6 Business Travel Tips: Singapore

22 March 2022  |  Destination Tips

As Singapore has recently retired its Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme, and business trips ramp up, we decided to congregate all the best business travel tips for Singapore.

Singapore has reinvented itself as one of the world’s best destinations. With sharp and constant contrasts all over this area, you will struggle to find a more diverse and vibrant experience anywhere else. The phrase ‘City in a Garden’ has been used to describe this magical location in which ancient forests and contemporary architecture blend into one.

Singapore‘s tropical climate means it’s like summer all year round, so pack those Hawaiian shirts.

Let’s kick off with accommodation tips.

Tip 1: Accommodation

The first hotel which automatically pops into my head when quoting Singapore trips is the Marina Bay Sands, an iconic hotel but with a price to match! The average cost per night is around £350pp and is usually out of reach for most business travel policies.

travel tips Singapore Marina Bay Sands

We generally recommend the Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore by Shangri-La instead as the price is a lot more reasonable without compromising on service. An average night here is around the £160 mark which is pretty good for Singapore. The hotel offers views of the city and is situated right in the middle of Orchard Road. With so many places to eat locally and is connected with a wide range of public transport, the property offers a convenient option for your business stay.

Tip 2: The flight

There are so many options to fly across to Singapore which helps keep the price down. Direct flight options are operated by British Airways, Singapore Airlines or Qantas whilst the in-direct flights can be taken by Emirates, Qatar, Etihad etc.

travel tips Singapore - Qatar airline

For this article, I have decided to focus on Qatar Airways and their brand new product the ‘Q Suite’. The Qsuite takes working-from-home to her heights, and is perfect for working on projects/meeting prep during the flight as the walls fold back allowing a full working platform.

travel tips Singapore - Qatar Airways and their Q Suite

The rest of the service is a very standard (as you would expect) Previously Qatar didn’t offer wi-fi on their flagship upgrade which seemed a rather strange decision considering they were targeting corporate clients with the QSuite. The good news is that this has all changed and is now offered on all QSuite routes.

Tip 3 – Business card etiquette

If you are travelling to an expo or business event then make sure you have extra business cards ready to hand out. The majority of business in Singapore is based on a Western model but please be aware that etiquette are still heavily influenced by Asian culture.

travel tips Singapore - the importance of business cards

It is really important to take an active interest in each business card to make sure you give / receive them with two hands (as you would with money or a piece of paper). When you have received a business card it is best to lay it in front of you on the table and never write on it.

Tip 4: After work drinks

It has to be a Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Hotel! The Singapore Sling, widely regarded as the national drink, was first created in 1915 by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Primarily a gin-based cocktail, the Singapore Sling also contains pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao and Bénédictine. Giving it the pretty pink hue are grenadine and cherry liqueur.

travel tips Singapore - Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel

Make your own

  • 30 ml Sipsmith gin 
  • 15 ml Heering cherry brandy 
  • 7.5 ml Cointreau 
  • 7.5 ml Dom Benedictine 
  • Dash Angostura bitters 
  • 10 ml Grenadine 
  • 15 ml lime juice 
  • 120 ml pineapple juice 
  • Ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker, shake, strain into Collins or Hurricane glass

The historic hotel has recently just re-opened after an extensive renovation which has helped modernise the property.

Other places to indulge in a cocktail or two include Portman’s Bar, and LeVeL33. And if you’re a foodie like us, try the Wild Honey Mandarin Gallery. And for a one of a kind immersive experience try NOX – Dine In The Dark or ANDSOFORTH.

If you’re looking for some local food, then you must try some of the famous hawker centers.

Tip 5: Entry requirements

In August 2021 Singapore introduced the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme. This meant you had to have spent the past 7 days in a VTL country, apply for a vaccinated travel pass, and fly via a VTL compliant airline.

This was scrapped on the 1st of April 2022.

Fully vaccinated travellers now must take a pre-departure test up to two days before departure, which can be a PCR test or a supervised lateral flow test and will not have to isolate upon arrival. 

Non fully vaccinated travellers will have to self-isolate for seven days, and will also have to take an exit PCR test.

If you’re flying from Heathrow, don’t forget face coverings are no longer mandatory within the airport. But remember that masks are still required in Singapore indoors and outdoors.

Please always visit the government website here, for up to date travel information. 

COVID rules for Singapore:

travel tips Singapore - COVID rules

Visa: In general British citizens do not need a visa to enter Singapore. To check if you need an entry visa visit this page here. At the time of writing this article, the following countries DO require a visa. 

Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen. 

Tip 6. Staying safe

Singapore is often rated as one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world, as their laws are pretty strict. Knowing the local laws of a country can save you from getting fined or arrested.

  • Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore
  • Fines can reach up to $1,000 for littering 
  • Do not eat or drink while on public transportation
  • Smoke only in designated areas 
  • Check out more do’s and don’t here.

If you’re about to embark on your first business trip of the year and you’re feeling overwhelmed, then this read might help relax your mind and get you excited for your trip: The Return Of Business Travel

If there’s anything we’ve missed, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for reading,

Chris | Founder | echo.bravo