A Very Different Marina Bay

The Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay, the Padang and the Singapore Skyline (2004) before Marina Bay was dominated by the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort.

A little over 9 years ago, a group of photographers and myself got into a room at the Swissotel the Stamford to do a shoot of the skyline at a high vantage point. It was slightly hazy and overcast, but thankfully cleared up by the evening and we were able to get some decent night shots.

While sorting through the photos on my hard disk recently, I came across the shots from that shoot, one of which is posted above. How things have changed over a short span of 9 years. Back then, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the Marina Bay Financial Centre weren’t built yet, and the bay looked much emptier. The twin “durians” at the left of the photo – from the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay – was less than 2 years old.

Fast forward to today, the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort now stands at the empty space above the Esplanade, much to the objection of many Singaporeans. The Marina Bay Financial Centre has also been built, adding to the skyline. Singapore has really changed a lot in this short period of time.

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