Kish Island hopes to attract more foreign tourists

Published on : Monday, November 14, 2016

kish-islandInvestors in Iran are spending money over Kish Island in the Gulf, hoping that the island’s white sand beaches, coral reefs and its liberal Islamic rules would draw more tourists, making it a major tourist spot. The island is quite close to Dubai and the investors are looking to attract Dubai’s wealthy expats. The island has modern buildings, nice and comfortable hotels, wide palm tree-lined boulevards circling the island and luxury cars. There are also new shopping centers, roof-top restaurants, with men and women wearing modern and expensive clothes.

Even though Islamic rules are less harsh on Kish, they are still applicable and this is creating trouble for investors who are aiming to attract western expats. Alcohol is a no-no here with absence of clubs and bars. Men and women are instructed to use separate beaches. These rules are hampering tourist attraction.

Iran is currently on a tourism boom, which has been possible due to the current government’s strategies to rebuild ties with the West. Visitor numbers also reached 5.2 million in 2015 and is expected to go up this year. Westerners are mostly attracted by Iran’s ancient culture and historical treasures. Kish is mainly aiming to focus on Muslim tourists and prioritize on high-end halal tourism.

Kish is already attracting 1.8 million annual visitors, majorly people from Tehran. International flights to Kish are also being doubled by Kish Air and health tourism is also being prioritized on the island. Many luxury hotels are also under construction.

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