Kish Island has a unique situation in the strategic Persian Gulf region among tens of large and small islands. This island is so beautiful and attractive that it has become known as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf since ancient times. Its calm coasts are covered with coral sands that shine in the sunlight, creating a unique and fascinating sight. The clear coastal waters allow one to view several meters deep into the sea and watch the beautiful movement of the fish. Diverse plants and native trees, as well as a pleasant climate seven months a year are among the outstanding characteristics of the island.
The island has attracted many tourists, travelers, and writers throughout history due to these very characteristics. Among those who have written in praise of this island are Niarkhous, the greek navy commander who traveled to Kish in 225 B.c., and wrote about its beautiful palm fields, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta and Hamdullah Mostofi, as well as Ms. Fatemeh Al Ali the contemporary Kuwaiti writer who traveled to Kish in February 2002 and compared the island to a “gem on a king’s crown”. Kish is lying between the 53 degrees and 53 minutes, to 54 degrees and 4 minutes of the eastern longitude of the Greenwich Meridian, and 26 degrees and 29 minutes, and 26 degrees and 35 minutes of the northern latitude. with an area of 90 square kilometers, the island is located only 18 km off the southern coast of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This beautiful oval-shaped island is 15 km long and seven km wide.
The distance from Kish to Tehran is 1052 km by air and 1600 km by land. Kish is at a distance of 1200 km from Isfahan, Iran’s historic and tourist destination city which attracts thousands of international visitors each year. Kish is an almost flat island with an average altitude of 22 meters above sea level. The highest region of the island (in the east) is 45 meters above the sea level. The island has shallow fissures formed as a result of erosion by heavy winter showers. Temperature Kish has a warm and humid climate with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. The weather is temperate and pleasant in fall, winter, and two months into the spring. The humidity is high in the majority of the months of the year. The humid season begins in mid-April and continues for nine months.
The malls and markets of every city or district including traditional markets and modern malls are a symbol of the economic and trade situation of that city or district. The existence of several malls and markets visited by many people indicates the economic stability, assurance, and security that the investors, and business people, as well as consumers, feel. Kish’s markets are the driving force of its economy; the beautiful and modern architecture is unique in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf regions in terms of the diversity of goods and representative branches of the largest world companies. Kish’s markets and malls are undoubtedly one of the main attractions that draw a considerable number of travelers from Iran and other parts of the world to the island. every tourist and traveler, who has come to Kish with whatever intention, will certainly visit its markets and hardly anyone leaves the markets empty-handed.
There are currently 14 large markets and trade complexes in Kish, the majority of which has been established about 10 years ago. Kish receives little and varying rainfall like in other parts of the Persian Gulf. The average annual rainfall on the island is 170 mm, 82 % of which falls in winter, 10 % in fall, and the rest in spring and summer. The rain falls in the form of strong drizzle in spring and summer and small continuous drops in winter.
Based on the census carried out in 2001, Kish has a population of 16501 comprising 4454 households. The increase in population is the result of the migration of Iranians from all parts of the country who come to work or invest in Kish. This has created considerable job opportunities and encouraged more migration to the island. According to the programs envisaged for the comprehensive Development Plan of Kish, in terms of urban infrastructure, public facilities, and local resources, the island will be capable of providing for an estimated population of 200,000. Due to its natural attractions, pleasant weather more than seven months a year, and several recreational and sports centers, today the island has turned into a favorite tourism destination in Iran and the region.
In addition to the restaurants serving travelers in hotels, there are tens of small and large restaurants with Iranian and foreign cuisine, and travelers can choose their favorite spot according to their taste with full assurance about the quality services. Food in these restaurants is found for almost every taste. Seafood, due to the diversity of fishing, is deliciously prepared in most restaurants and seems to be the first choice of Iranian and foreign tourists. Due to their tourism status, Kish restaurants are normally open till late at night, and in addition to their delicious food, they also hold pop music concerts, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere for their guests. There are dozens of tourist agencies throughout Kish which facilitate traveling for Iranian and foreign tourists. Visitors who use these agencies can easily buy tickets, make hotel reservations, and plan their tours on the island.
