Singapore calling!


“The Great Singapore sale” and the “Singapore food festival” – do you need any more incentive to travel there this summer?
If you want to shop till you drop this summer, then one of your best bets could be Singapore.

“The Great Singapore sale” is on until July 24 and that means virtually the whole of the city has discounts of between 30 per cent and 70 per cent on its merchandise. And the sale also coincides very neatly with the seasonal end-of-range sales of the major “designer labels”. You don’t even have to worry about running short of time; Singapore has a number of department stores that stay open 24 hours a day!
The Far Eastern City-State has been growing in popularity with travellers – either as a destination in its own right or as an ideal stopover for other trips to the region. Jose Thackil, marketing manager, Gulf, for Singapore Airlines, says that the airline’s revenue from Qatar rose by 21.7 per cent in the period April 2004 to March 2005 compared to the previous year. Stopovers in Singapore,  are available from just $28 upwards, and they include accommodation, airport transfer and free entry to a whole range of attractions. Indian or Chinese passport holders residing in the Gulf can with an onward booking from Singapore can make arrangements through Singapore Airlines for a free 96-hour ‘Visa on Arrival’.
Alan Tan, the Singapore Tourism Board’s area director for the Middle East and Africa, told TTN “Over 22 million passengers passed through Singapore’s Changi Airport last year; it’s very user-friendly for passengers, with plenty of facilities including cinemas and themed sports areas that screen sports programmes 24 hours a day.”
With thousands of tourist attractions - from zoological and botanical gardens to theatres and museums, island resorts, Spas, cruises, and shopping opportunities – Singapore, he said, has something for all ages. “For sheer novelty value, tourists love the “Duck Tours”, using authentic Vietnam War era amphibious vehicles that can take them overland but also through the waters of Singapore harbour, but those who prefer to stick to dry land can take the Hippo tours.”
Shopaholics are attracted by the vast range of stores, he said, and for those seriously addicted to shopping, insomniacs or those only having late evenings available, there is 24-hour-a-day shopping at some of the centres. The whole of the city joins the “Great Singapore Sale”, which runs till July 24.

By Gina Coleman