6 Things to Know for Your Business Travel to Singapore
Travelling to Singapore for business has never been easier. Strategically located with an economy focused on industries such as banking, technology, shipping, oil & gas, Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s most prominent international hubs.
Unsurprisingly, Singapore has long been a popular meeting point for business travellers all over the world. The Lion City has hosted numerous business meetings as well as major MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions) events.
If you are heading to Singapore on a business trip, you are in luck. The city offers a host of options for business entertainment, remote working, and accommodation that are tailor-made for busy business travellers like you.
To help you along, the teams at Pan Pacific Singapore, PARKROYAL Collection and PARKROYAL have put together a list of things you need to know as a business traveller to Singapore.
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#1 How to Get Around in Singapore
With a world-class transport infrastructure in place, getting from place to place in Singapore is a breeze. From public transport options like buses and trains to taxis and local rideshares, transport options on this island nation are both convenient and cheap.
Here are some of the best ways to get around Singapore:
Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is an easy and affordable way to get around the city for business and leisure. You can purchase single tickets or a Singapore Tourist Pass card with pre-stored value with the number of days you are travelling. To get on and off the trains, simply tap in and tap out at the ticketing gantries.
Taxis can be easily hailed at taxi stands around the Central Business District (CBD) or anywhere on the streets outside the CBD. The taxis operate by metre fare with surcharges during peak travelling times. You can also download the CDG Zip App to book your taxis on-demand or in advance, to enjoy more convenience and savings.
Public Buses are a great form of transportation if you wish to experience the city during your free time. You can use the Singapore Tourist Pass on the buses, and you can use the online bus service guide to navigate your way around on buses.
Ride-hailing services are also readily available at your fingertips. They are incredibly convenient to hire and get around in if you are short on time. Before you visit, download any of these apps—Grab, Tada, Gojek or Ryde— and use these to order a private hire car to your next destination in comfort, safety, and ease.
#2 Where to Dine For Your Business Needs
As a gourmet paradise, Singapore is well-known for offering numerous exciting corporate entertainment options. There are plenty of options available for corporate lunches or dinners with your clients or colleagues here.
Indulge your clients in mouth-watering delicacies such as roast suckling pig, exquisite handcrafted dim sum and nutritious double-boiled soups at Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, a pioneer Sichuan restaurant in Singapore. Known for its authenticity and quality, the hidden gem in Little India blends oriental elements with modern sophistication. It also has private rooms for intimate business dining.
Looking for something more exotic? Head to Rang Mahal, one of Singapore's oldest fine dining restaurants. Located in the business-traveller-friendly Pan Pacific Singapore, it offers authentic flavours from different Indian regions, prepared with fine-dining techniques. Highlights include the chef’s special char-grilled lamb chops with applewood mist and garam masala, raw mango chutney and kachumber salad, and tandoori chicken cubes. The main dining hall has a theatrical atmosphere, adding an elegant touch to your business lunch.
Also at Pan Pacific Singapore, Hai Tien Lo is an award-winning restaurant that offers a wide selection of dishes featuring traditional Cantonese cuisine with a contemporary twist. There are private rooms here if you wish for some privacy to discuss million-dollar contracts with your client.
#3 Where to Work During Your Business Travel to Singapore
To accommodate business visitors as well as local and expatriate hot deskers, Singapore has seen an increase in co-working spaces in recent years. Here are three that you can consider.
WeWork has 14 locations throughout central Singapore, so you will likely find one that fits your needs. They offer private offices, dedicated desks, meeting rooms, or hotdesks for you to choose from. Each location also has onsite staff, printing stations, private phone booths and speedy WiFi connections.
If you prefer somewhere more casual, The Co. may just fit the bill. A social space in a conservation shophouse in Duxton Hill—a laid-back neighbourhood on the fringe of the CBD—this inviting event and workspace offers a back-to-nature feel that makes you feel welcome.
The Great Room is just what you need if you feel like a cup of coffee or tea while you work. With five locations to choose from, you can easily get your work done, have a business meeting or two, and even do some business socialising here.
