Info Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a major city in Israel, the second-most populous city administered by the Israeli government after Jerusalem. Situated on the Mediterranean coastline in central-west Israel, Tel Aviv has a population of 426,138 within city limits. The city is the focal point of the larger Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area, which contains over 3.7 million residents, 42% of the country's population. Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, headed by Ron Huldai, and is home to many foreign embassies.
The city was founded in 1909 by Jewish immigrants on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: יפוYafo). The modern city's first neighbourhoods had already been established in 1886, the first being Neve Tzedek. Immigration by mostly Jewish refugees meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced Jaffa's, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of International Style buildings (Bauhaus and other related modernist architectural styles).
Tel Aviv is a global city, and is the twenty-fifth most important financial center in the world. Tel Aviv has the third-largest economy of any city in the Middle East after Abu Dhabi andTehran, and has the 31st highest cost of living in the world. The city receives over a million international visitors annually. Known as "The City that Never Sleeps" and a "party capital", it has a lively nightlife, dynamic atmosphere and a famous 24-hour culture.
|POPULATION :||• City 426,138|
• Urban 1,339,238
• Metro 3,713,200
|FOUNDED :||April 11, 1909|
|TIME ZONE :||IST (UTC+2) / Summer (DST) IDT (UTC+3)|
|LANGUAGE :||Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language|
|RELIGION :||Jews of all backgrounds form 91.8 percent of the population, Muslims and Arab Christians make up 4.2 percent, and the remainder belong to other groups (including various Christian and Asian communities).|
|AREA :||• City 52 km2 (20 sq mi)|
• Urban 176 km2 (68 sq mi)
• Metro 1,516 km2 (585 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||5 m (16 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||32°4′N 34°47′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.50%|
• Female: 50.50%
|AREA CODE :||3|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+972 3|
Tel Aviv attracts over a million international visitors annually. In 2010, Knight Frank's world city survey ranked it 34th globally. Tel Aviv has been named the third-best in the Middle East and Africa by Travel + Leisure magazine (behind only Cape Town and Jerusalem), and the ninth-best beach city in the world by National Geographic. Tel Aviv is consistently ranked as one of the top LGBT destinations in the world.
Tel Aviv is the fifth-most-visited city in the Middle East & Africa. It is known as "the city that never sleeps" and a "party capital" due to its thriving nightlife, young atmosphere and famous 24-hour culture. Tel Aviv has branches of some of the world's leading hotels, including the Crowne Plaza, Sheraton, Dan, Isrotel and Hilton. It is home to many museums, architectural and cultural sites, with city tours available in different languages. Apart from bus tours, architectural tours, Segway tours, and walking tours are also popular. Tel Aviv has 44 hotels with more than 6,500 rooms.
The beaches of Tel Aviv and the city's promenade play a major role in the city's cultural and touristic scene, often ranked as some of the best beaches in the world. Hayarkon Park is the most visited urban park in Israel, with 16 million visitors annually. Other parks within city limits include Charles Clore Park, Independence Park, Meir Park and Dubnow Park. About 19% of the city land are green spaces.
The ancient port of Jaffa changed hands many times in the course of history. Archeological excavationsfrom 1955 to 1974 unearthed towers and gates from the Middle Bronze Age. Subsequent excavations, from 1997 onwards, helped date earlier discoveries. They also exposed sections of a packed-sandstone glacis and a massive brick wall, dating from the Late Bronze Age, as well as a temple attributed to the Sea Peoples and dwellings from the Iron Age. Remnants of buildings from the Persian and Hellenistic periods were also discovered.
The city, Jaffa, is first mentioned in letters from 1470 BC that record its conquest by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III. Jaffa is mentioned several times in the Bible, as the port from which Jonah set sail for Tarshish; as bordering on the territory of the Tribe of Dan; and as the Jaffa Port at which the wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem arrived from Lebanon. Jaffa is also mentioned as the place where the Apostle Peter raised Tabitha and visited Simon the Tanner. According to some sources it has been a port for at least 4,000 years.
Crusades and Caliphates
In 1099, the Catholic armies of the First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, occupied Jaffa, which had been abandoned by the Muslims, fortified the town and improved its harbor. As the County of Jaffa, the town soon became important as the main sea supply route for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Jaffa was captured by Saladin in 1187 but swiftly re-taken by Richard the Lionheart in 1191, who added to its defenses. In 1223, Emperor Frederick II added further fortifications. Crusader domination ended in 1268, when the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the town, destroyed its harbor and razed its fortifications. In 1336, when a new Crusade was being planned, Al-Nasir Muhammad had the harbor destroyed to prevent the Franks from landing there. For the same reason, both the town and the harbor were destroyed in 1345. In the 16th century, Jaffa was conquered by theOttomans and was administered as a village in the Sanjak of Gaza.
Napoleon besieged the city in 1799 and killed scores of inhabitants; a plague epidemic followed, decimating the remaining population. The surrendering garrison of several thousand Muslims was massacred.
Jaffa began to grow as an urban center in the early 18th century, when the Ottoman government in Istanbul intervened to guard the port and reduce attacks by Bedouins and pirates. However, the real expansion came during the 19th century, when the population grew from 2,500 in 1806 to 17,000 in 1886.
From 1800 to 1870, many of Jaffa's old walls and towers were torn down to allow for expansion. The sea wall, 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) high, remained intact until the 1930s, when it was built over during a renovation of the port by the British Mandatory authorities. During the mid-19th century, the city grew prosperous from trade with Europe, especially in silk and Jaffa oranges. In the 1860s Jaffa's Jewish community was consisted mainly of Jews from Morocco and Turkey, and small numbers of Ashkenazi Jews.
Pre Tel Aviv Neighborhoods
Since 1886, Jewish settlers had founded new neighborhoods outside Jaffa on the current lands of Tel Aviv. the first was Neve Tzedek, it was built on lands which was owned by Aharon Chelouce. other neighborhoods were Neve Shalom (1890), Yafa Nof (1896), Achva (1899), Ohel Moshe (1904), Kerem HaTeimanim (1906), and others. those neighborhoods were joined Tel Aviv municipality after the city was being recognized as sovereign in the 1920s.
The Second Aliyah led to further expansion. In 1906, a group of Jews, among them residents of Jaffa, followed the initiative of Akiva Aryeh Weiss and banded together to form the Ahuzat Bayit (lit. "homestead") society. The society's goal was to form a "Hebrew urban centre in a healthy environment, planned according to the rules of aesthetics and modern hygiene." The urban planning for the new city was influenced by the Garden city movement. The first 60 plots were purchased in Kerem Djebali near Jaffa by Jacobus Kann, a Dutch citizen, who registered them in his name to circumvent the Turkish prohibition on Jewish land acquisition. Meir Dizengoff, later Tel Aviv's first mayor, also joined the Ahuzat Bayit society. His vision for Tel Aviv involved peaceful co-existence with Arabs.
On 11 April 1909, 66 Jewish families gathered on a desolate sand dune to parcel out the land by lottery using seashells. This gathering is considered the official date of the establishment of Tel Aviv. The lottery was organised by Akiva Aryeh Weiss, president of the building society. Weiss collected 120 sea shells on the beach, half of them white and half of them grey. The members' names were written on the white shells and the plot numbers on the grey shells. A boy drew names from one box of shells and a girl drew plot numbers from the second box. A photographer, Avraham Soskin, documented the event. The first water well was later dug at this site (today Rothschild Boulevard, across from Dizengoff House). Within a year, Herzl, Ahad Ha'am, Yehuda Halevi,Lilienblum, and Rothschild streets were built; a water system was installed; and 66 houses (including some on six subdivided plots) were completed. At the end of Herzl Street, a plot was allocated for a new building for theHerzliya Hebrew High School, founded in Jaffa in 1906. On 21 May 1910, the name Tel Aviv was adopted. The flag and city arms of Tel Aviv (see above) contain under the red Star of David 2 words from the biblical book of Jeremiah: "I (God) will build You up again and you will be rebuilt." (Jer 31:4) Tel Aviv was planned as an independent Hebrew city with wide streets and boulevards, running water at each house and street lights.
By 1914, Tel Aviv had grown to more than 1 square kilometre (247 acres). However, growth halted in 1917 when the Ottoman authorities expelled the residents of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. A report published in The New York Timesby United States Consul Garrels in Alexandria, Egypt described the Jaffa deportation of early April 1917. The orders of evacuation were aimed chiefly at the Jewish population. Jews were free to return to their homes in Tel Aviv at the end of the following year when, with the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, the British took control of Palestine.
Under the British Mandate
With increasing Jewish immigration during the British administration, friction between Arabs and Jews in Palestine increased. On 1 May 1921, the Jaffa Riots resulted in the deaths of 48 Arabs and 47 Jews and injuries to 146 Jews and 73 Arabs. In the wake of this violence, many Jews left Jaffa for Tel Aviv, increasing the population of Tel Aviv from 2,000 in 1920 to around 34,000 by 1925.
Tel Aviv began to develop as a commercial center. In 1923, Tel Aviv was the first town to be wired to electricity in Palestine, followed by Jaffa later in the same year. The opening ceremony of the Jaffa Electric Company powerhouse, on 10 June 1923, celebrated the lighting of the two main streets of Tel Aviv.
In 1925, the Scottish biologist, sociologist, philanthropist and pioneering town planner Patrick Geddes drew up a master plan for Tel Aviv which was adopted by the city council led by Meir Dizengoff. Geddes's plan for developing the northern part of the district was based on Ebenezer Howard's garden city movement. The plan consisted of four main features: a hierarchical system of streets laid out in a grid, large blocks consisting of small-scale domestic dwellings, the organization of these blocks around central open spaces, and the concentration of cultural institutions to form a civic center. While most of the northern area of Tel Aviv was built according to this plan, the influx of European refugees in the 1930s necessitated the construction of taller apartment buildings on a larger footprint in the city.
Ben Gurion House was built in 1930–31, part of a new worker's housing development. At the same time, Jewish cultural life was given a boost by the establishment of the Ohel Theater and the decision of Habima Theatre to make Tel Aviv its permanent base in 1931.
Tel Aviv was granted municipal status in 1934. The Jewish population rose dramatically during the Fifth Aliyah after the Nazis came to power in Germany. By 1937 the Jewish population of Tel Aviv had risen to 150,000, compared to Jaffa's mainly Arab 69,000 residents. Within two years, it had reached 160,000, which was over a third of Palestine's total Jewish population. Many new Jewish immigrants to Palestine disembarked in Jaffa, and remained in Tel Aviv, turning the city into a center of urban life. Friction during the 1936–39 Arab revolt, led to the opening of a local Jewish port, Tel Aviv Port, independent of Jaffa, in 1938, (it closed on 25 October 1965). Lydda Airport (later Ben Gurion Airport) and Sde Dov Airport opened between 1937 and 1938.
Many German Jewish architects trained at the Bauhaus, the Modernistschool of architecture in Germany, and left Germany during the 1930s. Some, like Arieh Sharon, came to Palestine and adapted the architectural outlook of the Bauhaus and similar schools to the local conditions there, creating what is recognized as the largest concentration of buildings in the International Style in the world. Tel Aviv's White City emerged in the 1930s, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Tel Aviv was hit during the Italian Bombing of Palestine in World War II. On 9 September 1940, 137 were killed in the bombing of Tel Aviv.
According to the 1947 UN Partition Plan for dividing Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Tel Aviv, by then a city of 230,000, was included in the new Jewish state. Jaffa with, as of 1945, a population of 101,580 people—53,930 Muslims, 30,820 Jews and 16,800 Christians—was designated as part of the Arab state. Civil War broke out in the country and in particular between the neighbouring cities of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, which had been assigned to the Jewish and Arab states respectively. After several months of siege, on 13 May 1948, Jaffa fell and the Arab population fled en masse.
After Israeli independence
When Israel declared Independenceon 14 May 1948, the population of Tel Aviv was over 200,000. Tel Aviv was the temporary government center of the State of Israel until the government moved to Jerusalem in December, 1949. Due to the international dispute over the status of Jerusalem, most embassies remained in or near Tel Aviv. In the early 1980s, 13 embassies in Jerusalem moved to Tel Aviv as part of the UN's measures responding to Israel's 1980 Jerusalem Law. Today, all national embassies are in Tel Aviv or environs.
The boundaries of Tel Aviv and Jaffa became a matter of contention between the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli government in 1948. The former wished to incorporate only the northern Jewish suburbs of Jaffa, while the latter wanted a more complete unification. The issue also had international sensitivity, since the main part of Jaffa was in the Arab portion of the United Nations Partition Plan, whereas Tel Aviv was not, and no armistice agreements had yet been signed. On 10 December 1948, the government announced the annexation to Tel Aviv of Jaffa's Jewish suburbs, the Palestinian neighborhood of Abu Kabir, the Palestinian village of Salama and some of its agricultural land, and the Jewish 'Hatikva' slum. On 25 February 1949, the depopulated Palestinian village of al-Shaykh Muwanniswas also annexed to Tel Aviv. On 18 May 1949, Manshiya and part of Jaffa's central zone were added, for the first time including land that had been in the Arab portion of the UN partition plan. The government voted on the unification of Tel Aviv and Jaffa on 4 October 1949, but the decision was not implemented until 24 April 1950 due to the opposition of Tel Aviv mayor Israel Rokach. The name of the unified city was Tel Aviv until 19 August 1950, when it was renamed Tel Aviv-Yafo in order to preserve the historical name Jaffa.
