Karachi: Wikis


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—  City District  —
Clockwise from top left: French Beach, Merewether Clock Tower, Mazar-e-Quaid, MCB Tower, D. J. Science College, Karachi Creek Marina

Location of Karachi in Sindh and in Pakistan
Karachi is located in Pakistan
Location of Karachi in Pakistan
Coordinates: 24°51′36″N 67°0′36″E / 24.86°N 67.01°E / 24.86; 67.01Coordinates: 24°51′36″N 67°0′36″E / 24.86°N 67.01°E / 24.86; 67.01
Country  Pakistan
Province Sindh
Municipal Committee 1853
Municipal Corporation 1933
Metropolitan Corporation 1976
City District Government 14th August 2001
City Council City Complex, Gulshan Town
Government [1]
 - Type City District
 - City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal
 - Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil
 - DCO Javed Hanif
Area [2]
 - Total 3,530 km2 (1,362.9 sq mi)
Elevation 8 m (26 ft)
Population (2009)[3][4]
 - Total between 12 and 18 million
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Area code(s) 021
Website http://www.karachicity.gov.pk

About this sound Karachi (Urdu: کراچی, Sindhi: ڪراچي) is the largest city, main seaport and the financial capital of Pakistan, and the capital of the province of Sindh. With a city population of 15.5 million, Karachi is one of the world's largest cities,[4] 13th largest urban agglomeration[5] and the 20th largest metropolitan area in the world.[6]. It is Pakistan's premier centre of banking, industry, and trade. Karachi is home to Pakistan's largest corporations, including those that are involved in textiles, shipping, automotive industry, entertainment, the arts, fashion, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. The city is a major hub of higher education in South Asia and the wider Islamic world.[7] Karachi is ranked as a Beta world city.[8][9]

Karachi enjoys its prominent position because of its geographical location on a bay, making it the financial capital of the country. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. It was the original capital of Pakistan until the construction of Islamabad and is the location of the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, one of the region's largest and busiest ports. After the partition of India and the independence of Pakistan, the city's population increased dramatically when hundreds of thousands of migrants from India, East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) and other parts of South Asia came to settle in the city.

Karachi city is spread over 3,530 km2 (1,360 sq mi) in area, almost five times bigger than Singapore. It is locally known as the "City of Lights" (روشنیوں کا شهر) and "The bride of the cities" (عروس البلاد) for its liveliness, and the "City of the Quaid" (شهرِ قائد), having been the birth and burial place of Quaid-e-Azam (Muhammad Ali Jinnah), the founder of Pakistan, who made the city his home after Pakistan's independence.



A view of the Sindh Arts College now renamed as D. J. Science College.

The area of Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola, the place where Alexander the Great camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus Valley; 'Morontobara' (probably Manora island near Karachi harbour), from whence Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal, the starting point for Muhammad bin Qasim and his army in 712 AD. Karachi was founded as "Kolachi" by Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran, who established a small fishing community in the area.[10] Descendants of the original community still live in the area on the small island of Abdullah Goth, which is located near the Karachi Port. The original name "Kolachi" survives in the name of a well-known Karachi locality named "Mai Kolachi". The city was visited by Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis in 1550s and mentioned in his book Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries), 1557 AD.[11] The present city started life as a fishing settlement when a Balochi fisherwoman called Mai Kolachi took up residence and started a family. The village that later grew out of this settlement was known as Kolachi-jo-Goth (Village of Kolachi in Sindhi). By the late 1720s, the village was trading across the Arabian Sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. A small fort was constructed for its protection, armed with cannons imported from Muscat. The fort had two main gateways: one facing the sea, known as Kharra Darwaaza (Brackish Gate) (Kharadar) and the other facing the Lyari River known as the Meet'ha Darwaaza (Sweet Gate) (Mithadar).[12] The location of these gates correspond to the modern areas of Kharadar (Khārā Dar) and Mithadar (Mīṭhā Dar).

A view of Saddar Bazaar in 1900

After sending a couple of exploratory missions to the area, the British East India Company conquered the town when HMS Wellesley anchored off Manora island on 1 February 1839. Two days later, the little fort surrendered.[13] The town was later annexed to the British Indian Empire when Sindh was conquered by Charles James Napier in Battle of Miani on 17 February 1843. On his departure in 1847, he is said to have remarked, "Would that I could come again to see you in your grandeur!" Karachi was made the capital of Sindh in the 1840s. On Napier's departure, it was added along with the rest of Sindh to the Bombay Presidency, a move that caused considerable resentment among the native Sindhis. The British realised the importance of the city as a military cantonment and as a port for exporting the produce of the Indus River basin, and rapidly developed its harbour for shipping. The foundations of a city municipal government were laid down and infrastructure development was undertaken. New businesses started opening up and the population of the town began rising rapidly. The arrival of the troops of the Kumpany Bahadur in 1839 spawned the foundation of the new section, the military cantonment. The cantonment formed the basis of the 'white' city, where the Indians were not allowed free access. The 'white' town was modeled after English industrial parent-cities, where work and residential spaces were separated, as were residential from recreational places. Karachi was divided into two major poles. The 'black' town in the northwest, now enlarged to accommodate the burgeoning Indian mercantile population. In 1857, the First Indian War for Independence broke out in South Asia and the 21st Native Infantry stationed in Karachi declared allegiance to rebels, joining their cause on 10 September 1857. Nevertheless, the British were able to quickly reassert control over Karachi and defeat the uprising.

In 1864, the first telegraphic message was sent from India to England, when a direct telegraph connection was laid between Karachi and London.[14] In 1878, the city was connected to the rest of British India by rail. Public building projects, such as Frere Hall (1865) and the Empress Market (1890), were undertaken. In 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was born in the city, which by now had become a bustling city with mosques, churches, courthouses, kota, paved streets and a magnificent harbour. By 1899, Karachi had become the largest wheat exporting port in the East.[15] The population of the city was about 105,000 inhabitants by the end of the 19th century, with a cosmopolitan mix of Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews. There were various linguistic groups, such as Urdu speakers, Punjabis as well as Pashtuns and Balochis. The multi-ethnic mix can be imagined from the fact that there are more Pashtuns in Karachi than in any city of the North-West Frontier Province. In addition to local groups, there were immigrants of Persian, Lebanese, and European backgrounds. By the turn of the century, the city faced street congestion, which led to Southwest Asia's first tramway system being laid down in 1900. British colonialists embarked on a number of public works of sanitation and transportation — such as gravel paved streets, proper drains, street sweepers, and a network of trams and horse-drawn trolleys. Colonial administrators set up military camps, a European inhabited quarter, and organised marketplaces, of which the Empress Market is most notable.

By the time the new country of Pakistan was formed in 1947 Karachi had become a bustling metropolis with beautiful classical and colonial European styled buildings, lining the city’s thoroughfares. Karachi was chosen as the capital of Pakistan, which at the time included modern day Bangladesh, a region located more than 1,000 km (620 mi) away, and not physically connected to Pakistan. In 1947, Karachi was the focus for settlement by Muslim migrants from India, who drastically expanded the city's population and transformed the demographics and economy. In 1958, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi and then in 1960, to the newly built Islamabad. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development.[16] Karachi had both a municipal corporation and a Karachi Divisional Council in the 1960s, which developed plans for schools, colleges, roads, municipal gardens, and parks. The Karachi Divisional Council had separate working committees for education, roads, and residential societies development and planning.[17] During the 1960s, Karachi was seen as an economic role model around the world. Many countries sought to emulate Pakistan's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan" and World Financial Centre in Seoul is designed and modeled after Karachi.[18][19]

The 1970s saw major labour struggles in Karachi's industrial estates, (see: Karachi labour unrest of 1972). The 1980s and 1990s saw an influx of refugees from the Soviet war in Afghanistan into Karachi, they were followed in smaller numbers by refugees escaping from Iran.[20] Political tensions between the Muhajir and other native groups (e.g. Sindhis, Punjabis, Pashtuns, and others), erupted and the city was wracked with political and racial violence. The period from 1992 to 1994 is regarded as the bloodiest period in the history of the city, when the Army commenced its Operation Clean-up against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Most of these tensions have now simmered down. Today, Karachi continues to be an important financial and industrial centre and handles most of the overseas trade of Pakistan and the other Central Asian countries. It accounts for a lion's share of the GDP of Pakistan,[21] and a large proportion of the country's white collar workers.[22]


Satellite view of Karachi

Karachi is located in the south of Pakistan, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Its geographic coordinates are 24°51′ N 67°02′ E. Most of the land comprised largely of flat or rolling plains, with hills on the western and Manora Island and the Oyster Rocks. The Arabian Sea beach lines the southern coastline of Karachi. Mangroves and creeks of the Indus delta can be found toward the southeast side of the city. Toward the west and the north is Cape Monze, locally known as Raas Muari, an area marked with projecting sea cliffs and rocky sandstone promontories. Some excellent beaches can be found in this area. Khasa Hills lie in the north west and form the border between North Nazimabad Town and Orangi Town. The Manghopir mountain range lies in north west of Karachi and between Hub River and Manghopir.


Located on the coast, Karachi tends to have a relatively mild, arid climate with low average precipitation levels (approximately 250 mm per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July-August monsoon season. Winters are mild and the summers are hot; the proximity to the sea maintains humidity levels at a near-constant high and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. Because of high temperatures during the summer (ranging from 30 to 44 degrees Celsius from April to August), the winter months (November to February) are generally considered the best times to visit Karachi. December and January have pleasant and cloudy weather.

Evening scene on Clifton beach.

In 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 Karachi was affected by heavy to extremely heavy rainfall. On June 23, 2007, Cyclone Yemyin lashed the city with heavy downpours and strong windstorms. On July 18, 2009, there was severe flooding, in which a record-breaking rainfall of 235 mm occurred in just 14 hours, killing 20 and injuring 150 people. The city's highest monthly rainfall—711.5 mm (28.0) inches—occurred in July 1869.[citation needed] Karachi's highest recorded temperature is 48 °C (118 °F) and its lowest is 0.0 °C (32 °F).[23]

Climate data for Karachi, Pakistan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32
Average high °C (°F) 25
Average low °C (°F) 13
Record low °C (°F) 0
Precipitation mm (inches) 13
Source: [24] & [25] 5.08.2009


Trend of population growth (in millions) in Karachi

The population and demographic distribution in Karachi has undergone numerous changes over the past 150 years. Non-governmental and international estimates of Karachi's population run anywhere from 12 million to 18 million[3][26][27] – a huge increase over its population in 1947 (400,000). It is estimated that over 90% of its population are migrants from different backgrounds. The city's population is growing at about 5% per year (mainly as a result of rural-urban internal migration), including an estimated 45,000 migrant workers coming to the city every month from different parts of Pakistan.[28]

Before 1947, Karachi had communities of Sindhis, Balochs, Parsis, Hindus, Christian, Jews, Marathis, Goans, Armenians, Chinese, British, Lebanese and Gujaratis. After independence of Pakistan, a large number of Sindhi Hindus and Sindhi Sikhs left the city for Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab and were replaced by Muslim migrants known as Muhajirs. The Muhajirs migrated from different parts of India the majority of them spoke Urdu.[29] Karachi has a cosmopolitan mix of many ethno-linguistic groups from all over Pakistan and refugees from neighboring countries.[30] The Sheedis, the local name for Afro-Pakistanis, trace their roots to African slaves.[31]

After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, thousands of Biharis and Bengalis from Bangladesh arrived in the city, followed by Rohingya refugees[32] from Burma, and Asians from Uganda. According to the UNHCR and the local law enforcement, approximately 50,000 registered Afghan refugees live in Karachi.[33] Many other refugees from Iran and Tajikistan have settled in the city. With an estimated 7.0 million ethnic Pashtuns,[34] Karachi hosts one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world.

According to the census of Pakistan 1998, the religious breakdown of the city is as follows:[35] Muslim (96.45%), Christian (2.42%), Hindu (0.86%), Ahmadi (0.17%) and other (0.10%). (Other religious groups include Parsis, Sikhs, Bahai, Jews and Buddhists).

The most commonly spoken language in Karachi is Urdu, the national language. Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto and Balochi are widely spoken in the city. As per the census of Pakistan 1998, the linguistic distribution of the city is:[35] Urdu (48.52%), Punjabi (13.94%), Pashto (11.42%), Sindhi (7.22%), Balochi (4.34%), Saraiki (2.11%) and other (12.44%). (Other languages mainly include Gujarati and Memoni with smaller populations of Dari, Brahui, Marathi, Makrani, Hindko, Khowar, Burushaski, Arabic and Persian.)


