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A football match underway at Punjab Stadium

A football match underway at Punjab Stadium

Sandwiched between Hafeez Kardar and Ferozepur Roads is what may well be Lahore’s sporting hub – a triangular shaped enclave where some of Pakistan’s most well-equipped sports stadiums are located.

Calling football fanatics… The most popular sporting venue in this enclave is the Gaddafi Soccer Stadium, popularly known as Punjab Stadium. This brown-brick structure was built in 2003 and can accommodate up to 30,000 spectators. In addition to hosting football tournaments such as the AFC President’s Cup, several local varsity and inter-school matches are held there. Recently a large screen has been set up there to provide football lovers in Lahore a venue to watch the FIFA World Cup matches live.

The iconic Gaddafi Cricket Stadium

Hockey and cycling too… The National Hockey Stadium and the Cycling Velodrome are located within this pocket, as are the offices of the Pakistan Football Federation and the Pakistan Cricket Board. The Nishtar Park Sports Complex and the iconic Gaddafi Cricket Stadium are located within a 10-kilometre radius.

Arts, theatre and food… The Alhamra Theatre, located near the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, hosts plays, art exhibitions and cultural festivals. Several popular eateries ring the stadium; their specialities include desi delights that range from snacks such as samosas and pakoras to full-fledged meals such as barbequed tikkas and kababs, not to mention mouth-watering falooda, steaming cups of masala chai and chilled glasses of lassi.

The real estate take… This enclave is one of Lahore’s best planned commercial districts, with adequate parking space. It is completely built-up and commercial property options include standalone shops and temporary stalls near the stadiums. Property prices and rentals have appreciated by approximately 20% and 34% respectively in the last five years.

The Punjab Stadium was built in 2003 and can accommodate up to 30,000 spectators

The Punjab Stadium was built in 2003 and can accommodate up to 30,000 spectators

In a nutshell… As the FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 12, Gaddafi Football Stadium will be buzzing with activity as football enthusiasts will head there to watch the action unfold on the big screen.

– Moneeza Burney

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 8, 2014.