Savour a slice of Hong Kong at Jurong Point
BRIGHT neon lights stick out from almost every inch of the walls, and crowds throng the jam-packed cluster of eateries and shops.
As much as this resembles Hong Kong, it is not the famous city.
Welcome, instead, to the Mongkok precinct of Singapore's Jurong Point - an area meticulously replicated to look like the iconic district in Hong Kong, best known for its bustling markets and shopping streets.
The new precinct, which was launched yesterday, features more than 50 food and beverageoptions and retail offerings, such as mahjong shop City Mahjong Centre and fengshui specialist 8 Treasures.
Dining options like Legendary Hong Kong serve up authentic Hong Kong cuisine, from roast duck and suckling pig to dim sum and Hong Kong-style milk tea.
"Mall visitors to Jurong Point can now enjoy a piece of 'Hong Kong action' right at their doorstep, without having to step out of Singapore," said chief executive William Seet.
He told My Paper that the launch of the Mongkok precinct, which is located on the third level of the Jurong Point 2 area, was part of the mall's efforts to "keep up with change".
By constantly refreshing its offerings with innovative concepts, the mall aims to create a "one-of-a-kind retail and lifestyle experience", he said.
"It's about making ourselves more appealing, more convenient, and keeping pace with the rising affluence and expectations of consumers in Singapore."
By the end of next year, about six other precincts in Jurong Point, including a Japanese-inspired Ginza precinct, will be refurbished. This is in addition to the building of a bridge that will connect the mall to the nearby Frontier Community Place.
An online shopping platform could also be rolled out in the coming months, aimed at complementing the products and services offered by brick-and-mortar shops in the mall.
More than five million people visit Jurong Point each month, and Mr Seet hopes that the revamp will help maintain or even boost the figure.
He pointed out that other suburban malls, which have come up in the Jurong area since last year, such as Jem and Westgate, are less of competitors but more of collaborators in developing the area.
"We definitely welcome the concentration of retail and commercial developments here, as it adds synergy to the whole place," said Mr Seet.
"The cake will become bigger, and it really boils down to how attractive we are (as a mall).
"After all, a successful mall is about place-making, creating destinations that people want to come to for multiple reasons... and where the enjoyment of just being there is reason enough to come."