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The Singapore Flyer (Chinese: 新加坡摩天观景轮 Tamil:சிங்கப்பூர் ஃப்ளையர் Malay: Pelayang Singapura) is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Described by its operators as an observation wheel, it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of , and is taller than the Star of Nanchang and taller than the London Eyemarker.

Located in Singaporemarker, on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, it comprises a diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building which houses shops, bars and restaurants, and offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about , including the Indonesianmarker islands of Batammarker and Bintanmarker, as well as Johormarker, Malaysiamarker.

The final capsule was installed on 2 October 2007, the wheel started rotating on February 11 2008 and it officially opened to the public on March 1 2008. Tickets for rides on the first 3 nights were sold out for S$ 8,888 Singapore dollars (US$6,271)(£3,150.83GBP)(€4300), an auspicious number in Chinese culture. The grand opening for the Flyer was held on 15 April 2008.

Each of the 28 air-conditioned capsules is capable of holding 28 passengers, and a complete rotation of the wheel takes approximately 37 minutes. Initially rotating in a counter-clockwise direction when viewed from Marina Centre, its direction was changed on 4 August 2008 under the advice of Feng shui masters.


The Singapore Flyer was first conceived by Patrick MacMahon of Melchers Project Management (MPM), a subsidiary of German company Melchers, in the early 2000s. Formal planning commenced in 2002, MPM and Orient & Pacific Management (O&P) formed a new company, Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd (SFPL), as the developer with MPM holding a 75% stake and the rest by O&P. The project was formally announced and endorsed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 27 June 2003, formalising the understanding between the developer and STB with regard to the land-acquisition process. As stipulated in the MOU, the STB will purchase the plot of land in Marina Centre from the Singapore Land Authority, and lease it to Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd for 30 years with an option to extend the lease by another 15 years. In addition, the land will be rent-free during the construction phase of the project. In July 2003, Jones Lang LaSalle was appointed as the real estate advisor. Takenaka and Mitsubishi were selected as the main contractors, and Arup as the structural engineer.

Early designs showed a high wheel similar to the London Eyemarker, drawing criticisms that it lacked originality. The developers pointed out that the design wasn't finalised and was merely for conceptualisation purposes though the final project changed little from the early designs. The project was to grind almost to a halt subsequently when the developers faced difficulties in sourcing for funds to build the wheel. Original plans to complete the wheel by the end of 2005 were thus postponed indefinitely, and there were reports (but denied by the STB) that the tourism board has set an ultimatum date on 31 March 2005 for the developer to iron out its financial issues and to keep the development going.

By September 2005, the project was revived when funds were successfully sourced from two German banks. Collin William Page, a subsidiary of ABN AMRO, will provide equity to a maximum of S$100 million, with a further S$140 million coming from Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank. With the injection of S$240 million, the largest single foreign investment in the Singaporean entertainment industry, the wheel was slated to begin construction by the end of the month.The stakeholders then were AAA Equity Holdings, MPM and O&P.

In August 2007, Mr. Florian Bollen, Chairman SFPL, raised his stake in the Singapore Flyer from 60% to 90% through acquisition of MPM’s 30% stake. The deal was done via AAA Equity Holdings, a private investment vehicle headed by Mr Bollen. O&P, which spearheaded the project development management, owns the remaining 10%.

The attraction was expected to draw about 2.5 million visitors in its first year of operation, giving investors a net yield of about 13.4%. About 50% of visitors were expected to be foreign tourists, helping to generate about S$94 million in tourism receipts in its opening year. The expected visitorship figure was deemed ambitious by some however, but the STB and the wheel's investors were upbeat over its long-term prospects.

Adval Brand Group, its master ticketing distributor, guaranteed a minimum of 8 million euros in ticket receipts per year for its investors, which was based on an annual visitorship of 600,000.


Inside one of the capsules

The development has a gross building area of approximately , built on a site along the Marina Promenade. Designed by Arup and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with a capacity of up to 7.3 million passengers a year, the normally constant rotation of the wheel means that a complete trip lasts approximately 30 minutes.

The wheel features 28 air-conditioned capsules which, like those of the London Eye, are exo-capsules attached outward of the wheel structure. These offer the advantage of a continuously unobstructed view when the capsule is at the peak, unlike the more common endo-capsule design of most wheels (e.g. Star of Nanchang).

Each capsule has a floor area of and is capable of holding 28 passengers, or up to 5 wheelchairs and 15 other visitors when booked in advance for use by disabled guests. Wheelchair ramps and lifts, handicapped toilets, and a dedicated parking lot for the disabled are also provided.

The terminal building on which the wheel sits on comprises three floors of commercial space, with an adjacent open air Greek-inspired theatre along the waterfront and complimented by a jetty. The site is beautified by luxurious landscaping, including roof gardens and a recreated rainforest in the terminal's atrium. An open bus park for 40 buses is located behind the building, and connected by an underpass to a covered multi-storey carpark for 300 vehicles. This carpark in turn has direct links to the underground Promenade MRT Stationmarker which is slated to be opened by 2010.

Visitors can take a free shuttle bus which operates on a half-hour basis to and from the Singapore Flyer to the City Hall MRT Stationmarker everyday.


In less than a year since opening, the flyer suffered three breakdowns:
  • In July 2008 the Flyer was stopped because of a minor fault in the braking system.
  • On 4 December 2008, the wheel was stuck for nearly five hours due to bad weather and some 70 people were stranded.
  • On 23 December 2008, the wheel stopped moving and trapped 173 passengers for about six hours. The breakdown was caused by a short circuit and fire in the Flyer's wheel control room, which cut off the air-conditioning in the wheel. Eleven passengers were evacuated via a sling-like device from a few of the capsules, and those stranded were given food and drink. The wheel restarted nearly seven hours after it had stopped and two people were hospitalised. The Flyer was closed indefinitely and an investigation into the cause of the malfunction was launched. The wheel re-opened on 26 January 2009 after the Singapore Police received the final safety certification report from the Comformity Assessment Board. Following this breakdown, additional back-up systems costing about S$3 million were installed. These included a generator, winches, three anti-fire and smoke systems, and heat detection devices.



File:singaporeflyer1.jpg|During construction, before all 28 capsules were installedFile:Marina Bay Floating Platform, May 07.jpg|From across CBD in May 2007File:Sflyer-18aug07.JPG|From The Float at Marina Baymarker on 18 August 2007File:Sg-flyer-4oct07.jpg|From East Coast ParkwayFile:Singapore Flyer and racetrack.JPG|Singapore Flyer, terminal building and race trackFile:1 - SG Flyer Wheel Cabin.JPG|From the terminal building's outer walkwayFile:singapore flyer capsule cu.JPG|One of the capsulesFile:Flyer_Image_25.JPG|From atop the Singapore Flyer at nightFile:SG_Flyer.jpg|From one of the capsules at night, overlooking the Ayer Rajah ExpresswayFile:singapore flyer view1.JPG|From one of the capsulesFile:Singapore_flyer_view_2.jpg|From one of the capsulesFile:1 - F1 Wheel Cabin 2.JPG|Frontal view of the boarding and alighting platformFile:Flyer_pillar_base_1090.JPG|Pillar baseFile:Flyer_pillar_base_1091.JPG|Pillar base side viewFile:1 - Yakult Rainforest Discovery.JPG|Yakult Rainforest Discovery GardenFile:Singapore Flyer at Night with White Capsules.JPG|View of the Singapore Flyer with white lighting on the capsules

See also


  1. World's biggest observation wheel set to spin in Singapore AFP
  3. [1]
  6. Beijing Great Wheel may face more delays
  7. Great Wheel Corporation

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