As A Dubai Wala Pakistani, Here's What I Think About Lahore Vs Karachi

By Arslan Athar | 22 Jan, 2017

So here’s the deal, from 1995 all the way up to 2014 I lived in Dubai, until I moved to Lahore for college. To make my ‘identity’ even more confusing, my parents are from military families so they too aren’t *really* attached to a certain city. But the short answer to the question of “where are you from?” has always been Karachi. But I have no emotional attachment to Karachi or Lahore (or so I’d like to believe) thus I am proclaiming myself as the perfect arbitrator to this age old debate.

The amount of hate I’m going to get for what I say in this article is slowly hitting me, but here goes:


Round 1: Zyada Bara Kon Hai

I’ve heard some Karachiites say stuff like “yaar Karachi bohut bara hai, Lahore se kahin zyada“. My usual response is ‘your point exactly?’. How does size give any city the upper hand? This is one area where size probably doesn’t matter.

The only reason I give round 1 to Lahore is because at least travel time is less, as compared to the insane traffic jams of Karachi. Who wants to sit in a car for an hour on a daily basis (I fully accept however my travelling in Lahore is not very widespread)?



Round 2: The Tafreeh Place

I love how every argument ends with “Karachi mein tou beach hai“.All the Karachi-walay hating on me and constructing hateful tweets while reading this, you know this is true. You guys are obsessed with the samandar and see nothing beyonf it. I feel slightly for the Lahoris, unn ka kya kasur hai, this is just how geography panned stuff out. And even Lahoris would agree, the Karachi beach fever is well founded. Karachi aap ne ye round jeet liya! Nothing can beat samandar ki hawa.



Round 3: The nightlife

I AM NOT REFERRING TO RAVES AND CLUBS. I mean late night fast food and hang-out spots. The clock strikes midnight and literally half of your options in Lahore are gone. Very few restaurants are open up till 2 AM (Amma, if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I only do go out late night kabhi kabaar, chill) and also by that time MM Alam Road looks haunted. Now I haven’t tried this stunt in Karachi (yet, again Amma, only kidding, chill) but my friends claim that most fast food is available for home delivery, at least. I’ll take their word for it- Karachi, ye water cooler aap ka hua! *points to non existent water cooler*



Round 4: Awesome Mausam

First off, I can’t believe I just wrote ‘awesome mausam‘ but such is life. One thing I personally love about Karachi is the constant samandari hawa. Any season, you’ll have a fresh (okay who are we kidding, it isn’t fresh) breeze on your face. But like most people in this country I LOVE WINTERS. And we all know Karachi doesn’t do winters. Lahore’s weather from November to February is to die for. The cold and the fog! UFFFF.

In what world would this round go to Karachi? Lahore Lahore Hai.

Source: Haseeb K Photography


Round 5: The prettier city

Which city is prettier? My vote would go to Lahore, just because it’s greener (Thank You Shahbaz Sharif?) You just need to check out Mall Road in the morning or better yet in the fog and you’ll be convinced and then some.



Round 6: The Tharki Problem

Lahore, Lahore hee hai jee. Need I say more? Lahori boys, calm yourself PLEASE. I cannot even imagine what women in Lahore go through. Without a doubt, this round goes to Karachi.



Round 7: Shopping

I’m genuinely scared to write this round, I fear a Sapphire-esque mob attacking me. Oh well, here goes….Lahore has some “interesting” places to go shopping but by sheer numbers, Karachi takes the prize. More malls and bazaars. Zainab Market, Empress and quite a few Dolmen Malls. And the thing is, in Karachi they’re more open to bargaining, Lahore mein tou seedha seedha mou par kehte hain, “aap kya Karachi se aye hai?”.

So shopping wise: Karachi > Lahore




Right off the bat, Karachi walon please forget the dream of finding decent biryani in Lahore. Your standards are way too high (and understandably so, you come from the land of amazing biryani). I’m going to go the diplomatic route in this one and say both cities are pretty awesome when it comes to food. And that won’t be a lie.

Karachi mein you can get some killer Jheenga Biryani and BBQ too, and Lahore is good for Nihari (yes Lahore Nihari is better ?), Taka tak etc! I will have to say however that chaat is WAY better in Karachi than it is in Lahore, hands down.




The fact of the matter is that either city has its own charm, and I like (and dislike) each for various reasons. I’m no authority on which is better, I am just trying to give my opinion on this age old rivalry, and have a little fun.

Now, fight.

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