Thanks to shahrukh for pointing this out.

Karachi is truly on its way to becoming the next dubai, what with all the construction going on everywhere. Yes, we have our problems, infrastructure, electricity, power and what not.. and people crying out about putting basic amenities first then other larger projects, however, that still hasnt detterred arab money coming into the city.

The city govt. has recently signed an MoU with reps of FOUR arab states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) for construction of the country’s first seven-star hotel, a world-class shopping plaza and multi-storey residential and commercial centres in Karachi. I wonder where that’ll be though? The only place which pops in mind is the Defence beachfront, though it may be any other location. SWA? can you help out with this?

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28 Comments so far

  1. kidal (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

    Its good to see Gulf money being invested in a Muslim country. It definitely is about time. But I don’t think we need a 7-star hotel. I doubt we have a market for it. 5-star hotels are good enough – in fact they’re more than enough. I have stayed in 3 and 4-star hotels and have been very satisfied with their services (in Malaysia and the US).

    Karachi does need a face lift and does require investment in buildings and basic infrastructure. Plus these projects will hopefully result in more jobs, which will inject more cash in the economy. But in the end a construction project really amounts to turning liquid cash into concrete. Industrial projects on the other hand are a long-term source of income, and will increase the GDP of the country. The industrial sector, not the construction sector, is the engine of growth for any economy.

  2. SCHAWLAF (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

    “Mustafa Kamal in his address said it was his vision and efforts that a foreign investment of $900 billion had already been made in the city and today agreement had been signed for a billion US dollar investment. ”

    900 billion USD – What can we do with all this money

    — Cost estimates for rebuilding the WTC site range from $10 to $12 billion ( source wikipedia ) so build Burj Karachi with this money

    there is still $888 billion left –

    Cost to build Penang bridge the largest in Asia 1.1 billion Ringett roughly 300 million USD – We need one from Airport to Governer House for our beloved Rulers

    still 887.700 billion dollar left ,

    Buy everyone living in Karachi a Hummer H3 $40K X 15 million of us = 6 billion to drive on all the khada roads

    we still have USd 881.7 billion left

    Well divide it amongst the people of KArachi and we could all have around USD 600,000 each or 3.5 carore ruppees each , the city with the largest number of Karoorpati in the world and rename Karachi – Karorhachi

  3. Karachiite (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

    The correct amount is $900 MILLION not billion.

  4. K.A. (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

    Well we do run out of 5 star hotel space for at least 6-7 months a year though we hardly notice it. Meridien is indefinitely delayed. No news of Holiday Inn, Intercon , Hilton that were in the pipeline. A 7 star wouldnt hurt.. but where? Cant be the beach front.

  5. Gibran (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

    I think the idea of a 7 star hotel in Karachi is retarded. There are huge swaths of the city without electricity or water or any other basic amenities… We have no right to have something like a 7 star hotel in the city untill these basic problems can be solved by the nazims and all those other govenment IDIOTS!!!

  6. kidal (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

    SCHAWLAF, that was a funny post.

  7. Anathema (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

    Seven star??! erm. the criteria for a five star hotel to qualify so is to serve alcohol! how can we have a seven star hotel?

  8. verysmart (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    I love to see this money invested in the city, but can someone please find out (somehow) if this investment is in phases or in one go? coz $900 billions (wow) is a humongous amount! really its like more than the GDP of India ($719 billions in real terms not PPP)

    I think Mustafa Kamal is pointing out to the total (probable) FDI in the city upto this point after including this new deal. Please anyone, do confirm this.

    SCHWALF funny post, but i think the Arabs are not just going to give a gift voucher of that amount to the CDGK, they are rather building their own stuff with that money like hotels, shopping malls etc.

  9. mansoor (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 9:59 pm

    SCHWALF: LoL!!! you almost had me off the chair!

    anathema: please tell me ur not that naive :p all our five star serve alchols after hours :D and on room service. Its us muslims who arent allowed, but the gora’s which usually stay there are allowed, and have it too.

    kidal: you turn liquid to concrete, which generates jobs, which generates more income. I agree that industrial units do bring in income, but for that we need a skilled workforce too.. no?

    gibran: puh-leeassee come off your high horse! no right to have hotels!!! these problems will be solved till we raise a cry against them and get THEM solved. that is not a reason to stop advancement (typical mullah thinking!!!) [ur not a mullah by any chance r u?]

    verysmart: i agree… that sounds about right… by the way.. FDI? u just keep on giving us new terms all the time.. how bout some info on em too ;)

  10. SWA (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

    There is only one seven star hotel in the whole world that I know of, and that is the Burj-al-Arab hotel in Dubai.

    Frankly, I dont think anybody would pay just to go live in a seven star hotel in Karachi, or for that matter, Pakistan. There just simply arnt enough tourist attractions in the city to justify such an expense.

