Singapore, a transliteration of its Sanskrit name, has been a trading hub for centuries. Before the British negotiated to set up a post there, Singapore had been under Malay rule. Given its strategic location, the Lion City has also been a melting pot of cultures. Modern Singapore preserves these flavours. Chinese, Malay, Indian, Bangladesh and Arab cultures mingle in the streets of this island country.
Key facts about Singapore:
Airport: Construction for Singapore Changi Airport (Iata code: SIN) started in 1975 and the first phase opened to air traffic in 1981. Since then the airport has undergone several expansions. It has three main terminals and one more for budget airlines.
An airport hotel: Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Weekend rates for rooms start at S$311 (Dh923).
A downtown hotel: The Parkroyal on Pickering is located in the financial district. Weekend rates for rooms start at S$280.
Cost of cab from airport to city centre: About S$25, according to World Taximeter.
A conference centre: The Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, located in the central business district of Marina Centre, opened in 1994.
A power restaurant: Iggy's on 581 Orchard Road, Level 3, Singapore. Dishes start at S$85.
Visa: Business visas can cost S$30 but multiple entry visas are also available.
Currency/conversion rate: 1S$ = Dh2.96.
Main businesses in town: Singapore depends heavily on exports, tourism and financial services. Among the top local businesses are the telecoms company SingTel, agribusiness group Wilmar International, Singapore Airlines and the banking services providers DBS Group and United Overseas Bank.
Things to do at night: Take cookery classes from Cookery Magic on Fedelio Street, or enjoy a panoramic night view of the city from the top of Singapore Flyer, the world's largest Ferris wheel.