The summer is in full swing, and many of us are in vacation mode. Whether we’re taking a road trip with friends, boarding a plane to an exotic destination with our families or just relaxing at home for a week, summertime is synonymous with just kicking back and enjoying the beautiful weather.
There’s a lot of “must-go” places out there in the world, but have you ever thought about visiting an artificial island?
Many countries are considering — and realizing — the potential an artificial island has to increase tourism around the globe. The idea of an artificial island itself has the “cool” factor that attracts attention and impresses tourists. Add unique attractions, luxurious resorts and things to do throughout — not to mention the pristine beaches on every inch of coastline! — and tourists will be sure to add a visit to an artificial island to their itineraries.
As a popular tourist destination, Dubai understands the excitement an artificial island generates. Its tourism industry is capitalizing on that excitement. Dubai recently announced its plans to invest $1.7 billion into tourism on two artificial islands flanking Burj Al Arab, their famous luxury hotel and resort. These islands, called Marsa Al Arab, will feature villas, a water park and a theater — enough amenities for tourists to play and stay all in one place.
Israel can learn something from this massive tourist-centric venture. Israel has plenty of destinations that draw attention from visitors around the globe. Tourism to religious sites, ancient ruins and beautiful beach resorts fuel a $11.5 billion industry (approximately 41 billion NIS) already and clock anywhere from 2.8 to 3.5 million visitors each year. With an additional stop at a world wonder like an artificial island — or a visit explicitly to experience an artificial island — that $11.5 billion could easily increase.
This is where the vision for the Menorah Islands comes in. Our vision is one where Jews, Muslims, Christians and members of all faiths can come together to pursue economic ventures and other shared interests. Opportunities to capitalize on the tourism industry would be plentiful in this way. Think of all the amenities that these visitors would need: hotels, restaurants, transportation — an artificial island off Israel’s coast could be a fresh opportunity for these opposing sides to work together on joint business ventures, free of the burden of conflict and political strife that would get in their way otherwise.
Of course, the Menorah Islands wouldn’t be complete without unique attractions of its own. One major component of this island-and-causeway complex are its submersible islands, which would certainly attract adventurers from around the globe. The submersible islands would supply breathtaking, unforgettable views of the ecosystems that exist in the Mediterranean Sea, a marvel for children and adults alike. Unlike an aquarium, these creatures will remain undisturbed in their natural habitat, so tourists can gain a full sense of what truly goes on underneath the surface of the shimmering sea. Such an opportunity is extremely unique and currently do not exist anywhere else in the region.
When it comes to peace in the Middle East, there is certainly no easy solution. The only undeniable factor is the desire for the people to come together, no matter how long their governments have been at war. The economic opportunities tourism creates presents an incredible opportunity for Arabs and Israelis to come together and pursue the peace they desire to obtain, and we are proud to support solutions that bring us one step closer to a peaceful Middle East.