For all it’s colonial history, Singapore maintains a healthy population of Muslims, who like their ethnic counterparts of Chinatown and Little India, have created their own little community down the years.Welcome to Arab Street.
I had actually been in the area to see Parkview Square, which is located at the end of Arab Street (see the giant building in the distance in the photo above), but afterwards I decided to do a spot of window-shopping in the Arab Street area, and see what the place had to offer. It was getting late in the afternoon, and I had a bite to eat while I was there.
The mosque on Arab Street I thought was really cool simply because it’s a mosque with palm trees literally growing up its walls! Such sights are very rare (you don’t get tropical trees in the Middle-East, obviously). Quite like seeing a church in Cairo. I know there are plenty of mosques in Malaysia and Indonesia, but still, this one in Singapore just looked…so Singapore!
Aside from the cool mosque, I witnessed many little boutique shops and cafés (including Fluff Bakery, which I loved!) and the entire area was a hive of activity. In a way, I could have been in Doha, albeit a much cleaner version of a Doha! I did notice a lot of local men and women congregating outside the shops along the road, probably indulging in a bit of chit-chat, and it made me slightly nervous to walk past them as they kept staring at me intrusively. However, I enjoyed what I saw. It’s definitely a major place for backpackers to come in Singapore (certainly more so than Parkview Square where I originally came from that day), and the cheapness of the little homemade souvenirs make it a hotspot for the entire community, locals and tourists alike.