    Anybody notice a pattern of day dreaming by our city authorities? They make tall claims that are un reachable and impractical by any standards just to try and put on airs.
    – Maglev for a city transit system (highly impractical!)
    – Corridor I for that matter! (lots of claims, no progress!)
    – Flyover on top of Shahrah-e-Faisal (wasnt that due to start in August??)
    – The Karachi Port tower at 1947 ft
    – Food street on the Native Jetty bridge…

    now how many of these projects have actually materialized??

    Karachi needs common affordable 4-5 star hotel spaces much more so normal everyday people coming to the city can find a place to stay for conducting their buisness instead of some daydreams of a 7-star white elephant that would be bound to go bankrupt in a year!

  11. kidal (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

    Mansoor, FDI means Foreign Direct Investment.

    You’re right, industrial projects do need a skilled force. But it can work, albeit gradually. Because there is a lot of underemployment in Pakistan (people being under utilized), the workforce can make the necessary adjustments. Moreover, this is a “pull strategy”, where the industry will encourage people to acquire the necessary skills because of the opportunities it presents.

    The opposite is a “push strategy” where we can keep churning out educated, skilled labour and they will have no where to use their skills and education. It can be very discouraging. Its also one of the reasons why efforts to increase the literacy rate in Pakistan haven’t worked.

  12. verysmart (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

    hehehe… sorry mansoor. I am still fresh from my international business course in my mba recently…

    Thanx kidal.

  13. mansoor (unregistered) on August 7th, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    kidal: thanks for the update. Hmm.. push strategy :P that leads to ppl having a BCS degree going into marketing/sales/advertising :p (and in most cases.. outperforming ppl doing a BBA :D)

  14. osman (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 2:45 am

    sorry to disappoint karachi…but pakistans first 7 star hotel is already under construction in islamabad

  15. verysmart (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 6:43 am

    Yuk na shud do shud!

  16. SCHAWLAF (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:22 am

    We need atleast 10 more 5 star hotels in Karachi more competition means much better rates right now Marriott Sheraton and PC charge on average R. 8500 for a standard room per night plus taxes amounting to around Rs. 11000 or USD 185 per night( these are corporate rates for walins its much higher ) , while MArriott in Kualalumpur starts room rates from USD 80 , Ritz Carlton KL charges USD 125 including all Butler services they even do the laundry for free

    Le Meridian was planning to open a hotel at Karachi Airport it was in their books a couple of years back

    Sofitel is expected to be opened at old Casino

    All we need is Hilton ( to be inaugurated by Paris Hilton ) a Hard ROck hotel , Westin ( though part of Sheraton but much better ) courtyard and Residence by Marriott for the budget travellers , Shangri-la etc .

    The current situation is Marriott Karachi is full , Sheraton and PC have 85 % occupancy rates

  17. mansoor (unregistered) on August 8th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    osman: you’re refering to Centaurus Hotel? Its written its a five start… which hotel are you talking about in isb?

  18. bakpakchik (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

    Karachi is on it’s way to becoming the next Dubai? Don’t know if you are being funny or stupid.

    There is more to being like Dubai than simply building a 7star hotel.

    Do you think the only thing that makes DUbai a great place ot live is the fact that it has a 7star hotel?

    I think Dubai’s excellent lifestyle has more to do with things like basic amentities being available to everyone all the time at reasonable cost, good roads, excellent safety and security etc etc and NOT its 7star hotel!

    Let the people of Karachi have water and electricity round the clock, a good police force, education funding, guaranteed jobs when they graduate and THEN we can say Karachi is somewhat on the way to becoming like Dubai …..

  19. Dee (unregistered) on August 10th, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

    Well said , Bakpakchik.7 star hotels do not guarantee 7 star status for a country.We have to solve(try to solve) above mentioned problems.

  20. Sheza (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 4:18 am

    i agree with BPC. In their attempt to make themselves compete with world-class cities, karachiites are becoming even dumber! How does having a 7 star hotel make your city look like a one-of-the-best-cities in the world to live in? what may be available to perhaps 1% of the city does not justify the needs of the other 99% of the city. As it is, karachi is a city that has been shunned by the rest of pakistan – within karachi, karachiites are shunning out the other 99%! The money spent towards this one hotel could very well pay for the infrastructure of almost 50% of karachi’s slums!

  21. Sheza (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 4:20 am

    i agree with BPC. In their attempt to make themselves compete with world-class cities, karachiites are becoming even dumber! How does having a 7 star hotel make your city look like a one-of-the-best-cities in the world to live in? what may be available to perhaps 1% of the city does not justify the needs of the other 99% of the city. As it is, karachi is a city that has been shunned by the rest of pakistan – within karachi, karachiites are shunning out the other 99%! The money spent towards this one hotel could very well pay for the infrastructure of almost 50% of karachi’s slums! Whereas, the money generated from this hotel could very well pay for the extra mercedes’ required for its franchise umbrella, tucked away somewhere in the US/Dubai.

