Masterplan: Gwadar to become trade and tourism hub of South Asia
Gwadar's population is set to exceed two million people in the long-term with high-paid expatriate professionals accounting for up to 80% of the population, according to the new Gwadar Smart City Masterplan.
High-paid jobs, tax-free environment, high-tech industries, mega shopping malls, luxury resorts, man-made islands and Pakistan's largest international airport which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan last year are all included in the blueprint that will see Gwadar become the 3rd largest city in Pakistan by economic output.
The 75-page masterplan document, prepared by Chinese state-owned company China Communications Construction Company in conjunction with Pakistan's Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform and Gwadar Development Authority, chalks out an elaborate roadmap and plan on how Gwadar is to become the trade and economic hub of South Asia with a GDP per capita of $15,000 - 10 times that of Pakistan's average.
The Governments of Pakistan and China project Gwadar's economy to surpass $30 billion per annum in the long-term, creating 1-1.2 million high-paid jobs with an income per capita of $15,000. Pakistan's current income per capita meaning the economic output the country generates per person is around $1500 which Gwadar will eclipse by some 1000%.
According to Gwadar's new masterplan, the city will become the fulcrum of economic development in western Pakistan, the main port in western Pakistan, one of the westward sea routes in western China, the five Central Asian countries and the trade centers of Afghanistan, South Asia and the neighboring Middle East.
The mega projects include a $5 billion investment into Gwadar's power sector with 15 new power plants, $1 billion invested to generating 700,000 m3 of freshwater per day through desalination plants, a man-made island, central business district, Pakistan's tallest building all in a tax-free environment where life can be enjoyed whilst avoiding taxes.
Think Dubai but on a much larger scale and in a quicker timeframe, the masterplan details how Gwadar will become the economic hub of not only Pakistan but the entire South Asian region.
Gwadar is set to see a massive influx of skilled workers and high-powered executives as it gears up to become the technological, industrial and high-tech service hub of South Asia. According to the recently released Gwadar smart port city masterplan Gwadar's economic output is expected to exceed $30 billion whilst creating up to 1.2 million jobs for skilled workers and professionals.
The masterplan details international exhibition centres, multiple theme parks, luxury 5* resorts, botanical gardens and museums in a thriving modern city economy all within Pakistan's first 'weapon-free' city.
Pakistan's current trade and economic hub of Karachi see some 65 million tons of cargo through the port each year and with Gwadar eclipsing that by 2030 as the key route for trade with the Middle-East, Afghanistan, Central Asia and China, the city is expected to become the region’s leading trade centre.
With a population of some 15 million people, Karachi is Pakistan's trade centre however in Gwadar the population is expected to rise to only 2 million yet with trade exceeding Karachi we can expect high standards of living in Pakistan's first 'tax-free' city.
Gwadar will require some 15,800 new homes by 2025, 47,600 by 2030 and 254,500 by 2050 according to the master plan.
The current supply of quality housing in Gwadar's is in the 100's at most and rental demand is burgeoning putting upward pressure on prices. With a ban on new NOCs for the last 5 years and limited supply within the private sector coming through we can expect to see a massive boom in property prices in Gwadar in the coming years unfortunately resulting through a housing crisis.
Gwadar's development will see the crescent-shaped man-made islands representing Pakistan's flag, grand theatres, concert halls, cultural exchange centres, a university city, lakeside shopping mall, waterfront shopping and leisure promenades, parks, golden beaches, 5* hotels and cruise ships linking to Muscat, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain and Jeddah to name a few.
The city is being developed under the highest of international standards to be an economic hub not only for Pakistan but for the region and for this reason a robust security environment will be developed to ensure security for foreigners and expats coming to Gwadar.
The security plans include the highest levels of urban security mechanisms through CCTV, vehicle management, urban video and alarm networks, and police management programs.
Pakistan's first dedicated high education centre and University City has been planned at the centre of Gwadar's new masterplan. Built as a city of the future along the highest of international standard's Gwadar will have a dedicated University City focussed on the technology and medical sectors enabling locals of Gwadar and the expected 2 million population to educate themselves in the most sophisticated environment.
Plans for an uber luxury golf course have been revealed in the new masterplan. The uber luxury facility is located on the cities Marine Drive some 26 kilometres from Gwadar Port and old town and will be the 'first of its kind' waterfront golf course in Pakistan.
Four mega desalination plants with a capacity of 700,000 m3 of freshwater per day are to be installed in Gwadar at a cost of $1 billion. The mega plants which will be amongst the world largest have been detailed in the new masterplan.
To fuel this growth not only does the city require energy for which 4000MW of new power plants are planned at a cost of $4 billion but $1 billion alone will be spent on the development of water desalination plants and elaborate water supply pipelines through the city.
In November of 2019 Gwadar's first mega power project was inaugurated with a $400 million investment in a 300MW power plant. The power plant is being built under the $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
A 300MW plant can power some 1 million residents showing the growth trajectory the city is headed to.
Pakistan's first man-made Island is to be built in Gwadar at a cost of over $10 billion. The 'Chaand Taara' shaped islands representing Pakistan's flags moon and star will form the cities Central Business District.
Located at the Marine Drive and stretching towards Zero Point on the Coastal Highway the Central Business District is to include a state of the art amusement park, Art & Culture Museum, Grand Theatre, Concert Hall, International Expo Centre, 5* Hotels & Resorts, Multiple Shopping Malls and Waterfront Walk and Shopping Promenade to name a few.
Commenting on the report, Governor Balochistan Amanullah Yasinzai said: “This project will be a game-changer for the people in the region. It will bring a lot of development and significantly raise the standards of living of the people of Gwadar. I am hopeful that this project will bring huge employment opportunities for the youth of Balochistan.”
This article was contributed by Zahra Batool.