A truly pluralistic city

Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem on what makes Jerusalem a city like no other



Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem
Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem

What is the significance of the city of Jerusalem on the global map?

Jerusalem is the hub of the world, the holiest city and the most beautiful city. There is not a person on earth who beholds Jerusalem and who doesn't care about her future.

Jerusalem is not only the capital of the state of Israel, it's undeniably the capital of the Jewish People. That said, I, as the mayor (and the federal government as well), are doing our utmost to enable all people to live in peace in this city, while always protecting the places that are sacred to all religions.

I always say that Jerusalem is the most pluralistic city in the world because here everyone truly lives together in partnership.

Everyone finds their place in Jerusalem, and that is what makes it so beautiful and so unique.

Can you tell us about some of the new initiatives the city is witnessing?

We are presently in the midst of a transportation-infrastructures metamorphosis. We are working very hard to complete as quickly as possible the Light Rail project, which will connect all parts of the city with green, efficient public transportation.

It's important to understand that Jerusalem is Israel's largest city, boasting 1 million people or 10 per cent of Israel's total population. In addition to being a primary tourist attraction, this is a city where people live and raise their children.

In addition to the transportation overhaul, we're now building tens of thousands of new housing units as part of a widespread urban renewal project. Thousands of those units are earmarked for the young people who will fill the high-tech towers that are currently being constructed all over the city.

It's been said that the Abraham Accords have created the biggest synergy between the UAE and Israel. Your thoughts?

I am always in favor of peace agreements. I believe that collaboration is the key to success, and the UAE and Israel are natural partners.

Can you give us an example of the various opportunities that exist in Jerusalem?

In recent years, Jerusalem has become the opportunity capital of Israel in the field of high-tech. Based on the quality manpower that exists here, we're in the process of building 1.5 million sq. meters of office space for high-tech companies, in both the west and east ends of the city.

One of the flagship projects, called Silicon Wadi, is in eastern Jerusalem and is attracting companies from across the globe. I'm confident that the UAE will also find exciting opportunities to pursue. There are various options and the manpower is readily available.

Israel has opened its doors to visitors from the UAE. What does this mean for tourism and business in Jerusalem?

Jerusalem hosts some 4 million tourists annually, which amounts to 95 per cent of tourists entering the country. I am certain that tourists from the UAE will contribute greatly and that they will enjoy themselves thoroughly in the process. Jerusalem is a wonderful city for tourists; we have a wide variety of tourism options and opportunities, and I welcome one and all!

Jerusalem is a truly unique tourism destination and I am delighted that the skies have opened up once again. We are eagerly anticipating tourists and invite them to experience the most beautiful city in the world.


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