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Pakistan Set to Leverage Dubai Expo to Reinvigorate Property Market

Pakistan Set to Leverage Dubai Expo to Reinvigorate Property Market

All eyes will be on the United Arab Emirates as the Dubai expo is less than a year away. Touted as the greatest exhibition on Earth, the expo will be a game changer in the region. Experts and enthusiasts predict the grand carnival to open more than 270,000 jobs as well as an economic boom of more than $40 billion for the U.A.E. As a strategic partner of the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan is also poised to take part in the Expo and recently, Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to get rid of precious under-utilized property at the expo. The statement is in line with PM’s vision of austerity; and till now, this approach is paying rich dividends – given the vast improvement in the country’s economic conditions. Striding towards a Naya Pakistan Imran Khan is known for having intense and tedious discussions on national matters every Tuesday with his team members. In one of the latest meetings, the premier signaled his troops to leverage the upcoming Dubai Expo and sell the unutilized properties. This is certainly a praiseworthy effort, as it will not only help our economy but open doors for investors to put money in the country. It is reported that the funds generated from the sale will be spent on public welfare projects – with special focus on the underprivileged classes. “Utilization of properties worth billions of rupees will help generate funds which will be spent by the government on public welfare schemes such as schools, colleges, hospitals. It is an important component of the government’s policy”, said the premier. Ghosts of the Past It was brought in the knowledge of the Prime Minister that corruption and negligence on part of the previous governments led to the under-utilization of valuable government properties. It is shocking to understand that despite having properties in surplus, the government institutions bear losses in billions every year. These lavish properties have certainly become ghosts of the past, and Imran Khan is right to absolve the taxpayer of bearing their heavy costs. The meeting, which was attended by PTI’s top officials, culminated with Khan warning to take strict actions against officials who would prevent the government’s action.

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What Moody’s Investor Ranking Means for Pakistan

What Moody’s Investor Ranking Means for Pakistan

At the start of December, Moody’s published a report in which they elevated Pakistan’s standing from negative to stable – restoring the country’s B3 status. Now, what is Moody’s and why should their ranking affect the overall mood of Pakistanis? Read on. If you are a financial geek, then you might definitely know about them. But if you’re not, then allow us to enlighten you. Moody’s Corporation is one of the leading financial entities in the world; that lends its expertise of credit rating worldwide, among other services. In layman terms, the organization analyzes and ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers using meticulous protocols. Their rating scales help investors in making decisions. Pakistan Climbs the Ladder in Moody’s Investors Service Ratings Moody’s Corporation assigns an investors service rating – ranging from Aaa to C. The company announced on Monday that Pakistan has jumped from negative to a positive B3. The improvement of ranking comes on the back of bold economic initiatives taken by the government to reduce the deficit in balance of payments as well as repayments of loans. The organization’s key people visited Pakistan last month and acknowledged Pakistan’s stabilizing economy and the capacity to avert serious event risks. The game changer here is the country’s policy on imports. Import Policies – The Game Changer Since the appointment of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as chief economist and aide to Prime Minister on financial matters, it appears the present government has changed its outlook on the nation’s economic matters. Strict monetary terms and the slap of import tariff on luxury goods has vastly helped the local economy to grow. No wonder Pakistan Stock Exchange is on an upward trajectory since the last two months. The reason is plain simple, the current economic situation is satisfactory to investors. Also, there happens to be no impending fines or sanctions from the IMF, so investors are keeping a close eye on the economic developments in Pakistan. Takeaways from Recent Improvements in the Economic Landscape Pakistan looks set to reduce inflation by the end of the current fiscal year. Foreign reserves are at a stable $8-9 billion dollars; henceforth, the scenario is tailor made for medium to big sized investors to lay out money on the most risk-free industries – such as real estate, hotels, restaurants and leisure or possibly digital advertising; given the exposure IT is getting in Pakistan. Nevertheless, the signs look good, Pakistan is finally on the track of economic stability. Macroeconomic steadfastness with less vulnerabilities on the external account are the drivers to an economically prosperous Pakistan.

