Karachi is Pakistan’s economic hub, and being a coastal town, the city enjoys spectacular proximity to a number of islands in the Arabian Sea, including Churna Island, Bundal Island, and Buddo Island, to name a few. While some of these islands, such as Churna, are among the favourite picnic and fishing spots of Karachites, others, such as Bundal and Buddo islands, remain barren, awaiting development and attention of the government.
The good news is that the development of Bundal Island has finally been approved, and we’re here to share the latest updates about the proposed development plans for Bundal Island, Karachi.
While all areas near the port come under the management of the Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Bundal and Buddo islands, two adjacent islands that are located directly opposite the Do Darya strip in Karachi, were once considered for development by a number of big names. Bundal island recently made its way to the headlines again due to a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister before he left for China, where he discussed the possible development and the future of Bundal Island.
Let’s first elaborate on all that we know about the island, its strategic placement in the sea, and how it has historically been targeted by big developers for ambitious development projects, before moving on to the recent updates on the project.
Location of Bundal Island, Karachi
Bundal Island, known to the locals as Bhundaar Island, is a small island located off the coast of Karachi in the Arabian Sea. The location of Bundal Island conveniently places it opposite to DHA Phase 8’s Do Darya, where high-end eateries serve some of the most scrumptious food available anywhere in Karachi. Since a vast majority of people visit the area at night, due to the eateries’ operating hours, barely anyone has noticed the landmass present right across the channel. However, on a clear day, Bundal Island is visible from the shore.
The island is one of the twin islands in the area, with the other one being Buddo Island that lies to the west. When most people talk about one, they usually mean the other as well. As of now, both these islands are mostly frequented by local fishermen only. However, since the tomb of a Muslim Sufi named Yusuf Shah is also located on Bundal Island, you can see thousands of people flocking to the island on the annual urs of the saint.
Historical Sketch of Plans Proposed for Bundal Island, Karachi
Bundal Island can be reached via a boat, and occasional tours are conducted of the island around the year based on special permits being granted. It’s close proximity to DHA Phase 8 and the charm of enjoying quite a few water-based sports are some of the key factors that brought this island into the limelight. As for the development of the island, not one but two developers have tried over the years to look into the development of Bundal Island, albeit unsuccessfully.
Diamond Bar Island City by Emaar
The first-ever step to develop the twin islands was taken by Emaar in 2006 when the Dubai-based firm was given the go-ahead to develop two island resorts worth USD 43 billion over a period of 13 years. The site was supposed to be converted into a model city away from the mainland with homes, offices, apartments, recreational theme parks, and everything else in between. The project aimed to bring in new job opportunities as well as foreign investment into the country, with the PQA having a stake in the venture.
Alas, it was not meant to be! One of the biggest developers in Dubai is now focusing all its efforts on Emaar Crescent Bay being built in Karachi at the water’s edge.
Bahria Town Islands City by Bahria Town
The next developer to try their hands at developing Bundal and Buddo islands was Bahria Town, who signed a USD 20 billion deal with American real estate magnate, Thomas Kramer, to build the project in 2013. The project was also alternately named Bodha Island City, where the plans included building the world’s tallest building on Bundal Island.
The project, if initiated, would have taken around ten years to complete, spanning over 12,000 acres. Other attractions included the world’s largest shopping mall, an educational and healthcare city, a sports city, a media city, and an international city, ensuring modern and state-of-the-art amenities and facilities for investors and residents alike. This city would also have been connected directly to DHA Phase 8 via a 6-lane road bridge with self-sufficient power and water generation options.
Unfortunately, that project also fell through, and nobody has heard a further word of the development of Bundal Island since then. Until now, that is!
Recent Updates on the Development of Bundal Island
Chairing a meeting on the 7th of October 2019, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan reviewed some development plans which have been proposed for Bundal Island. Since this is a developing story, we’re currently unsure of who is planning to develop the island now and what does the future of Bundal Island hold, but we’ll keep updating this piece as we get the latest news from Pakistan’s real estate market.
For now, all we know is that development of the islands that fall under the jurisdiction of PQA in the areas surrounding Karachi has been under discussion with the PM, suggesting that development proposals might focus on building high-rises to address the need for housing for a larger number of citizens. He also implied that the help of foreign investors would be required in this regard and steps should be taken to facilitate their investment into the country’s real estate and construction industry.
We recommend you to bookmark this page and revisit it periodically to be the first one to know about the development updates of Bundal Island.
*[Cover Image Credits: Facebook/Karachi – Super City of Pakistan]