Image: Universal Studios in Singapore
Wong Maye-E  /  AP
Visitors to the Universal Studios at the newly opened Resorts World Sentosa, stand under dinosaur statues at the "Jurassic Park" exhibit on Thursday.
updated 3/18/2010 12:08:04 PM ET 2010-03-18T16:08:04

Southeast Asia's first Universal Studios theme park opened Thursday in Singapore as the city-state vies to become a top regional tourist destination.

The park is part of Resort World Sentosa — built by Malaysia's Genting Bhd for $4.4 billion — which opened Singapore's first casino last month.

Singapore is counting on Resorts World and a Las Vegas Sands casino-resort due to open April 27 to attract tourists as the country shifts its economy to services from manufacturing.

Universal Studios parks are also in Hollywood, California, Orlando, Florida and Osaka, Japan.

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