Ask a concierge: Singapore

At the Grand Hyatt Singapore, concierge Faisal Rahim guides visitors on the best things to see, do and eat in this Asia-Pacific business hub. He offers packing, dining and sightseeing advice, as well as business etiquette tips for corporate travelers.

At the Grand Hyatt Singapore, concierge Faisal Rahim has spent 11 years guiding visitors on where to go, what to do and where to dine in this vibrant Asia-Pacific business hub. Here he offers advice for business travelers.

What’s the most important thing for business travelers to pack?

Because Singapore is near the equator, we enjoy warm, humid weather year round. Plan for blue skies interrupted by rain can range from a light drizzle to a full thunderstorm, especially in December. Carry an umbrella for protection from the sun and showers. Pack clothes made from lightweight and breathable fabrics, a good pair of walking shoes and sunscreen. And bring a whole lot of enthusiasm for enjoying our multicultural society.

What are your top recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?

The ‘hawker culture’ of Singapore’s street food scene is so essential to our way of life that it has been nominated for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Hawker centers serve as community dining rooms and vibrant communal spaces. Try Newton Food Centre, Lau Pa Sat or the Old Airport Road Market.

For a more formal meal, enjoy expertly prepared modern French cuisine at Odette, which has won numerous awards and earned two Michelin stars. Right here in the Grand Hyatt Singapore, StraitsKitchen offers a cultural tour of Singapore through food, and in Mezza9’s show kitchens, our chefs display their culinary skills using sustainable ingredients.

What’s something that surprises visitors about your hotel?

Many guests are happily surprised by our hotel’s pioneering sustainability initiatives for managing waste, generating energy and growing organic produce in our rooftop garden. You’ll taste some of our homegrown herbs in the dishes served in our restaurants.

If business travelers only have a short time for leisure, what must they see in Singapore?

The Singapore Art Museum has a unique collection of works by acclaimed artists from across Asia. Emerald Hill is a conservation area that once was home to Singapore’s Peranakan community. Many houses are built in the ‘Chinese Baroque’ style that blends Chinese and European architecture. Or you can spend the afternoon shopping at Ion Orchard, one of Singapore’s most trend-focused malls.

What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?

The Singapore Botanic Gardens, mere minutes from the city center, is the perfect place for a run or a stroll. The UNESCO heritage site contains over 60,000 plants.

Concierge Faisal Rahim’s top tips for getting business right in Singapore:

  1. At a business meeting, be punctual, shake hands with everyone and exchange business cards. Give a slight bow to seniors in the meeting.
  2. Singaporeans tend to get right down to business in meetings. You’ll be expected to make your point quickly in discussions.
  3. Most business meals happen at dinner. The host will order dishes for everyone to share. Allow the host to take the first bite.

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