Arab Street District
As its name suggests, the Arab Street district is the center of the Arabic community in Singapore. The Arab Street district has been a thriving trade center since the 1800s. Today visitors to the district can shop for traditional Arabic products, dine on Middle Eastern cuisine or visit significant cultural and historical sites, including the Sultan Mosque.
Visit the Arab Street district by day to witness the trade center at its peak. Dealers selling everything from stunning handmade carpets, Muslim attire, lamps and alcohol free perfume line the street. While there are many items that make great souvenirs, most tourists visit the area for the experience rather than the bargains to be found.
Make your way to the Sultan Mosque, the largest in Singapore. The functioning mosque is architecturally stunning and incredibly popular. The main hall holds up to 5,000 people at a time. Visit Istana Kampong Glam, the former Malay palace, an important historical site in the Arab Street district.
By night Arab Street is a destination for food lovers. Sample traditional Arabic cooking, and watch men smoking flavored tobacco from hookas on the side of the street. There are plenty of options for food including Moroccan, Lebanese and Turkish restaurants. Of course, there are also the ever-present Malay and Indian restaurants as well.
Immediately parallel to Arab Street is Haji Lane. This street is a stark contrast to its neighbor. Stop by super-modern bars, browse the latest in hip clothing and watch the passing parade.
The Arab Street district is located near the downtown center of Singapore. It can be reached on foot from many downtown hotels. Visitors traveling on public transportation can reach the district on the East-West MRT line or via bus. There is some street parking in the area.