Although Singapore only has a population of 5.6 million, it has earned its rightful place amongst the great Asian cities. It is a self confident and ambitious city that is powering into the future with leading edge technologies, forward looking companies and a workforce willing to work hard and be rewarded accordingly.
There is no doubt that Singapore is a thriving first world city that belies its size. Although it has a reputation for blandness and heavy handed control of its society, scratching below the surface reveals a vibrant multi cultural environment where newcomers will feel welcome and will soon be taking advantage of the many benefits of living in this great city.
Singapore offers a wide range of accommodation ranging from small one bedroom apartments up to colonial style houses that only the very wealthy can afford.
There is a flourishing public housing sector which mainly attracts locals and Asian expats. Although its name may suggest that this sector is for low income residents, in fact many of the publicly administered properties are in sought after locations close to business and shopping areas, and are situated close to transport hubs and other amenities.
The private housing sector is often sought after by affluent Western expats looking for luxury condos with excellent leisure facilities, or private bungalows with good travel connections and easy access to the many commercial and retail facilities that Singapore offers.
Most expats chose to rent their apartment and find that rents outside the city centre are generally more affordable than those closer to the city centre. It can be difficult to find suitable accommodation that offers a good standard of living at affordable prices, which is why a property portal such as Condo TOP offers a valuable service to property seekers in Singapore.
Like many leading Asian countries, Singapore offers an education renowned for its ability to encourage academic excellence and top results within a disciplined approach that is sought after by universities and employers.
There are public and international schools and both provide high levels of educational achievements. International schools charge higher fees and are therefore often geared towards western expats who may only be stationed in Singapore for a limited number of years.
Public sector schools often cater for more permanent residents, but overall a family living in Singapore will enjoy high standards of education that serve their children well in their tertiary education and future careers.
The healthcare system in Singapore is the envy of the world. With its mix of public and private hospitals very high standards of patient care are achieved. As would be expected, the many private clinics offer exceptional service in which a consultation with a specialist is often available on the same day that a patient first walks into the clinic with an issue.
Public hospitals offer good facilities for residents who qualify for subsidised care, but in general it is these hospitals that are preferable for medical emergencies, whereas most expats will seek attention from the private healthcare facilities for their general medical matters.
Although private healthcare is not too expensive in Singapore, most employers offer health insurance to their employees and a professional would expect this as part of their remuneration package.
What are the downsides?
Whilst Singapore offers excellent lifestyle and career opportunities, a significant downside is that it is an expensive place to live. Accommodation and schooling form the major costs for residents, but professionals are generally well paid with salaries that keep up with rising costs.
Singaporeans benefit from low taxation, which boosts disposable incomes, but those seeking western lifestyles and foods will find these are expensive compared to the excellent local products that are in plentiful supply.
Expats migrating to Singapore may find some aspects of the culture challenging at first.
There is a fear of missing out within Singaporean culture called kiasu, which can make residents appear selfish, or even aggressive, in their desire to succeed in this highly competitive city.
This overt ambition may be alien to western expats, however it creates an energy and drive that helps makes Singapore such a success.
It is no surprise that Singapore is such a sought after city for ambitious professionals looking to turbo charge their careers. The city and its suburbs offers many commercial, social and retail facilities that gives its residents many opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life.
There is a good choice of accommodation which can be expensive, but most sought after condos are close to transport links and commercial centres. Schools are excellent and the healthcare services are some of the best in the world. All in all, Singapore is a forward looking city that has an exciting future, and so do its ambitious residents.