Kampung Glam and Arab Street
These 2 adjacent precincts are the home of the Islamic community in Singapore. The most noticeable icon of the area is the Sultan Mosque with its impressive golden dome, the focus of worship for Singapore’s Muslim community. Visitors are more than welcome outside prayer hours, though it is advised that proper clothing be worn (no revealing clothes).
Kampung Glam used to be a sleepy enclave except on Fridays when the mosque will be jammed with worshippers. In recent years, this area has undergone gentrification, with the addition of a number of art galleries, IT companies, and spas.
What’s interesting in Kampung Glam and Arab Street
The main draw along Arab Street (A) has to be Sultan Mosque (B). Back in 1824, this mosque was constructed by the Sultan of Johor, making it one of the oldest mosques in Singapore. Interestingly, the mosque is built at an angle such that when a worshipper faces the mihrab or main altar, he/she is also facing Mecca, the Muslim Holy Land.
The streets are where you will be able to find good deals for items like baskets, perfume, batik and leather goods, etc. The main sales attraction though has to be textiles. In the past, this was where many Muslim men would visit to buy songkoks (traditional Muslim headwear). Nowadays, textiles of numerous colors and shades have become the main selling point of the many shops in the area.
It is also recommended that you have a taste of traditional Muslim food, like the Murtabak or Roti john (Bread with meat stuffings)
Best time to visit Kampung Glam and Arab Street
In the month leading to Ramadan (month of fasting), you can visit the Sultan Mosque in the evenings, where numerous stalls will be set up selling delicacies to Muslims when they break fast.
Mosque visiting times:
Every other day 9am-12.45pm, 2pm-4pm
How to get to Kampung Glam and Arab Street
Take a train to Bugis MRT station. Arab Street is a short walk away, along the main trunk road, Victoria Street.