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As South East Asia’s biggest international hub, Singapore is an almost inevitable stop for those doing business in the region. It has long played a key role as a central international business hub, and a meeting point for corporate travelers attracted by opportunities in its biggest industries, including shipping, banking, trading, oil and gas, and increasingly, tourism.

As business travel increasingly flows to Singapore, the following are our executive tips for executives.

Staying Connected

As Signapore is the center of the world of corporate travel, staying connected is easily achieved. Many international mobile phone companies have roaming agreements in place, however if you’re traveling frequently or for a long stay, it’s cheap and easy to buy a local SIM card (you need to show your passport to buy one).

Internet access is easy to find, and most cafes and accommodation throughout Singapore offer public access. There is also a free city-wide Wi-Fi service called Wireless@SG which you can access by registering by telephone or online. Surfing speed is up to 5Mbps.

In an emergency, public telephone booths take phone cards (and sometimes credit card), and can be used for both local and international calls.

Business man with a phone

Show an Interest in Business Cards

Business cards are exchanged in Singapore at every social and business event, so make sure you travel with a well stocked supply.

You should give / receive them with two hands (as you would with money or a piece of paper). While business here is conducted off a Western model, customs and etiquette are still influenced by Asia (especially the Chinese). It is common courtesy to show an interest in each card you receive instead of immediately putting it away.

Use Singapore’s Air BnB For Business Travelers

Singapore has a wide range of accommodation options which cater to business travelers, though a stand out is MetroResidences; a Singapore-based Air BnB-style service connecting business travellers to “best-value at best-price” serviced apartments.

This is a curated platform which has been around for 2 and a half years, and lists corporate serviced apartments for up to 40% less than those provided by hotels and traditional serviced apartment players. Their whole aim is to make corporate stays more affordable while upholding a consistent experience for guests.

This is primarily for business travelers staying in the city for more than 30 days, and focuses only on longer-term rentals. Each apartment is set up in central neighborhoods with quality furniture, amenities, condition of the building and location. Guests book online and use a smartphone app to communicate with MetroResidences guest services during their stay.

Singapore has a wide range of accommodation options which cater to business travelers, though a stand out is MetroResidences

Singapore has a wide range of accommodation options which cater to business travelers, though a stand out is MetroResidences

Be Prepared For Corporate Entertaining

Singapore is known for corporate entertaining, and business is often done over corporate lunches and dinners. Keep in mind that smoking is not always socially acceptable, and is prohibited in a number of places, so you should always research ahead of time.

Invest in a Business Traveller’s App

Whenever you travel you’ll encounter different types of expenses. Travelling, corporate entertaining, and accommodation costs can quickly get confusing in the craziness of travelling.

A business travel expenses app can help organize any and all expenses that arise. Instead of tallying purchases yourself and imputing them manually into a spreadsheet, you can take pictures of receipts as you go and generate expense reports for your company through the app.

An expenses app can help you manage your financial matters instantly and effectively.

Stay Looking Sharp

Singapore’s location close to the equator means you’ll be working in a tropical climate. The weather is hot and humid, so you shouldn’t plan to walk for anything more than 10 minutes to preserve your sharp look. Anything longer than this and you may need a change of suit to avoid looking wilted and damp.

Singapore taxis and ubers are cheap (and air conditioned!), and the MRT is very fast and convenient. You should take the MRT during rush hour other wise you will need to budget extra time for the drive (punctuality is very important for meetings).

There is also plenty of rainfall throughout the year, so be sure to have an umbrella and a sleek looking raincoat on hand. It’s also important to stay properly hydrated so you avoid dehydration.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

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  1. Thats a pretty interesting article about the business culture in Singapore. great to know these facts for my next visit to Singapore.

    • Glad we could help out with some insight before your trip :)

  2. I’m far from a business traveller, but I found it interesting to read about etiquette that should be used. Singapore is such an interesting blend of east and west.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Katie :) Singapore really is a fascinating blend, and I think it’s this perfect balance and combo which attracts both tourists and the corporate world alike :)

  3. I was just in Malaysia and I met lots of people who travel frequently to do business in Singapore. I haven’t visited yet personally, though at least I will know a lot of people based there for work when I do :-)

    • Let them know about MetroResidences and then if you travel while they’re there maybe you can crash in a spare room! :)

  4. A lot of great tips as always! Staying connected is essential and buying a local SIM card is the best way to do so I believe.

