Defence Housing Authority, Lahore

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Defence Housing Authority
Location Lahore
Status Completed
Opening 19 March 1975[1]
Website www.dhalahore.org
Companies
Owner Pakistan Army

The Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Lahore is a housing society located in southern Lahore, Pakistan. Much like Askari Housing Society, Lahore, DHA too was originally built for army officers (as Civil & Defence Officers Cooperative Housing Society and later as Lahore Cantonment Cooperative Housing Society - LCCHS), but is now a popular destination for potential residents and businessmen. DHA is a popular residential area, mainly for the affluent of Pakistan.

The Defence Housing Authority is one of the most developed and high-end living areas in the country. Since the late 1990s, this once army-controlled area has attracted various 'elite' residents, such as celebrities, top military officials, politicians and many foreigners of Pakistani descent. It is also the home of LUMS University (Lahore University of Management Sciences), a prestigious institution of higher learning with international recognition, which has also caused a few parking issues in the area as of late.[2] The community also hosts many Western amenities including a number of McDonald's, Subways, Dunkin Donuts and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, which have served as a convenience for many foreign visitors.

Often deemed "The New Rich", the Defence Housing Authority is a community known for its upscale shops, corporate offices, vibrant social life, and literate elite. Residential homes in the area start at around Rs 20 million (UK £150,000) and go up' to Rs 25 crore (UK £2,000,000) and above. Private school tuition rates have increased in recent years. The area is maintained by Defence Housing Authority which is backed by Pakistan Army. They have employed professional management structure, with separate departments for each and every aspect, e.g. security, maintenance, administration, accounts, planning, etc.

Furthermore, the area has also undergone extensive gentrification, bringing in a more wealthy base. The recent influx of population from the adjoining areas has also given birth to a number of problems and the crime rate has also gone up. As a result of this, DHA guards have stepped up patrolling.[3]

During the past five years, developers have claimed extraterritorial land, which has increased new development in the area. New developments include a world-class golf resort in partnership with Bandar Raya of Malaysia and a shopping and office complex in partnership with Global Haly of the United Kingdom.

DHA encompasses two famous shopping centres, known as the 'Y-block' market[4] and the 'H-block' market,[5] which hold all kinds of Western to Continental food shops, cafes, hospitals, fitness clinics, gyms and gift shops. As of late, Y-block has also had the honour of playing host to one of Lahore's very first tattoo shop as well.[6] DHA Y Block also have a Sports Club having gym, large commercial swimming pool[7] (design, execution and supply & installation of pool equipment by Jopic Pool[8])and other sports facilities for the community. DHA Lahore main office was also located at Phase III, Sector Y but the management has decided to relocate the office at Phase VI, Sector A, just to accommodate more number of people, who visit office on daily basis.[9] There are other smaller commercial markets in DHA- like T block which has many cafes - like Hot spot, Jammin - Java and various other salons. T block commercial area also has the very first swimming pool & spa equipment display center called Olympic Pool.

Two international standard sports complexes have been planned in the area and construction has started on the projects as of 2011.

Planning and development[edit]

Defence Housing authority is one of the most well planned societies in the whole of Pakistan. Currently, DHA has seven phases, from phase 1 to phase 7 that are open for possession by the civilian population. The remaining four phases, from phase 8 to 11 are either in the process of development or have not seen the start of development even. Each phase has a number of sectors or blocks having English alphabets as their names which are further subdivided into plots for the construction of houses ranging from land area five marla (approx. 1361 square feet) to 2 canal (approx. 10890 square feet). Each phase also has a central commercial area for shops and offices catering to the community. The phases with the most construction and population are the Phases 1 to 5, with Phase 6 and 7 being the least developed. The overall plan of Phases 1 to 4 displays an older style of town development with narrower roads, streets and grassy areas, also without underground wiring for electrification, while also lacking sector mosques. Phase 5,6 and 7 being the most recent in terms of planning and development show sixty feet roads as well as broader streets, with underground electrification and each sector or block having its own mosque.

