History of the World, Part 1.

While Israel has more history that you can ever review in even a two- week historical tour holiday, this small country of technological and medical invention and entrepreneurial spirit s well-suited as a business destination. While the typical middle-eastern “ah, leave it ‘til tomorrow’ attitude still prevails, it is very much a cultural melting-pot and can-do society. Business accommodation and meeting spaces, transportation and support technology is second-to-none, and most business visitors remain on a few days to imbibe the biblical history of this surprisingly small marvel. Perhaps the most magical of all is a visit to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) for a “sit” in the salty waters or to see sunrise over the ancient Mesada. And a visit to the cultural melting-pot that is the old city of Jerusalem, is an absolute must. As the gateway to Israel, Tel Aviv is a very Western and culturally vibrant city. It’s not too large, with everything you need within easy reach of the city centre, and the standard of service is high, with a great range of accommodation and restaurants coupled with a warm climate. There is a large group of great hotels in the city centre area of the White City and along the coast on Hayarkon Street. In general, all stars of hotels are available, value, budget, boutique, luxury and giant conference. English is very widely spoken, and if not fluent most people (and those working in hotels or restaurants, whether Israeli or Arab) will speak English to at least some extent. The standard of service is that you would expect in any major European city. Worth remembering is that Tel Aviv is considered second in importance only to Silicon Valley. Firms located in the city and wider include major Research and Development facilities for multi-national firms such as Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and, head offices or major facilities for Israeli firms such as Amdocs, CheckPoint, Comverse, Ness, NICE Systems and Teva Pharmaceuticals, as well as offices for smaller Israeli start-ups. If you plan traveling onwards to Arab countries in addition to Israel, you need to be aware that certain Arab countries will deny you entry if they see an Israeli passport control stamp in your passport. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary problems, simply ask passport control to stamp a blank piece of paper for you and insert it into your passport when needed and remove it when needed to make your travel flow more smoothly. Also worth remembering is that that the work week in Israel, unlike many other countries, is Sunday through to Friday lunchtime. Many businesses close early (generally around 2pm) to welcome in the Sabbath, and remain closed until after sundown on Saturday night. This can also affect public transportation. And another pointer is that Israelis are not quite as punctual when it comes to starting meetings as their international counterparts, nor are they as formal in their dress. On the relaxation after conference front, joining a Jerusalem, Dead Sea and Bethlehem tour is the perfect way to see all these sites in one day. The tour conveniently starts from Tel Aviv daily, includes all transportation and guiding, along with entrance fee to a beach at the Dead Sea. Another perfect excursion to take you far away from your desk and business meetings is a trip to nearby Petra in Jordan. Shopping and the markets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is also a good experience.
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