Kish Island – The Pearl of Persian Gulf
Kish Island, located in the Persian Gulf, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Iran. This is mostly due to the natural attractions of the island, warm weather and the great variety of fun water activities and sports. The fact that visiting Kish requires no Visa for the tourists, has also had a big impact on making it one of the most visited regions of Iran.
With an average temperature of 27 degrees around the year, Kish is always associated with hot weather and for the people who want to escape the harsh cold weather of the northern provinces during the winter, Kish is one of the favorite destinations.
There are a couple of historical sites to visit in Kish, the most famous one is the ruins of an ancient city called “Harireh”. Harireh was the ruling queen of the city.
Another historical site to visit is the underground city of Kariz (or Cariz). Kariz was actually the aqueduct network (Qanat) of Kish which dates back to 2500 years ago and provided water for the locals. Despite the fact that the depth, compared to other parts of Iran, is not very impressing, the method they used to collect the water and bring it to the ground’s level is magnificent. After converting this Qanat network to an underground tourist attraction which is 16 meters below the ground, every year new parts are recovered to develop it further. It now has many handicraft stalls, restaurants, museum, theater and etc.
The entrance of Kariz is covered with a structure 8 meters tall. The ceiling of this structure is covered with fossils and ancient shells & corals that are each separately registered. According to the lab results of the university of Munich, Germany, the fossils used in this structure date back from 53 to 570 million years ago. This structure is the largest coral structure in the world.
However the main attractions in Kish are the natural attractions such as beaches, coral coasts, the birds’garden and in general the flora and fauna. While there, scuba diving is a MUST! As the coral coasts of Kish are considered one of the world’s most beautiful. Also for dives up to 10m deep you won’t need a certificate and will just be instructed right there. Or you can just try snorkeling as the clear water will ease seeing great underwater scenery even in low depths.
Other fun activities such as karting, water and jet ski will make your visit an unforgettable experience.
And here is a fun fact about Kish; in the entire island, you won’t see any red traffic lights! But don’t worry, driving in Kish compared to other parts of Iran is extremely safer and easier as the traffic casualties are exceptionally rare there.
One of the most photographed tourist attractions of Kish is the wreck of a British cargo steamship from 1943, which is located on the south-west coast of Kish. After the ship ran aground in 1966, the crew decided to set it on fire and leave it there. Afterwards, attempts to salvage it failed and therefore it was decided to leave it there to serve as a tourist attractions.
Visiting the Kish Dolphin & Crocodile Park is another thing you can do while there. This is especially recommended to the families as the kids will have a great time seeing the different animals.
From the historical evidences, the island of Kish has been part of the Persian Empire since the Achaemenian Dynasty. In some periods, Kish has even been the main trade hub in the Persian Gulf and therefore had a significant economic value. In the past, Kish has also been the hub of pearl trade in the Persian Gulf but due to cheaper price of Japanese pearls during the past decades, the demand for Kish’s pearl has declined.
About 33 years ago, Kish was chosen as the first free trade zone of Iran. And today, its economic is mostly dependent on trades and tourism. Most Iranians visiting the island, will definitely spend time in the shopping centers buying goods which are much cheaper compared to the main land.
For those of you who want to mix business and leisure together, here are some points that make the Kish island attractive for foreign investors:
Investment incentives in Kish free trade zone include:
- 15 years tax-exemption;
- no entry visa requirement;
- 100% foreign ownership possible;
- flexible monetary & banking services;
- extended legal guarantees & protection.
Map of Kish to Download: