Friday, April 22, 2011

Mustafa Center in Singapore

If you cannot find it in Mustafa Center in Singapore, it does not exist. Mustafa in Singapore sells everything - from clothes to electronics, jeweleries to groceries (at one point they were even selling cars). Actually when you are in this 70,000 sq.ft, six story shopping center, you will think that it is easier to list what is not sold here than listing what is sold. It is a supply chain manager's hell but a budget shopper's heaven. When you need something and you are not sure where you can find it in Singapore, head to Mustafa, you will probably find it there. Do not worry about the time, it is open 24 hours.

Mustafa Center, 6 story shopping center which spans two complexes in the middle of Little India, is one of the oldest department stores in Singapore. It is within walking distance from Farrer Park MRT Station (MRT = subway) on the North East line (purple line). It is so popular that in 2010, Singapore Civil Defence Force applied for a court order to stop business temporarily for 40 hours on its first floor due to concerned about overcrowding in the 24-hour shop![1] In fact, there is an Electronic People Counting System installed in the center since September 2008 for crowd control.

Current Mustafa Center complex is what Mustaq Ahmad, transformed from a 900 sq foot shop in 4 decades ago. When you enter the complex, you will feel like you are in a huge department store which is mall sized! You can find good deals for accessories, cosmetics, electronics, home appliances, mobile phones, pharmacy, groceries, textiles, foreign currency exchange, hotel bookings, travel packages, budget airline tickets, and many more. The presentation of the goods sold is not impressive but this is a place to buy bargain (well, actually there is no consensus on that: some say it is cheaper to shop in Mustafa and some say it is more expensive here to buy). Although very crowded, if you are in Singapore and did not pay a visit to there, spend an evening (preferable weekday since it is very crowded in weekends). But be careful if you have kids, this shopping center consist of six interconnected stores and it would be very difficult to find your kid if you lose him/her.

Mustafa Center
Mustafa is also a cheap place to buy electronics and computer appliances like Sim Lim Square and is a lot cheaper compared to shops in central Singapore. If you are planning to visit Singapore and buying an electronic appliance (i.e. iPad), you will find the same product much cheaper in Mustafa or Sim Lim Square compared to Orchard Road shopping centers i.e. Lucky Plaza. If something you are looking for is sold out in Sim Lim Square or Funan, you can head to Mustafa to look for it.

Many new comers to Singapore overlook this place as a tourist attraction but Mustafa Center is a very good place to shop items for your house.

If you are heading to Singapore from India, it is probably cheaper to convert Rupees in Singapore rather than buying Singapore dollars in India and Mustafa Center is a good option to buy Singapore Dollars with Rupee.

[1] - Mustafa to close first floor for 40 hours

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