The Arcade



  • Known as the Alkaff Arcade, the four-storey development was built for S$146,000 by the Alkaffs – a prominent wealthy Arab family in Singapore who engaged in land speculation and the spice trade. 
  • It was the tallest building along Collyer Quay at its time of completion.  Not only was it Singapore's best-known waterfront landmark and a symbol of the Arab's influence in Singapore, it was also the Republic's first indoor shopping centre stretching from Collyer Quay to Raffles Place. 
  • The Alkaff Arcade was the fashionable meeting place with tea-rooms, salons and boutiques that turned it into an Edwardian indulgence.  It had offices and shops on the first storey, while the ground floor had stables for the Alkaffs' horse carriages, which were also used as public transport.  
  • Earned a reputation as one of the most remarkable office buildings in Southeast Asia, after the facade was given a new Islamic touch. 

  • The Alkaff Arcade was sold to Singapura Developments for some S$12 million, who demolished it in 1978. 

  • The current Arcade was built and has since established itself a name for the intense competition among the numerous money-changers.