Tabriz in northwest Iran seeks to step out of the twilight with a spectacular gala which is set to attract heads of state, business leaders and gurus of the hospitality industry to the biggest tourism event of Muslims states in 2018.
A key location on the Silk Road and a gateway to Europe and East Asia, the city has been named by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the 2018 tourism capital of Islamic countries.
The recognition has induced once the center of culture and Islamic civilization and the seat of many diplomatic, political and international missions to reinvent itself.
Tabriz is fabled to have been the historical site of the Garden of Eden. It is one of the most ancient and largest cities in Iran, with a history of some 4,000 years.
According to the 13th century travelogue of Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo, Tabriz attracted merchandise from India and Iraq, the Persian Gulf and many other places. At the time, it was the capital of the Persian empire which stretched from Egypt to Central Asia and from the Indian Ocean to Armenia.
Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, has appealed to the first vice president in a letter to exclude Chogha Zanbil and Haft Tappeh, two heritage sites in Khuzestan Province, from the precincts of Shush Special Economic Zone.
The zone covers an area of 300 hectares, encompassing a part of the sites’ buffer zones.
For each historical or cultural property, a special territory is defined to provide an additional layer of protection, separate it from other sites and ensure no harm comes to the site. The protected zone is divided into three areas with Zone 1 being the closest to and Zone 3 furthest from the main site.
The heritage sites office at ICHHTO told Financial Tribune that the economic zone is adjacent to the primary buffer zone of Chogha Zanbil and Haft Tappeh.
Chogha Zanbil is the world’s oldest, best preserved and architecturally unique ziggurat located near the national heritage site of Haft Tappeh, CHTN reported.
In 1979, it became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Check out the many activities and attractions in Isfahan, a historic city along the typical tourist route in Iran.
There is an old Persian saying that goes, “Isfahan nesf-e jahan”, which means that Isfahan is half the world. During my countless visit to this magnificent city in central Iran, I slowly unravelled its layers to better grasp this rhyming proverb. I delved into the palaces, mosques, bridges and gardens, and then I explored some more. After all the hours spent uncovering the city, I could more or less narrate a rather comprehensive – though not exhaustive – list of things to do in the city of Isfahan.
Here we go:
1. Wander all the corners of Naqsh-e-Jahan Square
A massive public space in the centre of Isfahan, Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, also known as Imam Square, is a fine example of the architectural gems built during the Safavid empire.
An Italian daily newspaper has described the historic city of Yazd in central Iran as one of the major cultural heritage sites registered by UNESCO.
In the report, La Stampa elaborates on the unique features of Yazd saying the city is shining like a pearl in the region.
“Yazd is the 22nd historic and cultural site in Iran registered as a world heritage by the UNESCO on July 9, 2017. Since then, the city has turned into a national pride for all Iranians. The historic structure of the city is a collection of religious architecture on a vast land,” La Stampa was quoted as saying in a report by IRNA.
The daily went on to say with a history of over three thousand years, Yazd is one of the most ancient cities in the world which used to be a commercial hub in the past.
Given that the ancient city of Susa has a history of around 7,000 years, Iran is among the most ancient countries in the world. During these long years, and under the reign of various empires and states in Iran, it has been tried to preserve its cultural heritage and historical monuments that represent Iranian Iranian architecture and cultural identity.
Nowadays, tourism is considered a profitable industry that has the ability to revolutionize the entire economy of a country. World Economic Forum published a report in May, 2017, in which, based on several factors including affordable prices, good infrastructures, acceptable public services, available transportation, high security and etc., Iran is introduced as the most affordable and most secure tourist destination.
There are more than one million historical sites, locations, areas and monuments in Iran, of which about 40,000 are registered nationally.
Demolition of a half-ruined building in the historical texture of Yazd has been suspended by the Protection Unit of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in an effort to ensure safety for the World Heritage Site.
According to Fatemeh Danesh-Yazdi, head of the provincial office of ICHHTO, the building was partly ruined and was not of heritage value.
Therefore, a permit for its demolition and construction of a three-story building was issued in 2015 when Yazd’s historical district was yet to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“But conditions have changed since Yazd gained global status, hence the approved plans need to undergo revisions to ensure compliance with the new rules, CHTN quoted her as saying.
Also, heavy vehicles are not allowed in the vicinity of the vulnerable historical zones, so the destruction was suspended by the protection unit.
TEHRAN – Iran will stop issuing paper visas in favor of electronic ones for all countries by May 2018, said Hassan Qashqavi, the deputy foreign minister for consular affairs.
“We will definitely terminate granting paper visas …,” he vowed late on Wednesday in an address to a meeting attended by a number of cultural officials, lawmakers, as well as tour operators and travel associates from state and private sectors.
Other speakers to the event touched upon the impact of the value added tax on tourism sector and ways to develop its marketing and infrastructure, ISNA reported.
MP Shahabeddin Bimeqdar criticized both the administration and the parliament for not allocating adequate funds for “advertising” tourism potentials of the country.
“We only like to pay for cement, bricks, and rebar beams not for advertising,” Bimeqdar said, adding: “Unfortunately, we only overtalk about tourism and have no operational plan.”
With a prominent Halal dining scene, ample mosques and a significant Muslim population, you cannot go wrong with any of these easy-on-the-wallet choices!
Muslim-friendly destinations are constantly on the rise with the expansive Halal market that sees more travellers sourcing for great destinations to visit. Despite that, it can be pretty tricky and tedious to research for places that are not only Halal-friendly but also offer prayer facilities and privacy in accommodations. At the same time, we completely understand that money plays an equally (if not the most, for some) important factor in determining where to go.
Therefore, we have narrowed down these seven cool and affordable cities that should be listed on your 2018 bucket list. They brim with a dazzling array of Muslim-friendly facilities, attractions and exotic Halal cuisine (amples of it!) for you to savour during your trip.
An official website for Pasargadae world heritage site was launched early this week to provide the latest information on the ancient monument.
As reported by Fars Province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the news portal, available at www.pasargadae.ir, offers the latest information about the world-renowned historical site both in Persian and English.
“The contents of the website include elaborate information on the historical and touristic values of the site, as well as latest news and announcements,” Hamid Fadaei, director of the world heritage site, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
Access to relevant publications, media content, electronic guide to the historical site and information on Fars Province’s local art and culture are also available on the website.
According to the official, the website could contribute to research and archeological projects and protection measures taken in the zone.
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Monastery of Saint Thaddeus is a tourist destination in the far northwest corner of Iran, adjacent to the borders of Armenia, the Azerbaijan Republic and Turkey.
Alternatively known as Qareh Klise (meaning black church), the property presents important vestiges of Armenian culture in the region.
Together with St. Stepanos Monastery and the Chapel of Dzordzor, Qareh Klise was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008 under the name “Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran”.
All the three sites are located in West Azarbaijan Province and are of high significance from both historical and cultural perspectives. They bear credible testimony to interchanges with the ancient regional societies in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian.
UNESCO experts say these edifices are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions.