The centaurus shopping mall which was opened in 2013 has brought the first real major shopping mall to Islamabad. Its modern look and climate controlled interior has been quite the change from the regular outdoor markets the city is known for. The popularity of the mall has practically decimated shops in other parts of the city which receive quite a bit less of foot traffic as compared to before.
People in the west do tend to visit malls to window shop or just to get out of the house, but they are potential buyers and you will commonly see at least half of the people walking around the mall with a shopping bag because they purchased something. Unfortunately this is not the scene in Centaurus!
With the opening of the metrobus, it is now easier than ever for those living in Rawalpindi to visit Islamabad. It also coincides with the month of Ramadan and summer which businesses are slow, and people are on vacation, and the most important time of the year for actual shopping as well. Add in a Friday or Saturday night in which people tend to go out for fun or Iftar, and you have a recipe for massive crowding!
So how did Centaurus handle this situation? At first they banned non families from parking in the basement parking lot (meaning if there isnt a girl in your car, park outside). This didn't change much. So they decided to close all the entrances and stick with one entrance outside to make the lines longer so that people were more inconvenienced and would decide to stay home instead. That failed.
What did the great minds come up with to control the situation? They said lets just charge everyone to get into the mall Rs. 100/ (one dollar). This amount would be redeemable against a purchase inside the mall so people aren't coming just for fun. Such a great idea. But this is Pakistan so they were like, how can we take this great idea and totally mess it up? Someone in the corner of the office said, well since we are only trying to exclude a certain part of the poor population from coming in, lets exclude over 30 categories of people ranging from women to foreigners to members of gyms to journalists to anyone who basically looks like they have a job. What could possibly go wrong!