World Economic Forum's Singapore event likely to use multiple central hotels

The Marina Bay Sands hotel and convention centre will be the main venue for the World Economic Forum in August. - AFP

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg): The World Economic Forum’s marquee event in Singapore this August will likely be held in a dedicated event zone in the city-state’s central area that could include the Marina Bay Sands complex and two other nearby hotels, according to people familiar with the plans.

The plan for a special zone is among several steps organisers are considering to ensure the forum, traditionally in the Swiss resort town of Davos, can be held safely in Singapore, which is one of the few nations to have contained the virus.

While the Marina Bay Sands hotel and convention centre is expected to be the main venue, organisers are planning to use other nearby hotels, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the plans aren’t final and could change. Dedicated transport would be provided between the sites, one of the people said.

Singapore’s trade ministry, as well as the Marina Bay Sands media office, declined to comment.

The annual high-profile WEF event, postponed this year until Aug 17-20, attracts leaders across government, finance and economics.

Amid ongoing social distancing requirements to control the pandemic, the event will likely be smaller than the usual 3,000 attendees, which includes delegates, accompanying officials, assistants, spouses and media, one of the people said.

The WEF’s event in Singapore will be only the second outside of Switzerland and the first in Asia. The city-state has averaged two new virus cases in the community per week the last two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

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