These agencies work under the supervision of the Kish Tourism Development Institute and provide the tourists with excellent services. The coral coasts of Kish Island have a special glow under the sunlight. The seawater near the coasts is so clear, that one can see the depths of the sea and all its aquatic life that are unique. These beaches are safe and there are no dangerous creatures in the region; thus those interested in fishing and swimming can go for their favorite sports. Tourists can benefit from Kish beaches, sea and sun all year round.
Facilities such as a recreational jetty, glass-bottomed boats, motorboats, and scuba diving equipment are available on the beaches. -the World Miracles’ Park with a collection of all sorts of aquatic life, reptiles, birds, etc… -the Dolphin Park complex, comprised of the dolphin and seal pools, bird garden, cactus garden, an underwater aquarium, etc. -hoor’s cabin, that includes a collection of tools used for exploiting non –pollutant energies -the Saffein district, where the friendly aboriginals live-parks, green areas, and several date palm fields -several recreational and sports facilities including a horseback riding club, bicycling routes and tracks, marine sports complex, football field, volleyball ground, and tennis courts, etc.. -cultural centers and halls, including the Hafez and Palm Date halls, the coastal Saba cinema and the digital cinema.
In 1997, the Kish Free Trade Organization planned to build a large cultural center. The program included the construction of a hall with 850 seats, equipped with modern audio-visual systems for holding is the same town mentioned by the renowned Persian poet Saadi in his book Golestan. According to the writings of Iranian and Arab historians, the town of Harireh had been located in the center of the northern part of the island, where the ruins of the city can be seen today. Visiting this ancient town is an opportunity to get acquainted with the island’s history while having a nice time at the green Tree Recreational complex, situated near the ancient city. Domestic and international conferences. Among other facilities of this complex is a 450-seat hall equipped with mobile sceneries, modern lighting, and audio-visual facilities, for holding performances and plays, as well as a 250-seat hall for festivals.
There are several libraries, art centers, and smaller halls beside this complex. The area of the complex is 27 000 sq m. Kish has a variety of tourist attractions that can be of much interest to a wide category of tourists. Its untapped nature, beautiful beaches, and green areas, alongside the clear azure waters of the Persian Gulf, have created a unique combination. Due to the short time the tourists have for visiting different places on the island, they usually prefer to visit the following attractions: Most probably the ancient town of Harireh The inhabitants of Kish, in the past, used a kind of traditional storage system to gather rainwater.
These storages were dug in the ground and built with a domed roof. With the emergence of water desalination facilities, these storages lost their significance. But their remnants are still an interesting site for tourists to visit. The Kish Qanat is more than 2,500 years old, and currently, it has been converted into an underground town at a depth of 16 meters below the surface, with an area of more than 10,000 sq m. In the reconstruction of this Qanat named Cariz, spaces have been allocated to handicraft stalls, restaurants, and traditional teahouses, amphitheaters, conference centers, and art galleries. efforts have been made to preserve the traditional and historic fabric of the site. years ago, for some unknown reason, a Greek cargo ship got close to Kish’s coasts and was stuck in the mud. Watching the sunset beside this ship is fascinating and the atmosphere created to rest near the ship is very popular with tourists.
The largest Island in the Persian Gulf, Qeshm is situated at the mouth of the strait of Hormoz, 22 KM from Bandar Abbas, and 220 KM from the UAE. The total area of this Free Zones is 300 sq. km. The rich natural gas reserve of the Island, refined in the Gavarzin Refinery, provides all the gas used in the area. Above that, other oil and gas reserves have been explored around the Island. The Island’s deep coast enables the construction of quays for high tonnage vessels Not only Iran and the Central Asian Republics markets are in the sphere of influence of Qeshm Free Zones, but also the countries at the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, particularly the UAE.
