Gwadar, is a planned free trade port city on the southwestern warm water Arabian Sea coastline of Pakistan in Balochistan province. It is the district headquarters of Gwadar District and, in 2011, was designated the winter capital of Balochistan province. Gwadar has a population of approximately 85,000. Gwadar is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the western province of Balochistan. It is about 533 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar Port is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, near the key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf. Gwadar Port a newly built strategic warm-water, deep-sea port, which was developed by the Government of Pakistan and the Government of China at a cost of USD $248 million and inaugurated by the President of Pakistan on 20 March 2007.
Gwadar is one of the few planned cities in Pakistan (others being Faisalabad, Jauharabad, and Islamabad), which have been developed from scratch under an urban master plan. Prior to its development as a port city, the town was a fishing village. A master plan for the development of Gwadar City with land zoning and internal infrastructure networks was approved by the Government of Pakistan in 2003. The Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) is charged with the execution of this master plan. A major part of its current work program is focused on the fast-track construction of roads, other infrastructure and public buildings. The provincial government of Balochistan has started with the development of infrastructure for the Industrial park's that are located east of the city. Related to this rapid development, the population growth rate of Gwadar has accelerated during the past two years. The current population of Gwadar city is estimated at around 85,000 and is expected to reach half a million in about five years.
In 2013, Gwadar Port operations were officially handed over to China. According to the contract signed a full-fledged commercial port will be constructed with initial investment of $750 million. The port is said to be strategically important for China as Sixty percent of China's oil comes from the Gulf by ships travelling over 16,000 kilometres in two to three months, confronting pirates, bad weather, political rivals and other risks up to its only commercial port, Shanghai. Gwadar will reduce the distance to a mere 2,500 kilometres and also serve round the year.
In February, 2013 Iran announced to set up a $4 billion oil refinery in Gwadar with an estimated capacity of about 400,000 barrels per day. According to the original plan, Tehran will also lay an oil pipeline from its territory to Gwadar to transport crude oil for processing. China's coastal refinery plan has also announced to invest $12 billion in multiple projects in Gwadar and other parts of Pakistan including a refinery with the processing capacity of 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Culture of Gwadar
Gwadar is situated over the entrance of the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Peninsula. Gwadar's area and history have issued it a special mix of societies. The Arabic impact upon Gwadar is solid as a result of the Omani time and its nearby closeness to the Arabian headland. The legacy of the Omanis is seen in the neighborhood Makrani general public who can follow their genealogy to Afro-Arabs and Zanj slaves, who settled in the town accompanied by Omani principle.
Gwadar's economy has is generally dependant on Fishing. Gwadar's economy is experiencing quick change as a little Fishing town is being changed into a real port city of Pakistan with enhanced correspondence joins with whatever remains of Pakistan. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan started a practicality study for the development of a remote ocean port at Gwadar.
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