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Sunday May 26, 2024

Murree set to receive season’s first snowfall

By our correspondents
December 10, 2017

Islamabad: With Murree set to receive the first snowfall of the current winter season on Monday, the local hoteliers foresee a large influx of tourists next week. The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast that snow will fall at the Malika-i-Kohsar (Queen of Mountains), as the hill station is popularly known, on Monday or Tuesday.

Muhammad Luqman, owner of a hotel on the Mall, said there was a likelihood of tourists, mostly residents of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and adjoining areas, thronging Murree, which is an hour’s drive, next week to enjoy snowfall, the current season's first. He said hotels had reported a surge in bookings, especially for the weekend.

Another hotelier, Zaman Ahmad, also reported higher bookings in hotels located on Pindi Point, Kashmir Point, the Mall and Ayubia. He said the hill station attracted crowds of visitors whenever there's a snowfall. The hotel owner said most of the visitors belonged to Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other plain areas.

He said Murree’s adjoining areas like Galiyat, Bhurban, Ayubia and Nathiagali were also expected to see a large influx of visitors next week due to the snowfall. In light of the expected influx of tourists, the local traffic police claim they've made special arrangements to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the region, especially on the Mall, while the administration insists it's readied its machines to clear snow from roads to facilitate motorists.

Many tourists fear overcharging by hotels, especially those located on the Mall, at GPO Chowk and on Kuldanna Road after snowfall and demand the district administration's intervention for hotel rent control to their relief.