The city of lights and the city of gardens are more than just two famous cities of Pakistan – one is the economic engine while the other is a testament to how the past and future can coexist without getting in each other’s way. The debate over which is the best city – Karachi or Lahore – has been running wild since the day Pakistan came into existence. Many of us side with Lahore for its contribution to literature, bureaucracy, and a rich mix of cultures. Meanwhile, Karachi never disappoints when it comes to innovations and contemporary approaches to add value to people’s lifestyles, especially food.
Suffice to say that the Karachi vs Lahore debate has never produced a clear winner!
Karachi vs Lahore – How is life in The Two Metropolises of Pakistan?
Karachi vs Lahore – both cities share a common trait which is being densely populated megalopolises of Pakistan. Here are some characteristics to help you measure where your favourite city stands so you can come up with new punches the next time someone challenges your pick:
- Economic and Financial Opportunities
- Real Estate Industry
- International Tourism
- Cultural Diversity
- Food, Entertainment, and Leisure Activities
Economic and Financial Opportunities
Taking into account the population and growing economy of these cities, both Karachi and Lahore are known for offering higher standards of living. While there is no doubt that Karachi is the commercial engine of Pakistan and contributes around 15 percent to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the federal income, Lahore, on the other hand, leads on the environmental front backed by some recent developments in the startup ecosystem – with around 56 companies based in Lahore and just 28 in Karachi developing practical solutions for a better environment.
Keeping up with the comparison, Pakistan’s biggest and largest real estate portal – Zameen.com – was birthed in Lahore, too, but is now equally present and active in both cities. So, on the monetary scale, both of these cities are giving each other an extremely tough time.
Real Estate Industry
According to the data available on Zameen.com, Karachi’s real estate industry is performing very well in Pakistan’s property market. As our H1 market report of the city of lights suggests, the most popular areas in Karachi for buying residential properties during the first half of 2019 included North Karachi, DHA Defence, Gadap Town, Scheme 33 and Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
Likewise, Lahore is not coming slowly in the race, either. As per the data extracted from our H1 market report on Punjab’s capital, the top areas for purchasing a house were ranked by DHA Defence, Bahria Town, Johar Town, State Life Housing Society, and Allama Iqbal Town.
Another similarity between the two cities is that significant fractions of both cities are home to the working-class group of people, with only certain zones dedicated to the elite. So, on the scale of affordability, an average investment of PKR 1.5 crore is required to buy a 120 sqyd house in North Karachi. Comparatively, purchasing a 5 marla house in Lahore’s DHA also requires around PKR 1.5 crore on average.
Since 5 marla house in Lahore is almost the same size as the house that’s available in Karachi, the similarity in prices between the two cities is quite justified, meaning we do not have a runner up or a winner here.
International tourism is essential and is linked with the overall welfare of the residents of a country or city. So, it is only natural that increased tourism is deeply associated with employment and business opportunities, which ultimately surges revenue, which is then utilised for infrastructure development. As tourism contributes towards commercial activities in a city and helps many associated industries grow – it cannot be ignored in the Karachi vs Lahore debate.
So, let’s have a small comparison of the tourism industry in both Lahore and Karachi. Both cities have fully-functioning international airports, vibrant attractions and tourist spots, and low budget to five-star hotels. However, Jinnah International Airport in Karachi manages to get over 58 thousand international flights annually, while Allama Iqbal Airport of Lahore handles around 37 thousand international flights yearly.
It only makes sense since a massive part of Karachi’s population hails from various cities, towns, and villages of Pakistan – which drives us to discuss another point – diversity in the culture of these two cities.
Karachi is a haven for migrants, and it is widely regarded as mini-Pakistan, while Lahore is known as the cultural capital of Pakistan for obvious reasons. The evidence for these titles is reflected by the fact that both cities are majorly embracing diversity and breeding cultural tolerance. In addition to these facts, people living in nearby towns and villages confidently head to these cities to attain a better lifestyle and set up a livelihood.
Such assortments have resulted in a perfect fusion of cultures and a lot more in terms of art, music, literature, and cuisine, of course.
Food, Entertainment, and Leisure Activities
Are you a pulao or biryani person? The answer is clear according to your preference, but both cities have a lot on the platter to offer than just a plate of pulao or biryani. To begin with, Lahore is highly esteemed for its desi flavours, whether it is nehari or cholay kulchay, butt karahi or phajjay k paye; in this regard Lahore, Lahore ay! Additionally, if you’re still not sure how to make the most of your weekend in Lahore with family, then head to our recently published blog now.
Karachi, on the other hand, doesn’t come second either since all the flavours of Lahore are also being served in the city. Whether it is about enjoying seafood or visiting some of the best steak houses in the city of lights or exploring everything at the food street of Port Grand; Karachi will not let you down. Even if you’re up for some expensive restaurants in mini-Pakistan, you’d not be disappointed.
Now, if you’re thinking of experiencing a weekend in Karachi with children, do not forget to visit Chunky Monkey – situated along the sea view beach.
In a nutshell, the Karachi vs Lahore debate is poised to continue for many years to come since we did not have a clear winner in the past, and neither do we have one now.
Tell us how you feel about this debate at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to Zameen blog – Pakistan’s #1 lifestyle blog. You can also get in touch with us via our Facebook page.