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Multibillion-dollar Macau: a city of glitz and grit – photo essay

Macau is set to become the world’s richest place by 2020 – but with billion-dollar skyscrapers standing beside rundown apartment blocks, it’s clear not everyone is benefiting On his way to work every day, Daniel Yan, 29, a civil engineer, leaves his modest two-bedroom apartment in Macau’s Coloane neighbourhood and passes his new neighbour: the 13 skyscraper, touted as the world’s most luxurious hotel. The 13 opened at the end of August at a total cost of $1.6bn (£1.2bn) and features 200 multi-level villas ranging in size from 2,000 to 30,000 sq ft. At 23 storeys of royal red and crystal, it stands out amid the residential tower blocks, with a diamond-like ornament spanning 20 metres topping it off to make extra-sure no one misses it. ‘To build a hotel like this in a residential area seems strange,’ says Daniel Yan, top. Bottom left: an apartment building and the 13 skyscraper; right: part of the hotel’s fleet of bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms Locals live in mostly very small spaces. It’s two different worlds The contrast between Macau’s luxiry buildings and dilapidated urban housing is stark Rundown neighbourhoods contrast with the glitzy Grand Lisboa hotel on Macau’s skyline I can only afford to buy bread occasionally Clockwise from top left: the apartment building in which migrant workers Ratna Khaleesy and Roy Wardha live; Khaleesy in the shared kitchen; Wardha on her bunk; Hoi Kwan in the apartment she shares with her children ‘It’s two different worlds’ … Dense housing in the Iao Hon neighbourhood Related: Lost language: how Macau gambled away its past Continue reading...

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