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Malam Jaba & Saidu Sharif


Malam Jaba
Pakistan's only major ski area, Malam Jabba has reportedly recently re-opened, ten years after its original completion in 1988. It has reportedly been closed due to lack of finance for much of the past decade. The resort has a base height of 2896 metres reached by a good road. The ski area has vertical of 200m up to 3096 metres served by two double Doppelmayr chair lifts. There's also tapped water served by a 50,000 gallon underground tank. One of the chair lifts is reported to 'seat 56' (presumably 28 X 2 seater), the other is described as a 'training lift.'

The resort is located in Swat valley in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Malam means a grazing land and Jabb a village. The area receives an average of 5 metres (16 feet) of light powder snow between January and March. Average temperature is -5 to -10 degrees celcius in the winter and goes up to an average +20 degress celcius in the summer. Those behind the development hope it will also be an attractive summer tourist attraction as there is already summer tourism in the area including trekking, mountaineering, golf, trout fishing, hunting, camping and sightseeing. Malam Jaba is said to have "huge development potential."

Accommodation is provided by a Swat Valley hotel with 52 rooms including 4 VIP suites. There are also two 'family cottages' by the slopes. There's a police post and a hospital which is 'equipped to deal with skiing related injuries' at Saidu Sharif.

Malam Jabba was built with some Austrian investment and was reported to have a modern tele-communications system. The Austrians have reportedly been in Lebanon, China, Poland, and the Czech Republic over the past decade trying to develop the ski industry in those countries with 'prehistoric' lift infrastructure. But few of those projects seem to have reached fruition.

Vertical Drop: 200m/656'
Top Elevation: 3,096m/10,155'
Lifts:         2

Saidu sharif
Headquarters of Swat Valley, Saidu Sharif houses the Swat Museum which contains one of the finest collections of Gandhara art in the world.

Mingora, 3 kms. From Saidu Sharif, has yielded magnificent pieces of Buddhist sculpture and the ruins of great stupas. Other beauty spots worth visiting are Marghzar, 13kms. from Saidu Sharif, famous for its "Sufed Mahal" the white marble palace of the former Wali (ruler) of Swat; Kabal, 16 kms. lrom Saidu Sharif with its excellent golf course, Madyan, 55 kms. from Saidu Sharif, Bahrain, Miandam and Kalam.

How to Get There
Swat is linked by road and air to Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Regular coach service for Saidu Sharif is run by Pakistan Tours Ltd. From 1st June to 30th August every year.

Where To Stay:
There are moderately priced hotels, motels and rest-houses in Swat including PTDC Motels at Saidu Sharif, Miandam and Kalam.


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