Welcome to the Dead Sea riviera


A massive investment is to be made in Israel's side of the Dead Sea to create a gleaming new beach-front-style resort.

When complete, it will emulate the spas and hotels on the opposite shore which are at the heart of Jordan's tourism success.

Last month, the Knesset decided to make the area a national tourism priority, with an investment of NIS 850 million over the next five years.

Following a survey which invited the Israeli public to have their say, a beach-front resort was preferred to a more eco-friendly development designed to reflect the natural beauty of the area.

So, under the new plans, barren hills will give way to new hotels, health spas built over the water and an undefined "unique marine experience".

Hotel developers are being offered grants of up to 20 per cent to help create 2,750 rooms by the Dead Sea shore within the next three years. Up to 10 per cent is on offer for those constructing tourist attractions.

This is in line with grants made available to entrepreneurs in Eilat, Netanya, Haifa, Jerusalem, the Negev, Galilee and Golan, which are also considered national tourism priorities.

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