Kish Island
جزیره‌ی کیش
Kish
Clockwise from top:
Skyline of Kish, Morvarid Bazaar, Greek Ship, Toranj Marine Hotel, Dariush Grand Hotel, Harireh old city
Nickname: 
Pearl of the Persian Gulf
Kish Island is located in Iran
Kish Island
Kish Island
Kish Island is located in Persian Gulf
Kish Island
Kish Island
Coordinates: 26°32′N 53°58′E / 26.533°N 53.967°E / 26.533; 53.967
CountryIran
ProvinceHormozgān Province
Government
 • TypeIran
 • Head of Free-Trade ZoneGholam-Hossein Muzaffari
Area
 • Land91.5 km2 (35.3 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
 • Total39,853
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
WebsiteKish Free Zone Organization
Hormozgan Province

Kish (Persian: کیش listen, historically known as Qeys[1]) is a 91.5-square-kilometre (35.3 sq mi) resort island in Bandar Lengeh County, Hormozgan Province, off the southern coast of Iran in the Persian Gulf. Owing to its free trade zone status, the island is touted as a consumer's paradise, with numerous malls, shopping centers, tourist attractions, and resort hotels.[2] It has an estimated population of around 140,000 residents and about 12 million visitors annually.[3]

History

See also: History of Iran

Kish Island has been mentioned in history variously as Kamtina, Arakia (Ancient Greek: Αρακία), Arakata, and Ghiss.

In 325 BC, Alexander the Great commissioned Nearchus to set off on an expeditionary voyage to the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Nearchus's writings on Arakata contain the first known mention of Kish Island in antiquity.[1] When Marco Polo visited the Imperial court in China, he commented on the Emperor's wife's pearls; he was told that they were from Kish.[2]

Throughout much of its history, it was ruled by Arab merchants, when it was known as Qeys.[4]

In March 2007, the retired FBI agent turned private eye Robert A. Levinson disappeared on Kish Island where he was meeting with an American fugitive known as Dawud Salahuddin.[5]

In 2019, the singer Joss Stone was deported from the island by the Iranian customs. Iranian officials claimed the British singer did not have the proper documentation to enter the country, but Joss Stone claimed the Iranian authorities were afraid a woman singer would perform a public show in the country.[6]

Geography

See also: Geography of Iran

Kish is located in the Persian Gulf, 19 km (12 mi) from mainland Iran, and has an area of approximately 91 km2 (35 sq mi) with an outer boundary of 40 km (25 mi) and a nearly elliptical shape.

Climate, nature, and geobotany

Kish is located on a narrow strip of tropical vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Persian plateau to the north and the Arabian Peninsula to the south.

Kish's environment

Weather

Kish has a very dry semi-equatorial climate. Over an 8-year span, the median annual rainfall in Kish was 145 mm (5.7 in) (54% in winter, 28% in autumn, and 14% in summer) and the median annual temperature was 26.6 °C (79.9 °F). The relative atmospheric humidity in Kish makes it like a sea island except in cold seasons. The humidity is approximately 60% for most of the year. In the months from October to April, Kish's weather is mild, ranging from 18 °C (64 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F). The statistical data in the Kish free zone's archives shows that the island's temperature varies from very hot to moderately hot, accompanied by relatively high humidity, often interspersed by heavy rains of short durations in certain seasons. With the exception of some southeastern coastal areas and a few other islands in the Persian Gulf, Kish Island has the most sunny hours in the region, roughly 3,100 hours per year. Based on climatological classification and general weather conditions, Kish's proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and its exposure to high tropical pressure systems, as well as its position amidst hot and shallow waters, means the island tends to be hot and humid most of the year.[7]

