What You Need To Know
Karachi is the largest and most populous metropolitan city in Pakistan, the 7th in the world, and is the capital of Sindh province of Pakistan. It is the main seaport and financial center of Pakistan. Karachi is also known as City of Lights mainly due to city’s night life, for which it is famous as the city which never sleeps.. Karachi is the 7th largest urban agglomeration in the world, and the second largest in the Muslim world. It is also the world’s 7th least expensive city to live based on cost of living. It is Pakistan’s centre of banking, industry, economic activity and trade and is home to Pakistan’s largest corporations, including those involved in textiles, shipping, the automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a hub of higher education in South Asia and the Muslim world. Karachi is also ranked as a beta world city. It was the capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed as a capital to spread development evenly across the country and to prevent it from being concentrated in Karachi. Karachi is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region’s largest and busiest ports. After the independence of Pakistan, the city population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of Muslim Muhajirs from India and from other parts of South Asia came to settle in Karachi. The city is located on the Arabian Sea coastline. It is also known as the Uroos ul Bilaad, “The Bride of the Cities,” the “City of Lights” and the “City of the Quaid,” having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam, the Great Leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan’s independence from the British Raj on 14 August 1947. The term “City of Lights” was first used during Ayub era when new buildings, residential and recreational areas were constructed. During British Raj, it was also described as “Paris of Asia.” According to Price water house Coopers, in 2009, Karachi had a total GDP of $78 billion with conservative projections expecting it to rise to $193 billion in 2025. The city generates 35% of Pakistan’s tax revenue and is a transit point for majority of it’s trade.
Area: 3,527 km²
Population: About 23.8 million
- The currency used in Karachi is the Pakistan Rupee.
Art and culture
Karachi is home to some of Pakistan’s important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts, located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana, offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theater. The All Pakistan Music Conference, linked to the 45-year-old similar institution in Lahore, has been holding its annual music festival since its inception in 2004. The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) has musical performances and mushaira. The Kara Film Festival annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries. Karachi is home to theatre, music and dance performance groups, such as Thespianz Theater, a professional youth-based, non-profit performing arts group, which works on theater and arts activities in Pakistan. Karachi has museums that present exhibitions on a regular basis, including the Mohatta Palace and the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centre hosts regional and international exhibitions.
Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In line with its status as a major port and the country’s largest metropolis, it accounts for a lion’s share of Pakistan’s revenue. According to the Federal Board of Revenue’s 2006–2007 year book, tax and customs units in Karachi were responsible for 46.75% of direct taxes, 33.65% of federal excise tax, and 23.38% of domestic sales tax. Karachi accounts for 75.14% of customs duty and 79% of sales tax on imports. Therefore, Karachi collects 53.38% of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue, out of which 53.33% are customs duty and sales tax on imports. (Note: Revenue collected from Karachi includes revenue from some other areas since the Large Tax Unit (LTU) Karachi and Regional Tax Offices (RTOs) Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur & Quetta cover the entire province of Sindh and Balochistan). Karachi’s indigenous contribution to national revenue is around 25%.
Pakistan’s national language is Urdu. Languages spoken in Karachi are English and Urdu.
Located on the coast, Karachi has an arid climate with low average precipitation levels (approx. 250 mm (9.8 in) per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July–August monsoon season. Winters are warm and dry, while the summers are hot and humid; the proximity to the sea maintains humidity levels at a near-constant high and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. December through February are dry and pleasant as compared to the warm summers that dominate through the late spring (March) to the pre-monsoon season (June). Karachi is considered to be one of the hottest cities on the planet. The city’s weather can be compared to that of US state of Florida in level of heat, humidity and mosquito population. The city’s highest monthly rainfall, 429.3 mm (16.90 in), occurred in July 1967. The city’s highest rainfall in 24 hours occurred on 7 August 1953, when about 278.1 millimeters (10.95 in) of rain lashed the city, resulting in major flooding. Karachi’s highest recorded temperature is 48 °C (118 °F) which was recorded on 9 May 1938, and the lowest is 0 °C (32 °F) recorded on 21 January 1934.
- Karachi is a centre of research in biomedicine with at least 30 public hospitals, 80 registered private hospitals and 12 recognized medical colleges, including the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Civil Hospital, Combined Military Hospital, PNS Rahat, PNS Shifa, Aga Khan University Hospital, Liaquat National Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Holy Family Hospital and Ziauddin Hospital. Ziauddin Hospital was the first hospital in Pakistan to administer a bone marrow transplant. It was administered in 1995 for a case of acute myeloid leukemia.
Karachi is a tourist destination for domestic and international tourists. Some tourist attractions near Karachi city are:
Beaches: The beaches of Karachi are the main attraction for tourists. There are many beautiful seasides near city like Seaview, Manora Island, Sandspit Beach, Hawke’s Bay Beach, Paradise Point, French Beach, Cape Monze, and Nathiagali Beach.
Museums: The main museum of Karachi is National Museum of Pakistan others are Pakistan Air Force Museum and Pakistan Maritime Museum.
Parks: Some popular parks are Bagh Ibne Qasim, Boat Basin Park, Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi Zoo, Hill Park, Safari Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah,PAF Museum Park and Maritime Museum Park.
Historic places and buildings: Chowkandi graveyard is the most historic place in Karachi, famous for hundred-year old tombs. Historic buildings in the city were constructed in the British era like Karachi Port Trust, Sindh High Court. Hindu Gymkhana, Shri Varun Dev Mandir, KMC Head Office, Ghulam Husain Khalikdina Hall, Frere Hall, Empress Market, Jehangir Kothari Parade, St Patrick’s Church, Mohatta Palace and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station buildings.
Lake and National Park: Hub lake is 56 kilometres away in north of Karachi. It is an ideal place to birds watching, picnic, swimming and fishing. The Kirthar National Park is also located near this lake. The park is the home of Striped hyenas, Wolves, Ratels, Urials, Indian Gazelles and Sind wild goats.
- Due to a growing population traffic problems and pollution are major challenges for Karachi. The level of air pollution in Karachi is significantly higher than World Health Organization standards. Lyari Expressway is a highway under construction along the Lyari River in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Lyari Expressway‘s North bound section is under construction, While the South bound corridor is now completed and it was inaugurated for traffic. This toll highway is designed to relieve congestion in the city of Karachi. Karachi Northern Bypass (M10) begins north of Karachi at the end of Mohammad Ali Jinnah Road, near the junction of the M9. It then continues north for a few kilometres before turning west, where it forms an interchange with the N25. After this interchange it eventually turns south back towards Karachi and merges onto the KPT Flyover at Karachi Port.