Bugis & Kampong Glam Map
Bugis & Kampong Glam is the center of Muslim life in Singapore. Its name is derived from two words: kampong and gelam. Kampong means 'village' in Malay, while gelam is a paper bark tree that used to grow in abundance in the area. Prior to the arrival of the British, Kampong Glam was simply a fishing village located near the Rochor River. In time, it became more populated and developed under the rule of Hussein Mohammed Shah, the Sultan of Singapore. In 1819, the British made a treaty with the sultan to turn over the island to the East India Trading Company. In turn, the Sultan was given Kampong Glam. This was where Sultan Hussein established his palace, which was called Istana Kampong Glam.
The Arab population in Singapore is not large, but this does not mean their influence cannot be felt. Street names such as Baghdad, Bussorah and Muscat are enough proof of such influence. Arab Street, which is the hub of modern Kampong Glam, is well known as a shopping destination for handicrafts and textiles. At present, anyone can see the rich Arab heritage of Kampong Glam through the places of worship and other architecture.