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Old April 12th, 2015, 03:02 PM   #401
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DSAT starts feasibility work on fourth cross-sea passage
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
Friday, April 10, 2015

The Transport Bureau (DSAT) responded to a written enquiry, filed by lawmaker Chan Meng Kam at the end of January, demanding for the authorities to disclose details of the next stage in the construction of the city’s fourth cross-sea passage. The bureau stated that studies are being conducted in order to explore the feasibility of the project.

However, as such a construction project might involve comprehensive and large-scale works according to Wong Wan – who is still DSAT’s director, despite having filed his resignation last month – information will be disclosed later, when the bureau has collected sufficient data on the project.

In 2006, the government proposed an infrastructure plan for the city, connecting two new reclamation areas – one of them located on the Macau peninsula, and the other in Taipa – with a passage across the sea. During the nine years since that plan was disclosed, the authorities have endeavored to collect suggestions from the public, but have not announced any further details.
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Old June 28th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #402
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Slump spreading from gambling tables to property market
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
Friday, June 26, 2015



Macau’s six-year lucky streak has come to an end. That’s become evident not just at the baccarat tables but at real estate agencies, too. After more than quintupling over six years, residential prices are heading for their first year of declines since 2008, tracking a gambling revenue slump in the world’s largest casino hub. Home prices may drop 15 percent this year, real estate broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. forecasts.

Homeowners – mostly local residents who had been enriched by Macau’s casino boom – have been selling properties at lower prices as the drying up of high-stakes gambling ripple through the city’s economy. Residential prices will stay under pressure as gaming revenue shows few signs of recovery, falling for the 12th straight month in May.

“We don’t see any upturn in Macau’s gaming industry in the near term, so I don’t see residential prices going back up,” said Gregory Ku, managing director for JLL in Macau. “Most economic figures are dropping to various degrees.”

Transaction volumes fell in the first quarter to the lowest in six years, according to Macau’s statistics and census bureau. Luxury residential values have been the hardest hit, dropping 13.4 percent this year, almost double the pace of declines for mass-market homes.

For example, prices fell as much as 26 percent at One Central Residences, high-end serviced apartments located next to casinos owned by MGM China Holdings Ltd. and Wynn Macau Ltd., according to Franco Liu, Macau head of Savills Plc.

“Those in the casino industry are concentrated in the luxury home segment,” Liu said. “They’ve made lots of money in the past and spent it on properties or cars. These past few months, the drop is more significant because they’re offloading some of their investments.”

China President Xi Jinping’s drive to eradicate corruption and a slowing economy has kept high rollers away, dragging down the city’s economic output 24.5 percent in the first quarter.

Gross gaming revenue in June may drop as much as 38 percent from a year earlier, which would mark the worst month in five years, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst DS Kim said in a June 23 note. For the full year, gaming receipts are expected to slump by about a fifth.

Macau’s low unemployment rate and strong incomes will likely help put a floor under price declines, Savills’s Liu said. The city’s jobless rate has stood at a record low of 1.7 percent for more than a year, one of the lowest in Asia. Gross domestic product per capita ranks fourth globally behind Luxembourg, Norway and Qatar, according to The World Bank.

The home market is dominated by Macau residents, with non- local buyers making up just 2 percent of total transactions last year, according to Savills. That compares with mainland Chinese and foreigners accounting for 13 percent of purchases in 2011 amid the casino boom and before the government imposed extra taxes to rein in home prices.

Investors are returning with the latest sale of Shun Tak Holdings Ltd.’s Nova Park, according to Midland Holdings Ltd. The Hong Kong-based developer is luring buyers with a plan that allows them to pay for the apartments over 28 months, including a 25 percent down payment.


Nova Park rendering from project website
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Old July 12th, 2015, 11:40 AM   #403
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Officials downplay concerns over reclaimed zone high-rises
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Macau Daily Times Excerpt



Public sentiment continues to escalate over the government’s possible intention to allow 100-meter high-rises to be constructed on Reclamation Zone B. The Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, told media yesterday that authorities may not accept “amateur opinions” received through public consultations.

