Singapore, Singapore Dollar (SGD)
With an iconic skyline, competitive economy and varied industrial climate, Singapore is a booming business destination with millions travelling to the city-state for corporate trips each year. The Garden City has a well-deserved reputation as being one of the cleanest places in the world and prides itself on its pristine, green exterior. Not only meticulously manicured but strictly safe, Singapore has a long list of stringent laws to maintain harmony for both locals and visitors.
SilverDoor opened its APAC headquarters in Singapore in 2016 to meet soaring demand in the region, and Singapore has since remained among our top five booked locations globally. If you have plans to relocate to this financial powerhouse or just stop by for a business commitment, here’s our corporate guide of all the basics you need to know.
Singapore Key Information
Singapore is hot all year round: average temperature tops 27°C every month, November to January only sees that drop by around 1°C. The tropical climate also means you can except high humidity all year, this humidity can lead to high rainfall and frequent thunderstorms – especially November to January.
Add warm weather clothes, an umbrella and a light jacket for air conditioned offices to your Singapore packing list!
Singapore Dollar is the local currency; Singapore also has an agreement with Brunei to accept the Brunei Dollar. Card is widely accepted, but cash is necessary for food markets and stalls at a Hawker Centre for example. Taxis usually offer contactless payment if you hail a cab instead of booking and paying online.
Tipping is generally not expected - if you feel strongly that you have received particularly good service, just ask the server to keep the change.
Health & Well-being
Don’t be surprised to be dodging joggers aplenty by the Marina, but other scenic running routes include Singapore Botanic Gardens, Southern Ridges/Marang Trial starting at Mount Faber Park, and Rail Corridor.
If the humidity gets too much, try an indoor workout: Aquaspin offers an underwater biking class, Bbounce is a reduced-impact trampoline workout, and Puppy Yoga allows you to get zen and get your dog fix.
Before buying a local SIM, make sure your phone is SIM unlocked. In Singapore, choose from the three main operators: Singtel, M1 and StarHub. Select a prepaid SIM with a variety of data plans and purchase from operator stores or convenience stores like 7-11. Stores will install your new SIM for you, just make sure you bring your passport with you for identification.
Free Wi-Fi can be found in Changi Airport, shopping malls, and Wireless@SGx is a city-wide free Wi-Fi network with hotspots in museums, public transport stations and public libraries.
Plug Type: Primarily Type G. Type C and M are also found.
As a cultural melting pot, Singapore has a variety of cuisines for you to sample: head to a Hawker Centre like Lau Pa Sat for a taster. Common local dishes include nasi pandang, kaya toast with eggs, and chilli crab, all washed down with a refreshing sugarcane juice.
Malay is the official language of Singapore, with Malaysia’s southerly neighbour placing great significance on its Malay heritage. Other languages spoken are English, Chinese and Tamil. English is taught in all schools and the common language amongst Singaporeans of different races – Singlish is a colloquial variety of English spoken by locals. Expect all road signs and most menus to be written in English.
Malay phrases you might like to add to your vocab are:
Common Malay greeting: Salaam
Thank you: Terima kasih
You’re welcome: Sama-sama
How much?: Berapa?
Some basic Singlish phrases you may want to learn are:
Can lah: Yes
Can leh: Yes, of course
Can hah?: Are you sure?
Can can: Yes, go ahead
Can liao: It is done
Singapore has an extensive and efficient transport network of buses and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) with metro and light rail services. For short-term trips, the Singapore Tourist Pass (a preloaded travel card with unlimited journeys for one-three days) might be your best bet for cost-effective city exploration. Otherwise, pay with contactless or an Adult Stored-Value Smartcard.
There are bus routes servicing every inch of the city that operate frequently from 5:30am to 00:30am. All buses are wheelchair accessible. Top tip: if you pay with cash, try to give the exact fare as change is not given.
The metro is amazingly clean, air-conditioned and even features full 4G throughout the network. There are six lines that operate the entire city: East-West, North-South, North-East, Circle, Downtown and Thomson-East Coast. There are also three light rail routes: Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol.
Grab is the go-to taxi app, and CityMapper should be your one-stop shop transport app for tracking train/bus times and planning your commute with live travel tips.
Primary ethnic groups are Chinese, Malay, and Indian. Prominent religions are Buddhism, followed by Christianity, Islam and Taoism.
With a very diverse population, it is reported that a large proportion of Singaporeans are foreign born, with much of the population being foreign workers, international students and foreigners with permanent residency.
Key religious holidays include Lunar New Year, Vesak Day, Deepavali, and Hari Raya Puasa.
SilverDoor offers a large and varied portfolio of serviced apartments in Singapore. From why serviced apartments are the key to successful business, to our expat guide to Singapore, you’ll be counting down the days until your move to Singapore with SilverDoor.