View of the I.I.Chundrigar Road
Shah-re-Faisal Road. A part of Karachi's financial district

Karachi is the financial and commercial capital 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.[36] Karachi accounts for 75.14% of customs duty and 79% of sales tax on imports.[36] Therefore, Karachi collects a significant 53.38% of the total collections of the Federal Board of Revenue (since renamed as the Central Board of Revenue), out of which 53.33% are customs duty and sales tax on imports.[36] (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).[36] Karachi's indigenous contribution to national revenue is 25%.[21]

Karachi's contribution to Pakistan's manufacturing sector amounts to approximately 30 percent.[37] A substantial chunk of Sindh’s gross domestic product (GDP) is attributed to Karachi[38][39] (the GDP of Sindh as a percentage of Pakistan’s total GDP has traditionally hovered around 28%-30%).[38][39][40][41] Karachi’s GDP is around 20% of the total GDP of Pakistan.[21][42] A PricewaterhouseCoopers study released in 2009, which surveyed the 2008 GDP of the top cities in the world, calculated Karachi’s GDP (PPP) to be $78 billion[43] (projected to be $193 billion in 2025 at a growth rate of 5.5%).[43] It confirmed Karachi’s status as Pakistan’s largest economy, well ahead of the next two biggest cities Lahore and Faisalabad, which had a reported GDP (PPP) in 2008 of $40 billion and $14 billion, respectively.[43] Karachi's high GDP is based on its mega-industrial base, with a high dependency on the financial sector. Textiles, cement, steel, heavy machinery, chemicals, food, banking and insurance are the major segments contributing to Karachi's GDP. In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan.[44] Karachi is the nerve center of Pakistan's economy. The economic stagnation caused by political anarchy, ethnic strife and resultant military operation during late 80s and 90s led to efflux of industry from Karachi. Most of Pakistan's public and private banks are headquartered on Karachi's I. I. Chundrigar Road; according to a 2001 report, nearly 60% of the cashflow of the Pakistani economy takes place on I. I. Chundrigar Road. Most major foreign multinational corporations operating in Pakistan have their headquarters in Karachi. The Karachi Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Pakistan, and is considered by many economists to be one of the prime reasons for Pakistan's 8% GDP growth across 2005.[45] A recent report by Credit Suisse on Pakistan's stock market is a testimonial to its strong fundamentals, estimating Pakistan’s relative return on equities at 26.7 percent, compared to Asia’s 11 percent.[46]

Recently, Karachi has seen an expansion of information and communications technology and electronic media and has become the software outsourcing hub of Pakistan. Call centres for foreign companies have been targeted as a significant area of growth, with the government making efforts to reduce taxes by as much as 10% in order to gain foreign investments in the IT sector.[47][48] Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio stations are based in Karachi, including world-popular Business Plus, AAJ News, Geo TV, KTN,[49] Sindh TV,[50] CNBC Pakistan, TV ONE, ARY Digital, Indus Television Network, Samaa TV and Dawn News, as well as several local stations.

Karachi has several large industrial zones such as Karachi Export Processing Zone, SITE, Korangi, Northern Bypass Industrial Zone, Bin Qasim and North Karachi, located on the fringes of the main city.[51] Its primary areas of industry are textiles, pharmaceuticals, steel, and automobiles. In addition, Karachi has a vibrant cottage industry and there is a rapidly flourishing Free Zone with an annual growth rate of nearly 6.5%. The Karachi Expo Centre hosts many regional and international exhibitions.[52] There are many development projects proposed, approved and under construction in Karachi. Among projects of note, Emaar Properties is proposing to invest $43bn (£22.8bn) in Karachi to develop Bundal Island, which is a 12,000 acre (49 km²) island just off the coast of Karachi.[53] The Karachi Port Trust is planning a Rs. 20 billion, 1,947 feet (593 m) high Port Tower Complex on the Clifton shoreline.[54][55] It will comprise a hotel, a shopping center, an exhibition center and a revolving restaurant with a viewing gallery offering a panoramic view of the coastline and the city.

Arts and culture

Karachi is home to some of Pakistan's important cultural institutions. The National Academy of Performing Arts,[56] located in the newly renovated Hindu Gymkhana, offers a two-year diploma course in performing arts that includes classical music and contemporary theatre. 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 Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.[57] The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) has musical performances and mushaira (poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries.

Karachi has many museums that present exhibitions on a regular basis, including the Mohatta Palace and the National Museum of Pakistan. Karachi Expo Centre hosts many regional and international exhibitions.

The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other Pakistani cities and towns. The culture of Karachi is characterized by the blending of South Asian, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Western influences, as well as its status as a major international business centre. After the partition of Indian subcontinent, Karachi received a large number of refugees from all over India, whose influence is now evident in the city's different sub-cultures. Karachi hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.[citation needed]


Frere Hall, Karachi

Karachi has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles and many modern style high rise buildings are under construction. The downtown districts of Saddar and Clifton contain a rich collection of early 20th century architecture, ranging in style from neo-classical KPT building to the Sindh High Court Building. During the British rule, Britishers wanted to model their Empire along the lines of ancient Rome and classical architecture was considered most appropriate for built monuments of the Raj.[citation needed] Karachi acquired its first neo-Gothic or Indo-Gothic building when Frere Hall, Empress Market and St. Patrick's Cathedral were completed. English Tudor style was introduced in Karachi Gymkhana and the Boat Club. Italian Renaissance was very popular and was the language for St. Joseph's Convent (1870) and the Sind Club (1883).[58] Classical style made a comeback in the late nineteenth century as seen in Lady Dufferin Hospital (1898)[59] and the Cantt. Railway Station. While 'Italianate' buildings remained popular, an eclectic blend termed Indo-Saracenic or Anglo-Mughal began to emerge in some locations.

The local mercantile community began acquiring impressive mercantile structures. Zaibunnisa Street in Saddar area (known as Elphinstone Street in British days) is an example where the mercantile groups adopted the 'Italianate' and Indo-Saracenic style to demonstrate their familiarity with western culture and their own. The Hindu Gymkhana (1925) and Mohatta Palace are the example of Mughal revival buildings.[60] The Sindh Wildlife Conservation Building, located in Saddar, served as a Freemasonic Lodge until the time it was taken over by the government. There are talks of it being taken away from this custody and being renovated and the Lodge being preserved with its original woodwork and ornate wooden staircase.[61]

In recent years, a large number of architecturally distinctive, even eccentric, buildings have sprung up throughout Karachi. Notable examples of contemporary architecture include the Pakistan State Oil Headquarters building and the Karachi Financial Towers. The city has numerous examples of modern Islamic architecture, including the Aga Khan University hospital, Masjid e Tooba, Faran Mosque, Bait-ul Mukarram Mosque and Quaid's Mausoleum. One of the unique cultural elements of Karachi is that the residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, are built with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar Road displays a wide range of supertall buildings. The most prominent examples include the Habib Bank Plaza, PRC Towers and the MCB Tower which is the tallest skyscraper in Pakistan.[62] Perhaps one of the most spectacular buildings of modern times, Port Tower Complex, a supertall skyscraper is proposed in the Clifton District of the metropolis. At 593 metres, the building will comprise a hotel, a shopping centre, an exhibition centre and a revolving restaurant with a viewing gallery offering a panoramic view of the coastline and the city.[63].

Many more high rise buildings are under construction, such as Centre Point near Korangi Industrial Area, IT Tower, Sofitel Tower Karachi and Emerald Tower. The Government of Sindh recently approved the construction of two high-density zones, which will host the new city skyline.

Fashion, shopping and entertainment

Karachi has always been proactive in organizing large events but because of the political and economic crisis in the country, activities have recently been slowed down. Karachi continues to host many different cultural and fashion shows. In 2009 a four-day-long fashion show was organized in Karachi's luxury Marriott hotel.[64] Karachi has many glitzy shopping malls in the Clifton area, Tariq Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Hyderi shopping area, such as Park Towers, The Forum, Dolmen Mall and Millenium Mall. Zamzama Boulevard is known for its designer stores and many cafes. Almost all foreign brands along with famous Pakistani fashion labels such as Amir Adnan, Aijazz, Rizwan Beyg, Deepak Perwani, Shayanne Malik, Maria B, Khaadi, Sputnik Footwear, Metro Shoes, English Boot House, Cotton & Cotton, Men's store and Junaid Jamshed are present in various major shopping districts of the city.


Cricket is the most popular sport of the city and is usually played in many small grounds around the city. Gully cricket is played in the narrow by-lanes of the city. Nighttime cricket, popularly called 'night match', can be seen at weekends when people play brightly lit, late night matches on less traversed city streets and the game continues till dawn. Karachi has one world-class cricket stadium, named National Stadium. The National Stadium (NSK), the largest cricket stadium in Pakistan, became Karachi's fifth and Pakistan's 11th first-class ground. The inaugural first-class match was played at NSK between Pakistan and India on April 21–24, 1955. In 34 Tests between that first match and December 2000, Pakistan won 17 and were never beaten. Their only Test defeat on the ground came in the gloom against England in 2000-01. Since then, major terrorist activity, mainly bombings, have meant that non-Asian sides have refused to play in the city, and in five years only Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have visited.

The first One Day International at the National Stadium was against West Indies on November 21, 1980, and it went down to the last ball as Gordon Greenidge drove Imran Khan imperiously to the cover boundary with three needed. It has been a far less successful limited-overs venue, with defeats outnumbering victories. In fact, in a little under five years from the start of 1996, Pakistan failed to win on the ground. It staged a quarter-final match in the 1996-97 World Cup.

Other popular sports in the city are hockey, boxing, association football, golf, table tennis, snooker, squash, and horse racing. Sports like badminton, volleyball and basketball are popular in schools and colleges. Football is especially popular in Lyari Town, which has a large Afro-Balochi community and has always been a football-mad locality in Karachi. The Peoples Football Stadium is perhaps the largest football stadium in Pakistan with respect to capacity, easily accommodating around 40,000 people. In 2005, the city hosted the SAFF Championship at this ground, as well as the Geo Super Football League 2007, which attracted capacity crowds during the games.

The city has facilities for hockey (the Hockey Club of Pakistan, UBL Hockey Ground), boxing (KPT Sports Complex), squash (Jahangir Khan Squash Complex) and polo. Marinas and boating clubs add to the diverse sporting activities in Karachi.


Civic Centre. Head Office of the City District Government, Karachi

The City of Karachi Municipal Act was promulgated in 1933. Initially the Municipal Corporation comprised the mayor, the deputy mayor and 57 councillors. The Karachi Municipal Corporation was changed to a Metropolitan Corporation in 1976. The administrative area of Karachi was a second-level subdivision known as Karachi Division, which was subdivided into five districts: Karachi Central, Karachi East, Karachi South, Karachi West and Malir. In 2000, the national government implemented a new devolution plan which abolished the second-tier divisions and merged the five districts of Karachi into a new City District, structured as a three-tiered federation, with the two lower tiers composed of 18 towns and 178 union councils (UC).[65]

The towns are governed by elected municipal administrations responsible for infrastructure and spatial planning, development facilitation, and municipal services (water, sanitation, solid waste, repairing roads, parks, street lights, and traffic engineering), with some functions being retained by the City-District Government (CDG).[65] The third-tier 178 union councils are each composed of thirteen directly elected members including a Nazim (mayor) and a Naib Nazim (deputy mayor). The UC Nazim heads the union administration and is responsible for facilitating the CDG to plan and execute municipal services, as well as for informing higher authorities about public concerns and complaints. Naimatullah Khan was the first Nazim of Karachi and Shafiq-Ur-Rehman Paracha was the first DCO of Karachi, Paracha even served as the last Commissioner of Karachi. Naimatullah Khan focused on building new parks, providing entertainment outlets to the youth (to celebrate events like Valentine's Day) and families (to celebrate events like Eid).

In the elections of 2005, Mustafa Kamal was elected City Nazim of Karachi to succeed Naimatullah Khan, and Nasreen Jalil was elected as the City Naib Nazim. Mustafa Kamal was previously the provincial minister for information technology in Sindh. Mustafa Kamal is advancing the development trail and has been actively involved in maintaining care of the city's municipal systems.[66]

There are six military cantonments administered by the Pakistan Army which do not form part of the City District Government of Karachi.

  1. Lyari Town
  2. Saddar Town
  3. Jamshed Town
  4. Gadap Town
  5. SITE Town
  6. Kemari Town
  7. Shah Faisal Town
  8. Korangi Town
  9. Landhi Town
  10. Bin Qasim Town
  11. Malir Town
  12. Gulshan Town
Karachi admin.PNG
  1. Liaquatabad Town
  2. North Nazimabad Town
  3. Gulberg Town
  4. New Karachi Town
  5. Orangi Town
  6. Baldia Town
A. Karachi Cantonment
B. Clifton Cantonment
C. Korangi Creek Cantonment
D. Faisal Cantonment
E. Malir Cantonment
F. Manora Cantonment


In 2008-09, the city's literacy rate was estimated at 65.26%,[67] the highest in Pakistan,[68] with a gross enrolment ratio of 111%, the highest in Sindh.[69]

Education in Karachi is divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high (grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate); intermediate (grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary School Certificate); and university programs leading to graduate and advanced degrees. Karachi has both public and private educational institutions. Most educational institutions are gender-based, from primary to university level.

Karachi Grammar School is the oldest school in Pakistan and has educated many Pakistani businessmen and politicians. The Narayan Jagannath High School in Karachi, which opened in 1855, was the first government school established in Sindh. Other well-known schools include L'ecole for Advanced Studies, the CAS School, Bay View High School, Bay View Academy, Karachi American School, The Paradise School and College, Little Folks Secondary School, Habib Public School, Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School, B.V.S. Parsi Grammer School, Civilizations Public School, The Oasys School, Avicenna, Lyceum, Ladybird Grammar School, The City School, Beaconhouse School System, The Educators schools, Shahwilayat Public School, St Patrick's High School, St Paul's English High School, St Joseph's Convent School, and St Michael's Convent School.

The University of Karachi, known as KU, is Pakistan's largest university, with a student population of 24,000 and one of the largest faculties in the world. It is located next to the NED University of Engineering and Technology, the country's oldest engineering institute. In the private sector, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) provides reputable training in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electronics engineering, telecom engineering and computer engineering. Dawood College of Engineering and Technology offers degree programmes in electronic engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, materials engineering and architecture. Karachi Institute of Economics & Technology (KIET) has two campuses in Karachi and has been growing rapidly since its inception in 1997. The Plastics Technology Center (PTC), located in Karachi's Korangi Industrial Area, is at present Pakistan's only educational institution providing training in the field of polymer engineering and plastics testing services.[70] The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), founded in 1955, is the oldest business school outside of North America. The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), founded in 1995 by Benazir Bhutto, is located in Karachi, with its other campuses in Islamabad, Larkana and Dubai. Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) is a part of the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), offering a wide range of engineering programs, including electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. Hamdard University is the largest private university in Pakistan. Karachi is home of the head offices of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) (established in 1961) and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP). Among the many other institutions providing business education are the College of Business Management (CBM), SZABIST, Iqra University and the Institute of Business and Technology (Biztek). Leading medical schools of Pakistan like The Aga Khan University and Dow University of Health Sciences have their campuses in Karachi. The National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES-FAST), one of Pakistan's top universities in computer education, operates two campuses in Karachi. Bahria University also has a purpose-built campus in Karachi.

