PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards call for entries

The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) programme is now open for entries for its 13th edition in 2023. Organisers of the 13th annual PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) now challenge the country's leading and emerging development companies and design practices to compete for recognitions that showcase and provide an international platform for their exemplary, outstanding achievements.

The Singapore property market is off to a promising albeit slower start in 2023. The housing market remains resilient despite uncertain geopolitical and macroeconomic conditions, rising inflation, and increasing interest rates, according to the PropertyGuru Singapore Property Market Report Q1 2023.

Defying economic downside pressures, property prices climbed in 2022, partly due to tight supply, amid declining sales volumes across all property types. Despite the increased cost of acquiring homes, many buyers maintain a positive view of the market's long-term outlook.

Jules Kay, general manager of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events, said: "Singapore developers continue to lead the way with designs and concepts that are not only deserving of international recognition, but also set a high standard for Southeast Asia. We are confident that this year's entries will be just as exemplary, displaying Singaporean prowess in creating sustainable built environments and aspirational developments where people can live, work, and thrive."

Kristin Thorsteins, chairperson of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) and head of partnership growth for APAC at IWG PLC (Singapore), said: "In recent years, Singapore developers have demonstrated remarkable resilience and flexibility, responding to changes by creating more sustainable spaces and integrating nature into their projects. As we look ahead, we anticipate witnessing further benchmark-setting innovations among our entries this year, as Singapore continues to adapt to post-pandemic societal changes and prepares to face any challenge with unwavering determination and vigour.

"With a robust infrastructure ecosystem and a commitment to green-building technologies, Singapore is at the forefront of sustainable development, leading the way in reducing energy and water consumption, as well as carbon emissions. We are confident that Singapore's developers will continue to drive innovation in the real estate industry, creating spaces that are not only resilient, but also sustainable and in harmony with nature."

The black-tie gala dinner and presentation ceremony of the 13th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore ballroom on Friday, 27 October 2023.

Key dates for the 2023 edition:

1 September 2023 – Entries Close

11-29 September – Site Inspections

3 October 2023 – Final Judging

27 October 2023 – Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Singapore

8 December 2023 – Regional Grand Final Gala Presentation in Bangkok, Thailand

The public are encouraged to submit their nominations before the deadline of entries on 1 September 2023 here: asiapropertyawards.com/nominations

Led by Thorsteins, an independent panel of judges, comprising experts in diverse fields such as real estate consultancy, architecture and interior design, and sustainable development, will participate in a rigorous process selecting the award recipients.

The resulting shortlist of nominees will be able to showcase their companies and projects to a wide network of property seekers, real estate agents, banks and valuers, and other enterprises served by PropertyGuru Group (NYSE: PGRU), Southeast Asia's leading property technology company.

Supervised by HLB, the global network of independent advisory and accounting firms, the awards programme makes full use of a professionally run and fully transparent judging system, with an established reputation for fairness, credibility, and integrity.

Excellent Asian companies

Main winners from the 2023 edition of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) will qualify to compete with other excellent companies across the region for the ‘Best in Asia' honours at the 18th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final in Bangkok, Thailand on 8 December 2023.

Singapore companies scored several regional wins at the 17th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Final 2022. GuocoLand was named Best Luxury Developer (Asia) and Best Sustainable Developer (Asia) while UOL Group Limited was named Best Hospitality Developer (Asia).

UOL Group Limited also won Best Hotel Development (Asia) for Pan Pacific Orchard. Park Nova by Shun Tak Holdings gained the Best Condo Architectural Design (Asia) title while Artyzen Singapore by Artyzen Hospitality Group won Best Hospitality Interior Design (Asia).

Established in 2005, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards continue to reward high-calibre work within the industry, encompassing property development, construction, architecture, interior design, and sustainable building practices. The series initially covered Southeast Asia and has expanded over the years to include the region's dynamic property markets, including Australia, China, Greater Niseko in Japan, and India.

The 13th PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Singapore) are supported by official portal partner PropertyGuru.com.sg; official magazine Property Report by PropertyGuru; media partner d+a Magazine; and official supervisor HLB.