Tel Aviv thus grew to 42 square kilometers (16.2 sq mi). In 1949, a memorial to the 60 founders of Tel Aviv was constructed. Over the past 60 years, Tel Aviv has developed into a secular, liberal-minded center with a vibrant nightlife and café culture.
In the 1960s, some of the older buildings were demolished, making way for the country's first high-rises. The Shalom Meir Tower, which was completed in 1965. was Israel's tallest building until 1999. Tel Aviv's population peaked in the early 1960s at 390,000, representing 16 percent of the country's total. A long period of steady decline followed, however, and by the late 1980s the city had an aging population of 317,000.High property prices pushed families out and deterred young people from moving in. At this time, gentrification began in the poor neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, and the old port in the north was renewed. New laws were introduced to protect Modernist buildings, and efforts to preserve them were aided by UNESCO recognition of the Tel Aviv's White City as a world heritage site. In the early 1990s, the decline in population was reversed, partly due to the large wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Tel Aviv also began to emerge as a high-tech center. The construction of many skyscrapers and high-tech office buildings followed. In 1993, Tel Aviv was categorized as a world city. The city is regarded as a strong candidate for global city status.
In the Gulf War in 1991, Tel Aviv was attacked by Scud missiles from Iraq. Iraq hoped to provoke an Israeli military response, which could have destroyed the US–Arab alliance. TheUnited States pressured Israel not to retaliate, and after Israel acquiesced, the US and Netherlands rushedPatriot missiles to defend against the attacks, but they proved largely ineffective. Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities continued to be hit by Scuds throughout the war, and every city in the Tel Aviv area except for Bnei Brak was hit. A total of 74 Israelis died as a result of the Iraqi attacks, mostly from suffocation and heart attacks, while approximately 230 Israelis were injured. Extensive property damage was also caused, and some 4,000 Israelis were left homeless. It was feared that Iraq would fire missiles filled with nerve agents or sarin. As a result, the Israeli government issued gas masks to its citizens. When the first Iraqi missiles hit Israel, some people injected themselves with an antidote for nerve gas. The inhabitants of the southeastern suburb of HaTikva erected an angel-monument as a sign of their gratitude that "it was through a great miracle, that many people were preserved from being killed by a direct hit of a Scud rocket."
On 4 November 1995, Israel's prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated at a rally in Tel Aviv in support of the Oslo peace accord. The outdoor plaza where this occurred, formerly known as Kikar Malchei Yisrael, was renamed Rabin Square.
In 2009, Tel Aviv celebrated its official centennial. In addition to city- and country-wide celebrations, digital collections of historical materials were assembled. These include the History section of the official Tel Aviv-Yafo Centennial Year website; the Ahuzat Bayit collection, which focuses on the founding families of Tel Aviv, and includes photographs and biographies; and Stanford University's Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection, documenting the history of the city.
Since the First Intifada, Tel Aviv has suffered from Palestinian political violence. The first suicide attack in Tel Aviv occurred on 19 October 1994, on the Line 5 bus, when a bomber killed 22 civilians and injured 50 as part of a Hamas suicide campaign. On 6 March 1996, another Hamas suicide bomber killed 13 people (12 civilians and 1 soldier) in the Dizengoff Center suicide bombing. Three women were killed by a Hamas terrorist in the Café Apropo bombing on 27 March 1997.
One of the most deadly attacks occurred on 1 June 2001, during the Second Intifada, when a suicide bomber exploded at the entrance to the Dolphinarium discothèque, killing 21, mostly teenagers, and injuring 132. Another Hamas suicide bomber killed six civilians and injured 70 in the Allenby Street bus bombing. Twenty-three civilians were killed and over 100 injured in the Tel-Aviv central bus station massacre. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. In the Mike's Place suicide bombing, an attack on a bar by a British Muslim suicide bomber resulted in the deaths of three civilians and wounded over 50. Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed joint responsibility. An Islamic Jihad bomber killed five and wounded over 50 in the 25 February 2005 Stage Club bombing. The most recent suicide attack in the city occurred on 17 April 2006, when 11 people were killed and at least 70 wounded in a suicide bombing near the old central bus station.
