Ah! Gwadar!

Gwadar is a name to keep in mind for those who do not already know it. Situated in Balochistan-by-the-sea, it consists of humble fishing villages about to be transformed into a real estate gold coast. It all began when Pakistan's rich and famous started buying property in the peninsula which juts out into the Arabian sea, and when China put down USD 250 million to build the Gwadar Sea Port.

Entire swaths of barren land, sand dunes and craggy hills on both sides of the newly built Makran Coastal Highway that snakes in all the way west from Karachi have been sold out, occupied or allotted. Money has been changing hands and many peasants are suddenly millionaires, while the middlemen have become billionaires. Today, villagers move about with their goats in brand new pickups. One hears stories about unexpected stacks of notes being stuffed into jute bags in adobe houses, and livestock munching away at some of the cash. Never in their wildest dreams would the Gwadarians have imagined that their barren coastline might eclipse real estate values in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

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Himal Southasian