Virtual Reality and Real Estate

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Virtual Reality (VR) is revolutionizing the Real Estate sector. VR allows potential homeowners to visit and interact with an estate without physically travelling to it. The virtual tours enable a better property showcase and help in architectural visualization. VR tours can significantly reduce time and money, and improve communication between the tenant and the landlord. The benefits of VR are countless but it depends on how quickly traditional real estate companies adopt this technology to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction. In Pakistan, the Imarat Group of Companies is already working towards integrating VR in mainstream real estate to allow for a higher customer experience. This is in line with the company’s broader vision to revolutionize the realty sector through innovative technologies and policy reforms.

Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)

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The Federal government plans to create a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) to regulate the sector. The board will include members from different ministries for inclusive policymaking and regulation. It also aims to provide a one-window operation facility for industry participants. If implemented, CIDB will facilitate private sector construction and encourage investments in the sector.

Real Estate Transparency

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Real estate transparency is a metric of performance for real estate markets around the world. In the past decade, continuing revelations from the Panama and Paradise Papers, have shifted the focus of the investors towards real estate transparency. Now there is a heightened sense of awareness amongst investors regarding issues of corruption, tax evasion, and transparency in the real estate sector.
The adoption of Proptech technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain has facilitated real estate transparency in these markets. Pakistan holds a low rank of 73 on the JLL transparency index as the sector remains void of effective regulations. Recently, the government passed a RERA bill that will facilitate the establishment of a real estate regulatory authority for monitoring the real estate sector in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Land Disputes

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According to a US-AID report, 50-75% of all court cases in Pakistan are related to land disputes. On average, a single land-related dispute takes 4-10 years to resolve. The huge backlog of court cases is representative of a slow justice system. With millions of property cases pending in courts, it is about time Pakistan’s justice system undergoes immediate reforms to ensure the speedy redressal of these cases.

Pakistan’s Tourism Potential

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Pakistan’s tourism sector has the potential to develop Pakistan into one of the best tourist destinations. Pakistan’s ranking on the worldwide tourism index has improved multi-fold after the country improved its security situation.
International travel bloggers like Eva Zu Beck and the like came to Pakistan and raised international awareness regarding the diverse tourism potential in Pakistan.
With an increase in international recognition, the country passed several policies to increase the conservation of important tourist locations across the countries. In addition, provincial governments directed their efforts towards developing their respective tourist locations in collaboration with the respective hotelling and hospitality industry to bring in more tourists.
In a bid to increase tourism in the northern areas like Skardu, Gilgit, Swat, and, Chitral Pakistan’s government allowed NorthAir to provide air travel to people to northern areas. This will reduce travel time for tourists and boost domestic tourism.

Pakistan’s Carbon Emissions

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With COVID-19 currently being the centre of attention, the climate crisis still remains the planet’s greatest challenge. Under the Paris climate change agreement or COP-21, member countries are obligated to reduce global temperature increase by 1.5°C which requires that CO2 emissions be reduced to half its size by 2030.
However, a lack of substantial progress on these goals has painted a grim picture. The lockdown enabled by the pandemic reduced the global carbon emissions by 4-8% which brought attention to the transportation sector as one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions.
In Pakistan, the agriculture and energy sector are one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions. It is high time that the country shifts from carbon-intensive economic practices towards carbon-conscious ones. In other words, Pakistan needs to decarbonize its economy to stay relevant in this climate-conscious world

Land Grabbing in Pakistan

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Land grabbing is the acquisition of large tracts of land for the purpose of enforcing a monoculture that threatens the sovereignty of the local community. Cases of land grabbing have been making headlines in Pakistan and government officials are increasingly getting concerned.
Land grabbing promotes injustice and inequality for the indigenous community as rights over the use of land are taken away from the locals. It has become a common phenomenon in several parts of Pakistan where feudal lords, large corporations, and shadow governments commit to such practices.

Vector borne Diseases

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Pakistan shares the highest burden of vector-borne diseases including Dengue, Malaria, and Chikungunya. These diseases take millions of lives every year taking a huge toll on the country’s healthcare sector and economy. The peak of Dengue and Malaria is during the monsoon period because excessive rains lead to the formation of stagnant water pools which are breeding grounds for mosquitos. The ministry of health has put forward several plans to deal with this health crisis but none of them have succeeded. The recent pandemic shifted the focus of the people and the government from the severity of mosquito-borne diseases but Pakistan needs to be prepared for this year’s spell before it becomes an added liability to the already strained health sector.

Electric Vehicles

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Electric Vehicles hold a significant position in the future of sustainable transportation. Companies like Tesla have revolutionized the concept of electric cars and vehicles by making electronically charged vehicles a possibility. Conventional vehicles use fossil fuels to function which creates toxic by-products like CO2 and N2O. EVs use electricity with no toxic by-products. An important advantage of using EVs is that electricity is a renewable source of energy, which means the planet will never run out of them, unlike conventional vehicles that use non-renewable fossil fuels to function. Pakistan introduced its first-ever Electric Vehicle Policy in an effort to encourage EVs in the automotive industry of Pakistan.