Things That Are Banned in Singapore – Business Trip

Things That Are Banned in Singapore - Business Trip _ MediaOne Marketing Singapore

As a global business hub, Singapore welcomes millions of visitors each year for business purposes. Whether you’re a first-timer or a frequent traveler, it’s essential to be aware of the country’s strict laws and regulations to avoid any legal issues that may arise during your trip.

One of the most important things to consider is the list of banned items and activities in Singapore. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the things that are banned in Singapore to help you prepare for your next business trip.

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Chewing Gum

One of the most well-known bans in Singapore is the prohibition of chewing gum. While it may seem like a minor offence, the government takes this law very seriously.

The ban was introduced in 1992 in response to the littering caused by discarded gum. Since then, only therapeutic, dental, or nicotine gum is allowed, but even then, it must be purchased from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription.

Bringing in large amounts of gum can result in hefty fines or imprisonment, so it’s best to avoid it altogether during your business trip.


Smoking in public places is also illegal in Singapore, and there are strict regulations surrounding smoking in designated areas. Smoking is banned in most indoor spaces, including offices, restaurants, and shopping malls, and can only be done in designated smoking areas outside.

Fines can be imposed for smoking in prohibited areas, and it’s important to note that littering cigarette butts can result in significant penalties.


Speaking of littering, this is another act that’s strictly prohibited in Singapore. The government takes a strong stance on maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the city-state, and littering can result in a fine of up to $1,000 for first-time offenders.

Repeat offenders can face even steeper penalties, including community service or imprisonment. It’s important to dispose of your waste properly and be mindful of any littering laws in the areas you’re visiting.


Jaywalking is the act of crossing a road without using designated crossings or pedestrian crossings. In Singapore, this is also a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to $1,000.

The government takes pedestrian safety very seriously and encourages everyone to use designated crossings to ensure their safety. It’s essential to be mindful of traffic laws and regulations when walking around the city-state.


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Gambling is strictly prohibited in Singapore, with only two exceptions. The first is the government-operated lottery, which includes Toto and 4D, and the second is the casinos on Sentosa Island and Marina Bay Sands.

However, the government has strict regulations in place for these casinos, including a minimum age limit of 21 and a levy imposed on Singaporeans and permanent residents who want to enter.

It’s essential to be aware of the gambling laws in Singapore and avoid any illegal activities related to gambling.


Singapore has some of the strictest drug laws in the world, with severe penalties for drug-related offences. Possession, consumption, and trafficking of illegal drugs can result in lengthy prison sentences, fines, or even the death penalty.

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The government takes a strong stance on drug abuse and works hard to keep the country drug-free. It’s important to avoid any illegal drug-related activities during your business trip to Singapore.


Pornography is also strictly prohibited in Singapore, and possession or distribution of obscene materials can result in imprisonment or fines.

The government takes a strong stance on maintaining the moral standards of the city-state and works hard to prevent the spread of pornography and other offensive materials. It’s important to be aware of the strict laws surrounding pornography and avoid any illegal activities related to it during your business trip.

Alcohol Consumption

While alcohol consumption is legal in Singapore, there are strict regulations surrounding it. Public consumption of alcohol is only allowed in designated areas, such as bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Drinking in public places, such as parks or on the street, is prohibited and can result in a fine. It’s important to be aware of the regulations surrounding alcohol consumption in Singapore and drink responsibly during your business trip.

Prohibited Items

Singapore also has strict regulations on the import and export of certain items. Firearms, weapons, explosives, and ammunition are prohibited, as are certain types of chemicals, drugs, and other controlled substances.

The import and export of endangered animals and their products, such as ivory and rhino horn, are also strictly prohibited.

It’s important to be aware of these regulations and avoid any illegal activities related to the import or export of prohibited items during your business trip.

Things That Are Banned in Singapore - Business Trip | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

What to Do During a Business Trip in Singapore

When planning a business trip, it’s important to strike a balance between work and leisure activities. Singapore, a cosmopolitan city-state in Southeast Asia, is a popular destination for business travellers, offering a wealth of cultural experiences, culinary delights, and entertainment options.

