Ever since its opening for preview on 11 April 2019, Jewel has been on everyone's mind, at least in Singapore. It's incredible how an airport mall could capture the attention of an entire nation, but also shows how dear travel is to our little red dot. Jewel sits surrounded by Terminals 1, 2 and 3, with the iconic control tower in the foreground. It is a beautiful thing, and aptly named as well, with the mega-mall set to be the feather in the hat of the world's best airport for many years running.
Singapore's airport is unique in many ways. In nowhere else in the world, do locals go to the airport for any other purpose other than to travel. For those abroad, they'd rather risk starvation than head to Heathrow for lunch, and you'd be shipped off to an asylum if you'd expressed intention to head to JFK for a spot of shopping. Changi Airport is a special place, it is almost a mall in the eyes of Singaporeans, and this is further reinforced by the opening of Jewel. In contrast, the opening of the new Istanbul airport in Turkey is a much more significant event, but I was sad to see very little publicity or hype about it apart from promotion by Turkish Airways.
Jewel is impressive and makes Singapore an even more attractive place to stop over while on a long-haul journey. It is massive, so navigating it with under 2 hours of transit time could mean missing your onward flight altogether. That is the scale of the construction, that seemed to spring up overnight, although the concurrent renovations to Terminal 1 seemed to go very well in tandem. Even if you made three long trips to the mall, I'd hazard to say that you'd be unable to properly explore it. It also tips the scale at having the biggest ever indoor waterfall. Fancy a closer look? Take the skytrain which brings you right beside the sprays of water at the heart of Jewel.
What does it mean for us? That Changi is poised and ready to clinch the crown of best airport in the world again, and possibly by a large margin. And if there were an award for it, Singaporeans would qualify as the most airport-crazy country in the world.