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Arab Street

Arab Street

Arab Street: A Thousand Arabian Nights (and Treasures)

Alas, the area was not resistant to fire, and many businessmen saw their shops go up in flames more than once. Nevertheless, the businessmen picked up where they left and preserved the bustling trading essence of the place – a feat that still exists today.

About
Arab Street , true to its name, epitomizes the Arabian way of life. Here, one can freely observe conservatively-dressed Muslims hurrying towards the Sultan Mosque once the call for prayer reverberates, robe-clad Arab men puffing away on their apple-flavoured sheeshas (tobacco pipes) and cigars and black abaya (robes for Middle eastern women) -clad women haggling over the prices of Oriental carpets.

That, coupled with the existence of various shop houses selling a variety of ethnic Arab goods (Qurans, prayer mats, muslim apparel, carpets, wicker products and more) confirm the very essence of Arab Street .

Although observably a Muslim district, everyone from all walks of life gather here to indulge in Arab Street's rich culture, if not to savour the ethnic cuisines, the souk-style retail experience or the rich history.

History
Arab Street is believed to be named after a noble Arab merchant, Syed Ali bin Mohamed Al Junied, and was a residential kampong for Muslims of Arab, Malay, Indian, Bugis, Javanese and Boyanese descents.

During the 1820s, Arab Street was a bustling trading centre with businesses ranging from textiles to spices and to rattan products, taking place at the rows of shophouses then.

 

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