Tel Aviv needs bankers. Badly.The Israeli town has been called the Silicon Wadi, which basically translates from Arabic into the Silicon Valley, because it is viewed as the second most highly tech focused region on earth.
Someone needs to finance all that.
So if you’re looking to soak in some Mediterranean sun while working in a hot, entrepreneur driven technology sector, then definitely check out Tel Aviv.
Unlike many of it's neighbouring nations, Israel does not have an abundance of oil, so it's population must find other sources to generate wealth.
And, since Israel is surrounded by its enemies, the nation's military has developed highly advanced technological defence systems.
With teenagers being conscripted into the military, and many of the units using high tech equipment, many youth complete their military service with the equivalent of a computer science degree.
During the last six years, Israel's hedge fund industry has grown an impressive 162%, and last year alone, assets under management ballooned by 30%.
However, there is less than $2 billion in assets under management in Israeli hedge funds.
And, 25% of Israel's hedge fund managers attended Ivy League universities in the US.
Along with the city's many technology start-ups, big names like 3M, Intel, HP, Microsoft and IBM have offices in Tel Aviv.
According to a recent article in the Economist, IBM employs over 2,000, HP employs several thousand and Intel employs over 7,500 in Israel.
Anobit, a producer of flash drives, was recently purchased by Apple for $390 million.
More importantly, 75% of the money raised by Israel's technology companies comes from abroad, primarily the US.
There are other differences in the business is conducted in the west and Tel Aviv, though. For one, most people work on Sunday, because religiously, their weekend is Friday and Saturday.
Dress code is also slightly laid back in comparison to other major cities, primarily because of the city's warm temperatures and Mediterranean attitude.
During the summer months, nearly every day it's sunny.
According to Mercer's 2012 cost of living rankings, Tel Aviv placed 31st on the list, and is the most expensive Middle Eastern city for expatriates.
Here are a few details on expenses from Expatriate Arrivals:
- A 2-bedroom apartment rental in the middle of the city can cost you around $1200.
- Electricity will cost you around $62.
- A 3-course dinner is around $32 per person.
- A cocktail is around $12.
Tel Aviv is also called 'the city that never stops', because party-goers love to stay up late drinking and dancing. The BBC calls it a 'Mecca for clubbing' -- check out their video overview of the scene.
The most popular bars and clubs in Tel Aviv can be found in the port area or in the Rothschild Boulevard area.
But, if you want to be on the water front, the Hilton is one of the best hotels. The Hilton features a saltwater pool and several restaurants, including a luxurious and scenic 17th floor VISTA Lounge. Rates per night typically run north of $400/night.
Most local food has Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences.
Check out highlights from this year's Tel Aviv food festival here.
A few standouts on the scene:
- Yonathan Roshfeld, one of the world's 'rising star' chefs, according to Food and Wine Magazine calls Tel Aviv home. His 2nd restaurant, Tapas Ha'am is incredibly popular.
- Pronto, an Italian restaurant, is one of the most famous places to eat in Tel Aviv. It features fresh and authentic Italian and Mediterranean food.
- Another popular and highly reviewed Mediterranean restaurant is called Raphael, and is located on Tel Aviv's seafront.
- Another recommended eatery is Mal Yam, a Mediterranean seafood restaurant, located in the North of Tel Aviv.
The famous Dead Sea, is a salty lake located about 1,300 feet below sea level, and is a very popular tourist destination for those who visit Tel Aviv.
Not only are there spectacular views of the desert, but the Dead Sea is unique because it is the saltiest body of water on earth and is so salty that there are no forms of life in the lake.
It is so salty that most people float and the water has the ability to heal many aches and pains.
Just an hour east of Tel Aviv, is the city of Jerusalem. Even though it's just an hour away, Jerusalem seems like it's worlds away from modern Tel Aviv. Jerusalem, the capital of the country, is rocky, ancient, and full of religious history.