Disney Cruise Line and Singapore Tourism Board

Disney Cruise Line and Singapore Tourism Board today announced magical cruise vacations to Southeast Asia for the first time, revealed by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D'Amaro and Singapore's Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S. Iswaran.

Under a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, Disney Cruise Line and Singapore Tourism Board agreed to collaborate to homeport a brand-new Disney cruise ship exclusively in Singapore for at least five years beginning in 2025. More details about the maiden voyage, itineraries and onboard experiences will be announced at a later date.

"This is a very exciting year for The Walt Disney Company — 2023 marks our 100th anniversary," D'Amaro said. "As part of this, Disney Cruise Line is currently undergoing an ambitious expansion with new ships and new destinations around the world. We are incredibly excited to make Singapore the home port to our seventh-launched ship, which will sail from here year-round starting in 2025."

"We look forward to welcoming the magic of Disney Cruise Line to Singapore in 2025," said Keith Tan, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board (STB). "This is an important milestone for STB and reflects Disney Cruise Line's strong confidence in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The new Disney cruise ship will be an attraction itself and is expected to boost the tourism sector in Singapore for many years to come."

Cruising in Singapore and Southeast Asia

Singapore's strategic location, world-class air connectivity and port infrastructure make it a thriving cruise hub in Southeast Asia, a diverse region that is home to over 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The addition of a Disney Cruise Line ship in Singapore has the potential to add millions of local and foreign cruise passengers across the five-year period, including fly-cruise passengers who arrive in Singapore by air. It is also expected to bring about significant spillover benefits for the wider economy. These include greater demand for port and ship-related services, as well as on-ground spending in Singapore for the lifestyle and hospitality sectors.

New Disney Cruise Ship for Families in Southeast Asia

The new ship will feature innovative Disney experiences along with the dazzling entertainment, world-class dining and legendary guest service that set Disney Cruise Line apart. Guests of all ages will find dedicated spaces and activities designed just for them, and families will create unforgettable memories with beloved characters such as Captain Mickey Mouse and Captain Minnie Mouse, Disney Princesses, Marvel Super Heroes and more.

Disney Cruise Line estimates the passenger capacity of the 208,000-gross-ton ship to be approximately 6,000 with around 2,300 crew members. It is expected to be among the first in the cruise industry to be fueled by green methanol, one of the lowest emission fuels available.

Construction is projected to be completed at the MV Werften shipyard in Wismar, Germany, under the management of Meyer Werft, the Papenburg-based company that built the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish and is constructing two additional Wish-class ships.

For more information about Disney Cruise Line, guests can visit disneycruise.com.

About Disney Cruise Line

Since launching in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer. Today, the award-winning Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its blueprint for family cruising with a fleet of five ships — the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Wish — and three more ships planned. The ship to be homeported in Singapore will be the seventh to launch. It is the eighth ship announced for the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The Disney Cruise Line fleet sails to destinations in The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, the South Pacific, and Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit disneycruise.com.

About Singapore Tourism Board

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore's key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, STB shapes a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. STB brings the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.

Best Places to go for a Bicycle Ride

Singapore is a great place for cycling, with its well-maintained roads, excellent infrastructure, and scenic routes. Whether you’re a casual rider or a hardcore cyclist, Singapore has something for everyone. From sprawling parks to coastal roads, here are some of the best places to go for a bicycle ride around Singapore.

East Coast Park

East Coast Park is a great place for a leisurely bicycle ride. With its 15 km long stretch of coastline and wide, flat paths, it’s perfect for beginner and intermediate cyclists. The park is also equipped with amenities such as bike rental shops, cafes and restaurants, and even showers. There’s plenty to explore here, from the mangroves to the beach, and even a skate park.

Pulau Ubin

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-track cycling experience, head to Pulau Ubin. This small island is a haven of tranquillity, with rustic roads and plenty of nature. The island is home to many trails, and you can hire bicycles from the village. There’s also a kiosk at the entrance of the island where you can rent bicycles and helmets.

Kallang River

Kallang River is a great place for cycling, with its wide paths and flat terrain. The river is lined with parks, nature reserves, and other attractions, making it a great destination for sightseeing. Here, you can enjoy a leisurely ride on a rented bike, or take part in a cycling tour.

