Normal operations at Suntec City, nearby malls

Security cameras have been installed in the mall, near the side entrance leading to the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. A road sign below the link bridge between Marina Square and Suntec City that indicates no right t
A road sign below the link bridge between Marina Square and Suntec City that indicates no right turn for motorists towards Suntec City, except for labelled vehicles, from 10pm tomorrow to 5am on Friday.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Security cameras have been installed in the mall, near the side entrance leading to the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. A road sign below the link bridge between Marina Square and Suntec City that indicates no right t
Security cameras have been installed in the mall, near the side entrance leading to the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

It will be business as usual at Suntec City and malls nearby even as the Suntec convention centre becomes off limits to the general public this week for the Asean Summit.

Several roads, including parts of Temasek Boulevard and Temasek Avenue, and lanes on Raffles Avenue, Raffles Boulevard and Nicoll Highway, will close progressively from tonight and remain shut until Friday to facilitate security arrangements for the event.

Mr Anthony Yip, deputy chairman of APM Property Management, which manages Suntec City, said that mall operations will not be disrupted by the summit, which will be held from Tuesday to Thursday.

"There will not be additional security checks except for those who will be visiting Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the summit," he said.

While Suntec City's surface carpark and taxi stands at Tower 5 and Raffles Boulevard will be closed during the week, ample parking spaces and public transport options will remain available, he said.

The area surrounding the convention centre has been designated an Enhanced Security Special Event Area for the summit, which means stricter police checks and measures for those entering.

Some retailers and restaurants in the area said that sales would likely suffer, thanks to the tighter security and road closures, but the office crowd is expected to buffer the weekday slowdown.

Mr Kelvyn Chee, managing director of Decks, which owns brands such as M)phosis and Surfers Paradise, said his Island Shop outlet at Tanglin Mall saw a 20 per cent drop in sales during the summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June, when the mall was included in a special event area.

He is expecting a similar fall in sales at the Marina Square store in the coming week, as shoppers will likely avoid the area, he said.

The Hou Hou stall, which sells rice bowls in Suntec City's PasarBella food hall, relies heavily on the working crowd. But events at the convention centre and its surrounding area can affect business, said its operations assistant Kirby Koh.

"When commercial events are held at the convention centre, they bring in a lot of people. However, events with security measures and road closures, like F1, can affect us badly, by up to 40 per cent," he said.

A spokesman for Crystal Jade Group said that while business at its Crystal Jade Kitchen restaurant at Suntec City may be affected, "we are not too concerned, since our customers over a typical work week are from the office buildings in the vicinity".

Meanwhile, hotels in the area, including The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore and Mandarin Oriental Singapore, are almost fully booked for the summit dates.

Pan Pacific Singapore, which is located within the tighter special zone demarcated by the police, will remain open to all, said the hotel's general manager Kurt Wehinger. "There will be no restrictions for entry to the hotel. However, all our security and front-line associates will be vigilant and on high alert during this time, as we are hosting a few groups which will be in Singapore primarily for the summit," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 11, 2018, with the headline 'Normal operations at Suntec City, nearby malls'. Print Edition | Subscribe