  22. Mariam (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 7:44 am

    I agree with Bakpakchik to some extent. But there is a huge problem of Human Rights in Dubai, so it’s not a perfect city as they claims.

    In their attempt to make themselves compete with world-class cities, karachiites are becoming even dumber!

    Sheza, I know you’ve quite few problems with Pakistan but you don’t need to be personal here.

    You are wrong in assuming telling private people what to do what they own. This money belongs to some people and it’s their decision how to spend it. Just like you and I spend our money to buy necessities despite there are people dying everywhere in this world. For poverty and slums, there are slums everywhere even in the West. But it never stops them to build million dollars of infrastructure which you and I use everyday. In this world of today money makes money. When one country has perfect system then she let her people to do business freely which bring jobs and taxes. The same taxes which helps western governments to pay unemployed (or sometimes underpaid) people stipends, free medical treatment, free schooling, cheap housing and etc. etc. I guess Pakistan should look at China and India and learn few tricks from them. Though both have different style of governments, one being a world’s largest communist state and other is the largest democratic society. They’re turning heads of people around the world with their exemplary progress in almost every area.

    To see a difference between above mentioned countries please see these links China, India, and Pakistan.

  23. mansoor (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    sheza: did it occur to you how many jobs and ‘foreign exchange’ this hotel would bring to karachi and pakistan? The taxes levied on the hotel industry make it very viable for the govt. to fill their treasuries. That money can then be used (as it is nowadays.. just look around karachi) for infrastructure.

    as for the slum areas.. i totally agree with Mariam! Its their money.. why should we tell them how to spend it?

    mariam: you’ve been a voice of reason amid theis shouting of chaos!

  24. Mariam (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 10:36 am

    Aww Mansoor,

    Thank you for kind words buddy.

  25. mansoor (unregistered) on August 12th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    your most welcome mariam :)

  26. Sheza (unregistered) on August 17th, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

    Anon: I’m not telling people what to do, I’m just pointing out hwo disgusting and inhumane the lives in pakistan are. the amount people pay their servants for an entire days worth of work (not discounting the shrieking, bitchy housewives, barking orders from their couch! – and dont u dare deny that!!), they go and blow it off on a cup of coffee at costa. They are so miser to spend on what human lives require but are willing to pay off for foriegn franchise. Which turns me to the point mansoor made… mansoor, indonesia is an oil producing nation which is under debt to the world bank. ghana is an agricultural nation which has mcdonalds on every corner, but their own ppl cant afford locally grown food thanks to the advent of american mechanical crops. yes ure gettign taxes out of these hotels, but the taxes are a mere few % of the overall profit. and considering that these are foriegn owned ventures, the money leaving the country is far exceeding the money coming in!

  27. mansoor (unregistered) on August 18th, 2006 @ 12:04 am

    sheza: as far as franchises are concerned.. they’re part of global consumerism. I dont deny your stats on other nations, and we are pretty much in the same boat. But you cant just shut down your doors, because as much as you want to deny it… they are wanted by the people as well.

    Secondly, your missing out the ancillary benefits foreign firms bring. E.g. for mcdonalds, the staff is local (increased jobs), most (if not all) ingredients in the food are locally made (increased sales for those industries) eg. buns, vegetables, potatoes, chicken/meat, milk etc. They do give profit back to their parent companies, however, benefits are also felt locally.

    When you talk about construction, you provide jobs to a plethora of specialized workers, e.g. masons, electricians, plumbers, etc. The lower class is provided ‘mazdoori’, its the local thekadars which get the contracts and so on.

    These are the spillover effects which bring benefits to the people.

  28. Mariam (unregistered) on August 18th, 2006 @ 5:19 am


    I guess by Anon you meant Mariam so I’m taking a liberty to reply to your concern.

    Since Mansoor has already covered the real benefit from these businesses so I wont cover that part.

    I don’t see any connection in stopping businesses to rectify the problems you mentioned. I’m too a big believer in equal pay for equal work but this is not how things work. One needs reforms like minimum wage to force employers to pay the prevailing wage.¬† The conditions of house hold staff is miserable. BTW have you ever tried to convince the Begums to treat them as human beings? Sometimes they just need a little scolding to get in line. The problem you mentioned is faced by all developing countries one time or other. Human beings are strange creature when they force to follow rules they hire illegal workers to save few bucks. So I’m not saying it will solve all problems
    but lessen it. Believe me if the direction is right then in few years poor will see the benefit. India is doing a great job in
    tackling some issues but remember they’re able to do it only after they let world business to run from their soil. Of course education did play a role in it but what a use of a degree when you have no jobs?

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