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Other transcription(s)
 • Jawi باتام
 • Chinese 巴淡
 • Pinyin Bā dàn
Batam Compilation.jpg
Official seal of Batam
Nickname(s): Kota Industri (Indonesian): "The Industrial City"

Motto: Terwujudnya Batam Sebagai Bandar Dunia yang Modern dan Pusat Pertumbuhan Ekonomi Nasional

(The realization of Batam as a modern world-class city and a centre of national economic growth)
Coordinates: 1°05′N 104°02′E / 1.083°N 104.033°E / 1.083; 104.033Coordinates: 1°05′N 104°02′E / 1.083°N 104.033°E / 1.083; 104.033
Country Indonesia
Province Riau Islands
 • Mayor H. Muhammad Rudi, SE, MM
 • Vice Mayor Amsakar Achmad, S.Sos, M.Si
 • Total 1,595 km2 (616 sq mi)
 • Land 715 km2 (276 sq mi)
 • Water 880 km2 (340 sq mi)
Population (May 2015)
 • Total 1,035,280
 • Density 650/km2 (1,700/sq mi)
 • Urban density 800/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Postal code 29453
Area code(s) +62 778
Vehicle registration BP
Chinese 巴淡
Hokkien POJ Pa-tām

Batam is a city in the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. The city of Batam consists of several islands, with Batam Island becoming the core urban area. Both Galang Island and Rempang Island are connected to Batam Island by short bridges, collectively called Barelang. These two islands maintain their rural character, as does nearby Bulan Island. Batam is an industrial boomtown, an emerging transport hub, and part of a free trade zone the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, located 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore's south coast.

The Batam municipality has a population of 1,035,280 (prediction in May 2015).[1] It is the closest part of Indonesia to Singapore, at a minimum land distance of 5.8 km. According to the 2010 national Census, Batam is the fastest-growing municipality in Indonesia, with a population growth rate of 11% per year.[2]


Batam is located west of Bintan Island, south of Singapore, north of Rempang and Galang, and east of Bulan Island. The Riau Strait separates Batam and Bintan.

Batam has a tropical climate with average temperatures between 26 and 32 °C. Humidity on the island 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.[citation needed]



Batam is heterogeneous in the context of Indonesia and is very diverse. The predominant ethnicities are Malays, Javanese, Batak, Minangkabau, and Chinese. As a municipality it exemplifies the national motto of "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" (Unity in Diversity). The location of Batam close to Singapore is conducive to the development of economic, sociopolitical, and cultural aspects of the local community. In April 2012, Batam had a population of 1,153,860 inhabitants. The population is increasing rapidly, with a population growth rate of more than 8% per year between 2001 and 2012.


Islam is the majority religion in Batam, with 74.25% of the population, followed by Christians (19,8%), Buddhists (5.44%), and Hinduism (0.1%). The Great Mosque of Batam, located in the city center adjacent to the main square, the mayor's office and the provincial Parliament, is an important symbol of Islamic religious life in Batam. Christianity and Catholicism are also widely embraced by people of Batam, especially those from the Batak people of Sumatra and transmigrants from Flores also from East Indonesia. The majority of the Chinese population practises Buddhism. A number of Viharas are located in Batam, of which Vihara Duta Maiteriya is one of the most frequented, and is the largest Vihara in Southeast Asia with an area of 4.5 hectares.

Religion in Batam – Indonesia 2010 Census
religion percent


Indonesian is the common lingua franca of Batam in daily use. Malay, Minang, Batak, Javanese, and Chinese ethnic dialects like Hokkien and Teochew are also used, and English and German is also spoken, especially by expats living in Batam.

