Islamabad - The green city, for last six decades is welcoming the inauguration of posh food outlets meeting high standards of urban culture – however the metropolitan city has also accommodated ‘dhaba culture’ which provides food at economical rates.

Along with the constitution avenue, city’s biggest business centre Blue Area is situated. Established on almost two sectors, this business area is filled with hundreds of shops and offices.

Daily, millions and billions of business activity including trade took place here. And when there is time for lunch break, thousands of employees throng restaurants and food outlets to satisfy their appetite.

Number of restaurants providing western and eastern food is found packed with people, where they even have to wait sometime.

In parallel, to these food outlets providing formal services with well-dressed waiters – there is a ‘desi dhaba’, set under the shadow of a tree, near Block D serving people with almost all traditional desi dishes.

The top specialty of such food outlet is that one can have ‘quantity of food’ in fewer prices, comparatively to pay a hefty amount in any restaurant.   

The ‘Dhaba Culture’ has evolved along with development of the city where it is getting international food outlets with every new day in almost every sector.

Where luxurious five star hotels are providing elite facilities to rich class, these dhabas offers comfort to the people from middle and lower middle class.

Mohammad Imran works in a private firm where he is employed on Rs 20000 monthly. He daily walks towards this kiosk for lunch where he can have limited variety of food without any menu card.

“For me this dhaba is a facility, because only in Rs 100 daily, I can have lunch along with tea,” he said.

Imran said, it is not easy to maintain your living standard in the city like Islamabad, where luxuries could be seen from window but everyone cannot afford it.

“Similar is the case in affordability of edibles in the city, as you cannot enjoy expensive fast food daily,” he said. So one, a low income man like me has to rely on these ‘Khokhas’ (kiosks) he said.

Islamabad city is divided into seven zones and sectors from alphabetical order of D to I, each sector is further divided into four sub sectors.

The population of city according to an estimate has reached around 5 million and there are around 18 large markets in different sectors where public and private offices are also situated.

Thousands of people including students and patients daily commute to the federal city for the purpose of employment or other concerns and take resort in these dhabas when they feel hungry.

Almost every sector has dhabas where people found desi curry, tea and chappatis.

Gul Ahmed, a dhaba owner in conversation with The Nation said that he is running his kiosk for last five years in Blue Area and happy on the income.

“It is like a middle income man is helping another in the city where a very rich class lives,” he said.

He informed The Nation that majority of the customers of these dhabas are those who cannot afford to visit expensive hotels daily for lunch.

However, he said, “Sometimes people on luxury cars also stop their vehicles and taste our food. Mostly they come for cup of tea,” he said.

He also informed that Dhabas are allotted to the owner by Capital Development Authority (CDA) through lease.

Numbers of kiosks have been also bulldozed by the authority declaring them illegal.