Climate data for Kish Island (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.2
(82.8)
31.0
(87.8)
36.0
(96.8)
41.6
(106.9)
44.0
(111.2)
46.2
(115.2)
46.2
(115.2)
44.5
(112.1)
41.6
(106.9)
40.0
(104.0)
35.4
(95.7)
32.0
(89.6)
46.2
(115.2)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 22.8
(73.0)
23.8
(74.8)
26.5
(79.7)
31.3
(88.3)
35.6
(96.1)
37.2
(99.0)
38.0
(100.4)
38.0
(100.4)
36.5
(97.7)
34.2
(93.6)
29.7
(85.5)
25.2
(77.4)
31.6
(88.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.2
(66.6)
20.0
(68.0)
22.3
(72.1)
26.1
(79.0)
29.9
(85.8)
32.0
(89.6)
33.6
(92.5)
34.0
(93.2)
32.4
(90.3)
29.8
(85.6)
25.5
(77.9)
21.4
(70.5)
27.2
(81.0)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 16.5
(61.7)
17.1
(62.8)
19.1
(66.4)
22.4
(72.3)
25.7
(78.3)
28.0
(82.4)
30.3
(86.5)
30.9
(87.6)
29.1
(84.4)
26.3
(79.3)
22.3
(72.1)
18.6
(65.5)
23.9
(75.0)
Record low °C (°F) 9.0
(48.2)
9.8
(49.6)
12.2
(54.0)
16.4
(61.5)
19.0
(66.2)
24.0
(75.2)
24.8
(76.6)
27.3
(81.1)
23.9
(75.0)
18.0
(64.4)
15.8
(60.4)
12.0
(53.6)
9.0
(48.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 34.0
(1.34)
21.7
(0.85)
26.2
(1.03)
5.7
(0.22)
0.4
(0.02)
0.3
(0.01)
1.9
(0.07)
0.1
(0.00)
0.2
(0.01)
2.4
(0.09)
23.1
(0.91)
42.5
(1.67)
158.5
(6.24)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 3.1 2.2 2.8 0.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.6 2.9 14.0
Average relative humidity (%) 65.0 67.0 68.0 64.0 63.0 69.0 70.0 71.0 72.0 66.0 60.0 64.0 66.6
Average dew point °C (°F) 12.2
(54.0)
13.3
(55.9)
15.7
(60.3)
18.0
(64.4)
21.2
(70.2)
25.1
(77.2)
27.0
(80.6)
27.7
(81.9)
26.3
(79.3)
22.4
(72.3)
16.7
(62.1)
13.9
(57.0)
20.0
(68.0)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 234.0 221.0 237.0 255.0 319.0 317.0 295.0 292.0 284.0 292.0 253.0 238.0 3,237
Source: NOAA[8]

Tourist attractions

See also: Tourism in Iran

The Greek Ship
Kish map
Toranj Marine Hotel

The Greek Ship is the wreck of a 1943 cargo steamship, the Koula F, on a beach on Kish's southwest coast.[9] She was originally a British ship, Empire Trumpet, and was built in Scotland.[9] In 1966, she ran aground and all attempts to salvage her failed.[9] When Koula F's crew abandoned her, they set her on fire,[citation needed] and all that remains is her steel hull.

Dariush Grand Hotel in Kish

Economy

See also: Economy of Iran, Communications in Iran, and Foreign Direct Investment in Iran

Since the mid-1990s, the Iranian government has embarked on an aggressive promotional and developmental campaign to position Kish as a rival to Dubai and to Doha. The campaign has included massive construction projects and programs designed to attract foreign investment and trade. Within the area of the Kish Free Zone, as it is known, the standard laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran are far more relaxed than on the mainland. This has resulted in significant increases in mostly domestic tourism, as well as the abundance of international trade on the island. Kish's population includes significant numbers of both Muslims and Christians. In 2009, the total foreign trade of the Kish Free Zone was approximately $9.2 billion per annum.[10] Fifteen percent of all imports to Iran are through Kish.[11]

Investment incentives in the Kish free trade zone include:

Besides the existing Iranian Oil Bourse, a new exchange, the Kish Stock Exchange was inaugurated in 2010 to facilitate foreign investment and monetary activities.[12]

Education

See also: Education in Iran

Kish Island Bird Garden, 2014

Sharif University of Technology-International Campus-Kish was established in 1995.[13] Kish International Campus, University of Tehran was established in 2007.[14]

To promote the quality and quantity of education, KFZO, the Kish Free Zone Organization, has created educational spaces by building new schools and giving priority to technical and vocational courses. They include:

Transportation

Kish Air

The connection with Kish is carried out either by sea or by air through Kish airport and Kish port. Kish International Airport serves as the entry point for tourists who come to Kish Island.

