Moving to Singapore
Expats moving to Singapore will find themselves in a city that offers one of the finest lifestyles in the world. Situated at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, this city-state is a buzzing metropolis with a fascinating mix of nationalities and cultures. There are a large number of expats who live alongside a local population of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent, making this one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Singapore is renowned for its efficiency and has exemplary public transport, communications infrastructure and healthcare facilities, and a local culture which promotes tolerance, harmony and obedience.
Prudent measures by the government have ensured a stable economy and some of the biggest names in business have established regional headquarters in the country, so qualified expats will find plenty of professional opportunities.
Cost of Living: Singapore is home to a large percentage of high-earning expats, many of whom have much more disposable income than they did in their home country. That said, there is a high cost of living, and expats will need to make sure that they negotiate a salary which can cover the hefty housing prices.
This island-state is also an ideal place to raise a family. Expats moving to Singapore with children can take comfort in the knowledge that Singapore is crime-free, clean and safe. Various local and international schools provide a high standard of education.
Even though much of the island is occupied by dense high rises, there is a surprising amount of natural flora and fauna, with beautiful botanical gardens, water parks, beaches and a zoo to enjoy. With good flight connections, it’s also a great base from which to explore the rest of Southeast Asia.
Balmy weather, exciting nightlife and plenty of shopping opportunities combine to create an enviable lifestyle in this small island-state – and indeed, many expats find themselves staying in Singapore far longer than initially anticipated.
Population: Over 5.7 million
Capital city: Singapore
Neighbouring countries: Singapore is an island city-state off the southern coast of Malaysia.
Geography: Singapore's terrain is mostly low-lying with a gently undulating central plateau. The city-state consists of 63 islands, including the main island of Singapore Island (Pulau Ujong in Malay).
Political system: Unitary dominant-party parliamentary republic
Major religions: Buddhism, Christianity
Main languages: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Many locals speak Singlish, which is slang based on English with some Malay and Mandarin words mixed in. It can take some time to understand.
Money: The Singapore Dollar (SGD) is divided into 100 cents. ATMs are plentiful and foreigners can easily open a bank account in Singapore, sometimes without even being in the country.
Tipping: Most hotels and restaurants include a standard 10 percent service charge. An additional gratuity is always appreciated but not necessary.
Time: GMT +8
Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. Plugs are British-style, with three flat blades.
Internet domain: .sg
International dialling code: +65
Emergency contacts: 999 (police), 995 (ambulance, fire)
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the left. Public transport infrastructure in Singapore is excellent and owning a car is not necessary.