For religious education, one of the largest Islamic education centers of Asia, the Jamia Uloom ul Islamia, Banori Town, Karachi, is located in Karachi.[71]


Many of Pakistan’s independent television and radio channels are based in Karachi, including Business Plus, Geo TV, Good News TV, CNBC Pakistan, Hum TV, TV ONE, AAJ TV, ARY Digital, Express News, Indus Television Network, Kawish Television Network (KTN), Sindh TV and Dawn News, as well as several local stations. Local channels include Metro One.

Pakistan's premier news television networks are based in Karachi, including News One, GEO News, ARY One World and AAJ News. AAG TV and MTV Pakistan are the main music television channels and Business Plus and CNBC Pakistan are the main business television channels based in the city. The bulk of Pakistan's periodical publishing industry is centred in Karachi, including magazines such as Spider, The Herald, Humsay, The Cricketer, Moorad Shipping News, and The Internet.

Major advertising companies like Interflow Communications and Orient McCann Erickson have their head offices in Karachi.



CNG Buses in Karachi

The Jinnah International Airport is located in Karachi. It is the largest and busiest airport of Pakistan. It handles 10 million passengers a year. The airport receives the largest number of foreign airlines, a total of 35 airlines and cargo operators fly to Jinnah International predominantly from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. All of Pakistan's airlines use Karachi as their primary transport hub including PIA - Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, and Shaheen Air International.

The city's old airport terminals are now used for Hajj flights, offices, cargo facilities, and ceremonial visits from heads of state. U.S. Coalition forces used the old terminals for their logistic supply operations as well. The city has two other airstrips, used primarily by the armed forces.

The largest shipping ports in Pakistan are the Port of Karachi and the nearby Port Qasim. These seaports have modern facilities and not only handle trade for Pakistan, but serve as ports for Afghanistan and the landlocked Central Asian countries. Plans have been announced for new passenger facilities at the Port of Karachi.[72]

Karachi is linked by rail to the rest of the country by Pakistan Railways. The Karachi City Station and Karachi Cantonment Railway Station are the city's two major railway stations. The railway system handles a large amount of freight to and from the Karachi port and provides passenger services to people traveling up country.

A project to transform the existing, but non-operational, Karachi Circular Railway into a modern mass transit system has recently been approved by the government. The $1.6 billion project will be financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and will be completed by 2013. The city government has introduced an initiative to alleviate the transport pains by introducing new CNG buses.

Health and medicine

Karachi district is a centre of research in biomedicine. The city is home to at least 30 public hospitals and more than 80 private hospitals, including the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases, Spencer Eye Hospital, Civil Hospital, PNS Rahat, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and Liaquat National Hospital, as well as Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Ziauddin Hospital, South City Hospital, Kidney Centre, Institute of Child Health, Karachi Institute of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (KIRAN), Haji Rang Elahi Eye Hospital, Tabba Cardiac Medical Center, Patel Hospital, Layton Benevolent Trust Eye Hospital, Lady Dufferin Hospital, and National Medical Centre.

Challenges of rapid expansion

As one of the most rapidly growing cities in the world, Karachi faces challenges that are central to many developing metropolises, including traffic congestion, pollution, poverty and street crime. These problems continue to earn Karachi low rankings in livability comparisons: The Economist ranked Karachi fourth least livable city amongst the 132 cities surveyed[73] and BusinessWeek ranked it 175 out of 215 in livability in 2007, down from 170 in 2006.[74]

Traffic problems and pollution are major challenges for Karachi. The level of air pollution in Karachi is estimated to be 20 times higher than World Health Organization standards.[citation needed] A number of new parks (e.g., Bagh Ibne Qasim, Beach View Park and Jheel Park) have been developed and new trees are being planted in the city to improve the environment and reduce the pollution. The construction of new bridges/flyovers, underpasses and signal-free corridors (e.g., Corridor 1: S.I.T.E. to Shahrae Faisal, Corridor 2: North Karachi to Shahrae Faisal, Corridor 3: Safora Goth to Saddar) has improved the traffic flow in Karachi. The eventual completion of Corridor 4 (from the airport to Metropole Hotel) is expected to substantially reduce the travel time to reach the city centre and airport.

In Sindhi popular culture

Karachi has been sung in many Sindhi songs, notably the folk songs sung in Sindhi marriages, called Sehra (سهرا) and Ladda (لاڏا), such as:

آيلڙي مون ته سُئي وڃائي ڪراچيءَ جي شهر مان مون سُئي گھُرائي

sung by Zarina Baloch and

ڪراچيءَ جي شهر مان منڊيون جوڙايم سونا گل ڪراچيءَ جي موٽر ڀرجي آيا

Karachi is known for the legend of Morirro Mirbahar, whose bravery has been praised and sung by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in his poetry. The legend has been depicted in the Sindhi movie Ghatoo Ghar na Ayaa (Sindhi: گھاتُو گھر نه آيا).

Karachi jaa ddeeha' aee' raatioo' (Sindhi: ڪراچيءَ جا ڏينهن ۽ راتيون, English: Days and Nights of Karachi) is a novel written by Muhammad Bakhsh Johar.

Sister cities

Flag Country City District / Region / State Date
United States United States Houston Texas 3 March 2009
Mauritius Mauritius Port Louis Port Louis District 1 May 2007
People's Republic of China China Shanghai East China 14 September 2009
Hong Kong China Hong Kong Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [citation needed]
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Jeddah Makkah Province
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Tashkent Tashkent Province
Turkey Turkey Istanbul İstanbul Province
Lebanon Lebanon Beirut Beirut Governorate
Turkey Turkey İzmir İzmir Province since 1985
United States United States New York City New York 8 May 2008
Bahrain Bahrain Manama Capital Governorate 28 November 2007
Kosovo Kosovo Pristina District of Pristina 24 July 2008
Malaysia Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory 1 June 2008
United States United States Washington, D.C. District of Columbia since 2008

A twin city partnership with Chicago, Illinois, United States, was contemplated and initiated in 2000, but was never implemented.[75]


See also


  1. ^ "Government". City District Government of Karachi. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  2. ^ "About Karachi". City District Government of Karachi. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Urban Frontier — Karachi". NPR. June 2, 2008. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91009748. Retrieved 2010-01-17.  ("...population estimates run anywhere from 12 million to 18 million")
  4. ^ a b "The largest cities in the world and their mayors". City Mayors. http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/largest-cities-mayors-1.html. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "The world’s largest cities and urban areas in 2006". City Mayors. http://www.citymayors.com/statistics/urban_2006_1.html. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  6. ^ R.L. Forstall, R.P. Greene, and J.B. Pick, "Which are the largest? Why published populations for major world urban areas vary so greatly", City Futures Conference, (University of Illinois at Chicago, July 2004) – Table 5 (p.34)
  7. ^ Pakistan City Karachi Online Information
  8. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2008". Lboro.ac.uk. 2009-06-03. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2008t.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  9. ^ "GAWC World Cities Ranking List". Diserio.com. http://www.diserio.com/gawc-world-cities.html. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  10. ^ R Asif (2002) Lyari Expressway: woes of displaced families. Dawn (newspaper). 8 August. Retrieved on 10 January 2008
  11. ^ Mirat ul Memalik
  12. ^ History of Karachi
  13. ^ Neill, , John Martin Bladen (1846). Recollections of four years' service in the East with H.M. fortieth regiment. http://www.archive.org/details/recollectionsoff00neilrich. Retrieved 27 Nov. 2009. 
  14. ^ Christina P Harris (1969) The Persian Gulf Submarine Telegraph of 1864. The Geographical Journal. vol. 135(2). June. pp. 169–190
  15. ^ [Herbert Feldman [1970]: Karachi through a hundred years: the centenary history of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry 1860–1960. 2. ed. Karachi: Oxford UP (1960).]
  16. ^ - History of Karachi
  17. ^ Government archives, Sindh for Municipality and divisional administration
  18. ^ Planning Commission, The Second Five Year Plan: 1960-65, Karachi: Govt. Printing Press, 1960, p. 393
  19. ^ Planning Commission, Pakistan Economic Survey, 1964-65, Rawalpindi: Govt. Printing Press, 1965, p. 212.
  20. ^ Afghan refugees population in Pakistan - Cambridge Journal
  21. ^ a b c Asian Development Bank. "Karachi Mega-Cities Preparation Project". http://www.adb.org/Documents/Produced-Under-TA/38405/38405-PAK-DPTA.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  22. ^ Economy and development - City District Government, Karachi
  23. ^ "Karachi". Meteorological Department of Pakistan. http://www.met.gov.pk/cdpc/karachi.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  24. ^ met.gov.pk
  25. ^ bbc.co.uk/weather
  26. ^ KARACHI: Karachi population to hit 27.5 million in 2020, DAWN - Local; 10 July 2007
  27. ^ Note: The 1998 census showed a population of about 9 million and the City Government estimates "more than 15 million inhabitants". Reasons for the discrepancy include workers living in Karachi but registered as living elsewhere in Pakistan by NADRA (the National Database and Registration Authority); and Afghan refugees, Iranians and others (Indians, Nepalis, Burmese, Bangladeshis etc.) were not counted in the 1998 census.
  28. ^ ""Karachi turning into a ghetto"". Dawn Group of Newspapers. 2006-01-16. http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/16/letted.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-20. 
  29. ^ "In a city of ethnic friction, more tinder". The National. August 24, 2009.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ ‘Sheedis have been hurt most by attitudes’, Dawn, June 23, 2008
  32. ^ From South to South: Refugees as Migrants: The Rohingya in Pakistan
  33. ^ KARACHI: UN body, police baffled by minister’s threat against Afghan refugees, Dawn. February 10, 2009.("Pakistan’s interior ministry has issued them PoR (Proof of registration) cards to determine the exact number of such refugees. Sindh is home to some 50,000 Afghan refugees and most of them are staying in Karachi," said a spokesman for the UNHCR. "... The police can move only against unregistered Afghans, whose number is very small in Karachi", said a senior police official in Karachi.)
  34. ^ http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2009/07/karachis_invisi.html
  35. ^ a b Arif Hasan, Masooma Mohiburl (2009-02-01). "Urban Slums Reports: The case of Karachi, Pakistan" (PDF). http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu-projects/Global_Report/pdfs/Karachi.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-20. 
  36. ^ a b c d "Federal Board of Revenue Year Book 2006-2007". http://www.cbr.gov.pk/YearBook/2006-2007/FBRyearbook2006-2007.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  37. ^ Pakistan and Gulf Economist. "Karachi: Step-motherly treatment". http://www.pakistaneconomist.com/database2/cover/c99-15.asp. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  38. ^ a b Social Policy and Development Center. "Provincial Accounts of Pakistan: Methodology and Estimates". http://www.spdc-pak.com/pubs/pubdisp.asp?id=nps5. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  39. ^ a b Dawn Group of Newspapers. "Sindh, Balochistan’s share in GDP drops". http://www.dawn.com/2006/02/21/ebr3.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  40. ^ Dawn Group of Newspapers. "Sindh’s GDP estimated at Rs240 billion". http://www.dawn.com/2007/06/16/ebr3.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  41. ^ Dawn Group of Newspapers. "Sindh share in GDP falls by 1pc". http://www.dawn.com/2004/12/02/ebr1.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  42. ^ The Trade & Environment Database. "The Karachi Coastline Case". http://www1.american.edu/TED/karachi.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  43. ^ a b c "Global city GDP rankings 2008-2025". PricewaterhouseCoopers. https://www.ukmediacentre.pwc.com/Content/Detail.asp?ReleaseID=3421&NewsAreaID=2. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  44. ^ Dawn Group of Newspapers. "World Bank report: Karachi termed most business-friendly". http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/14/ebr1.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  45. ^ "Pakistan: After the Crash." Business Week. 22 April 2005. Retrieved on 1 January 2008.
  46. ^ Thakur, Pooja. "Pakistan Stocks May Advance, Credit Suisse Says." Bloomberg.com. August 24, 2009.
  47. ^ Board of Investment, Pakistan. "IT Sector Overview." Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  48. ^ United Nations. "Information Technology Policy of Pakistan: Providing an Enabling Environment for IT Development." Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  49. ^ "Welcome to KTN TV". KTN. http://www.ktn.com.pk. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  50. ^ "Sindh TV". Sindh TV. http://www.thesindh.tv/contact.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  51. ^ Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry. "Industrial Zones In Pakistan." Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  52. ^ Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. "Karachi Expo Center." Retrieved 1 January 2007.
  53. ^ "Pakistan agrees $43bn development." BBC News. 28 September 2006. Al Nakheel (a Dubai-based company) has prepared a master plan for developing Hawke's Bay with a cost of $68bn. Limitless (another Dubai-based company) will invest $20bn in the Karachi Waterfront Project. (2008)
  54. ^ Karachi Port Trust. "K.P.T. Projects". http://www.kpt.gov.pk/Projects/Proj.html. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  55. ^ Dawn Group of Newspapers. "KPT to build Rs20bn tower complex". http://www.dawn.com/2004/10/12/local4.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-20. 
  56. ^ National Academy of Performing Arts. ""Welcome to National Academy of Performing Arts"". http://www.napa.org.pk. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  57. ^ The All Pakistan Music Conference History of festival Retrieved on 1 January 2008
  58. ^ - Colonial style buildings of Karachi
  59. ^ Lady Dufferin Hospital
  60. ^ - Historic buildings of Karachi
  61. ^ Daily Times. "Culture department takes notice of Freemason Lodge Building". http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\09\30\story_30-9-2008_pg12_9. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  62. ^ MCB Tower, the tallest skyscraper of Karachi
  63. ^ Port Tower Complex, Karachi
  64. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8345177.stm
  65. ^ a b "City Towns (all Towns and Union Councils". City District Government of Karachi. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  66. ^ Dawn Group of Newspapers. ""Mustafa Kamal announces city reinforcement projects"". http://www.dawn.com/2006/01/20/local2.htm. Retrieved 2006-10-10. 
  67. ^ All Pakistan Ranking Of Districts by Literacy Rates and Illiterates
  68. ^ Ranking of districts by literacy rates and illiterates (By 10+ and 15+ Years Age Groups)
  69. ^ Federal Bureau of Statistics
  70. ^ http://www.ptc.org.pk/
  71. ^ http://www.binoria.org/pages/aboutbinoria.htm/
  72. ^ "Projects". Karachi Port Trust. http://www.kpt.gov.pk/Projects/Proj.html. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  73. ^ The Economist. ""Where grass is Greener"". http://economist.com/markets/rankings/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8908454&CFID=16415879&CFTOKEN=94552766. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  74. ^ Business Week, Karachi Livable Cities Guide. Retrieved 2008.
  75. ^ "Karachi and Chicago to be Sister Cities". jang.com.pk. PakPositive.com. 7 April 2005. http://www.pakpositive.com/2005/04/07/karachi-and-chicago-to-be-sister-cities. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 

Further reading

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : Pakistan : Sindh : Karachi
Downtown Karachi
Downtown Karachi

Karachi [1](Urdu: كراچى, Sindhi: ڪراچي) capital of the province of Sindh, is the financial capital and the largest city of Pakistan. It has a metropolitan population of 11.8 million and is currently ranked 20th in the world (by population).

