Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. Most of Pakistan's state-owned companies are based in Islamabad. Pakistan is in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea, between India on the east and Iran and Afghanistan on the west and China in the north. Mostly hot, dry desert; temperate in northwest; arctic in north. Flat Indus plain in east; mountains in north and northwest; Balochistan plateau in west. The official language is Urdu. English is also widely spoken in business and government circles and by many staff at hotels, airports and railway stations. The main religion is Islam. The economy of Pakistan is a semi-industrialized economy, which mainly encompasses textiles, chemicals, food processing, agriculture and other industries. The structure of the Pakistani economy has changed from a mainly agricultural base to a strong service base. Agriculture now only accounts for roughly 20% of the GDP, while the service sector accounts for 53% of the GDP. The security risk for expatriates in Pakistan is extremely high. Risks include terrorism (targeting expatriates), militant attacks against government and security force targets, fighting between tribal militias, crime, banditry, sporadic bomb attacks and rioting. The population in Islamabad is 1.3 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 8.22% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Islamabad as at 1 January 2015 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. In Islamabad, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Low 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Very Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: Very Low Islamabad is for example -32.8% cheaper than Montevideo for groceries, 8.3% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and -44% cheaper for transport costs than Athens. Islamabad is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Islamabad for an expat from Zurich is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Islamabad) premium of 40% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Islamabad? Register subscribe to your home location and Islamabad and run your personalised reports.