As Chinese New year begins next Saturday, it is the ideal time to explore the Shakarparian National Park in Islamabad, where the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre is located.
Of festivals and gardens… Inaugurated in December 2010 by Wen jiabao and yousuf Raza Gilani (then the prime minister of China and Pakistan respectively), the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre serves as the venue for exhibitions, conferences cultural event and festivals.
It was constructed on a 12-acre plot with the assistance of the people’s Republic of China, and consists of a large auditorium, conference rooms, exhibition halls and a cafeteria. The design is believed to reflect Chinese architectural elements. Other well-know landmarks within Shakarparian National Park include the Rawal Dam, the Lok Virsa Heritage Museum and the Rose and jasmine Garden.
A detour to Rawal Town… The nearest residential area in relation to Shakarparian National Park is Rawal Town. Established in the late 1970s, it is a small green neighbourhood that has become densely populated thanks to an ideal location and the presence of amenities such as schools, parks, and healthcare facilities-all available against the scenic backdrop of Rawal Dam. Rawal Market froms the commercial spine of this neighbourhood; daily groceries can be sourced there. Popular commercial pockets within a 10-kilometre radius include Aabpara and Melody Markets.
The real estate take… Rawal Town is completely built up; prices and rentals are rentals are relatively lower compared to nearby areas, including Margalla Town and Bani Gala, although property is in high demand. Residential property includes option include houses and commercial property includes standalone shops and retail space in low-rise buildings. Prices and rentals have gone up by nearly 30% in the last three years.
In a nutshell… This part of Islamabad is where the city’s most prominent landmark and recreational avenues are located, among which the Pakistan-China Centre is perhaps the most striking in terms of architecture.
By Nimrah Butt