In Murree’s outskirts, real estate gold lies squandered. Or does it?

The provision of facilities by the government will make it possible to turn the outskirts of Murree into developed tourist destinations and revamp tourism in the area

When you think of the real estate industry in Pakistan, you think mostly about cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Multan, and Faisalabad. Or maybe even developing cities like Gujranwala or Gawadar. There are large projects being undertaken in these cities – all massive, all gaudy, all ridiculously priced, and almost all full of fraud, scheming, and corruption. But as much as Pakistan seems to love grossly made housing societies with little planning and a lot of nauseating design choices, there is perhaps one place where housing societies could be done right – up north. 

Pakistan has a breathtaking northern province, a lot of which is accessible and a lot more of which is very quickly becoming so. Perhaps the most famous of these locations is Murree, once in contention with Simla to be the summer capital of the British empire in India. Serene, beautiful, and a bit of a tourist city that has slowly been poisoned by high visitation, Murree still has vast tracts of land that can be developed and turned into both commercial and residential real estate. While the bulk of the stimulus received as part of the construction package has not been focused up north, a place like Murree would be an ideal location for investment. Most projects in the Punjab need hooks – recreating Paris, or Egypt or some other ostensible and silly whim that some real estate developer thinks is a good idea. With a place like Murree, you don’t need a gimmick since you are selling natural beauty. It is a clean, simple kind of development that a place like Murree needs. 

Tourism is booming and the prices of land, houses, shops, hotels and plazas in these areas are skyrocketing. International hotel chains, restaurant chains, and coffee shops are also making good profits by setting up their businesses here and it seems that the hotel and restaurant industry is also eager to make further investments in these areas. Since the northern areas are mostly tourist destinations, everyone wants to invest here for residential and commercial purposes. 

The situation is similar in Murree, a popular tourist destination in Pakistan. By the way, it is a hill station and falls within the limits of Punjab, but since it is full of tourists all year round and the expressways and GT road leading to this city are very beautiful and dynamic due to the government’s attention, therefore, most of the real estate projects have started to grow here as well. Apparently, the management of such projects claims that the projects are extremely beneficial from the point of view of investment and the investor today will also get huge benefits in the future but it is too early to say whether this will actually happen or not.

 

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Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]

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