Kampung Glam or the Arab quarter is a charming little collection of small shops, rug merchants, cheap hostels tea houses and bars (though a few are requesting others to respect their tradition and not serve alcohol) in Singapore, near the Park Royal and Landmark Village Hotels. It is also home to the impressive Sultan’s Mosque also known as Masjid Sultan.
A place rich in history, memories and culture, Kampung Glam holds a special significance for the Malay and Muslim communities in Singapore. It was were the Malay royalty once resided and where one of Singapore’s most important mosques, Masjid Sultan, is located.
The development of the Kampung Glam stated in 1818 when Sir Standford Raffles (1981-1826) established a treaty between the British East India Company Abdul Rahman and Sultan Hussein (1776-1835). As part of the treaty, Sultan Hussein, who was formally recognized as the Sultan of Johor, agreed to Raffles allocation of sum 23 hectares of land between the River and the sea for the sultan’s use. The sultan thus brought his family and entourage to settle here.
Kampung Glam soon became the trading and cultural centre for the Malay and Muslim communities. Under the 1822 Jackson Plan of Singapore, an area west of the Sultan’s property was allocated to the Arab community while the area to the east was set aside for the Bugis Immigrants from Java, Sumatra and Malaysia settled in and around Lampung Glam in large numbers. Over time the presence of Chinese and Indians, most of them traders and craftsmen, grew as well.