Whether you have a few hours or a few days to spare, Singapore has plenty to offer. From shopping and sightseeing to relaxing spas and fine dining, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. In this article, we’ll share some of the best things to do during your business trip to Singapore.

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Explore Marina Bay

One of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks is Marina Bay Sands, a sprawling complex that includes a luxury hotel, casino, shopping mall, convention centre, and a range of dining options. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade and admire the stunning views of the city skyline. You can also visit the observation deck on the 57th floor of the hotel to enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Gardens by the Bay is another must-see attraction located in Marina Bay. This nature park features over 500,000 plants from around the world, including towering supertrees that light up at night. The Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatories are also worth a visit, offering a cool escape from Singapore’s tropical heat.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

Singapore is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, which reflects the city’s multicultural heritage. Some of the must-try dishes include Hainanese chicken rice, laksa (spicy noodle soup), and chilli crab. For a unique dining experience, head to a hawker centre, which is a collection of street food stalls selling a range of dishes at affordable prices.

Maxwell Food Centre and Lau Pa Sat are two popular hawker centres in the city centre. If you’re looking for something more upscale, there are plenty of fine dining restaurants offering international and local cuisine.

Relax at a Spa

After a long day of meetings and sightseeing, it’s important to take some time to relax and recharge. Singapore has plenty of spas offering a range of treatments, from traditional massages to high-tech facials.

One of the most popular spas in the city is the Auriga Spa at Capella Singapore, which offers a range of holistic treatments inspired by the phases of the moon. Other top spas include the St. Gregory Spa at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay and the ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa.

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Visit a Museum

Singapore has a rich history and culture, which can be explored through its museums and galleries. The National Museum of Singapore is a great place to start, offering exhibitions on the country’s history and heritage. The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is another popular attraction, showcasing a range of interactive and immersive exhibitions.

For something off the beaten track, visit the Red Dot Design Museum, which showcases the best of international design. The Peranakan Museum is also worth a visit, offering insights into the unique culture of the Peranakan community in Singapore.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Singapore is a shopping paradise, offering everything from luxury boutiques to street markets. Orchard Road is the city’s main shopping district, featuring high-end malls such as ION Orchard, Paragon, and Ngee Ann City.

For a more authentic shopping experience, head to Haji Lane in the Arab Quarter, which is lined with independent boutiques and trendy cafes. Chinatown is another great spot for shopping, offering a range of souvenirs and traditional Chinese products.

In conclusion, while Singapore is a global business hub with a thriving economy and a welcoming environment for business travellers, it’s essential to be aware of the country’s strict laws and regulations.

The city-state has strict regulations surrounding many activities and items that may be legal in other countries, and violating these laws can result in significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

28 Frequent Q&A About Business Trip in Singapore

28 Frequent Q&A About Business Trip in Singapore | MediaOne Marketing Singapore

Are you planning a business trip to Singapore? This bustling city-state is one of the most vibrant economies in Southeast Asia, and it is a popular destination for business travellers from all over the world. However, travelling to a new country for work can be a daunting experience, especially if you are unfamiliar with the local customs and practices.

To help you prepare for your business trip to Singapore, we have compiled a list of 28 frequently asked questions about business trips in Singapore. From visa requirements and accommodation options to transport and dining tips, this guide covers everything you need to know to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Do I need a visa to visit Singapore for business purposes?
Yes, most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Singapore for business purposes. You can check if you need a visa and apply for one online through the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority’s website.

How long can I stay in Singapore on a business visa?
The maximum stay allowed on a business visa is 30 days.

Do I need to have a return ticket when entering Singapore on a business visa?
Yes, you will need to have a return ticket or a ticket to another destination when entering Singapore on a business visa.

Is it safe to travel to Singapore for business?
Yes, Singapore is a very safe country to visit for business. It has a low crime rate and is known for its strict laws and regulations.

