The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$). Money changing services can be found not only at the Singapore Changi Airport but also most shopping centres and hotels around the island. You can also access the automated teller machines (ATMs) that accept most of the main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Singapore has hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 30º – 36 º C, dropping to around 24ºC in the evenings. Due to the monsoon season, Singapore will experience plenty of rain, almost on a daily basis, from November onwards.
Singapore time is 8 hours ahead of GMT.
The World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) identified Singapore as the most politically stable country in Asia. In research done by Mercer Human Resource Consulting in 2003, Singapore was ranked second in personal safety among the world’ top 50 cities
Cell Phone Usage
Singapore’s international dialing code is +(65). While in Singapore and if you have international roaming service on your cell phone, you don’t have to press +(65) as it will automatically connect you to the local numbers here.
Besides air-conditioned areas such as shopping centres, restaurants, entertainment outlets and cinemas, smoking is also an offence on the SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system), public buses, taxis and in lifts. The smoking ban is also applicable to public eateries and within a five-metre radius from most building entrances, except for allocated smoking areas that are clearly marked with bright yellow paint. A maximum fine of S$1,000 may be imposed on first-time offenders.
GST Refund Scheme
Enjoy tax-free shopping in Singapore at locations with the “Tax Refund” logo. As a visitor, the 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on your purchases can be claimed when you leave Singapore. Spend S$100.00 or more at participating retailers to qualify for refunds.
Refunds may be claimed either directly from retailers or at Changi and Seletar Airport. This Scheme is not applicable if you leave by land or by sea. Ask for GST Refund Forms from the retailers, as they are not available at the airport. GST Refund Forms must be completed with the dealer’s signature and stamps, and then validated by Customs at Singapore Changi Airport before your departure.
The refund amount is valid after an administration fee is deducted from the GST. Always check with retailers to find out if you can claim the tax before confirming your purchase. There are two GST refund schemes, and you are advised to check on the minimum purchase amount to qualify for the GST refund as it varies between retailers.
All visitors are encouraged to purchase personal travel insurance to ensure personal coverage in medical, hospitalisation and other unforeseen circumstances during their trip to Singapore. The Conference organisers do not take responsibility for any delegate/visitor failing to insure.
Public transport is highly accessible and inexpensive in Singapore. The following modes of travel are available:
A fleet of more than 3,500 fully air-conditioned buses operate daily from 0530 hours till 2300 hours. Fares for buses are as low as S$1 – 2, depending on the number of fare stages travelled.
- Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
The air-conditioned passenger train service has stations all over the city. Trains operate from 0600 hours to 2330 hours at frequencies of 3-8 minutes (peak hours) and 10-15 minutes (off-peak hours). Travel fares by MRT range from S$0.77 onwards. Tickets are available from General Ticketing Machines (GTM) located at all MRT stations.
Singapore has more than 24,000 air-conditioned taxis operated by 8 different companies. Taxis can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads. Well-marked taxi stands are available outside most shopping centres and hotels. Current rates / applicable surcharges are obtainable at tourist information counters and at the hotel concierge.
Singapore’ electrical voltage is 220-240 AC, 50 Hertz. Most hotels can provide a transformer to convert electrical appliances from 110-120AC, 60 Hertz to the local voltage.
Singapore is known for its safe and clean drinking water. Tap water need not be boiled and is safe for drinking.