Karachi, located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, is the financial and commercial center of the nation, as well as its largest port. The city credits its growth to the mixed populations of economic and political migrants and refugees from different national, provincial, linguistic and religious origins, who generally come to the city to settle permanently. It is locally termed as the City of Lights, City of The Quaid, and City that Never Sleeps.

Residents and those born in the city are called "Karachiites".

Day breaks over Karachi
Day breaks over Karachi

Karachi is different from the rest of Pakistan in the same way that New York is different from the rest of the United States. The pace of life is more hurried; time is money, and money is life.


Located on the coast, Karachi has a relatively mild climate with low levels of precipitation (approximately 10 inches per annum), the bulk of which occurs during the July-August monsoon season. Winters are mild, and the summers are hot. The city's proximity to the sea keeps humidity levels at a near-constant high, and cool sea breezes relieve the heat of the summer months. Due to the high temperatures during the summer (ranging from 30-44°C from April to October), the winter months (November to February) are generally considered the best times to visit Karachi. July, December and January have pleasing and cloudy weather when most of the social events, ranging from weddings to charity fundraisers, frequently take place. Tourists and expatriates usually visit Karachi in these months. The highest ever recorded temperature in Karachi is 47.8 °C (118.0 °F) while the lowest is 0 °C (32 °F).


The everyday lifestyle of Karachi differs substantially from that of other cities and towns in Pakistan. Karachi's culture is characterized by the blending of Middle Eastern, Central Asian, South Asian and Western influences, as well as the city's status as a major international business center. As a whole, there is considerable diversity in culture, and this diversity has produced a unique cultural amalgam of its own type. Karachi also hosts the largest middle class stratum of the country.

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 Festival is now a well-established feature of the city life of Karachi that is awaited anxiously and attended by more than 3000 citizens of Karachi as well as people from other cities.

The National Arts Council (Koocha-e-Saqafat) also has musical performances and Mushaira (poetry recitations). The Kara Film Festival organized annually showcases independent Pakistani and international films and documentaries. Our Karachi Festival celebrates Architecture of Karachi.

  • Sindh Sea Festival [2]
  • Kara Film Festival [3]
  • Hamara Karachi [4]
  • Arts Council [5]
  • All Pakistan Music Conference [6]
  • Karachi Expo Center [7] [8]
Karachi Circular Railway
Karachi Circular Railway
Kemari Boat Basin in Karachi
Kemari Boat Basin in Karachi

By Plane

Jinnah International Airport (IATA: KHI ICAO: OPKC), [9], is Karachi's largest international and domestic airport. It has connections to many other hubs such as Toronto, London, Dubai, Delhi and Singapore. It is also the hub for Pakistan International Airlines [10], Pakistan's national carrier, which flies to numerous destinations, including Lahore, Peshawar, Beijing and Tokyo. Facilities in the airport include a McDonald's, ATMs (in Arrivals), free internet (in departure), WiFi, hotels and a duty free shop that doesn't sell alcohol. Immigration used to be a lengthy process, but after a rearrangement of counters and the introduction of a green channel in 2006 this is no longer the case.

Karachi is very far from the rest of Pakistani cities, so try to come by plane only.

By Bus

Daewoo Sammi [11] offers some direct services to/from Karachi, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, Lahore and Islamabad, UAN 111-007-008.

By Train

First Class travel with Pakistan Railways [12] is good, and Karachi has railway connections with various major cities in Pakistan including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, & Peshawar.

By Boat

Karachi is a major trading hub for dhows from around the Indian Ocean. Travelers wanting to arrive in the city this way will probably need to make their own arrangements with the captain of the vessel.

Get around

Once you get the hang of traveling in Karachi, it becomes a very entertaining experience. You meet new people and get to see unexpected things. It's not very hard to find a mode of transportation and if you know what you are doing, it is very easy to get around.

By Bus

The most common method of traveling in Karachi is by bus, private and Government-run, and is used by most people. For lack of space, people often sit on roof, or hang from bars, and are jam-packed inside the bus. Outsiders might be put off by the cramped conditions in the buses, and might prefer traveling in taxis.

By Taxi

There are three kinds of taxis in Karachi: Metro, Yellow and Black. The yellow ones are generally thought to be better than the black ones, although they charge a greater mark up.

The Metros are chains of taxis operated by different private sector companies (i.e. private version of NY's TLC). As in any nation, some of the taxi drivers overcharge "foreigners". Most of the Black and Yellow taxis don't have any meter, so you should first fix the charge and the location with the driver before getting in. The official rate per kilometer is around 7 Rupees but expect to pay around double.

There is also the so called Radio/White Cab service, which is air conditioned and can be called in at the airport or anywhere in the city. Typical cost for a full day (8 hours, 150 KM) is US$25. White Cab Tel No. +92-21-111-789-786 or within Karachi 111-789-786. Per kilometer rate is 15 Rupees plus Rs. 50 calling charges.

A new company, Metro Cabs, (Tel +92-21-111-222-787 or 111-222-787 (Karachi)) is considered highly efficient. Their taxis are usually easily available from the airport, and their rates are very reasonable, they have white corolla fleet - Per Km charges: Pak Rs. 15/= Min charges: Pak Rs. 310/= within 15 km. Others companies include Sky Cab [13] (Phone: 92-21-5677721-23) with Limousine fleets, Pak Radio Cabs (UAN: 111-732-732), Pearl Cabs (UAN: 111-725-786), Redtop Cabs (UAN: 111-733-867) - they have liana fleets, Citi Cab (021-5650581), FVG Cab (UAN: 111-126-111), Karachi Cab (UAN: 111-527-222), Sana Cabs (UAN: 111-222-787), Star Cabs (UAN: 111-567-827) - they have Lancer fleets, CallCar (UAN: 111-092-021)-Corolla Fleets and Smart Cabs (UAN: 111-000-747).

By Car Hire

It’s easier to hire a car with driver. Pearl Radio Cab (4604465) charges Rs 1500 per day including fuel, if you’re staying in the city limits and travel less than 100km. Walji’s (5660248; 13 Services Mess, Mereweather Rd) is recommended for self-drive cars. Prices are around Rs 2400 per day (without fuel; unlimited mileage).

Riding on the beach in Karachi
Riding on the beach in Karachi
  • Clifton Beach was the world's most popular silver-sand beach and health resort during 20th century but now it is affected by an oil spill that occurred in 2003.
  • Beach Park
  • Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim located just next to the beach park, Bagh-e-Ibn-e-Qasim is the most famous park of the city. Attractions include: Lady Lloyd pier, Jahangri Kothari parade, a century old amusement park, an underground Hindu temple, a mosque and a mausoleum. Try to visit the park at late evening hours when the park is lit.
  • Water Jet fountain is the world’s tallest fountain; the controversial fountain is open during weekends between 6PM and 12AM
  • Floating Ship [14] at Sea View is a buffet-themed restaurant with thrilling experiences of Ocean turmoil (Thunderstorm, Lighting, Shark attack) and Kids theater with Fantasy world.

The following beaches are located at the outskirts of the city, and are less strict about clothing:

  • Sandspit Beach – also visit the WWF Wetland center
  • Hawke's Bay Beach - breeding ground for endangered turtles
  • Paradise Point - rock promontory in the sea with a natural arch
  • French Beach - often cited as Karachi’s most beautiful beach.
  • Russian Beach - near Gharo
  • Islands: Oyster Rocks, Bundle Islands, Manora Island, Churna Island is a Naval gunnery site, as well as Pakistan's only coral reefs
  • Quaid-e-Azam's Mausoleum and Museum, at the center of the city is the landmark of Karachi
  • Masjid e Tooba, (in Defence) is the largest single-domed mosque in the world.
  • Mereweather Tower, (on II Chundrigar road) is business landmark of the city. Also visit the nearby Stock Exchange building.
  • Habib Bank plaza, (on II Chundrigar road) was the first skyscraper in the country.
  • Aga Khan University hospital, (near Karsaz), famous for its modernist Islamic architecture, also see lake gardens & hill on its backside.
  • Pakistan Air Force Museum [15], at Karsaz
  • Pakistan Maritime Museum at Karsaz
  • PIA Planetarium, next to Karachi Expo Centre, on main University road; is a kind of virtual observatory which regularly puts on shows about the solar system and cosmic phenomenon. The shows in English are much more detailed, and are held every Sunday evening. On other days there are only Urdu shows. A ticketed, guided tour by an officer enables one to view the plane from the inside; its cockpit, pilot seats, and various other areas. Tickets for the planetarium show are Rs 45, and for the show plus the plane tour are Rs 60.
  • Karachi Expo Centre, on main University road, opposite City and District Government Offices
  • Mohatta palace Museum of regional history, at Clifton
  • National Museum of Pakistan, collections at this museum focus on the cultural history of Pakistan. Items on display include archeological artifacts, Islamic Art, and historical documents. Located on Dr Ziau-ddin Ahmed Road, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Saturday through Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Koocha-e-Saqafat (National Arts Council), M.R. Kayani Road
  • Frere Hall, Bagh-e-Jinnah, houses Sadequain Galerie, library plus a peaceful garden.
  • Replica of the famous Charminar at Bahadurabad roundabout.
  • Karsaz Road, famous for places like The 'Arena' games arcade, Aga Khan University hospital, Golf club, Expo center and museums like Air Force museum, Maritime museum and PIA Planetarium.

Amusement Parks & Wildlife

Dont miss the indoor kids theme parks that are located inside shopping malls, listed under Buy

  • Aladdin Amusement Park [16], at Gulshan-e-Iqbal
  • Askari Park, on Main University road. The reptilian house and aquarium are worth a visit.
  • Arena [17], on Karsaz Road.
  • Hill park & Jheel park, near Tariq road, offers Birds eye view of Karachi.
  • Go-Aish Adventure park [18], at Gulshan-e-Iqbal
  • Karachi Zoo, Garden road, Formerly called Gandhi garden has a Reptile House, a Natural History Museum, and a Mughal garden, not recommended
  • Polo ground, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed road
  • Safari Park [19], at Gulshan-e-Iqbal
  • Samzu Zoo [20], near Super highway, Northern Bypass
  • Sindbad Amusement Park, at Gulshan-e-Iqbal
  • Water parks: located in the suburbs of the city near the Super highway like

Fiesta [21], Cosy [22], Samzu [23], Water world, Sunway Lagoon etc.

  • WWF Wetland center [24] at Sandspit is located in the middle of mangrove forests on 35 minutes drive away from the city center. It arranges trip to Mangrove forests, Beaches, Bird Watching, Turtle watching, Lake watching and Nature excursion. It also houses a museum.
  • Zamzama Park, DHA
  • Dreamworld Resorts Though a member should accompany you.

Colonial Public Buildings

There are many Colonial public buildings in the City’s Saddar district, but some of the well-known buildings are:

  • Karachi Port Trust, MA Jinnah road, completed during the First World War, the building was converted to a 500-bed military hospital named as No. 1 India General Hospital and was one of the 'five great War hospitals' run under General Fowler
  • Karachi Municipal Offices, MA Jinnah road
  • Khaliqdina Hall, MA Jinnah road
  • City Court Building, MA Jinnah road
  • Denso Hall, MA Jinnah road
  • Imperial Customs House, MA Jinnah road
  • Napier Barracks, Club road
  • Quaid-e-Azam house museum, Club road
  • Trinity Church, Near Club road
  • Sind Club [25], Club road
  • Frere Hall, Opposite Marriott hotel, Abdullah haroon road
  • Karachi Gymkhana [26], Club road
The imposing Empress Market
The imposing Empress Market
  • Karachi Cotton Exchange, II Chundrigar road
  • State Bank Annexe, II Chundrigar road, Formerly called Bank of India building was constructed following the first World War, currently it houses a library
  • DJ Science College, Dr Ziauddin road
  • Hindu Gymkhana, MR Kayani road, is one of the first Mughal Revival buildings in the city.
  • Supreme Court, MR Kayani road, formerly called Prince of Wales museum
  • Empress Market, Preedy Street
  • Saint Andrews Church, Preedy Street
  • Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Near Preedy Street
  • Karachi Grammar School, Near Preedy Street
  • Sindh High Court, Shahrah Kamaal Ataturk, built entirely out of pink-hued Jodhpur sandstone
Ice skating in the Arena
Ice skating in the Arena

There is much to do in Karachi; a city of more than 16 million people is unlikely to be short on activities! Simply let yourself be overwhelmed by this city, its size and scope, its heart breaking disparity between rich and poor, and its breathtaking sights and sounds. Karachi isn't just a city, it is a world unto itself!


