2013, art enthusiasts, art gallery, ‘food court’, bakeries, cafes, Centaurus, cinema, clothing boutique, coffee, desserts, expatriates, F-8 Markaz, fashionistas, fitness centres, foodies, grocery stores, hospitals, Islamabad, Margalla Hills, multinational, parks, Patio Lounge, prime, restaurant, salons, schools, Sector F-8, sheeshas, spas, tailoring shops, Tehzeeb, Urban Lounge
Home to a significant number of expatriates, Sector F-8 is located at the foothills of the scenic Margalla Hills and is one of Islamabad’s oldest and most expensive areas.
An ideal neighbourhood… Sector F-8 is one of Islamabad’s most coveted areas, and for good reason.Wide, tree-lined roads meander throughout the neighbourhood, interspersed by spacious, rambling houses that have stood there for decades, not to mention a significant number of parks and reputable schools and hospitals.
A shopper’s haven… F-8 Markaz forms the commercial spine of the area; several bakeries, fitness centres, grocery stores, salons, spas and tailoring shops are located there, and more than fulfil residents’ daily requirements. In 2013, Islamabad’s first full-fledged mall, Centaurus, was established and houses a cinema, myriad high-end stores dealing in everything under the sun, as well as countless dining options, thanks to its food court.
Lounge away… In the last five years, severalcafes and restaurants have been established and attract Islamabad’s ‘fashionable’ crowd. Two of the most popular cafes include Urban Lounge and Patio Lounge, where people can be seen digging into desserts, sipping coffee, or relaxing with sheeshas. Tehzeeb – an art gallery cum restaurant cum clothing boutique – attracts foodies, fashionistas and art enthusiasts from across the city, thanks to its mouth-watering food, wide range of high-end labels and contemporary art exhibitions.
The real estate take… Classified as a prime residential area, property prices and rentals in Sector F-8 are among the highest in Islamabad – and in Pakistan. Of late, a significant number of houses are increasingly being used for commercial purposes, primarily to house offices of national and multinational companies. The sector is completely built-up and vacant plots are not available; property prices and rentals have increased by approximately 40% in the last five years.
In a nutshell… Once a primarily residential area, Sector F-8 has slowly turned into a trendy neighbourhood due the fact that is now home to Islamabad’s most popular mall, as well the city’s most chic cafes.
– Wajeeha Malik
First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 4, 2014.