“The text is for consultation, not for decisions,” said the Secretary after a committee meeting at the Legislative Assembly. “There could be another one after a consultation,” he said. “I think consultation is necessary in every single society, which is a good thing. But then sometimes due to other reasons, like technical ones, not everyone’s opinions on the matter are appropriate,” he added.

During the very first consultation that was open to local citizens on the subject of urban planning in the five reclamation zones last Saturday, some participants voiced their concerns over allowing the construction of buildings in Zone B with a possible height of 100 meters, as this may impede views of the Chapel of Our Lady of Penha, sitting on Penha Hill, from the waterfront.
This morning, Cheong Ion Man, acting deputy director of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau, attended TDM’s call-in program on social affairs in order to discuss the ongoing public consultation, which will conclude on August 8th.

“The height limitation [for Zone B buildings] is 100 meters, while that of Penha Hill is a mere 60 meters; basically, they are incompatible with each other. It would also create a loophole for zones C, D and E. The blocks at the waterfront are this high, let alone those situated [closer to the hill],” remarked a caller surnamed Sou.

More : http://macaudailytimes.com.mo/offici...igh-rises.html
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Old October 23rd, 2015, 11:12 AM   #404
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Claim of affordable housing land scarcity is nonsense, protesters say
19 October 2015
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

Macau From Above by Giselle Leung, on Flickr

Protest leaders at a demonstration in Tap Seac Square yesterday afternoon denounced a recent housing draw and criticized the government’s efforts to provide affordable housing. They specifically refuted the administration’s claim that the scarcity of land in Macau has restricted its capacity to provide housing units.

Hundreds of demonstrators (1,500 according to the organizers, 700 according to the police) held signs with slogans such as “Claim back land not being used properly”; “Build more public houses” and “Produce a timeline for housing.” They cheered on activists who accused the government of catering to the interests of property tycoons and wealthy foreigners.

Cloee Chao, activist and co-founder of the Macau Gaming Industry Frontline Workers’ Union, took to the stage and said, “We don’t want to work in Macau but be forced to live in Zhuhai.” She claimed that the authorities were exclusively catering to the city’s wealthy, while neglecting their responsibilities to the rest of the population.

Ms Chao also criticized the government’s line on limited space as the reason for the lack of housing development, saying that “the government’s claim of scarce land is nonsense.” According to her estimates, there are sufficient reserves to satisfy the entirety of the current housing requirements.

Other speakers blamed the ‘investment visa’ policy of previous MSAR administrations for the increased demand for property and the subsequent surge in prices. The policy, which granted residency to investors who purchased real estate valued at MOP 1 million or more, was discontinued in 2007.

The protest was organized by the Macau Community Development Initiative (MCDI), which was established last month and is supported by lawmakers Au Kam San and Ng Kuok Cheong. The organization aims to exert pressure on the government to change its housing policy, and to build 40,000 new housing units to accommodate unsuccessful applicants from the current scheme.

After hearing speeches in Tap Seac Square, protest leaders, cheered on by hundreds of their fellows, led the demonstration on a march toward the Old Court Building, located at Avenida da Praia Grande.

Demonstrators reminded the public that there are still 40,000 applicants waiting to hear the results of the second round of the application system, although there has been no information on when the second wave of results will be announced.

In March 2014, a similar number of people competed for approximately the same number of affordable housing units - about 40,000 applicants for 1,900 units. The media then criticized the government for allowing the construction of another 17,000 hotel rooms over the following few years despite planning to provide fewer than 5,000 affordable housing units in the same period.

The current system groups applicants according to their characteristics. Families consisting of biological relatives are prioritized, followed by groups of non-related adults and finally individuals. Under the former system, a proportion of the available housing was allocated to each group, but the system now prioritizes biologically related applicants over those from any other group.

If the number of affordable housing units does not exceed the number required by the biologically related group, no further housing allocation remains for other applicants.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 05:18 AM   #405
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Glamour over gaming as Melco resort opens
28 October 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt


Studio City Construction ~ two months to opening by Azchael, on Flickr

Multibillion-dollar casino project launches with help of Hollywood stars as Macau looks to reinvent itself as a family-oriented holiday destination

Macau’s bid to reinvent itself as a mass-market, family-oriented gaming destination was underlined yesterday as its latest lavish casino resort opened with a combination of Hollywood glamour and a bold statement of intent.

Movie directing icon Martin Scorsese lined up with living screen legends Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio as Melco Crown Entertainment’s HK$3.2 billion Studio City development went live with the promise of tinseltown-tinged entertainment and – in a first for the world’s premier gaming hub – a casino floor with no VIP tables in sight.

The ambitious Hollywood-themed resort headed by Melco Crown CEO Lawrence Ho Yau-lung and his Australian business partner James Packer marks Macau’s most significant shift to date from a VIP-junket-dominated casino model to mass-market, Las Vegas-style resorts.

Underlining that shift is the fact that Studio City on the Cotai Strip is the first major development in Macau not to target VIP gamblers, amid an 18-month slump in gaming revenues and Beijing’s crackdown on corruption – which has scared mainland Chinese high rollers away.

The shift also reflects a collapse of the junket system in Macau, which has seen a number of operators – whose main role has been to recruit high rollers to casinos and make loans – either shrink or close down completely in the face of looming greater regulation and falling revenues.

The move towards the mass-market model was further emphasised by Melco Crown’s gaming table count – Studio City is opening with just over half the 400 tables it initially requested from gaming regulators.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 01:47 PM   #406
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Macau Daily Times Excerpt
50 berthing points for tourist yachts to open before year-end
November 5, 2015



The Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) has presented to the press new facilities for yachts traveling between Zhongshan and Macau. The facilities have been made ready for the implementation of the so-called “individual visit scheme.”

In a tour organized by the DSAMA and held last Friday, the marine authority guided journalists through the new facilities and explained the procedures to be enforced when the berth becomes operational, which is expected to happen before the end of this year.

As explained by the Shipping and Seafarers Department head, Jesse Lei, “On the Macau side, everything is about ready. We are just waiting for the conclusion of the works on the Zhongshan pier, the facilities of which had to be upgraded from commercial port to a tourism berth.”

On the Macau side, the new berth setup in Coloane, just across from the University of Macau’s new campus, is ready and has the capacity for fifty yachts between 12 and 40 meters long.

At arrival on the new berth, there will be a transportation ferry with a capacity for 12 persons. This will transfer passengers from their yacht to dry land, where they will complete the customs formalities as per normal. These formalities will be conducted at the Coloane Customs Point in order to facilitate and provide assistance to the boat owner or person responsible, who are obliged to declare all goods and products carried on board.

The transfer operator, which will make 15 to 20 workers available to support this operation in this first phase, will be available 24 hours a day to perform these transportation tasks at any time needed.

The rest : http://macaudailytimes.com.mo/50-ber...-year-end.html
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Old November 12th, 2015, 04:38 AM   #407
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Architect favors Hotel Estoril preservation
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 -
Macau Daily Times Excerpt



The architect José Manuel Fernandes is in favor of the preservation of the Hotel Estoril, arguing that the building is part of the collective memory of Macau.

Interviewed by Radio Macau, the professor at the University of Lisbon stated that he did not understand the reasons for a possible demolition. “What is the problem? It’s kitsch, it’s from the 60s, is from an architect named Alvarez,” he asked rhetorically, defending a prudent assessment of the architectural value of the building. “It having its presence and a history that is linked to Stanley Ho is the genesis of a very important thing in Macau,” he argued.

“Honestly, it deserves to be evaluated, and I am certain that if the right documents are given to whichever architect that will be invited to assess this information, any good architect will know that he is in the presence of something with a collective memory,” he added.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 07:52 AM   #408
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Replica of Paris's Eiffel Tower in Macau, simply amazing.....construction....

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Old November 13th, 2015, 08:28 AM   #409
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^ Is that the real thing or the fake? Doesn't look like Macau in the background.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 08:30 AM   #410
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Definitely not Macau! Though there is one in The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas!
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 04:06 AM   #411
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NEW HENGQIN–COTAI WATER PIPELINE APPROVED
Dec. 3, 2015
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

A plan to build a new water supply pipeline was approved after Macau’s Marine and Water Bureau signed an agreement with Zhuhai authorities on November 30. The pipeline, which is planned to run between Hengqin and Cotai, will be about 15 kilometers long and will supply 200,000 cubic meters of water per day.

Authorities have stated that the pipeline is required to meet Macau’s growing demand for water as the city expands.

The agreement includes the Macau government picking up the RMB528 million tab for the project – the pipeline’s entire cost. Meanwhile, Zhuhai authorities will take the lead on its construction, along with its subsequent maintenance and repair in future years.

Work on the pipeline is expected to commence this month and will be completed by mid-2017.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 08:02 AM   #412
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Airport expansion expected to bring more passengers and cargo
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
Friday, December 4, 2015

the sidelines of a cocktail reception celebrating the Macau International Airport (MIA)’s 20th anniversary, Simon Chan, President of the Macau Civil Aviation Authority, commended the recently announced plans to transform Macau’s airport infrastructure. The impending scheme, which would enable the airport to accommodate long-haul flights, includes an extension to the passenger building and is expected to increase the maximum transit capacity from six million visitors to seven and a half million. “It will be positive to Macau because what we will have is more [flight] slots. It depends on the commercial development. Maybe we will have more passengers for the regions. Mainly tourists, maybe some of them cargo”, he said, cited by TDM.

Mr Chan added that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (Delta Bridge) would have a significant impact on Macau’s economy, allowing more passengers and cargo to transit through the SAR.

Acting Chief Executive Sonia Chan stated at the celebration that the MIA was a fundamental transport hub for Macau’s international accessibility.

When the Macau International Airport was inaugurated in 1995, it catered mainly to the Taiwanese market, due to the absence of direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan. After mainland China resumed flights to Taiwan in 2008, MIA began to revise the airport’s focus.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 08:33 PM   #413
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Macau construction costs second highest in Asia
Friday, December 11, 2015
Macau Daily Times Excerpt



Macau is the second most expensive Asian city to build in after Hong Kong, while Singapore ranks third, says the latest International Construction Costs 2016 index published by Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets.

Globally, Macau is ranked fifth, behind Geneva (4), Hong Kong (3), London (2) and New York (1), according to the index which collates construction costs data from 44 major cities. According to the study, the MSAR is subject to less-than-ideal market pressures which inflate costs in the construction sector.

Construction projects for casino and entertainment resorts, residential housing units, and land reclamation works are in high demand here, while a lack of space and available labor to satisfy this demand exerts upward pressures on costs.

In October information from the Statistics and Census Service indicated that the value of construction for the year of 2014 was up by 63.2 percent when compared with the previous year. The bureau accredited the rise to the construction of new hotel and entertainment facilities.
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Old January 9th, 2016, 04:50 PM   #414
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Coloane stilt houses could become cultural shops
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Macau Daily Times Excerpt



A local government official has proposed the transformation of Coloane’s empty stilt houses into cultural and creative products stores in order to promote tourism, Macau News reports.

Islands Community Services Consultative Committee member Ku Man Tai, who also sits on the board of the Macau Islands Industrial and Commercial Association, proposed the idea at a meeting with government officials on Tuesday.

Stilt houses stand elevated above water level by (often) slim wooden beams that support the underside of the structure. They are an integral part of Coloane’s cultural memory and are popular with tourists exploring the “Coloane Heritage Walk,” which meanders through the historic village on the island.

Ku estimated that there are around 20 stilt houses in the area near the Coloane ferry pier, most of which have been empty for a while.

“The remaining stilt houses are either restaurants or dried food shops,” said Ku at the meeting. “There are not many [shopping] options for tourists [in the area].”

Ku met with government officials from the Marine and Water Bureau on Tuesday at a community center in Rua da Ponte Negra in Taipa, run by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Ku added that the government could consider allowing residents to operate hostels in some of Coloane’s village houses, which could attract more visitors and boost the island’s tourist trade.

More : http://macaudailytimes.com.mo/coloan...ral-shops.html
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Old January 10th, 2016, 06:14 AM   #415
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Macau construction costs second highest in Asia
11 December 2015
Macau Daily Times Excerpt

Macau is the second most expensive Asian city to build in after Hong Kong, while Singapore ranks third, says the latest International Construction Costs 2016 index published by Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets.

Globally, Macau is ranked fifth, behind Geneva (4), Hong Kong (3), London (2) and New York (1), according to the index which collates construction costs data from 44 major cities. According to the study, the MSAR is subject to less-than-ideal market pressures which inflate costs in the construction sector.

Construction projects for casino and entertainment resorts, residential housing units, and land reclamation works are in high demand here, while a lack of space and available labor to satisfy this demand exerts upward pressures on costs.

In October information from the Statistics and Census Service indicated that the value of construction for the year of 2014 was up by 63.2 percent when compared with the previous year. The bureau accredited the rise to the construction of new hotel and entertainment facilities.
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Old January 28th, 2016, 06:05 PM   #416
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No time-frame given to new projects
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
Thursday, January 28, 2016

Following recent announcements from the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, the MGTO director, Helena de Senna Fernandes, has said that developments would be made this year in projects such as the setting up of a “café and creative activities at the Nam Van Lake and Taipa Houses Museum” areas. “There are many features that we want to include in those places,” Senna Fernandes said, though no clear time-frame was given. “We plan to implement at least something [with respect to those projects] this year.”

Other new projects in preparation include expanding the Macau Grand Prix Museum and revitalizing the Coloane stilt houses. A feasibility study on the possibility of launching leisure cruise tours between the Macau Peninsula and Taipa/Coloane will also be undertaken. New walking tour routes and “more attractive touristic packages” are being arranged as well.

Events like the “Parade Through Macau, Latin City” and the “Macau Light Festival” will be maintained, the director said. Overall, the plan is to promote more touristic offers, in order to attract more visitors and to foster diversification of the region’s source markets.

Outdoors, the MGTO will hold many promotional events, ranging from a food festival in Japan to a “major event” in Korea (Seoul and Busan). A promotional video will be launched under the new slogan “Experience Macau Your Own Style.”

To finance these projects, the MGTO will spend over one billion patacas coming from the Tourism Fund, an increase of 4 percent when compared to the spending from 2015. That amount doesn’t include the bureau’s operational expenses. The bureau’s head said that all the projects will be evaluated in order to avoid unnecessary spending. “It’s not only about organizing events; we must see that the events are reaching the goals that we set.”
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Old January 29th, 2016, 09:09 AM   #417
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Studio City looks nice! I will be visiting Macau in a few weeks, can't wait to visit all these developments!
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Old February 4th, 2016, 07:42 AM   #418
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THE INT’L SCHOOL LAUNCHES NEW EXPANSION PROJECT
Feb. 4, 2016
Macau Daily Times Excerpt



A special ceremony was held at The International School of Macao (TIS), situated on the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) campus, to mark the official launch of the “Phase II” construction of the extension of the school.

The ceremony, held yesterday, included the unveiling of a banner, the burying of a time capsule, and a preview musical rendition by some 40 elementary school students of a song from the school’s upcoming musical performance, “Seussical The Musical,” inspired by children’s author, Dr Seuss.

“We are very excited to be taking the first step in constructing Phase II, a building which will complete the full school model and the original vision for the TIS campus,” said head of school, Howard Stribbell.

The new campus addition measures 12,500 square meters of classroom and school space that will be spread over five floors and will connect with the main school building. It includes a two-story library, purpose built classrooms for both kindergarten and high school students, a theatre/auditorium, and additional computer labs and music rooms. The expansion will also feature a “discovery center” and “covered playgrounds.”

“Some of the parents want a swimming pool… but we are lucky to be on the Macau University of Science and Technology campus,” Stribbell told reporters.

Stribbell added that the expansion was the result of increased demand for school places by both local and expatriate applicants. According to him, the completion of the second phase will increase the school’s capacity from 1,200 students today – a figure that was reached in the 2013-14 school year – by a further 400 students.

**********************************************************

Phase II builds on previous developments made at TIS, including the renovation of existing buildings and facilities. A number of projects were completed in the previous academic year, including the addition of new chemistry equipment and storage units, a new waterproofing and rooftop, new fitness equipment and lockers kitted out with power outlets for easy charging of mobile devices.

Phase II is scheduled to open in August 2016, just in time for the 2016-17 academic year.
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Old February 17th, 2016, 04:30 PM   #419
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Macau Daily Times Excerpt
A-Ma Temple | Gov’t calls on heritage staff to prioritize electrical safety
Monday, February 15, 2016



The government has announced plans to conserve and restore parts of the A-Ma Temple pavilion and relics that were damaged in a accidental fire that occurred last week during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

In a statement, the government said that it is highly concerned about the incident – believed to have been caused by an electrical fault – and that the government calls on all owners, managers and staff members at Macau’s heritage sites to ensure close attention is paid to fire and electrical safety.

The statement also indicated that the government would offer its complete support to the temple’s management during the restoration process by providing a thorough fire safety inspection of the site, assisting with the safeguarding of its architectural structure and offering consultative advice for the works.

Last week a government inspection of the damaged site, undertaken by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), revealed that the initial restoration work might take two to three months. However, it was estimated that it could be at least one year before the structure is fully repaired and the interior restored.

Other experts and engineers, such as those from the Macau Institution of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (AEEMM), conducted further damage assessments at the A-Ma Temple, uncovering faults in the site’s electrical system that may have been responsible for the outbreak of the fire.

A lead engineer in the inspection told TDM that, worryingly, basic safety standards were being overlooked.

“The size and use of some metal wires was not thought through. Calculation of circuits was not even made. The possibility of a faulty situation was not considered,” said Lei Chi Chio, a member of AEEMM. “[Temple management] should take Beijing’s palace museum as a reference and have regular maintenance inspections conducted every five years.”

The fire, which broke out at the World Heritage Site in the early hours of Wednesday morning, resulted in severe damage to some of the pavilion’s interior, including an altar, some wall plaques, and wooden furniture.

According to the IC, the statue of the Goddess A-Ma – regarded as the item of the greatest historical value in the damaged pavilion – suffered no major damage.
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Old February 27th, 2016, 07:28 AM   #420
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Hung’s ‘ultra-luxury’ hotel named ‘The 13’
Macau Daily Times Excerpt
Friday, February 26, 2016


Louis XIII Construction by Azchael, on Flickr

The “ultra-luxury” Louis XIII hotel expected to open later this year has been named “The 13,” according to a press statement from the Louis XIII Holdings. The company has also released the first images of the property’s interiors.

“As the business and the brand have developed, we felt that the name ‘The 13’ most accurately reflected our Macau hotel’s combination of Baroque inspiration and contemporary accents,” said co-chairman Stephen Hung in a press release issued yesterday.

“Thirteen is my lucky number and the new name along with the new logo fit perfectly with my vision,” he added. “There is a hint of tradition while also suggesting a chic and fun edginess.”

The company has also announced its intention to change its corporate name to “The 13 Holdings Ltd,” subject to approval by its shareholders and other relevant authorities.

Released photos of the hotel’s interior reveal intricate design details that evoke the Baroque style. According to the company, almost every design detail in the hotel is bespoke, including sculptures, fabrics, wall coverings, furniture and tableware.

“Our brand represents a unique vision of a global luxury lifestyle based on strong bespoke traditions while embracing modern elements that enhance these traditions,” said Stephen Hung. “We are proud that Macau will be establishing a new world standard for ultra-luxury hotels through its native brand, ‘The 13’.”

Of the ‘all-villa’ hotel’s 200 rooms, most will be Villa du Comte suites, or the luxury property’s entry-level accommodations. Each of these rooms will be approximately 2,000 square feet in gross floor area.
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