Tel Aviv - Economy

Economy

Tel Aviv was built on sand dunes in an area unsuitable for farming. Instead, it developed as a hub of business and scientific research. In 1926, the country's first shopping arcade, Passage Pensak, was built there. By 1936, as tens of thousands of middle class immigrants arrived from Europe, Tel Aviv was already the largest city in Palestine. A small port was built at the Yarkon estuary, and many cafes, clubs and cinemas opened. Herzl Street became a commercial thoroughfare at this time.

Economic activities account for 17 percent of the GDP. In 2011, Tel Aviv had an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The city has been described as a "flourishing technological center" by Newsweek and a "miniature Los Angeles" by The Economist. In 1998, the city was described by Newsweek as one of the 10 most technologically influential cities in the world. Since then, high-tech industry in the Tel Aviv area has continued to develop. The Tel Aviv metropolitan area (including satellite cities such as Herzliya and Petah Tikva) is Israel's center of high-tech, sometimes referred to as Silicon Wadi.

Tel Aviv is home to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Israel's only stock exchange, which has reached record heights since the 1990s. The Tel Aviv Stock exchange has also gained attention for its resilience and ability to recover from war and disasters. For example, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was higher on the last day of both the 2006 Lebanon war and the 2009 Operation in Gaza than on the first day of fighting Many international venture-capital firms, scientific research institutes and high-tech companies are headquartered in the city. Industries in Tel Aviv include chemical processing, textile plants and food manufacturers. The city's nightlife, cultural attractions and architecture attract tourists whose spending benefits the local economy.

In 2008, the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) at Loughborough University reissued an inventory of world cities based on their level of advanced producer services. Tel Aviv was ranked as a beta+ world city.

According to Forbes, nine of its fifteen Israeli-born billionaires live in Israel; four live in Tel Aviv and its suburbs. The cost of living in Israel is high, with Tel Aviv being its most expensive city to live in. According to Mercer, a human resources consulting firm based in New York, as of 2010 Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East and the 19th most expensive in the world.

Shopping malls in Tel Aviv include Ramat Aviv Mall, Azrieli Shopping Mall and Dizengoff Center, and markets such as Carmel Market, Ha'Tikva Market, and Bezalel Market.

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