Site is based at Singapore's World Sentosa

SINGAPORE — Universal Studios will open its largest theme park in Asia at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore’s freshly minted casino/leisure complex, to the public on March 18.

The $4.4 billion Resorts World Sentosa is part of a gamble by the Singapore government to transform itself into a hot tourist destination and reduce the economy’s reliance on manufacturing. The casino opened at Chinese Lunar New Year last month and will be followed within months by a second casino resort built by Las Vegas Sands in Singapore’s business district.

Resorts World Sentosa, which is on Sentosa island, a former British garrison linked by bridge to the main island of Singapore, is owned by Malaysian gaming giant Genting Group.

The park will feature movie-themed attractions within seven zones ranging from Hollywood, Far Far Away to Sci-Fi City and The Lost World.

So far, Universal Studios Singapore has held a series of “sneak peeks” and the soft-opening process will continue with visits by employees and invited guests.

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