Over 1.75 million internationals visited Pakistan last year with the hope of accessing the country’s business potential and many unique attractions. The country is having to accommodate increasing investment and tourism each year as a result. Therefore, this South Asian financial hub has required the inclusion of serviced apartments.
Although civilisations obviously occupied the region centuries ago, Pakistan’s beginnings truly occurred in 1947. Its partition from British India resulted from a need to separate Hindus and Muslims. Therefore, the two dominions of India and Pakistan, led by the famous figures Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammed Ali Jinnah, emerged. Religious disputes and wars over territory, particularly Kashmir, were continued commonly with India. Relations are still strained between the two countries, but nowadays Pakistan certainly concentrates more on itself.
Pakistan is in South Asia, bordering Iran, Afghanistan, China, the Arabian Sea in the south and most famously, India. Compared to the world, Pakistan is the 33rd biggest country by area and has the sixth largest population, exceeding 212 million people. This population live on land that has a vastly varied topography, with a lot of country being flat whilst the rest is precipitous. For instance, Pakistan has the world’s second highest mountain, K2, and one of the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Karakoram Range. Despite only being the ninth most populous city, Islamabad became the capital to replace Karachi and act as a hub for high standards of living and financial prosperity.
Pakistan has the second largest and 25th largest economy in South Asia and in the world respectively. However, government instability and ongoing foreign tensions have hampered the progress of Pakistan’s economy. However, there are signs of improvement. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) currently under procedure is flooding beneficial infrastructure projects into the country, costing around £40 billion. The project offers enormous potential for Pakistan to boost its economy and reduce poverty.
Foreign investments have risen significantly in recent years as business travellers recognise the potential. The rapidly increasing population, young and skilled labour force and low competition for business give the impression that Pakistan investment can be prosperous. Government incentives such as low-interest loans and tax concessions also encourage foreign investment. The country accepts new business venture, and the need for serviced apartments has emerged as a result.
Only citizens of nine countries do not require a visa for entry to Pakistan. Trusting that visitors have the appropriate documentation, all residents of European Union countries, except Bulgaria and Croatia, can obtain a business visa though upon arrival into Pakistan. US, Australian and Canadian citizens can also do this. It’s worth researching in more detail through the Pakistani embassy about visa requirements before you travel.
It should come as no surprise that Pakistani local law reflects its Muslim population. You should always respect the culture, particularly during the month of Ramadan or around religious sites. Dressing modestly is important, particularly in mosques or holy places where you should take extra care. Disrespecting the government could involve photographing major and military establishments, so think before you snap. For more specific laws and penalties be sure to visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan.
Driving through Pakistan can be a challenging experience. Pakistani’s drive on the left-hand side and their driving standards are extremely varied. Every Pakistani motorway is tolled, but you will be issued with a toll card upon entry and the e-toll system can grant you easier routes through traffic. International driving licenses are valid though for six months after arriving in the country. For the best advice regarding driving in Pakistan, visit www.rhinocarhire.com.
Alternatives though are Uber and the extensive system of taxis that run through the major cities. You will, therefore, need the bring enough Pakistani currency, the Rupee, in order to fund these various travels. Its bank notes value from ten to one-thousand, and its exchange rates can be found at www.xe.com. Also worth noting is the introduction of the Pakistani Pink Taxis last year. These cater exclusively for women to protect them from the risks taxi travel imposes.
Visitors are spoilt for choice in Pakistan if they want to educate themselves of the country’s short yet fascinating history. The Tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah is probably the best place to start. The beautiful mausoleum is in Karachi, surrounded by luscious parks and elegant fountains. This is a special place for the Pakistan population and is a massive symbol of their country’s independence. Similarly significant is the Pakistan Monument. Inaugurated in Islamabad in 2007, the national monument is crammed with historical relevance and symbols of proud nationalism.
The Mosques are extravagant expressions of Pakistani lifestyle. Mosques are spread up and down the country, but the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore stands out as the most incredibly sacred. It was the world’s largest mosque for over three-hundred years and its courtyard still remains the biggest. Its architecture is truly breath-taking, leaving little for the imagination. Overtaking this mosque as the largest is the less traditional Faisal Mosque. The architecture is contemporary and does not consist of a usual dome. It dominates the capital and the people respect it as a unique expression of their religion.
Pakistan’s incredibly diverse landscape makes the travel to these destinations exciting too. This is exactly why Pakistan is so unique and its history, culture and attractions are like no other nation. Corporates consider this and combine the country’s economic promise to create a destination perfect for business travel. Be sure to choose SITU for our great range of corporate accommodation to assist your time in Pakistan.
Named after the founder of Pakistan, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, this airport is Pakistan’s busiest located in the country’s largest city, Karachi.
Public transportation is the most economical way into and out of the airport, but there are several taxi companies which can aid you with transport to your serviced apartment.
Headquarter in Lahore, Pakistan’s state-owned rail network consists of 4,800 miles of track, enabling passengers to be closer to business, sight-seeing and pilgrimage aspects of the country. The network connects passengers to all corners of the country.
Popular destinations for rail transport are Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Be aware of which class you travel in depending on the level of comfort you want!
Bus travel is popular around Pakistan as the fares are cheap and the rate of travel is frequent. Companies such as Daewoo and Niazi offer the most comfortable services, and coaches are recommended for travel when possible.
Smaller buses can get crowded and run rather unsystematically. Women very rarely travel alone, and passengers stop-offs are not always the most appropriate.