© 2013 Diana

Where should you buy it? Try Mustafa!

Author: Diana



Singapore has some unique experiences and Mustafa Centre is definitively one of them. Imagine a store where you can find everything from the latest electronic gadget, groceries for the week, sports clothing, brand new luxury and not so fancy watches, office supplies and even intimate toiletries. Right, I know you have also been to a shopping mall before however it is not exactly like Mustafa.


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.


The shop looks like a 6 storey 24×7 flea market spread across 2 blocks of Little India. Traffic in front is chaotic and, if you have a backpack or big bag, you are required to either leave it at the door or wrap it with hellerman tape. With shelves full of merchandise that almost fall over you, it is crammed with people from all nationalities trying to find a good bargain.


There doesn’t seem to be much logic on how merchandise is displayed throughout the store. I wasn’t able to find sense in having the electronics department right in front of groceries and shoes. Sales staff is not that friendly and knowleageble of the products and if you are looking for electronics, don’t expect to have someone at your service explaining what the differences between product TX47a and TY48 are (try Funan, close to City Hall MRT, if you are looking for electronics) Also, not sure if it was just bad luck, but there was a lot of people with strong BO. Couldn’t figure why as the shop has a pretty good deodorant section.


However I have to admit: if you do your homework, know what you want to buy and don’t mind crowded places then it is actually a good shopping experience. Prices are generally low (not everything is “dirty cheap” as some people would say to you) and you can find a few bargains around the shop. Also, I found the informal “supermarket-like” atmosphere of the shop really care free as I could walk through the aisles and look for the goods I was after. It is really different shopping experience which is definitively worth a try (at least once!). Shopping at Mustafa has made it to my “list of things to do in Singapore”.


My name is Daniel Accioly Rosa and I live in Brasilia, Brazil. I work with Information Technology and in my spare time you will find me either scuba diving or playing my electric bass.

This blog is just a space to publish some information about my interests and explore a bit more of the cyberspace.

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