You can shop to your heart's content, in the massive range of markets and bazaars that dot the city, or you can shop & enjoy one of the many modern shopping malls that are found across the city's more affluent sectors, namely Defence and Clifton. And don't worry too much about your budget; a recent survey by the Times newspaper (UK) found Karachi to be the second-cheapest city in the world! [28].


Karachi has a fine collection of Anglo-Indian architecture, a legacy of the British Raj, which will keep history buffs engaged. Culture vultures will find a city with many art galleries, displaying a broad spectrum of works from Asia, and some New Age works from aspiring Pakistani artists.

Medical treatment

Medical tourism [29] is a growing industry in Karachi due to its high quality and low cost, especially in sectors like Dental treatment, Hair transplant [30], [31] , Cosmetic surgery [32], [33] and Open heart surgery.


One is spoiled for choice by the variety of sports that can be found in Karachi. Cricket can be found at every conceivable corner, from the lush grounds of the more wealthy professional clubs or elite schools to the side streets of the working class Saddar City district.

Adventure lovers can visit Go Aish Adventure park [34] on University road. Besides that, there are several fine golf courses which host international tournaments such as the Pakistan Open on the Asian circuit, a bustling race track, and a wide range of water sports - sailing (at the Karachi Yacht Club), Scuba diving [35], snorkelling, water-skiing, wind surfing, deep sea fishing which are accessible due to the City's Arabian Sea coast.


There are a lot of water parks located in the suburbs of the city near the superhighway, like Fiesta [36], Cosy [37], Samzu [38], Water world, and Sunway Lagoon. Other things you might be interested in doing is catching a movie at the Karachi Cineplex [39]. Or catch a bird's-eye view of the animals from the Chair lifts at Karachi Safari park [40] or visit The Arena, [41] a gaming arcade at Karsaz offering an ice skating rink, bowling alley, minigolf, arcade games, rock-climbing and much more or Area 51, a bowling alley.


For those who love watching the city skyline, they can visit Hill Park, an amusement park, offering a nice view of the City or Polo ground or the Revolving Restaurant [42], which offers a good view of the Central Karachi.

You can also walk along the beaches, under clear skies, which at night is an experience worth the travel alone, as visitors can gaze towards the heavens while the Arabian sea cascades over their sandalled feet. Streetlights dotting the coast of Karachi increase the beauty of the sea and surrounding areas. Most city dwellers visit other beaches at the outskirt of the city like Hawksbay, Paradise Point, Sansdpit & French Beaches. Huts are available on these far-flung beaches, where you can also fish, yacht, ride horses and camels, collect sea shells and dive! Explore the under water world, marine life and coral reefs via Scuba Diving [43]. Manora Island, next to Clifton Beach, is another breathtaking place for a picnic. Private boats are the easiest way to reach the Island; they can be hired at the marshes of the PNSC building. Manora Island also has a shrine and some hundred-year old monuments. A Riding Victoria type horse carriage from Polo ground to Clifton can be a memorable experience.

Karachi has recently been experiencing a spa boom, and there is now plenty of choice for everything from holistic Ayurveda to green tea hydrotherapy. Good spas can be found in most five-star hotels such as Avari, PC and on Zamzama Avenue.

If you have the time, and inclination to smoke, check out one of Karachi's Cigar Lounges. They stock quality international brands including authentic Cuban Cigars at Club Havana (DHA 5). Other notable lounges are Castro's and the Cigar Bar in Zamzama. These places have luxurious interiors and can give the illusion of being in a 1950's film! Note that you will have to pay a handsome sum for the pleasure of genuine Cubans! You can also try shisha at Cafe Shisha or at Indulge.


Karachi has numerous quality country clubs. If you know anyone who has membership (they are, of course, restricted) check them out.

  • Arabian Sea Country Club [44], [45], Bin Qasim
  • Aga Khan sports club, Stadium road
  • Auto travel club[46], 72 Garden road
  • Arena [47], Karsaz Road, "offers Ice Skating rink, Bowling alley, Mini Golf, Arcade Games, Rock Climbing and much more".
  • Civil Aviation Club, Star gate, Sharah-e-Faisal
  • Carlton resort hotel & club, DC-5, Opp. Zulfiqar Street, Phase 8, D.H.A. UAN: 111-72-72-72, Dinner & boating excursion. Call for more details.
  • Countryside Chalets - Club E Resort [48], Super Highway
  • DHA Creek Club, Phase 8, DHA
  • DHA Golf Club[49], Phase 8 DHA
  • Dream world family resort[50], Northern Bypass
  • Karachi Boat Club, MT Khan road
  • Karachi Club, Ziauddin Ahmed road
  • Karachi Gymkhana[51], 4 Club road
  • Karachi Race club
  • Karachi Scuba Diving club [52]
  • Karsaz golf club[53] , Karsaz
  • Kashmir Club, Kashmir road, PECHS
  • Marina Club[54], DHA
  • PAF Yacht club, Korangi creek
  • Pavilion end club [55], Adjacent to Alladin park on Rashid Minhas road, offers Club house, Sporting facilities and Swimming pools.
  • Sea View riding & Equestrian club, Clifton
  • Sind Club[56], Abdullah haroon road
  • Sunset Club, Khayaban-e-Jami, Phase 2 Extension, D.H.A
  • The Royal Rodale, a sports and recreational complex. [57] TC-V, 34th Street, Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase-V, Ext.,DHA UAN: 111-000-168. It offers dining, banquets, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, swimming pool, yoga, aerobics, tennis, billiards, snooker and much more.
  • The Yacht club[58], Standard Chartered Bank, (Compound), I.I. Chundrigar Road
  • Actone, 2nd Floor, Sawasdee Thai Restaurant Building, Main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, Tel: (92-21) 0333-311-3060, Power Yoga & Bollywood Dance Workout.
  • Alliance Francaise[59], St 1, Block 8, Kehkashan, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 587-3402, 586-2864, Call for activity information, classes offered & exhibition schedule. One of the world's largest schools of French language, the Karachi Alliance Française has a wide variety of courses for a visitor to choose from.
  • Beatles Music Academy, 919 C-C Area, Jheel Park, P.E.C.H.S. offers Guitar & Keyboard lessons.
  • Body Beat, Shapes Health Studio, 139 McNeil Road, Cant, Tel: (92-21) 565-5971, 565-59712, Dance workout set to the latest Indian and Hip-Hop music.
  • Candela is a salsa dance group which teaches classes right here in Karachi. The instructors are from USA & Canada and have been dancing salsa and other Latin dance styles for over 10 years. Learn the hottest salsa moves from New York & Los Angeles. The Original & Classic Salsa from Puerto Rico.
  • Capa Performing Arts Academy, 19-C Ittehad Lane 2, Phase 6, D.H.A. offers Guital, drums, piano, keyboard, violin, cello, flute, clarinet & saxophone lessons.
  • Goethe institute, 2 Brunton Road, Civil Lines, Tel: (92-21) 566-1633, 566-1634, Call for more information & exhibition schedule.
  • Indus Scuba; PADI Scuba Diving Centre with Scuba Diving classes and equipment sales & service. No. C-23, Small Bukhari Commercial Street 5, Phase 6, D.H.A. Tel: (92-21) 3-524-3153 & 63 email info@indusscuba.com www.indusscuba.com
  • Indus Valley school of Art & Architecture [60], Block 2, Clifton
  • National Academy of performing Arts (NAPA), [61] Hindu Gymkhana, M.R. Kiyani Road, Opposite Arts Council, Tel: (92-21) 569-3701, 569-3703, Offers academic programs for Music, Theater Arts and Dance
  • Rangoonwala Community center, Dhoraji Colony, Offers a variety of classes on cooking, computers, handicrafts, sewing, textile designing, English, fitness and more. Art gallery and other exhibitions.
  • Swimming Classes at the Marriott Hotel (During Summer).
  • Seaview Riding & Equestrian Club for Horse riding instructions.

Karachi universities are generally well-regarded and draw exchange students from near and far.

  • Aga Khan University [62] Chartered in 1983, is Pakistan's first private university. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Nursing Schools, a Medical College, and Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board, and Institute for Study of Muslim Civilisations. It also has campuses and programmes in Afghanistan, East Africa, Egypt, Syria and the United Kingdom.
  • University of Karachi [63], simply referred as KU, is the largest university in Pakistan having one of the largest faculties in the world
  • Institute of Business Administration (IBA) [64], founded in 1955 is the oldest business school outside North America, Alumni of IBA include former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
  • NED University [65] the oldest engineering institute of Pakistan
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) [66] the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan is a professional body of Chartered Accountants in Pakistan, and represents accountants employed in public practice, business and industry, in the public and private sectors. Chartered Accountants Avenue, Clifton, Tel: 92-21-111-000-422, Fax: 92-21-9251626.
  • DOW University of Health Sciences [67] is a public sector university for health and medical sciences which was founded in 1945 by Sir Hugh Dow (Second Governor General of Sind)
  • Hamdard University [68] founded by Shaheed Hakim Muhammad Saeed, former Governor of Sindh and a renowned Philanthropist. It offers Courses in Medical, Business Management, Social Sciences, Engineering and other disciplines. It also offers Courses in Eastern Medicine.


Karachi is the financial and commercial capital of the country, there are many jobs available in the financial sector such as Banking, in IT/ Media sector such as BPO, Call center etc. A part-time job can pay you as much as $450 a month for just six hours a day for five days in a week. Only good for English speaking travellers. For more [69]


There are a great number of shopping places in Karachi, ranging from the traditional bazaar to the modern shopping malls. A first-time visitor should try and visit the bazaars, The bazaars usually consist of many small vendors selling a variety of products from accessories to clothes to food and drink. In addition, there are larger stores which are more specific in their products. Also one would find that the bazaars are a more culturally enriching experience. A recent survey by the Times newspaper (UK) found Karachi to be the 2nd cheapest city in the world [70].

Buying Pakistani Currency

The Pakistani currency is the Pakistani Rupee. It is usually advised to get your foreign currency converted in local currency before you buy stuff (off course thats only applicable if you're planning to buy with cash not credit card). A number of licensed Currency Exchange Companies operate their offices located in various parts of the cities that can be used for the exchange. A passport might be required as an identification document but the requirement is often ignored. Some good repute currency exchange companies are Khanani & Kalia, and Galaxy International. Most large department stores and souvenir shops, as well as all upscale restaurants accept major credit cards. Some small shops may choose to pass on their 2-3% service free on to you should you choose to use a credit card, but this is negotiable so don't hesitate to haggle.

ATMs exist in most areas and accept major credit cards.

The Forum Mall
The Forum Mall
Shopping at a Karachi bazaar
Shopping at a Karachi bazaar

Some of the major shopping malls in Karachi are:

  • Millennium Mall, Gulshan-e-Iqbal - Includes shops, restaurants, Indoor kids theme park, Dmart superstore, Cocktail bar and a bowling alley
  • The Forum, Clifton - Includes shops, food court and Ebco superstore.
  • Park Towers [71], Clifton - Includes Shop, food court, a superstore, an indoor kids theme park, art gallery etc.
  • Dolmen Mall,Tariq Road - Includes shops, food court and Indoor kids theme park
  • Lavish Mall, Tariq Road
  • Jumeirah Mall, Tariq Road
  • Atrium Mall [72], Zebunissa Street
  • Makro Wholesale Center, Saddar, Sharah-e-Faisal, SITE [73]. Also houses famous clothing brands like Gul Ahmed, Kurta corner, Cambridge and Junaid Jamshed.
  • Metro Cash & Carry [74], University road, before Go Aish Adventure park
  • Awami Markaz, Sharah-e-Faisal
  • Naheed Super Market, near Tariq Road. (Superstores chain)
  • Dmart, Sea View, Bahadurabad (Superstores chain) [75]
  • Dreams, Mohd Ali Society near Kay bees restaurant, Lal Qila lane, Karsaz
  • ARY Cash 'n' Carry, in Gulshan-e-Iqbal (Superstores chain) [76]

Some of the main bazaars in Karachi that deserve a visit:

  • Tariq Road Bazaar also houses several malls such as Dolmen, Jumeirah, Lavish etc.
  • Bahadurabad Bazaar adjacent to Tariq Road
  • Zamzama Boulevard for upscale designers boutiques, clubs and restaurants.
  • Gulf Area Market many traditional vendors and more upscale boutiques and designer shoes
  • Hyderi Bazaar, North Nazimabad, also visit malls such as Dolmen Hyderi, Madni and Saima mall.
  • KDA Market, Gulshan Iqbal. Comparatively small than other Bazaars of Karachi, but KDA offers wide range of branded/non-branded clothes, foot-wear and cosmetics.
  • Zainab Market For branded clothing for half the real price!
  • Zebunissa Street, Formerly known as Elphinistone Street.

There are also three underground bazaars in Karachi at Bohri Bazaar, Nazimabad chowrangi and Liaqatabad No. 10. These are just a few to mention. On the whole, shopping in Karachi is an interesting, exhilarating (because of the low prices!) and often tiring experience.