    The MetroResidence apartments look awesome.I would definitely love to stay in one like these when I visit Singapore some day.

    • Thanks Bilyana :) Yes, I find that a local SIM is a great idea, even if not a business traveler, for spending more than 2 weeks in a destination. But especially for those conducting business it’s vital to stay connected, so local SIMs are a great way to go.

      Definitely look into MetroResidence for your Singapore long stay :)

  5. Whether I travel for business or pleasure, the first thing I always to is to buy a local simcard so I can connect to the internet without hassle. Those days of huge internet bills are definitely over. Which provider would you suggest for Singapore?

    • Just makes things so much easier doesn’t it! Re providers, I use Singtel :)

  6. These are very good tips for businessman traveling to Singapore. I had no idea about the exchanging card etiquette and it is good to know about these lovely long term rental apartment options.

    • Thanks Chrysoula – glad you liked the post :)

  7. I visited Singapore but not for business. I can see how Singapore is well positioned to cater to business travelers. It is a very cosmopolitan and western style city.

    • Absolutely – it’s got that business vibe!

  8. Very practical tips. Some of them useful for tourists too.
    The way business cards are received and given is important.

    • Thanks Indrani, definitely, especially staying connected, looking sharp and using skyscanner for cheap flights are all tips which can be used for general tourism too :)

  9. This is certainly a very useful. Thanks especially for the tip around the Business Cards…had no idea they were exchanged so frequently there!

    • Yes, business cards come out at every social event too :)

  10. I always associate Singapore with luxury and business travels, haven’t been there, but have heard a lot about this small country. There are many rules in Singapore, I didn’t know for buying a local SIM card they need to see our passports. Interesting! I usually buy local sim cards whenever I go.

    • I associated Singapore with business and luxury before I traveled too – it’s definitely widely known as a corporate hub, though great thing being that general tourism gets to benefit from the luxury and widespread efficiency too!

  11. A lot of people tells me that Singapore is good country to have a business with because of it’s economy. Anyways, good read!

    • Absolutely Carl, Singapore is one of the busiest business hubs in the world – and with a very stable economy too :) Happy travels!

  12. Detailed and comprehensive guidelines…by the time one crosses off the last tip, one would be without doubt in their way to have fun with assurance that every little thing is catered for.

    • Glad the tips here were helpful for you :)

  13. This is a very informative especially for me a business traveler. Great share. Keep it up!

    • Thanks Tristan – glad the tips were helpful for you :)

      Happy travels!

  14. That’s an amazing article about singapore. I find it quite interesting. These tips and benefits are really awesome and I find it very useful. I am gonna follow your tips for my upcoming business trips. I do really like your other articles also, keep up the good work.

    • Glad we could help prepare you for your upcoming trip Gloria :) Happy travels!

  15. I usually travel four to five days a week using planes, trains, and automobiles to get around. I also stay in business hotels most nights.Like, really plan ahead. Sure, we’d all love to live super spontaneously—especially while traveling—but some recon ahead of time means you can avoid endless restaurant research and indecisiveness while you’re enjoying your vacation. Ask friends and check sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon and Happy Cow. Last time I’ve been travelling abroad with the group of colleges in US. We consulted a reliable DMC to guide us through. Better be safe and sound when in another country half around the world

    • Especially for business travel, I completely agree that it’s essential to plan ahead. Glad you enjoyed the post Elise :)

  16. I’m Moses zacchaeus, what is the most important or popular business in singapore

    • Singapore is a pretty big international hub, so there is a lot of big business here, people come for meetings from the financial sectors, private corporate sectors, manufacturing is a big industry too. It’s really a melting pot of business from all around the world :)

  17. You can fly through Changi airport and enjoyed the amazing Jewel

    • Absolutely – one of the best airports in the world!

  18. Very informative article! Thank you for sharing

    • You’re welcome Anna, glad the post was helpful :) Happy travels!

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