by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 01, 2016
 The long-awaited National Gallery debuted last November in the former City Hall and Supreme Court buildings. The stunning venue, said to house the largest collection of Southeast Asian art in the world, has several dining outlets and spaces where private events can be held.

 The Singapore Tourism Board has launched an ambitious US$7.5 million fund to encourage local companies to develop new tourism experiences that showcase the historic and authentic aspects of the destination.

Be sure to try chili crab, a local dish served in a tasty and spicy hot sauce.
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The Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore continues to enhance its offerings for meetings, exhibitions and incentives. In the past year, several new initiatives to lure groups have been launched; on the venue side, two striking hotels have debuted, and a third is set to be unveiled by year's end.

The Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau has joined with three other organizations -- Destination DC (representing Washington, D.C.), the Dubai Association Center and VisitBrussels -- to form the Global Association Hubs Partnership. The goals of the group include growing the presence of associations in the four partner destinations and establishing the four as natural bases for international association offices and events.

Also on the meetings front, the Singapore Tourism Board has unveiled a new microsite,, which allows planners to customize their research based on the type of event they are organizing. The site also offers a guide to a wide variety of venues, along with general visitor information and an upcoming events calendar.

The 654-room South Beach debuted last fall. The Philippe Starck-designed hotel, a mix of new-build and conserved landmark military structures, has 19 meeting rooms; a grand ballroom with a curved ceiling draped with more than 11,500 lights; and the ADHD restaurant, open from breakfast through late night.

The 211-room Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa opened late last year. The property, which overlooks the South China Sea, has four food-and-beverage outlets, a spa with 20 treatment rooms and a conference center with two ballrooms, 15 meeting rooms and several outdoor event spaces.

The 157-room The Patina, Capitol, is scheduled to open this year in the historic Capitol Theater and attached Stamford House, following a redesign by famed Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier. The luxury property will have a fitness center, a signature restaurant and a club lounge. For meetings and events, the hotel's offerings will include a 2,637-square-foot ballroom with 1,300 square feet of prefunction space.

The 2,561-room Marina Bay Sands revamped its meeting space to host groups of up to 3,500 in the new Roselle-Simpor Ballroom.