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Critical Condition of the Heritage Sites in Pakistan

Critical Condition of the Heritage Sites in Pakistan

Pakistan is abundant when it comes to natural landscapes and historical sites. A lot of them even make it to the top 10 must see lists worldwide. However, we as a nation have failed to reciprocate the love and care these places have showered upon us, and as a result, most of these buildings and artefacts are in dire straits. If the government does not take effective measures to restore their grandeur, these monuments will become a thing of a distant past. Let’s take a look at some of the heritage sites in Pakistan that need urgent attention. 1. Merewether Tower Affectionately known as ‘Tower’, the 2-century old building is located at the intersection of I.I. Chundrigar Road. The tower continues to be an architectural marvel despite being in shambles over the years due to encroachment, lack of interest from the city government to renovate it, as well as wear and tear. A total of 4 floors accommodate the clock’s working mechanism, and miraculously, it continues to tell time. Built at a cost of rupees 37,000 in the year 1892, the Merewether Tower requires major surgery, or else it will succumb to old age. Fun fact: The tower has Star of David inscribed on it. 2. Mohen Jo Daro The name of Mohen Jo Daro needs no second introduction. We have read about it in schools, newspapers and literally everywhere. However, what we do not know is the fact that this archaeological site is fast deteriorating, as a consequence of negligence on part of the authorities. Mohen Jo Daro continues to bewilder experts and archaeologists for its planning and development was way ahead of its time. There have been reports that the fund allocated to the government by UNESCO to preserve the site is being looted by the powerful. Moreover, women with political affiliations continue to usurp necklaces and other artefacts from the Mohen Jo Daro museum. Fun fact: Despite receiving national and foreign aid, the authorities have failed to install drinking water facilities at the site. 3. Makli Necropolis Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an outstanding testament to Sindhi culture, the Makli Necropolis today fights for survival as a consequence of vandalism, negligence, and solid waste. In fact, most of the tombs are submerged in water. The site is spread over 10 square kilometers and serves as the final resting place for some 500,000 souls. What really sets this graveyard apart is the stunning display of artwork and intricate designs on the epitaphs. Moreover, the tombs of celebrated figures feature elaborate display of calligraphy, with supporting pillars on each side. The necropolis is located in Thatta, and if the concerned authorities do not endeavor to preserve this historic site, then Pakistan will lose one of the oldest and most cherished monuments in the world. Fun fact: People have encountered paranormal activity at the site after sunset. So, just a heads up – do not plan a journey after maghrib!

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Bahria Central Park Apartments

Bahria Central Park Apartments

Bahria Central Park Apartments sit confidently at the summit of housing schemes in Pakistan. Much like other Bahria projects, the Central Park apartments are adorned with luxuries and amenities you do not see in Pakistan. So, let’s unearth why Bahria Central Park apartments should be your lifestyle destination. Where Peace and Tranquility Prevails You have to agree, Mr. Malik Riaz and his team are luminaries in the field of real estate. They continue to entice investors while projecting a progressive image of Pakistan to the world. Of all their projects, Bahria Central Park Apartments shine through. For those of you who did not know, the original Central Park apartments are located in Manhattan, New York City. The iconic location is the most visited in the States, as well as one of the most filmed in the world. What’s noticeable about the location is the pervasiveness of color ‘green’ – a trend that has been adopted in Bahria Central Parks. The cluster of green grass, trees and parks render the park eco-friendly. The wooden pathways adorned with greenery almost makes one feel they are roaming in the Amazon. No matter which profession you belong to, the sheer ambiance and tranquility of Bahria Central Park Apartments will inspire you. The Apartments are nestled in Precinct 54 of Bahria Paradise. Courtesy of a well laid out network of roads and streets, the project is easily accessible from Super-Highway Toll Plaza. Moreover, the 6-lane expressway from Malir Cantt will take you only 25 minutes to reach Bahria Central Park. The Iconic Features This monumental project features some of the most awe-inspiring sights in Pakistan. The original Central Park served as its blueprint, and this project comes pretty close to replicating it. The project features lakes, small ponds (with marine animals, of course), recreation and community centers, skating areas, playgrounds, giant sized mazes, jogging areas, a museum, a grand mosque and even a zoo. To top it all, the infrastructural planning is sublime – thanks to the architectural brilliance of local and foreign designers. It goes without saying the project is secured with 24/7 security and vigilance. Water is in abundance and there is no shortage of electricity as generators operate round the clock. Types of Apartments and Payment Plan The apartments are divided into 2 bed luxury apartments and 4 bed limited edition penthouses. Both types feature high end materials and truly sublime finishing. Here is the breakdown of the payment plan: 4 Year Payment Plan (16 Instalments: Each due after every 3 months) 2 Bed Apartments (1,100 Sq. Ft. Approx.) 4 Bed Limited Penthouses (3,000 Sq. Ft. Approx.) Down Payment Rs. 645,000/- Rs. 1,745,000/- Each Instalment Amount (16 Instalments: Due after every 3 months) Rs. 425,313/- Rs. 1,244,063/- Total Amount Rs. 7,450,000/- Rs. 21,650,000/-