Ethnicities of Batam – 2000 Census[3]
ethnic group percent


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:[4]

Name Population
Census 2010[4]
Belakang Padang 18,508
Bulang 9,531
Galang 14,983
Sei Beduk 80,349
Sagulung 149,727
Nongsa 49,828
Batam Centre
(central city)
Sekupang 100,108
Batu Aji 127,455
Lubuk Baja 80,780
Batu Ampar 58,745
Bengkong 92,033


Based on Presidential Decree No. 41/1973, the Batam Industrial Development Authority (BP Batam) was established to manage 415 kilometer square industrial complex in Batam City for heavy industry. Previously only Pertamina, Indonesia state oil company settled there with only 6,000 inhabitants.[5] Shipbuilding and electronics manufacturing are important industries on the island. Being located close to the ports of Singapore, the speed of goods shipping and product distribution is increased, benefiting the island's economy. With lower labour costs and special government incentives, it is the site of many factories operated by foreign companies.[6]

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.[7] In 2007, Law No. 44 was enacted to supplement Law No. 36/2000 in establishing Batam as a free trade zone for 70 years. BP Batam still manage the industrial complex. And in 2016, responsibility of industrial complex changed from Governor of Riau Islands Province to the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister as per Presidential Decree No. 8/2016.[5]

In 2010, around 58% of foreign tourists came from Singapore, and 13% from Malaysia.[8] The island is the location of the International University of Batam.

Batam has recently been exposed as a major facilitator of the controversial ivory trade.[9]



Sekupang International Ferry Terminal

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. The most recent incident happened on 29 November 2015 when a ferry 'Sea Prince' hit floating object(s) while en route to Singapore from Batam and began leaking. A total of 97 passengers were rescued on life rafts.[10][11]

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 queuing for immigration to hear names being called and clearly hear instructions given by the immigration officer . Some visitors have been sent back immediately on the first ferry available for flouting this rule. The signs are also applicable at other terminals, but they are not strictly enforced.[12][13]

Trans Batam[edit]

Batam Busway Interior.jpg
Busway Batam Halte.jpg

Trans Batam is the most reliable and the cheapest public transportation in Batam. Its operation began on 2005. Trans Batam is the second BRT system in Indonesia, after Jakarta's TransJakarta. The price for one ride is Rp. 2.000,- for students and Rp. 4.000,- for public. Trans Batam begins its trip from 05:30 to 19:00. Trans Batam serves 5 corridors of route:
Batam Centre-Sekupang,
Batam Centre-Batu Aji,
Sekupang-Batu Aji,
Batam Centre-Tanjung Piayu.


Blue Bird Taxi

Taxies in Batam are almost available anywhere, at 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

Hang Nadim International Airport is the island's main airport, and has the longest runway of all airports in Indonesia. The airport was the largest airport in the Sumatra region from 1995–2012 with a capacity of 6 million passengers per year, and is now the second largest in the 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, which operates Hang Nadim International Airport will build a new terminal with a capacity of 8 million passengers per year for each terminal (16 million passengers per year in total for two terminals) in late 2016. BP Batam targets to build 8 pairs of jetbridges in the new terminal.[14] 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 Malindo Air).


Due to piling works for tourism activity, sand mining, and logging for charcoal business, only 4.2% of Batam island is covered in mangrove forest, a great decrease from 24% in 1970.[15] Originally, Batam Island had 41,500 hectares of mangrove forests.[16]



  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Firman, Tommy (12 May 2012). "Urbanization and urban development patterns". The Jarkata Post. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2003. ISBN 9812302123
  4. ^ a b Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "BP Batam: 45 years of developing Batam". December 3, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Indonesia President inaugurates Batam free trade zone". Xinhua General News Service. 19 January 2009. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Singaporeans constitute 57 pct of tourists in Batam". Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  10. ^ Meah, Natasha; Yin, Chai Hung (1 December 2015). "Batam ferry incident: 'People fended for themselves'". The New Paper. AsiaOne. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Batam ferry incident: Passenger claims overcrowded rafts burst during evacuation". AsiaOne. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Shhh! Be silent at Batam immigration queue or be sent back home". 17 August 2014. 
  13. ^ 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". 
  14. ^ "Airports in Indonesia". 
  15. ^ "Batam Loses 800 Hectares of Its Mangrove Forest". 15 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Batam Mangrove Forest Shrinking in Size". 7 October 2015. 

External links[edit]