Sports

See also: Sport in Iran

Scuba diving on Kish Island

Kish Island hosts the Fajr International Squash Championship, which is part of the Professional Squash Association's annual tour. Kish also holds Iran's Traditional and Heroic Games Contests. Kish is home to a multi-purpose stadium seating 1,200 spectators. Water sports are offered in Kish. Kish Island has hosted the 2006 Asian Beach Volleyball Championship.

Kish was host to an officially sanctioned FIVB beach volleyball event, the Kish Island Open 2016. Qualification rounds at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event took place on Kish.[16]

Major Kish Island projects

International Oil Bourse

The International Oil Bourse is a commodity exchange which opened in 2008.

Ocean Water Park

Ocean Water Park

Ocean Water Park is a 5.6-hectare (14-acre) water park.

Kish Dolphin Park

The Dolphin Park is a 70-hectare (170-acre) park located at the southeast corner of Kish Island. It is surrounded by over 22,000 palm trees and includes a dolphinarium, butterfly garden, silkworm compound, bird garden, artificial rain forest, volcanic mountain, orchid garden, and cactus garden. The dolphinarium includes the largest man-made pool on the island and it exhibits dolphins, sea lions, and white whales.[17] The Bird Garden in the park is home to more than 57 species of birds and other animals from around the world, including pelicans, ostriches, blue-and-yellow macaws, storks, toco toucans, turacos, swans, African penguins, and marsh crocodiles.[18]

Kish Aquarium

The Art Center on the island includes an aquarium that displays marine species unique to the Persian Gulf.[19]

Twin towns – sister cities

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Publications". 1955.
  2. ^ Brian Nicholson and Sundeep Sahay (2003). Building Iran's Software Industry: An Assessment of Plans and Prospects sing the Software Export Success Model (PDF). Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, UK. ISBN 1904143377.
  3. ^ www.sirang.com, Sirang Rasaneh. "Kish Island, Hormozgan province - ITTO". itto.org | Iran Tourism & Touring. Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  4. ^ Traditional Architecture of the Arabian Gulf: Building on Desert Tides. WIT Press. 10 June 2008. ISBN 9781845641351.
  5. ^ Meier, Barry (2011-12-09). "Video Revives Mystery of Missing Former F.B.I. Agent". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  6. ^ "British Singer Joss Stone Says She's Been 'Deported' From Iran". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  7. ^ "Kish Free Zone Organization – سازمان منطقه آزاد کیش". Kish.ir. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  8. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020 — Kish Island". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 1, 2024.
  9. ^ a b c Cameron, Stuart; Robinson, George; Stewart, Gavin. "SS Empire Trumpet". Clydebuilt Ships Database. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ Iran Daily – Domestic Economy – 01/24/09[dead link]
  11. ^ "News Headlines". Cnbc.com. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  12. ^ "Fars News Agency :: New Stock Exchange Kicks off Work in Southern Iran". English.farsnews.com. 2010-12-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  13. ^ "About SUTIC-Sharif University of Technology International Campus - Kish Island- WELCOME TO THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPUS OF SHARIF UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY". kish.ac.ir. Retrieved 2022-09-11.
  14. ^ ""Kish International Campus"". Archived from the original on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  15. ^ "Kish Free Zone Organization – سازمان منطقه آزاد کیش". Kish.ir. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  16. ^ "Home - Kish Island".
  17. ^ "Dolphin Park Complex". kish.ir. Kish Free Zone Organization. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Bird Garden". kish.ir. Kish Free Zone Organization. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  19. ^ "Aquarium". kish.ir. Kish Free Zone Organization. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2010.