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Naran and Kaghan Valley – A Journey of a Lifetime

Naran and Kaghan Valley – A Journey of a Lifetime

Trust me when I say learning about different societies, cultures, habits and values is the most fascinating thing you can experience in life. However, after travelling far and wide, let me make one more admission: the stunning landscapes and the most hospitable people of Pakistan are second to none. Here is a brief account of my itinerary to the majestic Valley of Kaghan. The Preparation It was the winters of 2013; I had taken a week’s leave from work. I wanted some retreat, wanted to detoxify and enjoy some quiet time. At that time, I was the only one in my friend circle who had never been to the north of Pakistan. I’d always listen to my friends telling me how unreal everything is down there. Finally, it was my opportunity to see what Pakistan had in store. Being an avid music fan, I took my guitar with me in hopes of finding inspiration in nature’s embrace. On, December 20th, I, along with a friend set off for Naran and Kaghan. The Journey To The North We arrived in Peshawar from Islamabad, and I could already feel a tingle down my spine. The streets, the air, the overall aura just felt very natural and entrancing. Akbar (my friend on this journey), booked a cozy van for our trip to Naran. I was awake the entire time and looking out of the window to catch the towering trees bearing colorful fruits. I could see mountains at a distance, shrouded in clouds and kissing the horizon above. It was a surreal visual experience. At some point, I dozed off, only to be awaken by Akbar. “Get out of the van!”, he implored. I haphazardly got out and in almost dead silence, felt snowflakes falling on my head. This was the first time I had witnessed snow fall. With the wind whistling around and the snowflakes falling – I unconsciously began to sing these lines from my favorite song, As dark as the winter, as black as her ghastly veil As cold as her whisper and chilling gown Frozen In Time After a journey of 6 hours, we reached the town of Naran. The very first thing on my mind was to have a piping hot cup of tea. We went to a tea stall, and were greeted by the locals. My gut feeling was that the tea would dent our valet. But to our surprise, they refused to accept any money, and said that we were their guests. We were won over by their gesture and the general mannerisms. Also, I had never seen such raw beauty anywhere in the world. The lasses had blue eyes, and the skin as white and velvety as a Victoria Secret’s model. I bet, even they did not know how beautiful they were. With the sun hidden behind the mountains, and the stars twinkling, I could not help but smoke. Akbar on the other hand was busy recording the mesmeric sights around. After taking only a couple of puffs, I felt the wind carrying me in its arms for a journey into beautiful oblivion. I took my guitar out, and started playing slow, folk tunes to mirror what was around me. I made sure Akbar recorded whatever I played. The night did not seem to end, and the stars did not stop twinkling. Next day, we went straight into the heart of Naran, and all I could see was lush, green tuft everywhere grazed upon by goats and yaks. I thought to myself, I would give up everything to lead such a peaceful, and serene life! Lake Saif Ul Mulook In spite of not sleeping for more than 24 hours, we felt our batteries charged all the time – for now was the time to visit the grand attraction – Lake Saif Ul Mulook. Thankfully, by the time we got there, it was sunset. The lake itself was glistening in a shifting pattern of colors. It was still, as still as a magnum opus by a painter. With the snow-clad mountains encircling the lake, I whispered in Akbar’s ears, “There is a heaven, believe me, I have seen it”. I ended up smoking another and playing some more folksy stuff on the guitar. But this time, I was joined by other people, and we had the most breathtaking jam humanly possible. Sometime later, it started drizzling, as if the Gods were trying to show their adoration for the music. It felt as If I was possessed by the forces of nature – none of us wanted the night to end – not even the stars. It was hypnotic and magical. Those 7 days remain the highest point of my life. The overall experience molded me into a different person. Since then, I have developed an affinity for nature, and always seek quiet places where I can feel one with the forces of nature. In the end I’d just say, “The poetry of the Earth is never dead”.

