|Nickname(s): Kota Industri (Indonesian): "The Industrial City"|
Motto: Terwujudnya Batam Sebagai Bandar Dunia yang Modern dan Pusat Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Nasional
|• Mayor||Drs. H. Ahmad Dahlan, MH, Ph.D|
|• Vice Mayor||Datuk H. Muhammad Rudi, SE, MM|
|• Total||715 km2 (276 sq mi)|
|• Water||880 km2 (340 sq mi)|
|Population (May 2015)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WIB (UTC+7)|
|Area code(s)||+62 778|
Batam (Jawi: باتم) refers to both an island, municipality (an Indonesian kotamadya), the largest city in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, across the Strait of Singapore, the third-largest city in Sumatra region after Medan and Palembang, and the eighth-largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta Raya, Surabaya, Bandung, Medan, Semarang, Makassar, and Palembang.
Batam is an industrial boomtown, an emerging transport hub, a part of a free trade zone the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, located 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore's south coast. The 715-km2 (276-mi2) island, now just barely smaller in size to Singapore due to the latter's reclamation, is the core part of the municipality, of which 450 km2 is classified as urban. Batam's 2,200 km2 municipality (administratively) covers a number of scattered islands and islets, with Galang and Rempang islands to the immediate south connected to Batam by short bridges, collectively called Barelang with these two islands maintaining their rural character. Bulan Island is also rural. The municipality has a population of 1,035,280 (prediction in May 2015)., also It is the closest part of Indonesia to Singapore, at a minimum land distance of 5.8 km, similar in length to the Transbay Tube. As per the 2010 Census, it was the fastest-growing municipality in the nation, with a growth rate of 11% per year.
Batam has a tropical climate with average temperatures between 26 and 32 °C. Humidity in the region ranges from 73% to 96%. The wet season spans from November to April, while the dry season is from May to October. Average annual rainfall is around 2,600 mm.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2015)|
Society Batam is a heterogeneous society consisting of diverse ethnicity and classes. The dominant tribes, among others, are Malays, Javanese, Batak, Minangkabau, and Chinese. As a shelter, it upholds Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Batam is conducive in the aspects of economic, sociopolitical, and cultural society. In April 2012, Batam had a population of 1,153,860 inhabitants and the population growth rate is increasing. Between 2001 and April 2012, it had a population growth rate more than 8% per year.
Islam is the majority religion in Batam, with the number of followers as much as 76.69% of the population, followed by Christians (17.02%), Buddhists (5.79%), and Hinduism (0.40%). Mosque Batam, located in the city center, adjacent to the main square, the mayor's office and the office Parliament, became a symbol of the religious people of Batam. Christianity and Catholicism are also widely embraced by people of Batam, especially those from the Batak tribe and Flores. As for the Chinese population, Buddhism is the majority. A number of Viharas are in Batam, of which Vihara Duta Maiteriya is one of the popular ones. It is the largest Vihara in Southeast Asia with an area of 4.5 hectares.
Indonesian is the main language used daily. English and German are also used by foreigners. Malay, Minang, Batak, Javanese, and Chinese ethnic dialects like Hokkien and Teochew also are used. Batam is the city where the various ethnic groups gather.
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 whole municipality is thus often known by the abbreviation of Barelang. 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 harbour 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 neighbouring 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 local ferry terminal ports connect to nearby Singapore and Bintan, and provides routes to Johor Bahru (Malaysia). Five ferry terminals are on the island: Harbourbay, Nongsapura Ferry Terminal, Sekupang, Waterfront City, and Batam Centre International Ferry Terminal.
Signs showing a picture of a raised finger over a pair of lips have been placed in August 2014 at the Batam Centre International Ferry Terminal to request silence while queing for immigration to hear names being called and clearly hear immigration officer instructions. Some visitors have been sent back immediately on the first ferry available. The signs are also applicable at other terminals, but they are not strictly enforced.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Batam's Bus Rapid Transit (TransBatam) is operating since 2005. It was the second BRT (or known as Busway) in Indonesia, after Jakarta - TransJakarta. TransBatam connects two main bus terminals (Batam Centre Transfer Point and Sekupang Transfer Point) with dozens of bus stops. The bus operates from 06.00 - 18.30. TransBatam serves more than 3,000 people everyday. Now, TransBatam serves 3 corridors (Batam Centre-Nagoya, Batam Centre-Batu Aji, Sekupang-Batam Centre). TransBatam plans to open up to 10 corridors.
Taxies in Batam are almost available anywhere, from ferry terminals, airport, shopping malls, hotels, etc. More than 3000 taxies are in Batam. In the early 2000s, Batam commonly had Toyota Corolla taxies. Starting in late 2013, more than 95% of taxies are brand new, using the Toyota Limo and Chevrolet Lova.
Hang Nadim International Airport is the island's main airport, and has the longest runway in Indonesia. The airport was the largest airport in Sumatra region in 1995-2012 with a capacity of 6 million passengers per year, and now the second largest in Sumatra region after Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan with a capacity of 8 million passengers. The airport has 4 pairs of jetbridges and 2 single jetbridges. Hang Nadim International Airport is the hub for Lion Air, Batik Air, Citilink, and Malindo Air. BP Batam, the airport operator are about to build a new terminal with a capacity of 8 million passengers each terminal (16 million passengers in total for two terminals) in the late 2016. BP Batam targets to build 8 pairs of jetbridges in the new terminal terminal. Domestic destinations include Pekanbaru, Palembang, Medan, Jakarta, Padang, Surabaya, Bandung, Bandar Lampung, Balikpapan, Yogyakarta, Makassar, and many more. International flights currently include Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) (operated by Firefly and Malindo Air), and Chongqing (China) (operated by Citilink).
Batam Botanical Gardens
On 28 August 2014, a groundbreaking 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 have a dam.
Due to piling for tourism activity, sand mining, and logging for charcoal business, Batam Island nowadays only has 4.2% mangrove forest left in total on the island, a great decrease from 24% in 1970.
- Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2003. ISBN 9812302123
- Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
- "Indonesia President inaugurates Batam free trade zone". Xinhua General News Service. 19 January 2009.
- Teo, Laurel (19 May 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". 17 August 2014.
- Chris Kitching (19 August 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". 29 August 2014.
- "Batam Loses 800 Hectares of Its Mangrove Forest". June 15, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Batam.|
- Batam travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Official website
- Batam Free and Easy Package Tour
- An independent and complete travel guide to Batam from JoTravelGuide.com