Miami and Ibiza, Tel Aviv and Netanya

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Tel Aviv has long been referred to as a mini Miami because of its architecture, setting, and relaxed culture. Now, the city of Netanya, about 30 miles north, wants to be the Ibiza of the Middle East. The city, a holiday resort currently popular with British families, and home to a large ex-patriate British, Russian, and French population is setting about redefining itself.

Ibiza, the Spanish island renowned for its nightlife and party lifestyle is being used as a model for rebranding the city.

As Ynet Reports:

Netanya has a dream – to look as much as possible like Las Vegas. To this end, the city's Council Member for Cultural Affairs Zuzi Zilberberg is currently studying up on the branding steps taken by Spanish island Ibiza in a bid to make turn Netanya into the Ibiza of the Middle East that will attract young people from around the world.

"In my opinion, the beaches in Netanya are no less spectacular than the ones in Ibiza," said Zilberberg this week. "I think that our beach fronts are an inextricable part of our culture. Let's see what we can do to attract the youth masses to our beaches, just as Ibiza did."

Zilberberg believes that there is great tourist potential in Netanya's beaches, and, according to her, will take all measures necessary to attract Spanish Christian pilgrims to the city. "Netanya is on the way to the holy sites in the north," said Zilberberg, "and I suggest they come to Netanya to stay here for at least a night to enjoy the cultural bounty Netanya has to offer."

Zilberberg, a Spanish speaker, said that Spaniards will soon be able to enjoy Spanish-language plays in the city as a result of an initiative she is currently promoting that will establish a Spanish theatre group that will perform in Israel and abroad.

Some of her Spanish dreams came true this week when Zilberberg hosted 21 Spanish mayors in Netanya on Monday for a tour run by ELNET, a Belgian-based, pro-Israel organization founded with the objective of influencing European public officials on EU-Israeli relations.
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