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The Best Housing Schemes in Pakistan

The Best Housing Schemes in Pakistan

The Pakistani property market is expected to survive the current period of recession and become bankable again by the start of 2020. Economic stability combined with improved law and order situation will enable the real estate market to reach the same heights as before. In this blog, I talk about the most promising housing schemes in Pakistan from a luxury, location, and price point of view. 1. Bahria Town Of course, the crown jewel in the Pakistani property market is Bahria Town. I mean, their structures are earth-quake proof and combine practicality with suave in such a manner that people line up in queues just to get the booking forms. Bahria Town is the largest housing scheme in Pakistan, and features such as replica models of world’s famous icons, a zoo, golf courses, world class educational institutes only add to its allure. Although, built on the outskirts of the city, you do not have to worry about basic facilities, since all of Bahria Town’s projects accommodate banks, supermarkets, mosques and medical centers. 2. Defence Housing Authority (D.H.A) Coming in at a close second is DHA City Karachi. Located near Gadap Town, DHA has its own charm. The construction of the project is overseen by some of the best architects in the world, which is mirrored in the over the top villas and farm houses. The project is divided into 4 distinct mini projects – which include a Golf Resort, DHA Oasis, The Iconic DCK Mosque, a Theme Park, and a Solar Park. What’s best is you get round the clock security from none other than the Pakistan Army (how cool!) 3. Askari Housing Scheme The Askari Housing Scheme is another one that is supervised by the Army, so you can bet it is as safe as any place in Pakistan. The scheme was initially introduced to house retired officers from the forces but has now evolved to accommodate civilians as well. The salient features of the housing scheme include lush and green surroundings, excursion parks for kids and families, non-stop supply of water and electricity as well as 24/7 security. Their biggest USP is the reasonable price point. 4. Royal Residencia Situated in Lahore, Royal Residencia is aimed at wealthy individuals who wouldn’t settle for second best. The project looks stellar and has all the amenities you can think of from a world class housing project. A tad expensive, but good things do not come cheap, do they? The scheme has community centers, a mini golf course built on international standards, shopping malls, a world class cinema, a beautiful mosque, educational institutes, and even a royal marquee! If you have cash to splash on property, then Royal Residencia should definitely be on the top of your list

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DHA City Karachi – A High-class Living Destination

