Tel Aviv – the creative hub of the Middle East

Looking into Tel Aviv’s liberal, innovative and creative approach to place brand.    


Arrive in Tel Aviv and you cannot fail to notice the vibrant mix of culture & creativity. Tel Aviv, only 100 years old, has fast developed its own unique identity. A city, in which the average age of the population must rank as one of the lowest of any metropolis on the planet. Its inhabitants certainly live life to the full basking in the warmth of the Mediterranean Sun and on its golden sandy beaches. A mere 45 minute drive from the holy and spiritual city of Jerusalem. One may be forgiven for assuming that the Middle East is a part of the world inhabited by conservative religious people shunning the modern lifestyle immersed in prayer and contemplation, but here in Tel Aviv they clearly prefer the more liberal approach to life.


Tel Aviv which in English means ‘Spring Hill’ symbolises the idea of something new coming from the old and is a city where creativity, innovation and a love for life is in constant flow. The wide European style tree lined boulevards flow down to the beaches as its inhabitants seek to avoid the traffic jams by riding their electric scooters and segways with laptops slung over their shoulder navigating their way to one of the many independent cafés and bars.

Coffee shop in Central Tel Aviv

Residents riding through Rothschild Boulevard


Rothschild Boulevard, a stunning mix of Bauhaus buildings is at the epicentre of what has come to be known as the “ Start Up Nation” behind the façade of the seemingly carefree and beautiful people enjoying their Lattes lies a population striving to create the next must have High-Tech App. This is the city where innovation resides. Apps such as Waze; ICQ Instant Messaging for text and WhatsApp;  Babylon,  a single click computer translation program. No wonder the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft choose to have their most important R&D centres here. On the streets of Tel Aviv tech wizards exist side by side with street artists seeking to make their creative mark.


Rothschild Boulevard

Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv

Strolling down the pedestrianised street market of Nahalat Binyamin you pass trees and wooden benches embellished in colourful yarn. Pride flags hang proudly from apartment blocks, shops and cafes following the recent Pride festival where more than 250,000 people celebrated in the streets and along the beach front. The city has a real bohemian and Middle Eastern charm. Eating a simple falafel in a pita in nearby old Jaffa or drinking a “Café Hafuch” (think flat white) whilst sat in a renovated van in the street art area of Florentin this is unmistakeably Tel Aviv.


Painted car in Florentin

A crochet bench near Allenby

Quirky cafe in central Tel Aviv

Coffee shop in the back of a van

The brand story of Tel Aviv expresses that “Tel Aviv is the image and mirror of the people who live and create in the city – artists, entrepreneurs, makers, and all those who choose to live in a city that lives NONSTOP. No matter who you are, this city will accept you, embrace you and push you forward. In Tel Aviv, you can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, with whomever you want, however you want, when you want.”  Living the dream however comes at a price, if you are thinking of staying for more than a short break you will soon find out why Tel Aviv is rated one of the 10 most expensive cities in the world.


By Michal Lesin-Davis

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