  • You can buy very cheap garments, bed sheets, shirts, T-shirts from any store located at Tariq road or Zainab market; local branded stores include Chen One, Bonanza, Ideas (Gul Ahmed), Cambridge Shop [77]. For upscale designers boutiques go to Zamzama Avenue, It is to be mentioned that many world renowned brands like Adidas, Levis, Slazenger, HangTen, Wal-Mart etc get their products prepared from Faisalabad which has got one of the largest textile industries of the World. You can find cheap products of these brands at local stores. You can get a pair of Levis jeans (or any other good brand for that matter) for just 300 PKR (5 USD).
  • Buy leather goods like shoes, jackets and bags are also a specialty of Pakistan. Go to English Boot house [78], Sputnik, Shoe Planet, Servis, Metro, Gap shoes (at Tariq road), Lotus, Step-in (at Hyderi, North Nazimabad), Jaybees (at Zebunissa market, Saddar) for best quality shoes at low prices.
  • Buy sports goods like cricket bats, balls, kits, footballs, sports wear and almost anything related to sports you can imagine. You will not find such high quality equipments at such low cost anywhere else. To mention, Pakistan produces ninety percent of the world’s sports goods and is the largest provider of sports equipment to FIFA for the World cup.
  • Pakistan produces cheap and high quality musical instruments. You can even get an acoustic guitar for as low as 2000 PKR (34 USD).
  • Buy Books from Liberty books located next to Bar BQ tonight restaurant in Clifton.
  • Buy computer accessories from Regal center (Preedy Street, Saddar), Rainbow center (near Preedy Street, Saddar for CDs & DVDs), Technocity (II Chundrigar road, Saddar), Unicenter (II Chundrigar road, Saddar).
  • Buy cheap Electronics & Cameras from Preedy street.
  • Buy Arabian, Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani carpets from Afghan carpets (Marriott hotel), Asian carpet palace (Zebunissa st.), Habib carpets, Wazir Carpets (Hotel Metropole on Club road) or visit stores located at Zamzama Ave.
  • Buy gold jewelry from different Gold souks located in Zebunissa market, some estimated suggests Gold in the city is cheaper than in Dubai.
  • Buy wood carvings.
  • Buy gems , handicrafts, glassware, brassware, marble products, crystal works, carved wood and antiques from Zebunissa Street in Saddar formerly known as Elphinistone street. Also buy pashmina, rugs, wool-shawls or wraps, which can cost anywhere between $15 to as much as $700. Remember to bargain. Ajrak, a shawl is the souvenir of Sind province.
  • Buy souvenirs such as decorative items from Sea Shells.
  • For food stuffs go to any super store like Dmart, Makro, Naheed; especially buy Swat honey, Biscuits, Mitchells chocolate which are the best in the world.
  • For home accessories visit shops located in Dolmen mall at Tariq road
  • Buy Kitchen Utensils and Cutlery
  • For art lovers, get in touch with a local to take you around. There are so many art galleries that are worth visiting and each will offer a completely different range of artwork, style and pricing. All the facilities should be visited if you are an art lover. Some examples:
    • V. M Art Gallery ,Rangoonwala Community Centre
    • Jahanzeb Art Gallery,Clifton Commercial area
    • Vision Art Gallery ,Kehkashan, Clifton
    • Tariq Jay Gallery,P.E.C.H.S
    • A . R . Fareedi (Permanent Collection), Arts Council building
    • Ahmed Pervaiz Gallery, arts council building
    • Fayzee Rahamin Gallery (French Cultural centre), Alliance Francaise De Karachi Art Gallery
    • Sadequain Galerie, Frere Hall, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Tel: (92-21) 920-4325, Ongoing art exhibition & library plus a peaceful garden.
    • Clifton Art gallery, 11-Al Habib Apartment, Clifton Road
    • Indus Art Gallery,Bath island, Feroznama Road, Karachi
    • Chawkandi Art ,DCI Kehkashan. Clifton, Karachi
    • Funkar Art Gallery, 202,Dean Arcade, Schon Circle, Building No.8, Clifton
    • Studio Art, D-67,Block-9,Clifton
    • Kunj Art Gallery, 147/D KDA Scheme No.1
    • Majmua, The Art Gallery, 239 Staff Lines,Fatima Jinnah Road
    • Momart, The Art Gallery, Anum Classic,Mezzanine,Main Shahrah-e-Faisal
    • Reevaj, The Art Gallery, at [Park towers]http://www.parktowers.com.pk/
    • Louvre Art gallery, 9 Pearl Haven, Block 5, Clifton
    • Canvas Art galleryA-3 Hassan Homes, Block 5, Clifton, Clifton Road
    • Zinaini,Clifton Commercial Area, Karachi


Karachi has several fantastic upscale restaurants, which serve a huge variety of cuisines. Most of the upper-end restaurants are either located within one of the major hotels in the city (the Sheraton, the Pearl Continental and Avari Towers), or in the trendy shopping district of Zamzama in Defence.

One can easily find a franchise of KFC (call: 111-KFC-KFC [111-532-532]), McDonald (call:111-244-622), Subway (call:586-8907), Papa Johns (Clifton) (call:585-3374}, Mr Cod (call:535-0746), Henny's (call:021-5867151, 5864023 9a-11p), Pizza Hut (call: 111-241-241) or Domino's (call: 111-DOMINO [111-366-466]). The beauty of the food in Karachi is that you will probably find cuisine for every taste.

Spicy red corn, a traditional Pakistani treat
Spicy red corn, a traditional Pakistani treat
  • Beach Avenue, is famous for its giant food outlets like Floating Ship, McDonalds, KFC, Dip shop, Sweet n Sour, Salt'n'Pepper, Kinara etc.
  • Zamzama, is a place where much of Karachi's trendier restaurants, such as Okra, Cafe Aylanto, Gunsmoke, Pompeii, Baan Thai, Chatterbox and Aqua Lounge are located. Aqua Lounge is most popular for sea food and steaks and is highly recommended. More commercial (and less trendy) eateries include the Copper Kettle restaurant. Coffee-shops are all over, with the most trendy being Espresso (it has another/larger branch in Defence), which also serves a good breakfast and tasty desserts. Latitute, Ciao and Costa are also popular for coffee, and new coffee places include The Second Floor (T2F) [79], The Avenue and Cafe Coffee Day.
  • Boat Basin, is a neighborhood consisting of a mile-long strip of open-air street food/restaurants. Favorites tend to include Karachi Broast, Mr. Burger, Qasr-Al-Nakheel, Jans, Mughal Darbar, China town and Tandoori Hut. Boat Basin is where almost all of Karachi's late-partying citizens wind up, since food is often available until 5:00 or 6:00AM, and some restaurants are open 24 hours. Many people remain in their cars and are served by waiters there. Local style breakfast (such as halwa puri) is also served at Boat-Basin from 6 or 7AM onwards. Note that restaurants here will frequently only accept cash. It is a good idea to carry enough cash to tide you over (at most of these locations, Rs. 1000-2000 [US$20-35 approx.] per person will be more than sufficient).
  • Burns Road is famous locally as the Delhi food district -the variety of Indian & Pakistani cuisine is wonderful. Located in the "old city" region of Karachi, known as Saddar, the area will give you the feeling of being in a crowded part of old Delhi. Restaurants such as Bundoo Khan's, Student's Biryani and Sabri Nihari are very popular. Visitors should also try kulfi ice cream, available in various local ice cream parlors. Be warned however: hygiene tends to be lax here and food here may not be suitable for everyone, and the restaurants here may only accept cash.
  • Khadda Market is famous for its delicious rolls (do try Red Apple's Garlic Mayo roll) and other great Pakistani, Indian, Chinese and Fast-food cuisine. The roll is the speciality, names of restaurant include Agha juice, Red Apple, HotnSpicy, One Potato Two Potato, Chathkarey and many more. Khadda is located near the sea-view on main Khayaban Shamsheer. Phase 5 Defence
  • Sindhi Muslim SMCHS located near Shara-e-Faisal is another upscale eating area, famous for its restaurants like Royal, Roasters, Nandos, Kahva, Bundu Khan etc
  • The Food Court is located on the third floor of Park towers [80], it houses several multinational and fast food brands. Other food courts are also present inside Dolmen Mall, Millenium mall.
  • Hasan Square is famous for Sajji, Barbeque and various other Pakistani dishes. Located on University Road, Gulshan Iqbal

Top Restaurants

The following Restaurants are very popular and should not be missed:

  • BBQ Tonight (Com. 5/1 Boat Basin, Block 5, Clifton) [81], is one of Karachi's most popular restaurants. Spread over four stories of seating, including partly covered rooftop seating, the restaurant is almost always completely packed, but the turnover is high, so reservations aren't required. It now serves lunch also. The rooftop at BBQ Tonight is recommended. UAN: 111-227-111
  • Lal Qila Buffet (10/A, Main Shahrah-e-Faisal, M.A.C.H.S., Tel: (92-21) 438-8363-64, 438-8364) [82], Built in the style of a 17th-century Moghul fort, Lal Qila offers barbecue, biryani, and a local beef-based delicacy, haleem, in its open brick courtyard. Beware long lines during the peak evening dining hours.
  • Revolving Restaurant Buffet(Caesars Tower 16th Floor, Main Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tel: (92-21) 278-5147, 278-5148) [83], Offers a nice view of Central Karachi.
  • Floating Ship Buffet[84] at Sea View is a buffet-themed restaurant with thrilling experiences of Ocean turmoil (Thunderstorm, Lighting, Shark attack) and Kids theater with Fantasy world.
  • Rangoli Buffet(on Karsaz road) [85] is located inside Arena gaming arcade.
  • The Village located at Sea View.
  • Thara CAFE owned and managed by *SYT* SHariq Yousuf Thara
  • Al-Bustan, Sheraton Hotel, Club Road, Live Pakistani traditional band playing nightly from 8pm-12pm, Tel: (92-21) 563-3333
  • Al Habib Restaurant, Super Highway Near New Sabzi Mandi / Northern Bypass (On main shahrah-e-Pakistan road in suburb of Karachi. It is roughly 22kms away from city center and on highway going towards interior Sindh province), ☎ (92-21) 687-0702, 687-0703. 24. Al Habib Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants of the City. It remains open 24 hours and has a huge sitting area and it receives a lot of diners from all over the city specially on weekends. You can try all kind of Pakistani food here for approx. $10/head. It is highly recommended to someone visiting the city after Bar B Q Tonight and Lal Qilla. $10/head approx..
  • Agha juice since 1960 main Nazimabad No1, Only 3 branches 1. Opp Amber Auditorium, Bahadurabad. 2. Main Rashid Minhas Rd, Gushan Iqbal. 3. Khadda Market Defence phase 5. The pioneer of juices in Karachi Pakistan, Located and founded in 1960, and open 11:30 am to 3 am. Make sure you go to the branches listed above as there are a lot of places similar to that name.
  • Chandni, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Chawal Inn, Boat Basin, Clifton
  • Foodies Barbeque and Fast Food. Adjacent Bait-ul-Mukkaram Mosque, University Road, Gulshan Iqbal
  • Highway Garden Restaurant, Main Super Highway, Near Tool Plaza, Tel: (92-21) 0300-822-0320
  • Jans chicken, Boat Basin, Khayaban-e-Roomi, Opposite Clifton Jamat khana.
  • Marco Polo, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Mela, Main Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, near Alladin amusement park and also at Saddar near Arts Council is a Buffet and kids theme restaurant
  • Mughal Darbar, Opposite Sailing Club, Boat Basin
  • Oasis, Hill Park
  • Qasr-E-Nakheel, Boat Basin, Clifton
  • Sajjad Restaurant, Main Super Highway, Near Caltex Petrol Pump, Tel: (92-21) 826-7330
  • The Pakistani, Sheraton Hotel, Club Road, Tel: (92-21) 563-3333
  • VILLAGE GARDEN GRILL & bbq, Club Road opposite Avari towers, Great BBQ and restaurant. One of the top ones in Karachi. 92-21-5212880
  • If anyone is looking for "chaat" (a local-fare of chickpeas mixed with other things) Chatkharay in Khadda Market (Defence) is good.
  • China Town, Com. 7/3, Khayaban-e-Saadi, Kehkashan Block 2, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 586-0528, 537-4423
  • Chairman Mao, Phase 6, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 585-3333, 535-0855, Delivery Only
  • Dynasty, Avari Towers, Fatima Jinnah Rd., Tel: (92-21) 566-0100 ext. 2080
  • Jade Garden, Sea Breeze Heights, Fl-2 Khayaban-e-Saadi, Block 2, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 586-5650, 583-1126
  • Suzie Wong, Marriott Hotel, 9 Abdullah Haroon Road, Tel: (92-21) 568-0111
  • Sweet and Sour, 55-C, Khayaban-e-Muslim, Muslim Commercial Area, Phase 6, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 584-0996, 584-0997
  • Tai Pan, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Singapore Sling, Clifton, Near the beach Singapore Sling offers Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese foods and BBQ - Great food clean and reasonable.
  • The Korean in Clifton, Near Schoen Circle,
  • Asia Live, Avari Towers, Fatima Jinnah Road, UAN: 111-282-747
  • Cafe 9, 5-E, 9th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 529-5081, 529-5082
  • Cafe Zouk, Plot No. 27/C, Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, Phase 5, D.H.A, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 585-6491, 585-6492
  • Cafe Flo in Clifton Near three swords in the Alliance Francaise
  • Clifton Grill, Plot No. 2/A, K.D.A., Scheme 5, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 587-9335, 587-9336
  • Cafe Grand, Abdullah Haroon Road,Opposite Metropole Hotel
  • Cactus Cafe, 71/C, 24 St., Phase-V, D.H.A, Off. Khayaban-e-Tanzeem
  • Copper Ketle, Shazz building, Stadium Road, Gulshan Iqbal
  • Don Corleone's Cafe & Restaurant, Mall Square, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-0615
  • Evolution, 66C-68C, 25th Street, Tauheed Commercial Area, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 586-0941, 582-4651
  • Excellent, Marine Arcade, Kehkashan,Clifton
  • Fusion, Zamzama
  • Fuchsia, E-23, 2nd Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 536-3944, 536-3948
  • Garnish, 1st Floor, Awami Markaz, Shahra-e- Faisal
  • Hang Out!, Plot #23-C, Mezzanine Floor, DS123, Badar Commercial Area, 26th Street, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 824-9060, 534-5072
  • Henny Penny, # 99, 9th Commercial, Phase-IV, D.H.A
  • Kabana Restaurant, Clifton Food Centre, Opp.Bilawal House
  • Kay Bees Mohd Ali society, near Karsaz, Lal Qila restaurant lane
  • Le Grand, 9-E, 7th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 582-0186, 582-0187
  • Lotus Court, Sheraton hotel, Club road
  • Maxim's, UBL Building, Main Clifton Road
  • New York Cafe, 10-C, 6th Zamzama Lane, Phase-V, Main Zamzama Blvd., D.H.A
  • Patio, F-50/1, Block- 4 , Clifton
  • Saint's, 12-C, 26th Street,Tauhid Commercial Area, Phase-V, D.H.A
  • Secret Recipe, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, Phase 6 DHA.
  • Shangrila International Restaurant, Avari towers
  • The Elbow Room, Mumtaz Hussain Street, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Tel: (92-21) 241-2241, 241-2242
  • Topkani Restaurant, Arts Council Building, M.R. Kayani Road
  • Village, Opposite Avari towers, Club road, Also offers Sheesha.
  • Zen, 49-C, Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase-VI, DHA
  • Cafe Coffee Day, First Stadium Lane, Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, Phase 5, D.H.A. Tel: (92-213) 546-3814, Live rock bands, usually on random Saturday nights. Call for schedule.
  • Chatkharay, 27-C, Stadium Lane No. 2, Phase 5, D.H.A. , UAN: 111-242-854
  • Dumpukht, Marriott Hotel, 9 Abdullah Haroon Road, Tel: (92-21) 568-0111 Ext. 2201, SHOW: Indian traditional dancer every night except Monday from 8-11:30.
  • Gazebo, Saba Commercial, 2-C Saba Commercial Area, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 842-1167, 585-2406 and at 3-C Gul Arcade, Commercial Lane 1, Khaada Market, Phase 5, D.H.A. Tel: (92-21) 842-1169
  • Ponderosa South Indian, C-11, Alfalah Building, Mohammad Ali Society
  • Delhi Muslim Kali, Plot #23-C, Zamzama Boulevard, Land-2, D.H.A
  • Bombay Bakery & Nimco, at Millenium Mall, Rashid Minhas road
  • Baan Thai, 23-C, 2nd, Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 586-9084, 586-9085
  • FUCHSIA, E-23, 2nd Commercial Lane, Zamzama Phase 5, D.H.A.
  • Royal Blue Elephant, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Sawasdee, 29-C, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, Phase 6, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 535-0771, 535-0772
  • Thai Seafood, Old Sunset boulevard
  • Thai Express, Marine Arcade No. 5, Block 3, Clifton
  • Cafe Flo, D-82/1, Block 4, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 587-7499, 583-0018
  • Cafe Rendezvous, Alliance Française de Karachi, Plot ST-1, Block 8, Kehkashan, Clifton.
  • Le Terrasse, Grand Mercure, Karachi Airport Hotel, Star Avenue Terminal 1, Tel: (92-21) 924-2600
  • La Cucina, 16-C, Lane 6, Zamzama Boulevard, DHA
  • Frango's Portuguese Grilled Cuisine at Zamzama in Clifton
  • Original Crepe Factory, Shop #1, Khaada Market, Main Khayaban-e-Mujahid, Phase 5, D.H.A.
  • Cafe Aylanto, 2-C, 9th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 587-5724
  • Limoncello, 14-C, 7h Zamzama Commercial Lane, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 530-1973, 530-1974
  • Pompeii, Shapes Health Club Compound, Old Railway Club, 139 Mc Niel Road, Cantt, Tel: (92-21) 521-4684, 521-9657
  • Thyme, 11-C, 1st Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 0321-921-1901
  • Quattro, 147-C, Khayaban-e-Seher , Phase 6, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 524-3257, 524-3258
  • Cozmo, Sheraton Hotel, Club Road, Tel: (92-21) 563-3333
  • Fujiyama, Avari Towers, Fatima Jinnah Rd., Tel: (92-21) 566-0100 ext. 2076
  • Kamameshi, C-22, Suite No. 2, 26th Street, Tauheed Commercial Area, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 530-4257, 530-4258
  • Sakura, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road
  • Beirut, 7th Commercial Lane, Zamzama Phase tel : +9221 530 1973 +9221 530 174
  • Kabab-Ji, Sheraton Hotel, Club Road, Tel: (92-21) 563-3333
  • Meezaj Restaurant (Arabian food center), Chapal ocean center, Sea View, Near Bilawal house, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 537-3077 is in the lane next to shabestan (Iranian restaraunt) and Live Rostrum.
  • Cafe Aylanto, 2-C, 9th Commercial Lane, Zamzama Phase 5, D.H.A.
  • Nadia Cafe, Marriott Hotel, 9 Abdullah Haroon Road, Tel: (92-21) 568-0111, (Theme Nights/Call For Cuisine Schedule)
  • Okra , 12-C, 10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-1350, 586-6616
  • Olive Bistro & Grill, Shop #2, Plot 27/C, Stadium Lane 2, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 534-5270
  • The Deli, 5-C, 1st Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-8954, 854-5790
  • Domino's Pizza, Clifton, Defence, Phase 5 also at Nursery, Sharah-e-Faisal and Stadium Road, Gulshan Iqbal. UAN: 111-366-466, 111-DOMINO
  • La Pizza Pie, 1/A, Marine Arcade, Block 3, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 529-2301
  • Papa John's Pizza, Main Clifton road also at D.A. Degree College Ground
  • Pizza One, Arsal House, Main Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Block 3, P.E.C.H.S.
  • Shakey's Pizza, BC-7, Block-5, Crystal Court, KDA Scheme-5, Kehkashan, Clifton
  • Pizza Hut could be easily found on most of the areas in the city
  • Agha juice since 1960 main Nazimabad No1, branches 1. Opp Amber Auditorium, Bahadurabad. 2. Main Rashid Minhas Rd, Gushan Iqbal. 3. Khadda Market Defence phase 5.
  • The Dip Shop, near Sea View Mc Donalds and Gulshan Iqbal 13
  • Brown, Rahat Commercial, DHA Phase 6
  • MOVE N PICK, Clifton
  • GELATO AFFAIR,haidery,karsaz,clifton
  • HotSpot, 33st, Towheed, DHA Phase 5
  • Aqua Lounge, 18-C, 1st Floor, 5th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 537-6700, 537-6701
  • 'Nadia Cafe, Marriott Hotel, 9 Abdullah Haroon Road, Tel: (92-21) 568-0111, (Theme Nights/Call For Cuisine Schedule)
  • Thai Seafood, Old Sunset Boulevard, DHA
  • Arizona Grill , 20-C, 2nd Commercial Lane, Main Zamzama Boulevard, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-4974 and at Bahadurabad, #5, Ground Floor, Iqbal Arcade, Main Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Tel: (92-21) 438-2055, 438-2056
  • Copper Kettle, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-8659 and at CK2, Plot # P.P.14, Sir Shah Soleman Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Tel: (92-21) 482-7571
  • Gun Smoke, 10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 536-2283
  • Jason's Steakhouse, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Arizona Express, Marine Pride, Block 7, Clifton
  • Build Your Own Burger (BYOB) , Main Khayaban-e-Bader at 26th Street, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 534-8099
  • Crab Attack, Tel: (92) 0321-201-9687, Boating excursion & seafood buffet. Private bookings.
  • Cafe Mist, Inside Arena games arcade, Karsaz road, From sandwiches to burgers to a specially designed children’s menu, Café Mist is the perfect place to replenish yourself after a day of fun and games


Drinking alcohol in public areas is nominally banned, and most of the top end hotels have their own bars. Try local brands like Murree Brewery, in addition to that there are other brands such as Budwieser and Barveria with non-alchoholic beer.

In soft drinks, try local limca cola which makes "pop" sound when opened. you can also try Pakola; Pakistan’s premier soft drink brand which is available in different flavors like Ice cream soda, Lychee, Orange, Raspberry, Apple sidra, Vino, Double cola, Bubble up etc.

Also try, Lassi which is a classic yogurt drink that is served either plain or sweet, and is sometimes flavored or even fused with fresh fruit. Rooh-Afza, a red-color-sweet-herbal drink. Sugar Cane Juice which is extracted by mechanical force, it is best when fresh. You would also love the Falouda and Gola Ganda which include various kinds of syrups in crushed ice.

If you want to drink plain water, always prefer bottled water of a good brand, it just costs Rs. 25 for a 1.5 liter bottle of Nestle water.

  • Aroma, Regent Plaza Hotel, Main Shahrah-e-Faisal, UAN: 111-111-774
  • Bread people bakery & Cafe, 10-C, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz, 26th Street, Shahbaz Commercial Area, Phase 6, D.H.A, Tel: (92-21) 524-3256. Live music bands, usually on random Saturday nights. Call for schedule
  • Basement off Zamzama Avenue
  • Bowling Cafe, Royal Rodale, TC-V, 34th Street, Khayaban-e-Sehar, Phase-V, Ext.,DHA, UAN: 111-000-168
  • Cinnamon, Avari Towers, Fatima Jinnah Road, UAN: 111-282-747
  • CAFE 9, 5-E, 9th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 529-5081, 529-5082
  • Cafe Chatterbox, 3-C, 3rd Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 583-0337, 586-9548
  • Cafe Fresh (Juice Zone), Shop No. 1 Main Zamzama Blvd. Phase 5, D.H.A.
  • Cafe Lamore, 4,I-C, 3rd Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 581-0061
  • Cafe Sheesha Clifton
  • Casbah & 007 Club, Beach Luxury hotel, MT Khan road, Tel: (92-21) 561-1031, Saturday night dance party. Couples only. Call to confirm
  • Creek inn, DHA 8
  • Don Coreleons Cafe & Restaurant, Mall Square, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 583-0615
  • Damascus Cafe , Near KPT Underpass, Block-9, Clifton, (92) 301-824-9444, (92) 300 824-9444
  • DÉJÀ VU , Clifton
  • Indulge, For Sheesha, Park Towers http://www.parktowers.com.pk/, Tel: (92-21) 587-7953, Millennium Mall, Rashid Minhas Road, Gulshan-e-Iqbal., Tel: (92-21) 460-0995, 460-0996 +
  • KOEL CAFE F-42/2, Block 4 Scheme 5, Clifton Karachi, Pakistan. Tel: (92-21) 530-9745
  • Kahva, 6-C, Mustafa Arcade, Block A, S.M.C.H.S., Tel: (92-21) 455-3395, 455-3582
  • Latte Lounge, C3C, Nishat Commercial Area, Phase 6, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 534-8631
  • OLÉ, Plot #22, C-1, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 529-5144, 529-5145
  • Opera Cafe, Grand Mercure Hotel, Karachi Airport, Star Avenue Terminal 1
  • Original Crepe Factory, Shop #1, Khaada Market, Main Khayaban-e-Mujahid, Phase 5, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 0300-987-8778, 0322-206-8783
  • Purple Haze, 66C-68C, 25th Street, Tauheed Commercial Area, Phase 5, D.H.A. , in the Basement of 'Evolution' restaurant. Tel: (92-21) 586-0941, 582-4651. It serves some of the best desserts in Karachi and also 'Shisha' (Arabic Tobacco). Plus, Karaoke nights are usually fun too.
  • Roadside Cafe, F-10, FL 19, Block 5, Kehkashan, Clifton, Tel: (92-21) 586-9777, 586-9778
  • Roasters, 10-C, 2nd Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 530-2204, 530-2205
  • The Sports Bar C-22, Suite No. 2, 26th Street, Tauheed Commercial Area Phase 5, D.H.A. Karachi, Pakistan. Tel: (92-21) 530-4257, 530-4258
  • The Elbow room, Mumtaz Hussain Street, I.I. Chundrigar Road, Tel: (92-21) 241-2241, 241-2242
  • The Grapewine, Pearl Continental Hotel, Club Road, UAN: 111-505-505
  • Venus Cafe Carlton Resort Hotel & Club DC-5, Opp. Zulfiqar Street Phase 8, D.H.A. Karachi, Pakistan. Tel: (92-21) 584-9172 UAN: 111-72-72-72
  • Avenue Art Cafe, 33-C, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 582-3972, 583-0983
  • Alao Coffee House Shop #37, SB 3 K.D.A., Scheme 1 Tel: (92-21) 200-5129
  • Coffee Day, First Stadium Lane, Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, Phase 5, D.H.A. Tel: (92-21) 546-3814, Live rock bands, usually on random Saturday nights. Call for schedule
  • Ciao, 3/1-C, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 587-7974
  • Espresso , 10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 582-4007 , Espresso they also serve a good breakfast and yummy desserts
  • Fanoos Coffee Shop Sheraton Hotel Club Road. Tel: (92-21) 563-3333
  • Lattetude, Clifton
  • Le Grand 9-E, 7th Commercial Lane, Zamzama Phase 5, D.H.A. Tel: (92-21) 582-0186, 582-0187
  • The Second Floor (T2F) [http"//www.t2f.com], 6-C, Prime Point Building, Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Phase 7, DHA, Karachi -75500, ☎ (92-21) 538-9273, [6]. Noon - Midnight (Closed on Mondays). The Second Floor is a wireless coffeehouse, featuring a bookshop and a space for creative expression and intelligent discourse. Apart from excellent coffee, T2F also has a range of excellent sandwiches, snacks and dessert. There are regular events such as poetry readings, book signings, workshops, talks, debates, film screenings, unplugged music sessions, gallery openings, exhibitions and stand-up comedy. Numerous well-known politicians, artists, writers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers and thinkers of all ages frequent the place to speak, work or simply hang out.
  • U & Me Coffee, 10-C 8th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A.., Tel: (92-21) 587-8913, 857-8931
  • Castro's Cigar lounge, Carlton Hotel, DC-5, Opp. Zulfiqar Street, Phase 8, D.H.A., UAN: 111-72-72-72
  • Cigar Bar, 6th Commercial Lane, Zamzama, Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: (92-21) 530-2006
  • Club Havana, 2, Vawda House, 10C, 10th Commercial Lane, Zamzama , Phase 5, D.H.A., Tel: 537-4463, 582-1696
  • Mizaaj an Egyptian theme restaurant, is also famous for cigars, located in Clifton

Night life

Excelsior, Toby's bar, Purple haze, Basement, the Casbah... Karachi's night life has become the envy of the region. Bars, nightclubs and dance halls have sprouted across the city and people have also made some places like that in their homes.In the seaview and defence area there are Sports car and bike races too.