Health care[edit]

The main hospital situated in the heart of DHA is one of the best hospitals called The National Hospital. However, recent reports of doctors negligence are on the rise, questioning the integrity of the hospital. Alternative hospitals within easy reach of DHA can be found on the Defence Main Boulevard (the road leading to the main DHA entrance). In addition to the hospitals, small clinics can be found in markets all over. Many pharmacies can also be found scattered throughout. T block will soon be having a health /wellness medical spa called SAMS (Skin Analysis Medical Spa) However, a famous Day Spa from Islamabad by the name of Nirvana has already started operating in Phase 5 (near LUMS).

Food[edit]

DHA, like the rest of Lahore, is overflowing with food lovers and has a lot of variety of foods on offer, from fast food chains such as McDonald's, Hardees, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut to upper-scale restaurants specialising in Pakistani and Western cuisine. The 'Food Street' situated in the 'H-Block' market is home to many local small-scale restaurants and takeaways providing countless cuisines; the famous ones are Cock & Bull (famous for its chicken cheese shewarma) and Karachi Hot'n'Spicy (for Pakistani cuisine). Besides the larger restaurants, DHA is full of small cafes which offer a nice atmosphere to chill out, such as Jammin Java, The Hot Spot, Masoom's Pancake Lounge, Gloria Jean's Cafe, Coffee Planet, Cosa Nostra, Second Cup, Coffee Tea & Company, Coffee Republic, and English Tea House.

Education[edit]

DHA Education System (DHAES) is a group of progressive and ever-expanding Schools and Colleges providing quality education to the wards of residents of DHA and surrounding areas. Established in 1993, the prime responsibility of DHAES is to provide quality education at an affordable fee structure to the students of DHA and its suburban areas. Started with two Schools, but now it boats of eight following institutions which includes tow colleges and five schools and Centre of Excellence – a Training Institute for teachers’ career progression.

  • DHA Kindergarten
  • DHA Junior Campus T Block
  • DHA Junior Campus Z Block
  • DHA Senior School for Girls
  • DHA Senior School for Boys
  • Defence College for Women
  • Defence College for Boys

DHA is home to various educational institutes, including LUMS University (Lahore University of Management Sciences) and the Lahore School of Economics (LSE). Other institutes in the DHA include Ibn-e-Sina College (named after the philosopher), the Lahore Alma School, Lahore Grammar School, which has branches all over Lahore, and Learning Alliance, which also has branches in Faisalabad and Gulberg. The Beaconhouse School System operates a branch here. An elite Kids Campus, DHA Kindergarten and Defence Degree Colleges for boys and girls and Lahore Model School (LMS)are also present. Lahore's first Urban Learning-based Activities Center, The Knowledge Factory is also located in Phase 2 of DHA.

Real estate[edit]

DHA is regarded as one of the most expensive communities in Lahore as far as the prices of both residential and commercial property go.[10] Pakistan real estate in general and property in DHA in particular underwent a boom during the early and mid 2000s when overseas Pakistani starting sending substantial amounts of their savings back home after 9/11. As of 2016, statistics at imlaak.com (DHA Lahore real estate consultants) reveal that an average 500 yards (1 kanal) plot is priced at 15 Million Pakistani Rupee. Pakistan real estate in general and DHA Lahore property market in particular experienced immense growth.[11] Pakistan real estate experts from Zameen.com (the largest property portal of Pakistan), reckon that DHA Lahore was only one of the beneficiaries of these funds. Moreover, it's confirmed that new projects of DHA Lahore are on their way and soon DHA has planned to launch DHA Gujranwala and DHA Peshawar, but their dates are not confirmed and DHA Multan's project has been started and running successfully.[12] DHA Lahore expanded rapidly during this period and it now consists of 11 phases as of March 2013, five of which were announced after 2002.[13]

According to a report released by Zameen.com in Feb 2013, property for rent and sale in DHA has performed phenomenally well[14] even though there is a general stagnancy in Lahore real estate sector over the course of last five years.[15]In the budget for 2016-17, Government has levied Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and advance withholding Tax on real estate, this has negatively impacted the property market, however experts at imlaak.com believe that the DHA property market will continue to grow steadily.

Politics of DHA[edit]

DHA houses 32,000 registered voters and a large part of Provincial Assembly Constituency PP-155 and National Assembly Constituency NA-125. The sitting Member of NA-125 is Khawaja Saad Rafique (PML-N); the sitting MPA of Constituency PP-155 is Mian Naseer Ahmed (PML-N).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]