Israel Launches Ambitious Dead Sea Hotel Project

Major expansion of existing resort complexes to accommodate hoped-for tourism boom to the natural treasure that is the Dead Sea

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Dead Sea
Photo: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

The following is a press release from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. The Dead Sea is one of Israel’s most unique natural features, but isn’t always on the itinerary of most foreign visitors. Christian pilgrims will often quickly visit Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul, and young Jews on Birthright trips can be seen ascending Masada. But the Dead Sea has so much more to offer, as you can see in the photos below. Perhaps these exciting new hotel projects will provide the incentive for more visitors to spend more time at the lowest place on earth.

The Israel Land Authority and the Israel Ministry of Tourism have published a tender for the construction of 1,675 guest rooms in the Ein Bokek and Hamei Zohar complex at the Dead Sea, two of them on the water.

The tender will further develop the Ein Bokek and Hamei Zohar tourism and resort complex on the southwest side of the Dead Sea. Existing portions of the complex will be upgraded and expanded to fulfill the tourism potential of the region. This, as an area that offers a comprehensive tourist experience in a desert environment and according to the unique characteristics of the Dead Sea.

Israel’s Dead Sea resort complex is in need of upgrade and expansion if it is to accommodate the hoped-for tourist boom.

The program also includes a residential, commercial and leisure complex, commercial and office space, commercial and tourist areas, walking paths, open areas, as well as tourism, leisure and public buildings.

Israel Land Authority CEO Ya’akov Kvint: “Marketing these areas is expected to strengthen the Dead Sea area, which is an important and unique tourist center at the national and international level, as well as a unique area for medical tourism. It is expected to answer the growing demand for resorts in keeping with the increase in incoming tourism. The planning includes tourism areas, hotels and recreation alongside attractions, commercial areas, offices, as well as wide open areas to strengthen the economic and employment base for residents of the area and its environs, while strengthening the support infrastructure including access roads and parking.”

A tourist floats in the highly-saline waters while reading a book.

Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Tourism Amir Halevi: “Marketing these plots is another stage in the development of the Dead Sea area that the Ministry of Tourism has spearheaded in recent years and joins the development of the Negev with the objective of turning the Negev into a leading international tourist brand. In recent years, the Ministry of Tourism has invested hundreds of millions of shekels in tourist infrastructure, which has significantly increased demand, and hotels in the area are benefitting from the highest occupancy rates in Israel. The ministry is promoting a comprehensive plan for this region, from the northern Dead Sea to the desert, with an overall vision of climate-compatible development, based on the principles of green construction, integration into the existing topography and maintaining open vistas to the Dead Sea and cliffs that line Route 90. In addition, emphasis has been placed on preserving the streams and creating a continuous, wide, active beach that is open to the public. As part of the planned construction, the unique coastline will be preserved.”

The Dead Sea is a unique natural treasure that’s well worth the visit.

In the tender, seven complexes (eight plots) will be marketed. