Walk down to Palawan Beach in Sentosa and you’ll see it – a colossal glass and steel building with the nose of an aeroplane sticking out of it. To be precise, it’s a life-sized Boeing 737, and the building is the long-awaited KidZania Singapore, that long-awaited indoor interactive entertainment centre famous for offering immersive role-playing activities for children.
Two weeks ago, KidZania unveiled Qatar Airways as its latest industry partner, as well as the main difference between KidZania Singapore and the other 20 KidZania locations around the world: Singapore boasts the only KidZania to showcase the full fuselage of an actual plane within its City! It’s also the first and only location which occupies an independent building, instead of a space within a shopping mall.
Visitors entering KidZania Singapore will be greeted at the Qatar Airways branded airport terminal, complete with check-in desks and personnel dressed in Qatar Airways uniforms. The terminal looks so realistic that you might even be tempted to book an air ticket from the staff there! But don’t – they’re KidZania staff (known as Zupervisors), and they look like the real McCoy because they’ve been trained by the airline itself.
Kids (the entire KidZania welcomes kids ages four and above) who aspire to have careers in aviation will go ga-ga for the Aviation Academy, where they can experience flying two of Qatar Airways’ flagship aircraft – the 787 Dreamliner and the A380 superjumbo double decker aircraft, using state-of-the-art flight simulators. They’ll find the flight simulation especially realistic as it is specially designed to demonstrate taking off and landing at the Hamad International Airport in Doha (Qatar Airways’ home base and hub) and Singapore Changi Airport.
Kids can role play as Qatar Airways’ cabin crew and pilots! Sadly, invited members of the media did not get to try the flight simulator or play dress up. Maybe nearer to the opening date we will. Here’s hoping!
His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker revealed that the world’s best airline is putting in $3.9 million into this five-year partnership. Singapore is the second city where Qatar has partnered with KidZania to educate children about the aviation industry, the first being Kuwait. A third is in the works but yet to be announced.
KidZania Singapore has signed on 13 Singapore-based companies, including Lim Chee Guan, The Learning Lab and Killiney Kopitiam, to provide a diverse range of role-playing activities to its young patrons.
The edutainment centre is slated to open this coming April and anticipates more than 500,000 visitors within its first year.