The name Colaba comes from Kolabhat, a word in the language of Kolis, the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, before the arrival of Portuguese. The area that is now Colaba was originally a region consisting of two islands: Colaba and Little Colaba (or Old Woman's Island). The island of Colaba was one of the seven islands of Bombay ruled by the Portuguese.
Today, Colaba is the hippest neighbourhood in Mumbai serving as the major shopping district for both tourists and locals. It has an old English charm and a very modern feel as well. Colaba is also the art centre of Mumbai, with all the major galleries and museums located in and around this area.