English is spoken everywhere, but Dutch is the official language of St. Maarten, and French the official language of Saint Martin. On the Dutch side, you can also hear Spanish, Papiamentu, Italian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages. On the French side, Creole Patois is also spoken
Population – 45,000 people live on St. Maarten and 37,000 on Saint Martin
Currency – US Dollars and Euros are widely accepted on both the Dutch and the French sides, so visitors do not need to exchange currency.
Banks – Banks on the Dutch side are normally open from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Saturday, some banks open from 8:30 a.m. until noon. French side banks generally are open from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on weekdays. Automatic teller machines are available at several locations throughout the island, including at a Scotia Bank immediately adjacent to The Business Point.
Time – St. Maarten is on Atlantic Standard Time year-round. During the fall and winter, noon in New York equals 1 p.m. on the island. During daylight savings time in the U.S., the hour is the same on the Eastern Seaboard as it is on the island.
Electricity – Dutch St. Maarten uses the US standard: 120 volts, 60Hz. On the French side, it’s 220 volts, 60Hz.
Dial Dutch Sint Maarten as you would the USA: 1 + 3 digit area code +7 digits. The country code for French St. Martin is 590, followed by a 9 digit phone number. When dialing the French side from the Dutch side, dial 00590 + 9 digit number. To call the Dutch side from the French side, dial 001 721 + 7 digit number. There are several cellular telephone carriers on both sides of the island. Whatever your home cellular network, you are likely to have coverage…but watchout for those BIG roaming charges!! If you have a GSM phone, then it’s much cheaper to buy a local SIM card; you even get a temporary local number!
The Dutch St. Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill and the French Hospital in Spring (near Marigot) offer walk-in emergency facilities. Most other “medical clinics” are doctor’s offices. Dr. Tjaden and Dr. Datema adjacent to The Business Point in Simpson Bay are especially helpful to visitors (Phone +1 721 544-5312, Emergency +1 721 557-7007). The island has a wide array of well qualified specialists and dentists. Call The Business Point at +1 721 544-3315 for an up to date list of qualified medical professionals.