What is the best time of year to visit Singapore for business?
Singapore has a year-round tropical climate, so it is always warm and humid. However, the best time to visit for business is during the dry season, which runs from March to August.

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What is the currency used in Singapore?
The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD).

Can I use my credit card in Singapore?
Yes, most major credit cards are accepted in Singapore.

Is it customary to tip in Singapore?
Tipping is not customary in Singapore, but it is appreciated for exceptional service.

What language is spoken in Singapore?
The official languages of Singapore are English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. English is widely spoken and understood, especially in business settings.

What is the business culture like in Singapore?
Singapore has a strong and diverse business culture that is characterised by efficiency, punctuality, and a focus on results. Business attire is usually formal, and punctuality is highly valued.

What is the standard working week in Singapore?
The standard working week in Singapore is Monday to Friday, with Saturday and Sunday off. However, some businesses may require employees to work on Saturdays.

What is the time zone in Singapore?
Singapore Standard Time (SST) is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8).

What type of plugs and sockets are used in Singapore?
Singapore uses the Type G plug and socket, which is the same as the UK.

What is the voltage in Singapore?
The voltage in Singapore is 230V/50Hz.

What is the best way to get around Singapore?

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Singapore has an excellent public transport system, which includes buses, trains, and taxis. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is the most efficient way to get around the city.

Do I need to get any vaccinations before travelling to Singapore?
No specific vaccinations are required for travel to Singapore, but it is recommended that you are up to date with routine vaccinations, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).

What is the dress code for business meetings in Singapore?
Business attire in Singapore is usually formal, with men wearing suits and ties and women wearing business suits or dresses. However, the dress code may be more relaxed in certain industries, such as tech or creative fields.

Are there any cultural customs I should be aware of when doing business in Singapore?
Yes, Singapore has a unique cultural blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western influences, and it is important to be aware of cultural customs and practices. For example, it is polite to greet someone with a handshake, and it is considered rude to point with your feet.

What are some popular business hotels in Singapore?
Some popular business hotels in Singapore include the Marina Bay Sands, the Shangri-La Hotel, and the Mandarin Oriental.

Are there any coworking spaces in Singapore?
Yes, there are several coworking spaces in Singapore, such as The Working Capitol, The Great Room, and JustCo.

What are some popular business districts in Singapore?
Some popular business districts in Singapore include the Central Business District (CBD), Marina Bay, and the Changi Business Park.

What is the cost of living like in Singapore?
Singapore is known for its high cost of living, especially when it comes to accommodation and dining. However, there are also plenty of affordable options available, such as hawker centres and budget hotels.

What are some popular local dishes to try in Singapore?
Some popular local dishes to try in Singapore include Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and chilli crab.

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Are there any cultural attractions or events that I should visit while in Singapore?
Yes, Singapore has a rich cultural heritage and there are plenty of attractions and events to explore, such as the Chinatown Heritage Centre, the National Gallery, and the Singapore Night Festival.

What is the best way to exchange currency in Singapore?
It is best to exchange currency at banks or authorised money changers in Singapore. Avoid exchanging money on the street or in unauthorised locations.

Can I use my mobile phone in Singapore?
Yes, most foreign mobile phones will work in Singapore. However, you may need to check with your service provider to see if international roaming is available.

Are there any important business etiquette rules I should be aware of in Singapore?
Yes, it is important to be punctual, respectful, and to avoid discussing controversial topics such as politics or religion in business settings.

What are some popular souvenirs to buy in Singapore?
Some popular souvenirs to buy in Singapore include orchids, Singapore sling cocktail mix, and traditional Chinese tea.

By being aware of the things that are banned in Singapore and following the regulations, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free business trip.

Remember to avoid chewing gum, smoking in public places, littering, jaywalking, gambling, drugs, pornography, and any illegal activities related to the import or export of prohibited items.

It’s also important to be mindful of the regulations surrounding alcohol consumption and drink responsibly. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your business trip to Singapore while also staying within the law and avoiding any legal issues.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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