|Motto: " Batam, Menuju Bandar Dunia yang Modern dan Sebagai Pusat Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Nasional "
(Batam, towards a civil modern city and as the center of national economy development)
|• Mayor & Deputy||Drs. H.Ahmad Dahlan, H.M. Rudi, SE|
|• Total||715 km2 (276 sq mi)|
|Population (April 2012)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WIB (UTC+7)|
|Area code(s)||+62 778|
Batam is an island, municipality (an Indonesian kotamadya), and the largest city in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. Batam is a free trade zone, part of the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, located 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore's south coast. The 715 km² (276 miles²) island, almost identical in size to Singapore, is the core part of the municipality. The municipality (1,010.88 km²) has a population of 1,153,860 (Civil Registry Survey April 2012). As per the 2010 Census it was the fastest growing municipality in the nation, with a growth rate of 11% per year. Though the municipality covers adjacent islands, nearly all the people reside on Batam island.
Batam has a tropical climate with average temperatures between 26-32°C. Humidity in the region ranges from 73% to 96%. The region has a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Average annual rainfall is around 2,600 mm.
The local governmental offices are in Batam Centre. The largest community on the island is Lubuk Baja (formerly known as Nagoya). Other residential areas include Baloi Garden, Sekupang, Nongsapura (Nongsa), Waterfront City (Teluk Senimba), Batu Ampar and Jodoh.
Batam City (Kotamadya Batam) is divided into 12 districts (kecamatan) - which include several adjacent islands such as Bulan, Rempang and Galang as well as Batam Island itself.The districts are tabulated below with their 2010 Census population:
Beginning in the 1970s, the island underwent a significant transformation from a largely forested area into a major harbor and industrial zone. Shipbuilding and electronics manufacturing are important industries on the island. Being close to the ports of Singapore increases the speed for goods shipping and product distribution which benefits the island's economy. With lower labour costs and special government incentives, it is the site of many factories operated by foreign companies.
Under a framework signed in June 2006, Batam, along with parts of neighboring Bintan and Karimun, are a part of a Special Economic Zone with Singapore; this zone eliminates tariffs and value-added taxes for goods shipped between Batam and Singapore.
Batam has recently been exposed as a major facilitator of the controversial ivory trade.
The population of Batam consists of a mixture of races, religions and languages. With a population of more than 1 million, Islam is the majority religion at 70%, followed by Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism and others.
As in other regions of Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is the primary language, with several other languages and dialects such as Malay and Chinese (mainly Hokkien and Teochew) as well as Mandarin and English due to the close proximity of Singapore and Malaysia.
The local ferry terminal ports connect to nearby Singapore and Bintan, and provides routes to Johor Bahru (Malaysia). There are five ferry terminals on the island: Harbourbay, Nongsapura Ferry Terminal, Sekupang, Waterfront City and Batam Centre International Ferry Terminal.
- Remain silent
Signs showing a picture of a raised finger over a pair of lips have been raised in August 2014 at the Batam Centre International Ferry Terminal means you have to silent while queing for immigration to hear your names being called and clearly hear immigration officer instructions or you will be sent back to Singapore, if you are too noisy. Some visitors have been sent back immediately use the first ferry available. The signs are also apply at other ferry terminals, but they are not strictly enforced.
Batam's city bus is named "Trans Batam". Before, the bus was named "Bis Kota Batam" (Batam City Bus). With more than 20 units of buses, this bus operates the Sekupang-Batam Center route and Batu Aji-Sekupang route.
Taxi services are available in Batam. There are more than 3.000 units of taxies in Batam and most of them uses the Toyota Vios. All taxies in Batam uses meter and has the driver's identity. Most of the people in Batam says that the best taxi in Batam are Blue Bird (0778) 421-234 and Silver Cab (0778) 461-000.
Hang Nadim International Airport is the island's main airport, and has the longest runway in Indonesia. The airport is the largest in Sumatra since 1995-2012, and now the second largest in Sumatra after Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan. The airport had 4 jetbridges since 1995-2011 and there were 2 more added on 2012. So there are 6 jetbridges in total.  Domestic destinations include Pekanbaru, Palembang, Medan Jakarta, and many more. International flights currently include Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok.
Monorail will be built in Batam in 2016 by Batam Authority, BP Batam and investors from South Korea. The rail will be more than 30km long.
Batam Botanical Gardens
On August 28, 2014 a grounbreaking of international standard Batam Botanical Garden has been done by Public Utility Works Minister. The Batam Botanical Garden with 86 hectares will be the second largest botanical garden after Bogor Botanical Gardens and will also has a dam.
- Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
- "Indonesia President inaugurates Batam free trade zone". Xinhua General News Service. Jan 19, 2009.
- Teo, Laurel (May 19, 2007). "Indon SEZ rules ready by end-May; Setting of a deadline likely to please potential investors". The Business Times Singapore.
- Singaporeans constitute 57 pct of tourists in Batam
- "Shhh! Be silent at Batam immigration queue or be sent back home - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/shhh-be-silent-batam-immigration-queue-or-be-sent-back-h#sthash.JMG0svb2.dpuf". August 17, 2014.
- Chris Kitching (August 19, 2014). "'Keep quiet or you'll be kicked out of the country!': Ferry terminal's noisy visitors could be DEPORTED if they even whisper while standing in immigration queues".
- Airports in Indonesia
- "Kebun Raya Batam Bertaraf Internasional". August 29, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batam.|
- Official Website
- Batam travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Batam Free and Easy Package Tour
- An independent and complete travel guide to Batam from JoTravelGuide.com