Free Zones has a high-quality road transportation network. An international airport will welcome passengers and cargo aircraft to the Island. Numerous ferries, barges, and speed boats enable passengers to travel to and from nearby Bandar Abbas. A plan for the Persian Gulf bridge connecting Qeshm to the north coast of the Persian Gulf has been prepared. The Free Zones is connected to the national electricity network. Moreover, power stations have been installed in the Zone. The water is provided by a desalination facility and a few wells. Internationally connected telecommunication is also available on the Island. A 108 room hotel compatible with international standards is now under operation. The present hotel has all the appropriate facilities to welcome guests. There are also over 160 villas and suites which provide around 700 rooms.
Qeshm is an island situated in the Strait of Hormuz off the south coast of Iran and east of the Persian Gulf. Qeshm Island is located a few kilometers off the southern coast of Iran, opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island, which hosts a 300 square kilometer free zone jurisdiction, is 135 km long and lies strategically in the Strait of Hormuz, just 60 kilometers from the Omani port of Khosab and about 180 kilometers from the UAE port of Rashia. The island, at its widest point, located near the center of the island, spans 40 kilometers. Similarly, at its narrowest point, the island spans 9.4 kilometers.
The island has a surface area of 1491 square kilometers and is 2.5 times the size of Bahrain and 3 times the size of Singapore. Qeshm city, located at the easternmost point of the island is 22 kilometers from Bandar Abbas while the closest point of the island is but two kilometers from the mainland. The average temperature on the island is approximately 27 degrees celsius with the warmest months are June through August and the coldest from October to January. The average rainfall is 183.2mm. The island comprises 59 towns and villages and the local population is approximately 100,000. The local population is involved in fishing, dhow construction, trade, and services. Furthermore, there are approximately an additional 30,000 involved in administrative and industrial workforce and students. In the Iranian year 1369, equivalent to 1991 in the gregorian calendar, the island was transformed into a “Trade and Industrial Free Area” to create the largest Free Area between Europe and the Far East.
Chabahar Free Zones is situated on international shipping routes in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean. It covers a total area of 145 sq. km. The Zones are situated next to the town of Chabahar. The sole port and entry point to the mainland via Oman Sea, it links the central Asian Republics with international waters for the transit of goods. Chabahar is best known for its access to the abundant fisheries in the Oman Sea. Most of the tropical produces can be cultivated there. The strategic position of Chabahar gives it ready access to international waters and places it in a most convenient position among regional markets. There is a dock in Chabahar Free Zones which harbors ocean-going vessels and facilitates loading and unloading of up to 2000000 tons of goods per year. An international airport, and land transportation routes link the area to as far as central Asia. Adequate reserves of water and electricity, efficient telecommunication networks, warehouses, and cold storage facilities are readily available.
Special Economic Zones
1- Sirjan S e Z
2- Sarakhs S e Z
3- Anzali S e Z (first location) Anzali S e Z (second location)
4- Khuzestan S e Z
5- Salafchegan S e Z
6- Khorramshahr S e Z
7- Jolfa S e Z
8- Arg-e-Jadid S e Z
9- Bandar-e-Emam S e Z
10- Bushehr S e Z
11- Bandar Amir’abad Behshahr S e Z
12- Bandar Shahid Raja’ee S e Z
13- Fulaad S e Z
A- Most suitable places for the transit of goods to the region and especially to the central Asian and Caucasian states as well as southern parts of the Persian Gulf.
B- Safest and shortest way to the central Asian states.
C- Sophisticated and facilitated harbors on the northern parts of the Persian Gulf.
D- Most proper public utilities.
The activities of Iran’s Special Economic Zones are supervised by a High council comprising of 14 minister members headed by the President. The Zone is administered by an Organization Iran’s Special Economic Zones are located in the most strategic regions of the country from the viewpoint of road, rail and air transportation. They are mainly at the border Areas where loading and unloading of the goods can facilitate the exporters and importers with the best and most proper places for warehousing their merchandise while marketing and distributing the goods elsewhere. No customs duties and commercial benefits are imposed on the goods and merchandise to be re-exported abroad.
1- Cheap facilities and public utilities;
2- Abundant manpower at all levels of skills and trades;
3- Abundant raw materials and mineral reserves,
4- Proximity to the most populated consuming markets;
5- Road, rail and air transportation facilities;
6- Cheapest fuel and energy sources in the world;
7- The Zones are located in the most suitable regions of the country.