Another attack took place on 29 August 2011 in which a Palestinian attacker stole an Israeli taxi cab and rammed it into a police checkpoint guarding the popular Haoman 17 nightclub in Tel Aviv which was filled with 2,000 Israeli teenagers. After crashing, the assailant went on a stabbing spree, injuring eight people. Due to an Israel Border Police roadblock at the entrance and immediate response of the Border Police team during the subsequent stabbings, a much larger and fatal mass-casualty incident was avoided.
On 21 November 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Tel Aviv area was targeted by rockets, and air raid sirens were sounded in the city for the first time since the Gulf War. All of the rockets either missed populated areas or were shot down by an Iron Dome rocket defense battery stationed near the city. During the operation, a bomb blast on a bus wounded at least 28 civilians, three seriously. This was described as a terrorist attack by Israel, Russia, and the United States and was condemned by the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia, whilst Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declared that the organisation "blesses" the attack.
Tel Aviv has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between October and May. The average annual temperature is 20.2 °C (68.4 °F), and the average sea temperature is 18–20 °C (64–68 °F) during the winter, and 24–29 °C (75–84 °F) during the summer. The city averages 528 millimeters (20.8 in) of precipitation annually.
In January, the coldest month, the average maximum temperature is 18 °C (64 °F), the minimum temperature averages 11 °C (52 °F) and the average sea temperature is 19 °C (66 °F). August, the warmest month, averages a high of 30 °C (86 °F), and a low of 22 °C (72 °F), with the average sea temperature being 30 °C (86 °F). Summers are generally rainless, and last about five months, from June to October. Three months – March, April and November – are transitional, while December, January and February can be accompanied by heavy rainfall during winter storms.
Climate data for Tel Aviv
|Record high °C (°F)||26.7|
|Average high °C (°F)||18.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||11.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||4.2|
|Source: Israel Meteorological Service databases|
|18.8 °C (65.8 °F)||17.6 °C (63.7 °F)||17.8 °C (64.0 °F)||18.6 °C (65.5 °F)||21.2 °C (70.2 °F)||24.9 °C (76.8 °F)||27.4 °C (81.3 °F)||28.6 °C (83.5 °F)||28.2 °C (82.8 °F)||26.3 °C (79.3 °F)||23.2 °C (73.8 °F)||20.6 °C (69.1 °F)|
Tel Aviv is located around on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, in central Israel, the historic land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Immediately north of the ancient port of Jaffa, Tel Aviv lies on land that used to be sand dunes and as such has relatively poor soil fertility. The land has been flattened and has no important gradients; its most notable geographical features are bluffs above the Mediterranean coastline and the Yarkon River mouth. Because of the expansion of Tel Aviv and the Gush Dan region, absolute borders between Tel Aviv and Jaffa and between the city's neighborhoods do not exist.
The city is located 60 kilometers (37 mi) northwest of Jerusalem and 90 kilometers (56 mi) south of the city of Haifa. Neighboring cities and towns include Herzliya to the north, Ramat HaSharon to the northeast, Petah Tikva,Bnei Brak, Ramat Gan and Giv'atayim to the east, Holon to the southeast, and Bat Yam to the south. The city is economically stratified between the north and south. Southern Tel Aviv is considered less affluent than Northern Tel Aviv with the exception of Neve Tzedek and some recent development on Jaffa beach. Central Tel Aviv is home to Azrieli Center and the important financial and commerce district along Ayalon Highway. The northern side of Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, Hayarkon Park, and upscale residential neighborhoods such as Ramat Aviv and Afeka.
Tel Aviv has been ranked as the twenty-fifth most important financial center in the world. It was built on sand dunes in an area unsuitable for farming. Instead, it developed as a hub of business and scientific research. In 1926, the country's first shopping arcade, Passage Pensak, was built there. By 1936, as tens of thousands of middle class immigrants arrived from Europe, Tel Aviv was already the largest city in Palestine. A small port was built at the Yarkon estuary, and many cafes, clubs and cinemas opened. Herzl Street became a commercial thoroughfare at this time.
Economic activities account for 17 percent of the GDP. In 2011, Tel Aviv had an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.
