About Singapore

A stay in Singapore is an East-meets-West, metropolis-meets-garden city experience that is both fulfilling and interesting. The cosmopolitan setting is a natural magnet for talent, investment and leisure, with a strong pro-business regime. The eclectic heritage sets the stage for a captivating work-live-play environment.

There is a large expatriate population living in Singapore. One of the many things they can find is food from home - and everywhere else. It has been said tongue-in-cheek that eating is a national pastime, and given the number of eateries from the ubiquitous food courts and coffee shops to cafes and fine dining establishments, there is no lack of dining choices. If you like to be out and about, a plethora of activities will keep you engaged.

LANGUAGE

Singapore has four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Most Singaporeans are bilingual in English and a second language, typically Mandarin, Malay or Tamil.

English is the language of business and instruction, and is understood by the majority of the population.

RELIGION

The main religions in Singapore are Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism and Hinduism. With the religious harmony in Singapore, it is not uncommon to see places of worship for different religions within proximity of each other.

CLIMATE

The climate is warm and humid throughout the year, with temperatures hovering between 23 °C (73.4 °F) and 33 °C (91.4 °F). The average humidity is 84%.

There are two monsoon seasons – the north-east monsoon from December to March, and the south-west monsoon from June to September. The monsoon seasons may bring a few days of strong winds and heavy rainfall.

TIME ZONE

Singapore Standard Time is eight hours ahead (+8) of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

CURRENCY

The official currency is the Singapore Dollar, comprising currency notes and coins.

The "portrait" series of currency notes is the most common currency notes in use today. Issued in September 1999, it comes in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $50, $100, $1,000 and $10,000. The earlier series of currency notes included $1 and $500, which are still legal tender.

Coins come in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 50 cents and $1. The issue of the 1-cent coin stopped on 1 April 2002, but it remains legal tender.

In mid-2013, the country’s central bank, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), issued a new circulation coin series. More information about the local currency is available at the MAS website.

Goods & Services Tax (GST)

GST is known as the Value Added Tax (VAT) in some countries. It is a broad-based consumption tax that is levied on nearly all supplies of goods and services in Singapore. The current GST rate is pegged at 7%.

More information is available at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore website.

Telecommunication Network

Singapore is a "wired" nation with a telecommunication infrastructure that spans the whole city-state.

These multimedia and infocomm technology services include fibre-optic broadband and WiFi, paid TV, and land and mobile lines.

More information is available at:

Visas & Special Passes

Not all foreigners holding travel documents can enter Singapore without a visa. Find out whether you require a visa, and apply electronically for one if required, at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.

All foreigners who wish to work or study in Singapore must hold a relevant work or study/entry pass. There are different types of work passes and entry passes, including for dependants or family members who want to visit.

You can find out about the requirements at the following two government agencies which issue work and entry passes:


Emergency Numbers

  • Emergency Ambulance
    995
  • Non Emergency Ambulance
    1777
  • Emergency Fire
    995
  • Fire Hazard
    1800 280 0000
  • Police Emergency
    999
  • Police Hotline
    1800 255 0000
  • SCDF General Inquiries (Singapore Civil Defence Force)
    1800 286 555
  • AVA hotline (Agri-food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore)
    1800 226 2250
  • NEA hotline (National Environment Agency)
    1800 225 5632
  • Drugs & Poisons (non-emergency)
    6423 9119
  • Weather
    6542 7788
 

More emergency numbers are available at: www.e101.gov.sg/learn_contacts.html