#4 Where to Host Your Business Events in Singapore
As a convention city and leading BT-MICE destination, Singapore has hosted major international business conventions each year. From intimate meetings and CEO breakfasts to large-scale seminars and exhibitions—there are endless possibilities when it comes to holding a business event in Singapore.
When thinking about the types of business events to organise in Singapore, do consider the following factors:
Size and location of the venue (accessibility is key here)
Estimated number of participants
Types of event format—a workshop for a group of 20, or a convention for a thousand participants work very differently
The programme flow for the event,
Whether it requires a single room or multiple locations across the same or different venues
Catering arrangements (breakfast, tea, lunch, or dinner)
Types of directional signages, backdrops, and decor needed (including landscaping)
Hotel accommodation arrangements for events involving multiple international participants
Transportation arrangements (especially crucial for VIPs) including drop-off points and ushering
Security and safety, particularly for events involving heads of state or prominent business leaders
With multiple venues around the island, the Pan Pacific Hotels Group has both the experience and resources available to host business events of any size. You can find out more about our event planning and hosting services here, or view the capacities of all our hotels to decide which is suitable for your event here.
PS—Do also consult the Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) rules on safe management measures for large-scale MICE events in Singapore here.
#5 Understanding the Business Culture in Singapore
Are you meeting a Singapore business counterpart for the first time? What are the business cultural norms that you need to consider?
As an Asian country, seniority is given special regard. Often, the highest ranking person in a business will occupy the most prominent position in a meeting room. When you are with a group of colleagues, do ensure that you introduce the most senior persons first.
It is not unusual for Singapore businesspersons to mix business with pleasure. Making small talk on personal areas such as your family, hobbies, or lifestyles is par for the course. Doing so also helps you to melt the ice when you first meet your other counterpart.
Being open and transparent is also highly regarded. Singaporeans prefer to deal with business matters in a direct and straightforward manner, tempered with courtesy and tact.
As a multicultural city with people belonging to different ethnicities and religions, it is useful for visitors to familiarise themselves with the cultural practices of the four main ethnic groups: Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians. Acquaint yourself with what’s taboo in the four major religions here—Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity—especially when it comes to food.
Finally, do be mindful about how you interact with a member of the opposite sex—a handshake (or a fistpump in Covid times) is probably the best way to interact with a lady if you are a guy.
#6 Places of Interest to Visit During Your Free Time
Have some free time during your business trip? There is much to see and do in here Singapore.
One of the most popular places to visit is Gardens by the Bay, which you will most likely see upon your arrival in Singapore. Its famous supertree structures are as impressive in real life as they are on the internet, especially when illuminated at night. This scenic garden paradise is a must-visit for nature and photography enthusiasts.
Are you an animal lover? Then do not miss the Night Safari, the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. Go on a safari ride with a guide or a walking trail and get up close to the animals. You can also join feeding sessions and catch the Creatures of the Night Show.
If you love history and culture, sample the island nation’s diverse cultures, starting with Chinatown. Offering a blend of culture and food, you can visit historic temples, and traditional medicinal halls and sample savoury local food.
Follow that with a trip to spirited Little India, a buzzing area showcasing the best of the Indian community in Singapore. Immerse in the Indian culture, from great food to even better shopping—at Mustafa Centre, a famous 24-hour shopping centre. Do not leave without visiting the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. One of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, it is a distinctive landmark in the heart of Little India.
Your last cultural experience is at Kampong Glam, the Muslim centre of Singapore. It is home to mosques, carpet shops and Middle Eastern cuisines. The golden-domed Sultan Mosque, a striking landmark in Kampong Glam, is a top pick to visit here. The area has recently evolved into a hotspot for arts and entertainment.
Essential Travel Information to Enter Singapore
If you are due to visit Singapore soon, check out the necessary information on travel to Singapore to ensure that your entry to the country is smooth during Covid times.
Need more recommendations on where to go or what to do during your business trip to Singapore? Contact our teams at Pan Pacific Singapore, PARKROYAL Collection and PARKROYAL. We are glad to assist you.