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Ain Arabia

Ben van Wijnen

Ain Arabia

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 Arabia. In 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.

Het grasveld

 

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 Arab district.
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.

 

Restoran Hay-Alarab

 

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 three days.
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, Langkawi and the Genting Highlands.

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.

 

 

  Ben van Wijnen

   
 

 

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