The city has been described as a "flourishing technological center" by Newsweek and a "miniature Los Angeles" by The Economist. In 1998, the city was described by Newsweek as one of the 10 most technologically influential cities in the world. Since then, high-tech industry in the Tel Aviv area has continued to develop. The Tel Aviv metropolitan area (including satellite cities such as Herzliya and Petah Tikva) is Israel's center of high-tech, sometimes referred to as Silicon Wadi.
Tel Aviv is home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel's only stock exchange, which has reached record heights since the 1990s. The Tel Aviv Stock exchange has also gained attention for its resilience and ability to recover from war and disasters. For example, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was higher on the last day of both the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2009 Operation in Gaza than on the first day of fighting Many international venture-capital firms, scientific research institutes and high-tech companies are headquartered in the city. Industries in Tel Aviv include chemical processing, textile plants and food manufacturers. The city's nightlife, cultural attractions and architecture attract tourists whose spending benefits the local economy.
In 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) at Loughborough Universityreissued an inventory of world cities based on their level of advanced producer services. Tel Aviv was ranked as a beta+ world city.
The Kiryat Atidim high tech zone opened in 1972 and the city has become a major world high tech hub. In December 2012, the city was ranked second on a list of top places to found a high tech startup company, just behind Silicon Valley. In 2013, Tel Aviv had more than 700 startup companies and research and development centers, and was ranked the second-most innovative city in the world, behind Medellín and ahead of New York City.
According to Forbes, nine of its fifteen Israeli-born billionaires live in Israel; four live in Tel Aviv and its suburbs. The cost of living in Israel is high, with Tel Aviv being its most expensive city to live in. According to Mercer, a human resources consulting firm based in New York, as of 2010 Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the 19th most expensive in the world.
Shopping malls in Tel Aviv include Dizengoff Center, Ramat Aviv Mall and Azrieli Shopping Mall and markets such as Carmel Market, Ha'Tikva Market, and Bezalel Market.
Tel Aviv is a rapidly growing city in the midst of an exciting transition from medium-sized urban center to bustling international metropolis. Its booming population, energy, edginess and 24-hour lifestyle give the city a cosmopolitan flair comparable to few other cities in this part of the world.
Tel Aviv is not really divided into districts, but rather into over 50 different neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are really distinctive areas with different cultures (e.g. Neve Tzedek, Florentin, Ramat-HaHayal), while others are simply indicating a geographical area. Tel Aviv grew mainly from the south to the north so the further you go to the north you will encounter newer buildings and wealthier communities.
The wealthiest district of Tel Aviv and one of the wealthiest in entire Israel stretches from the north side on the Yarkon River. These neighborhoods have very few things in common with the rest of Tel Aviv and are partially treated as Tel Aviv's suburb rather than a part of the city. The entire district is very green in comparison to the rest of Tel Aviv and contains some big and important sites such as Yarkon Park, the Land of Israel Museum, and Tel Aviv University.
The city's center contains "The Heart of Tel Aviv" and "The Old North". The main metropolitan area of the city contains tourists attractions, hotels, beaches and shopping areas. This is Tel Aviv as most people know it nowadays. The central area is confined by Yehuda Halevi and Harakevet streets from on the south, the Yarkon river from the north, and Ayalon Highway from the east.
South & East
The south is the poorer district of Tel Aviv but has been developing noticeably while conserving its style and history as many of its neighborhoods have become young and trendy. It is also home to many foreign workers and illegal immigrants from south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The east is an often-forgotten residential district east of Ayalon Highway. The two overlap in the southeastern neighborhoods. The New Central Bus Station and Hatikva and Levinsky food markets are located in South Tel Aviv.
(Yafo in Hebrew, Yaffa in Arabic) is one of the world's oldest ports, from which Tel Aviv grew out in the 20th century. It was here that the prophet Jonah started the journey that left him in the belly of a big fish (not a whale as is the common misconception!) and Andromeda was tied to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster, before later being saved by Perseus. It was also here where Peter the Apostle received a vision marking a significant ideological split between Judaism and Christianity (Acts 10). Nowadays, Tel Aviv's Muslim and Christian populations are concentrated in Jaffa. Other than the port, main attractions are the Old City and a flea market.
Most coffee shops and fast food places have free wifi, however, Israeli hotels can have extremely expensive Wifi service. Taking your computer or mobile device to a cafe may be the more inexpensive route. Tel Aviv municipality operates a free Wi-Fi netwrok called "Free_TLV" in select locations around the city.
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