Singapore's prime Orchard Road shopping belt will be spruced up in a makeover worth 40 million Singapore dollars (27.6 million US) to enhance its appeal to tourists, the government said Monday.

Under the makeover, the shopping belt will have enhanced to complement its tree-lined boulevard, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said in a statement.

The busiest section of the shopping precinct, which draws more than seven million visitors annually, will also feature a so-called forest theme made up of the area's famous Angsana trees, it said.

"Orchard Road is synonymous with shopping in Singapore... for Orchard Road to become an even more compelling lifestyle hub, we need to invest in both its infrastructure and services," said Margaret Teo, assistant chief executive for leisure at the tourism body.

"These infrastructural improvements will also open up many more entertainment and outdoor spaces for events and activities to create a more vibrant streetscape, thus enhancing the lifestyle experience on Orchard Road."

The upgrade is expected to be completed by April next year. SINGAPORE,  (AFP) - Oct 29, 2007


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