Close to the shopping malls Sungei
Wang/ Bukit Bintang, LOT10, Starhill
Gallery and the
Pavilion is a new area called: Ain Arabia.
In a side street close to the MacDonalds at the Jalan Sultan Ismail is Ain
that little street is a concrete arch with the name: Ain Arabia. There's also a signs
in the neighbourhood with that name on it.
In the months of July, August and September the temperatures
rise in the Middle East up to 45 - 47 degrees. That becomes too much for
the Arabs. That's the time they book then a holiday to a cooler country, which
is Malaysia. In that period there are also school holidays in the Middle East..
To make these people feel at home, the people of Kuala Lumpur have created an
The KL City Hall decided to make the visitors feel at home by recreating a sanctuary
of Arabian style. Modelled mainly in the Moroccan architecture, 20% of the
manpower engaged was from the Middle East to ensure the authenticity of the
design and work.
The literal translation is Eye Arab (the
grammatically correct version should read al Ain Arabiya which would
translate to "The Eye of Arabia").
After 30 meters you'll see at the left side the Fortuna Hotel with it's
famous restaurant "Sahara Tent". This is the centre of "Ain Arabia".
Since Ala H. Salih set up the Sahara Tent restaurant at the Fortuna
Hotel five years ago, tourists, embassy officials and students have been
making a beeline to al Mantaga al Arabiya or "the Arabian area".
The literal translation is Eye Arab (the grammatically correct version should
read al Ain Arabiya which would translate to "The Eye of Arabia").
The draw of the restaurant may be due
to the 20 per cent increase in tourist arrivals from the Middle East
between July, August and September.
There's also an Arab
barber to cut hair the way Arab men
like it. Not many barbers in Kuala
Lumpur are good at trimming beards. Some Arab men need to have their
facial hair removed by threading. For some, this has to be done every
Apart from the barbers shop, the other four shops adjacent to the Fortuna Hotel
are a mini market, a travel agency, two souvenir shops and the Hay-al Arab
Restaurant, which serves Yemeni cuisine.
Naab’s mini market stocks products like canned tomatoes, bottled olives,
Lebanese bread, a variety of cheeses and dates.
The Jet Connections travel agency’s clientele is 90 per cent Arab. They opt for
local tours to Penang,
The al-Khaima souvenir shop stocks Arabic music CDs, VCDs, shisha pipes,
tobacco, perfume oils and incense wood chips.
Fronting Hotel Fortuna and Sahara Tent is a small plot of land, dotted with
concrete benches, stalls (not yet operational) and monuments, popular in the
evenings with Malaysians and people from the Middle East.