During the holy month of Ramadhan, Muslim-friendly features are important for destinations that seek to accommodate fasting travelers. Singapore, which welcomes many visitors from Indonesia and Malaysia, has recently launched a dedicated guidebook for Muslim travelers.
Dubbed Muslim Travelers Guide to Singapore, it contains recommendations of halal restaurants and information on praying facilities, among others.
Here are some of the best hangout places in Singapore for Muslim travelers according to the guidebook.
When British statesman Stamford Raffles first established Singapore back in the early 1800s, he developed a city plan that divided the regions in the country according to ethnic groups.
Kampong Glam was assigned to the Malay and Arab communities and thus was mostly made up of Muslims.
Present day Kampong Glam maintains a strong Islamic ambiance due to Raffles's city plan. Muslim travelers who are interested in seeing the Islamic history of the multicultural country should visit this place.
Located between the Muscat Street and North Bridge Road, the Sultan Mosque is the most famous landmark in Kampong Glam and serves as one of Singapore's iconic mosques.
The Arab Street, one block away from the Sultan Mosque, is the ideal place to find halal meals and go shopping.
Zam Zam Singapore, Singapore Islamic Restaurant, Sufi's Corner, Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro and House of Kebab are some of the halal-certified restaurants you can visit.
Similar to Kampong Glam, Little India is a product of Raffles's ethnic segregation, but not immediately after.
Earlier Indian communities were placed in the Chulia Kampong area; only after the area was overcrowded did the Tamil immigrants moved into what is now known as Little India.
Around one fifth of the Indians residing in Singapore are Muslims - according to the 2010 census - and a large number of Hindu people abstain from eating beef and pork, making Little India a relatively safe place for Muslims to look for a place to dine.
One notable place in Little India is the 24-hour shopping place Mustafa Center. Built in 1971 by Mustaq Ahmed, a Muslim Indian, the place is known as a great place to hunt for souvenirs.
The Sultan Mosque is near this area, and there are also three other mosques available within the vicinity, like the century-old Abdul Gafoor Mosque, Angullia Mosque and Tasek Utara Mosque.
Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
The place is a culinary spot similar to other hawker centres you can find throughout Singapore. It houses plenty of food stalls, selling a variety of cuisine.
Interestingly though, Lau Pa Sat Festival Market considers halal food-serving a serious business - for example, the facilities for washing halal and non-halal dishes are separate.
Some of the notable stalls in Lau Pa Sat Festival Market are the Pepper Castle, Yong Tau Foo Jason, Turkish Cuisine, Buffalo Wings-Rojak-Popiah, Thunder Tea Rice, Your Little Brown Bag, Swaad Pure Vegetarian Restaurant and AS Indian Classic Cuisine.
The mosque nearest to this place would be the Al-Abrar Mosque at 192 Telok Ayer Street.
Close to this mosque at Telok Ayer Street lies another historical Islamic monument, the Nagore Durgha, a shrine built by Indian Muslims in early 19th century.