, is now double its original size, from two to four hectares, and has seven new rides added.
D'Resort, which opened in 2015, now consists of 387 rooms with an upgraded chalet block and a resort block.
Mr Lim said: "The rooms are upgraded to a level comparable with some hotels in town, but if you compare those hotels' rates with ours, our customers get so much more."
For the duration of their stay at D'Resort, union members are entitled to unlimited admission to Wild Wild Wet. Room rates start from $98 if booked six months in advance.
In addition, E!Avenue was built to include new food, beverage and retail outlets, and there are plans to refurbish E!Hub in the next five years.
NTUC Club will also commit $20 million to developing offerings and programmes to strengthen and deepen communities' bonds, like an annual contribution of $1.5 million to host Family Fun Fiesta (F3), which enables lower-income union members to enjoy a day of fun with their families at Downtown East at no cost.
Downtown East celebrates its 30th anniversary tomorrow at 4pm with the DE30 Music Festival, featuring live performances from The Sam Willows, TheLionCityBoy, Boon Hui Lu, Sufie Rashid and other local artists.
Activities include the KBlive Fest Upsize food bazaar, Uncle Ringo Carnival and other game booths at the Community Village.
Admission is free to the anniversary event, which takes place from 10am to 10pm. - NUR SYAHINDAH ISHAK