Mustafa Centre in Singapore

If you are in Little India, try to make a trip to the Mustafa Centre which is located at 145 Syed Alwi Road. It is about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the Farrer Park MRT. Many people in Singapore are familiar with the Mustafa name. It has branded itself as a store with cheap prices and a wide range of merchandise. One of the distinct advantage is that you can go there at anytime during the day or night; because it is open 24 hours. My suggestion is not to go there during the weekends because that is when the store is extremely crowded; and it can be quite uncomfortable squeezing yourself with so many people.

Store is situated at Little India

Personally I rarely do my shopping at Mustafa. I will visit this store when I am already in Little India.  Shopping at Mustafa Centre does not guarantee that you will get the cheapest prices for the things you want to buy. In fact, there are many products that you can buy them cheaper elsewhere. The advantage of going to Mustafa Centre is because you can get almost anything under one roof.  So be a smart shopper. Know what you want and the prices of the products that you intend to buy. Thereafter, go to Mustafa Centre and compare the prices of the products that you wish to purchase. If it is just a slight difference in prices, then you can simply buy from them. I see lots of Indian tourists buying electronic products there. I do not know whether it is much cheaper than stores like Courts or Best Denki.

Mustafa Center - at Little India

Mustafa Centre is in the news lately for fire safety violations made by the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Now the store has put in place certain safety measures, to comply with the requirements from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, in order to continue to run its business. There is now a quota system for people going into the store in order to manage and control overcrowding; and also to ensure no obstruction to its fire exit doors. Perhaps Mustafa Centre should consider opening up another branch in Little India or in another suburban location in Singapore. Besides this, the store should improve on the quality of staff working there. There are workers who  are not properly trained to handle queries from customers and some are indifferent when you approach them. Perhaps the mentality is this – ” all the products are already there on display, so please do help yourself.”  Another point to make is that many of the merchandise were simply stack up in a rather untidy manner. I wish that the store could look into the proper display of all their merchandise; so that it will definitely enhance the shopping experience for the shoppers.

Mustafa Center sells almost everything you need.

The currency exchange counter at Mustafa Centre offers very competitive exchange rates as compared to other counters that I have seen in other malls. So it is a good place to change your foreign currencies into Singapore Dollars. There is also a small cafeteria outside the store. But I felt that it was too crowded and rather cramped. Anyway, there are many other food outlets around Mustafa Centre, so it is not a problem. Getting a taxi can also be a problem during peak hours and weekends. But this is a problem that many shopping malls are also facing besides Mustafa Centre.

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City Square Mall at Farrer Park MRT

I wanted to visit the new mall that is beside the Farrer  Park MRT called the City Square Mall.  Farrer Park MRT is along the North East line and it is located at the end of the Serangoon Road or Little India. Once I arrived at the Farrer Park MRT, I managed to locate the City Square Mall quite easily, guided by the signage at the MRT station.

City Square Mall

The City Square Mall gives me the first impression of being new and spacious. Outside the mall, there is a small playground cum garden. I saw a sculpture which is supposed to be a representation of nature; but frankly I do not know what it is even as I try to figure it out by looking at it for a while. I think the park outside the mall looks nice but hopefully the management could plant more trees to provide shade for this garden. As I was standing in the park observing the environment around it, I saw a tall building a distance away – it was the Park Royal Hotel. I think to walk to this hotel would take about 10 minutes from this mall.

There are 5 levels of shops

This mall has five levels of retail stores and 2 basements. There are in fact plenty of shops for you to browse and walk throughout the day. There are also food court and many food outlets here. Metro department store is also here. I enjoy shopping at Metro, because the store offers a good range of merchandise at very reasonable prices. Other anchor tenants include Best Denki and Popular Book store.  But the interesting part of City Square is that there are many other small retail outlets that I have never seen before in other malls. These small outlets sell a very wide range of products as well as services.

Playground and Park at City Square Mall

I noticed that the City Square Mall is not crowded during the weekdays. I was there during lunch hour on Tuesday. The food court was not packed with office workers or shoppers. Perhaps it could be due to the competition from other food outlets in the mall as well as food outlets nearby. After all you can find many small restaurants in Little India. I normally avoid a mall if it is jam packed with people, an example would be Tampines Mall during the weekends. Both are suburban malls, but the City Square Mall beat Tampines Mall for its wide corridors, walkways and spaciousness. However, I do hope that the management could provide comfortable seats around the mall for shoppers to rest their feet without having to patronize a food outlet. Many couples with young kids and elderly folks would love to see more seats provided in the mall. But the problem is that many owners of malls refused to do so.  Why? Perhaps the management of malls feel that when you are tired, you should go to any food outlet and order a drink and then you get to rest. Or simply put, you must pay to rest. I think this is STUPID. Malls should look at their business as providing a comfortable and rewarding experience for their customers.

Food Court at City Square Mall

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