  • Enjoy Live Theatre at the Arts Council [86]
  • Enjoy Karaoke nights & Live Bands at Purple haze, at Base Rock cafe (6th lane, Ittehad, DHA phase 6), at The Sports Bar (26th Street, Towheed, DHA Phase 5), and at Thespianz Theater
  • Enjoy Live music bands, usually on random Saturday nights at Bread people bakery & cafe, Coffee day
  • Enjoy Concerts, movie nights, masquerade balls at The Elbow room off II Chundrigar road.
  • Enjoy Theme Nights at Nadia Cafe (Marriott hotel)
  • Enjoy Theatre at at the Spianz theater.
  • Enjoy Cinema at Universe Cineplex.
  • Live band playing all types of music from 8:30pm-11pm. Live Ghazal band from 11pm-2am at PC hotel and at Karachi Club.
  • Live Pakistani traditional band playing nightly from 8pm-12pm at AL-BUSTAN (Sheraton Hotel)
  • Live Indian traditional dancer every night except Monday from 8-11:30 at DUMPUKHT (Marriott Hotel)
  • Saturday night dance party for couples at Beach Luxury hotel.
  • Restaurants at Boat Basin are open till 6am.
  • Carlton hotel offers luxury cruise buffet dinner for 35 persons, that takes you to deep sea water.


There are thousands of less expensive hotels and dorms to sleep in. For $30 USD/night you can get a very decent room, with private bathroom, cable TV and air conditioning. As in any place, you get what you pay for.


Image:Http://www.hotelcrowninn.com/phototour/dsc 0998.jpg

  • Hotel Ambassador, Saddar
  • Hotel Al-mustafa, Saddar
  • Hotel Al-Harmain tower, Saddar
  • Hotel Al-Faisal
  • Hotel Abaseen
  • Best Western Plaza, Near Railway st.
  • Hotel Bloom luxury, Civil lines
  • Hotel Bolan
  • Hotel Country inn, 19-1-B, Block 6, P.E.C.H.S, Off Shahra e Faisal
  • Hotel Crown Inn Sadder, 171 frere Road Saddar Karachi Pakistan ( Near Passport office)Ph: +92 21 35622001-5 [87]
  • Hotel De Paris, Saddar
  • Downtown Lodge (Corporate Guest House)
  • Excelsior hotel, Inverarity road
  • Falcon Hotel, Saddar
  • Family Guest House, Phase vi DHA
  • Gulf Hotel, Saddar
  • Gillani Hotel, Fatima Jinnah road, Near Railway St.
  • Hotel Jabees, Saddar
  • Hotel Mona lisa, Near Railway St.
  • Merry Lodge Guest House, 27-A,Nizamuddin Road
  • Paradise Hotel, Saddar
  • Regency Hotel
  • Reliance hotel, Saddar
  • Royal Inn, 245-2-H BLOCK-6, P.E.C.H.S.
  • Royal city, Sarmad road
  • Sarah hotel, Saddar
  • Style inn
  • Serena Inn Guest House, House Number E167 , Block B ,Gulshan -E -Jamal Main Rashid Minhas Road Karachi
  • Hotel Sarawan, Saddar
  • Hotel Shalimar
  • Hotel Shams, Saddar
  • Hotel Shaheen, Fatima Jinnah road, Near Railway St.
  • Umpire Hotel, Lilly road, Near Railway St.
  • Beach Luxury Hotel, MT Khan road [88] offers view of China creek.
  • Creek Inn, DHA Phase-8
  • Carlton Hotel, DHA Phase-8 [89] is beach resort away from the city center, located next to Area 51 bowling alley, DHA Golf club and Creek club.
  • Countryside Chalets - Club E Resort [90], Super Highway
  • Days Inn, Shahrah-e-Faisal [91]
  • Embassy Hotel, Shahrah-e-Faisal [92]
  • Faran Hotel, Shahrah-e-Faisal
  • Hotel Hilltop, Near Jheel park
  • Hotel Metropole, Club road
  • Mehran Hotel, Shahrah-e-Faisal [93]
  • Midway house, Karachi Airport
  • Regent Plaza, Shahrah-e-Faisal [94]
  • Karachi Sheraton Hotel And Towers, Club Road [95]
  • Pearl Continental hotel, Club Road [96]
  • Avari Towers, Club Road [97]
  • Marriott Hotel , Abdullah Haroon Road [98]
  • Ramada Plaza Hotel , Karachi Airport [99]
  • DA Golf club Chalets, DHA [100]
  • Dream World Hotel & Resort, Off Super Highway [101] [102] For Booking Call 111-RESORT, They have their own Golf course, Water park, Artificial sea etc


The area code for Karachi is 21. Prefix +92 If you are calling from outside Pakistan. Phone numbers are seven digits long. All mobile numbers, however are 11 digits long and begin with "03", and should not be dialled with the city prefix. Omit the '0' when dialing a cell phone from outside Pakistan and prefix the '92' code.

Public Call Offices can be found all over the city. You will find a PCO in nearly 50% of the general stores , there is usually someone who operates the phone and fax. Fees will be charged according to the time spent, and you will pay when you have finished your call.

Cybercafes can be found on virtually every street corner and the rates are as low as Rs.15-20 per hour. They usually don't have a very fast operating system so don't be too impatient. They usually use 14" monitors, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows XP are usually installed on these operating systems. Most of the cafes have a decent speed internet connection.

Internet Access can be obtained easily on notebook computers with the help of GRPS enabled mobile connections, supported by almost all of the 5 mobile operators. Mobilink provides EDGE based connection in very limited areas of Karachi, however Telenor's coverage of EDGE is wider. The standard cost of GPRS/EDGE usage is Rs.15 - Rs18/MB data transfer but Zong offers Rs.15/hour, however if you wish to download much more you may want to use unlimited packages, provided only by Mobilink and Telenor at this time. World Call offers USB internet.

Wi-Fi There are several WiFi Hotspots in Karachi in Hotels, Malls,and Cafes/Resturants. If you are in a business district like Shahra-e-Faisal or I.I.Chundrigar Road, then most of the area will have free WiFi.

Cell phone coverage in the city is pretty good. Cell phones were considered as a symbol of status a few years ago, but since 2002 the telecommunications industry has experienced a bit of a boom. These days you can hardly find a single person in the city without a personal cell phone. There are various service providers offering a huge variety of plans. Among them are Mobilink, Warid Telecom, Telenor, Ufone & Zong (China Mobile). Its not a bad idea to buy a cell phone and use a prepaid plan to get yourself connected while you are in the city. The mobile phones and the prepaid plans are very cheap; you can usually get a new cheap cell phone just for Rs. 2000 ($34) and a prepaid connection for Rs. 150 to 400 ($2.5-$7)

Stay safe

Street crime in Karachi is about what you'd expect from a big city. Use common sense and avoid dangerous areas. Avoid going out alone, or walking by yourself on dark, empty streets. Never flash electronics or valuables in public; keep your cell phones, watches, and purses in a safe place. These things easily attract attention. There are also con men looking out for foreigners, so if someone you don't trust approaches you, just keep on walking. Beware of pickpockets when you are in any crowded areas.

If you are planning to see colonial public buildings, especially those that are located on MA Jinnah road or Preedy street, try to see them at late evening, after 10pm or at early morning, before 7am because traffic in those streets are a nightmare during the day time.

The people of Karachi are very hospitable. They tend to welcome any foreigner very warmly, but regardless of how nice someone seems you should remain aware and alert at all times.

You should always keep the emergency telephone contact numbers of your country's foreign embassy in Karachi. The security situation in Pakistan has affected Karachi but not as much as Islamabad or Lahore.Still,do watch out near hotels etc.

There should be no serious danger in the affluent parts of the city. Defence, Clifton, and Bahadurabad are regarded as safe at all times, as they are populated by the city's business and cultural elite. These districts offer the most "tourist-friendly" experience of Karachi, given that there will be no language barrier (most Pakistanis can speak some English, and many people in these districts will be completely fluent), and one will find a large degree of cultural understanding and compatibility between the residents and western tourists.

Aga Khan Hospital is by far the best private hospital in the city, with world class medical care at an affordable cost. The free-government hospitals, however, aren't up to par with what Westerners may be used to.

Traffic jams are a major hassle in Karachi. Although the city government has recently built dozens of underpasses and flyovers to get rid of the overflow of the traffic, it is a good idea to keep a look for any rallies/protests and check out alternate routes while traveling in the city.

  • Moenjodaro- An ancient civilization, not to be missed by history buffs
  • Thatta - Once a famous center of learning, arts, and commerce, as well as a provisional capital for about four centuries. Visit Makli a UN World heritage site, Debal The first Mosque of South Asia was built in 8th Century A.D. by Muhammad Bin Qasim, Jamia Masjid - built by Mughal emperor Shah Jehan -who also built Taj Mahal, Haleji Lake - Famous Birds sanctuary and Sunway Lagoon Waterpark. 55KM away from Karachi.
  • Keenjhar Lake Resort- 16 miles from Thatta on left side is the famous Keenjhar Lake with cottages for overnight stay. Here, travelers can take a break, go boating, bird-watching and fishing. At night you can light beachcombers' torches to extend your enjoyment of the day, before turning in at your cottage. The cottages are booked through Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) offices located in Karachi on Stratchen Road, opposite Hotel Metropole.
  • Kirthar National park
  • Hungol National Park- The biggest park in Pakistan, with sites including volcanoes and remnants of the country's ancient civilizations.
  • Makran Coastal Highway - (Over 770Kms From Karachi to Gwadar) provides a unique destination for tourists. The highway, which follows the route that Alexander took through the coastal belt of Balochistan in 325 BC, takes you by some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
  • Somiani Caves
  • It is apparently possible to take cargo ships from Karachi to a few ports around the Middle East like Dubai, Oman
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KARACHI, or Kurrachee, a seaport and district of British India, in the Sind province of Bombay. The city is situated at the extreme western end of the Indus delta, Soo m. by sea from Bombay and 820 m. by rail from Lahore, being the maritime terminus of the North-Western railway, and the main gateway for the trade of the Punjab and part of central Asia. It is also the capital of the province of Sind. Pop. (1881), 73,500; (1891), 105,199; (1901), 115,407. Before 1725 no town appears to have existed here; but about that time some little trade began to centre upon the convenient harbour, and the silting up of Shahbandar, the ancient port of Sind, shortly afterwards drove much of its former trade and population to the rising village. Under the Kalhora princes, the khan of Kalat obtained a grant of the town, but in 1795 it was captured by the Talpur Mirs, who built the fort at Manora, at the entrance to the harbour. They also made considerable efforts to increase the trade of the port and at the time of the British acquisition of the province the town and suburbs contained a population of 14,000. This was in 1843, from which time the importance of the place practically dates.

The harbour of Karachi has an extreme length and breadth of about 5 m. It is protected by the promontory of Manora Head; and the entrance is partially closed by rocks and by the peninsula (formerly an island) of Kiamari. On Manora Head, which is fortified, are the buildings of the port establishment, a cantonment, &c. Kiamari is the landing-place for passengers and goods, and has three piers and railway connexions. The harbour improvements were begun in 1854 with the building of the Napier Mole or causeway connecting Kiamari with the mainland. The entrance has a minimum depth of 25 ft.; and a large number of improvements and extensions have been carried out by the harbour board, which was created in 1880, and transformed in 1886 into the port trust.

The great extension of the canal colonies in the Punjab, entirely devoted to the cultivation of wheat, has immensely increased the export trade of Karachi. It now ranks as the third port of India, being surpassed only by Calcutta and Bombay. The principal articles of export, besides wheat, are oilseeds, cotton, wool, hides and bones. The annual value of exports, including specie, amounts to about nine millions sterling. There are iron works and manufactures of cotton cloth, silk scarves and carpets. The fisheries and oyster beds are important.

Among the principal public buildings are government house, the Frere municipal hall, and the Napier barracks. The military cantonments, stretching north-east of the city, form the headquarters of a brigade in the 4th division of the southern army. An excellent water supply is provided by an underground aqueduct 18 m. in length. The chief educational institutions are the Dayaram Jethmal Arts College, with a law class; five high schools, of which two are for Europeans and one for Mahommedans; a convent school for girls; and an engineering class. The average rainfall for the year is about 5 in. The rainy months are July and August, but one or two heavy showers usually fall about Christmas. The end of May, beginning of June, and first fortnight in October are hot. November, December, January, February and March are delightfully cool and dry; the remaining months are damp with a constant cool sea breeze.

The District Of Karachi has an area of 11,970 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 607,439, showing an increase of 6% in the decade. It consists of an immense tract of land stretching from the mouth of the Indus to the Baluch boundary. It differs in general appearance from the rest of Sind, having a rugged, mountainous region along its western border. The country gradually slopes away to the south-east, till in the extreme south the Indus delta presents a broad expanse of low, flat and unpicturesque alluvium. Besides the Indus and its mouths, the only river in the district is the Hab, forming the boundary between Sind and Baluchistan. The Manchhar lake in Sehwan sub-division forms the only considerable sheet of water in Sind. The hot springs at Pir Mangho are 6 m. N. of Karachi town. The principal crops are rice, millets, oil-seeds and wheat. In addition to Karachi, there are seaports at Sirgonda and Keti Bandar, which conduct a considerable coasting trade. Tatta was the old capital of Sind. Kotri is an important railway station on the Indus. The main line of the North-Western railway runs through the district. From Kotri downwards the line has been doubled to Karachi, and at Kotri a bridge has been constructed across the Indus opposite Hyderabad, to connect with the Rajputana railway system.

See A. F. Baillie, Kurrachee: Past, Present and Future (1890).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun


  1. The capital of the province of Sindh, Pakistan, situated along the Arabian Sea. It is the largest city in Pakistan.


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