DHA City Karachi – A High-class Living Destination

Back in 2009, the announcement of the DHA City Karachi project sent ripples in the real estate market. Karachi was finally going to have a project that could give Bahria Town a run for its money. Everyone with an eye for property could see massive potential in the project. Now, 10 years down the line, the project is on the cusp of completion, and it certainly lives up to its expectations. The Location Located in Gadap Town, in the outskirts of Karachi – DHA City Karachi is spread over 20,000 acres and can roughly accommodate somewhere around 270,000 people, which translates to roughly 60,000 families and apartments. Built by acclaimed architects, the apartments and the serene ambience are a thing of beauty. DHA Karachi City holds the distinction of being the first and only green and sustainable mini city of Pakistan. The project was awarded the Green Excellency Award for thoughtful leadership and eco-friendly practices in construction and development. The project is at a distance of 55 kilometers from the heart of Karachi and takes roughly a couple of hours to reach using the M-9 Super Highway. However, the development of the Malir Motorway will significantly cut the 2 hour long journey to less than an hour. Other than that, modern tramway systems are laid out inside DHA City to facilitate the movement of people to and from different sectors. Facilities and Amenities DHA City Karachi is equipped with all the world class facilities and amenities that you would expect from a DHA project. The project has managed to draw the attention of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, Institute of Business Administration, Shifa University; among others. The existing facilities include a lush green gold course, world class farm houses under the brand of DHA Oasis, the iconic Dock Mosque, a theme park emulating the famous Six Flags, DHA Suffa University, DOW University Hospital, and foolproof security and vigilance round the clock. Current Status Construction work is already completed in sector 3, while construction is scheduled to wind up in the rest of the sectors by mid-2020. Therefore, sectors 5 and 7 will be up for possession shortly. Though expensive, DHA City Karachi is the idea destination for people who aspire to lead a serene, comfortable and luxurious life.

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The London Empire – Avenfield Flats and Others

The London Empire – Avenfield Flats and Others

Much has been said and made about a particular politician and his assets abroad – specifically in relation to real estate. Political commentators continue to express their bewilderments on his family’s acquisition of properties worth millions – considering their ‘modest’ income. The properties along with other wrongdoings led to his dismissal first as the prime minister in 2017, before a heavy defeat in the general elections of 2018 saw him lose credibility in the eyes of the people. Currently, on a medical leave, the 3-time head of state is expected (hopefully) to make a return to the country once he is treated for his illness. Let’s have a glimpse of his most discussed property; the Avenfield Apartments and its unbelievable features. Avenfield Apartments The Avenfield Flats ultimately led to his downfall, as his family simply could not provide substantial evidence to justify the purchase of such a high-end apartment. The luxurious flats are situated in the affluent neighborhood of Park Lane, Mayfair London. The apartments look stellar, with all imaginable amenities at the disposal of the family. What’s more, you ask? The apartments offer direct viewing of Hyde Park and Skyline of the City. Upon purchasing the apartments, the family demolished the partitioning walls between the 4 portions (16, 16a, 17 and 17a), and converted them into one single apartment – spacious enough to accommodate the entire family. In total, the apartments comprise of a main drawing room, 7 master bed rooms, 2 fully furnished kitchens (like the ones you see in Hollywood movies), 5 reception rooms, 8 bathrooms, a terrace, a parking area and even has a freaking lift. The inside of the apartments, as you’d expect is as opulent and majestic as anything – combining sophistication with a woody, rustic element. Clad in off white color and embellished with white marble, Avenfield apartments are reminiscent of a palace – minus the royal servants. Look no further than the bathrooms to get an idea on the free-spending spirit of his family! This political family used Avenfield as their primary habitat during exile years, and it comes as no surprise that during treatment, the former head of the state will reside in the luxurious abode. The apartments were brought under the name of a fake offshore company, Nielsen Enterprises and Nescoll Limited, both operating from tax havens like Panama and British Virgin Islands. It remains to be seen what will the fate of the apartments be once a verdict is given against him and his family on the corruption cases. Much has been said and made about a particular politician and his assets abroad – specifically in relation to real estate. Political commentators continue to express their bewilderments on his family’s acquisition of properties worth millions – considering their ‘modest’ income. The properties along with other wrongdoings led to his dismissal first as the prime minister in 2017, before a heavy defeat in the general elections of 2018 saw him lose credibility in the eyes of the people. Currently, on a medical leave, the 3-time head of state is expected (hopefully) to make a return to the country once he is treated for his illness. Let’s have a glimpse of his most discussed property; the Avenfield Apartments and its unbelievable features.

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