Arab Streets around the world: 'Home away from home'

Arab Streets around the world: 'Home away from home'
Welcome to the ‘Arab Streets’ of the world, where the heart and spirit of the Middle East is injected into cities by its migrant communities.

2 min read
10 Apr, 2017
Arab Streets around the world host Middle Eastern businesses for local communities [Getty]
For hundreds of years Arabs have migrated to all corners of the earth, taking with them their many customs, traditions and ways of life to foreign lands.

Over time, large communities have been formed in different cities, establishing Arab neighbourhoods that offer a range of cafes, restaurants and shops selling popular foods and products from the Middle East and North Africa.

It is on these Arab Streets were migrant communities can order meat dishes without worrying whether it's Halal or not, where they can grab ready-made Hummus along with day-to-day groceries, and indulge in the rich smell of Bukhour from the local incense shop. 

But while these businesses primarily intended to cater to Arab consumers, in many parts of the world, locals have taken interest in what’s on offer; enjoying 'exotic' Arab cuisines while blowing smoke from Shisha pipes in what have become know as ‘Arab Streets’.

Below are just four of the many iconic Arab Streets around the world.

1. London’s Edgeware Road

Set in the heart of London, Edgeware road is renowned for its stretch of Middle Eastern restaurants, varying from Lebanese, Moroccan to Iranian. Visitors enjoy a selection of on-street Shisha cafes overlooking the common sites of London's iconic taxis and buses driving among the city's busy traffic. 
2. Berlin’s Sonnenallee

Situated on the eastern side of the capital, Sonnenallee has established itself as the unofficially official Arab Street of Germany. Arabic pastries and sweet shops are among the businesses most commonly found here.  

3. Arab Street, Singapore

Centred around its glorious gold-domed Mosque, Singapore's Arab Street is somewhat of a tourist attraction. The tourist hot-spot is a go-to place for those looking for Middle Eastern carpets, perfumes or the tasty-flavours of Arab cuisines.

4. Istanbul’s Syrian neighbourhood

Istanbul's Fatih is a densely-packed neighbourhood that serves as a hub for Arabs living in Turkey's biggest city. The area has grown busier in recent years due to the conflict in neighbouring Syria which forced thousands to flee and begin life from scratch as receptionists, waiters, hairdressers, pastry-sellers here on this Arab Street.

So the next time you travel to one of the world's capital cities, make sure you visit its local Arab Street to discover what the migrant community has to offer.