Jurong Lake Gardens

Jurong Lake Gardens is the perfect place for a leisurely ride. The gardens are filled with lush greenery, and the roads are wide and flat. There are plenty of bike rental shops here, and you can even take part in a cycling tour. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, you’re sure to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere here.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is one of Singapore’s most iconic locations, and it’s also a great spot for cycling. There are plenty of bike paths here, and you can take in the stunning skyline as you cycle. You can also take part in the Marina Bay Cycling Challenge, which is an annual event that takes place in March.

Cycling is a great way to explore Singapore’s many attractions, and there are plenty of places to go for a bicycle ride. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. So grab your bike and get out and explore the city!

Singapore EXPO to achieve Net Zero by 2024

Singapore EXPO, the country's largest purpose-built MICE facility, is taking firm strides towards achieving Net Zero by 2024 with the largest single-site solar rooftop installation in Singapore, as well as the development of the largest electric vehicle charging hub in the eastern part of Singapore. The projects are a significant boost to the venue's sustainability infrastructure and will enable it to become Asia's first MICE venue running on clean energy. Singapore EXPO is managed by Constellar.

With over 17,000 photovoltaic panels installed on the rooftops of 10 exhibition halls and convention wing, Singapore EXPO would be the country's largest single-site solar panel installation at a total estimated size of about 6.5 football fields. In a Singaporean context, the energy generated from these panels can power 4,000 units of HDB 3-room flats (at 68 square metres per flat) for a year. The installation is expected to be completed in October 2023 and once completed, it will replace conventional energy consumption at Singapore EXPO with renewable energy.

As events and communities return to Singapore EXPO, the venue is also enabling a more sustainable way to travel. Shell will be installing 20 Shell Recharge electric vehicle charging points at Singapore EXPO's carparks, making this the largest charging hub in the eastern part of Singapore. 20 drivers can charge at any single point of time while attending events or enjoying the F&B offerings at Singapore EXPO.

Sustainability has been a continuous journey for Singapore EXPO since 2012 when its meetings and convention wing became the first MICE venue in Singapore to receive the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. It has accelerated its efforts in the past year as sustainability considerations from travel, meeting and event professionals have grown in importance towards their selection of service providers including venues.

Last year Constellar pledged its commitment to the 'Net Zero Carbon Events" initiative by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and also joined the Global MICE Sustainability Alliance to explore solutions for green events, develop relevant MICE sustainability standards and accelerate adoption of green practices. As part of the Alliance's efforts, Constellar will also be piloting waste measurement methodologies at BuildTech Asia, a Constellar event, from 28-30 March 2023, as well as Food & Hotel Asia 2024. Both events will be held at Singapore EXPO.

Adding on to the earlier BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for the meetings and conventions wing, Singapore EXPO has also just been awarded the same award for the ten exhibition halls in February 2023. Other initiatives that Singapore EXPO is also embarking on include implementing urban farming on the rooftop of the convention wing by October 2023. The latter complements the venue's current food waste management initiatives, as well as the operation of a food digestor at Timbre+ food park to turn food waste into water that can be discharged into the public sewage system and thus reducing carbon footprint from transporting the food waste for disposal.

Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chief Executive (Venues), Constellar, said: "We are proud to support Singapore's vision to become Asia Pacific's leading sustainable MICE destination by 2030. It's important to invest in both our physical infrastructure as well as develop the necessary skillsets in our people in our journey to Net Zero, so that we can create a strong foundation to build, sustain and scale our sustainability initiatives. Education is a focus area this year as we learn and share about industry standards and reporting with our eco-system of communities including event organisers. We want to support them in their sustainability journey, and to create impact with scale."

Doong Shiwen, General Manager of Shell Mobility Singapore, said, "We are glad to partner with Singapore Expo in their sustainability journey. We want to deliver more and cleaner energy solutions, and electric mobility is one of the solutions that can meet the growing demand for transport in a lower-carbon world. With the largest EV charging hub in the eastern part of Singapore, we are extending Shell Recharge to more customers and hope to encourage even more drivers to embrace EVs."