To the locals, especially the older generation, going to Arab Street is synonymous to going to Kampong Jawa. Directly translated as Javanese Village in English, the nickname was given due to the large number of Javanese who resided in the area in the early days.
This street is much well known for its variety of textile and fabric shops where some are still run by the descendants of the those who first came to Singapore many decades ago like Aljunied Brothers. Walking along the row of shophouses here, you can also find shops displaying wide range of hand-knotted Persian carpets, Turkish lightings and ornaments, handicrafts, perfume, fashionable clothing and jewellery. As more visitors, locals and tourists, began to arrive in Kampong Gelam, some of these shophouses have been turned into restaurants and hostels too. With more activities carried out during road closure, Arab Street is becoming more vibrant each single day.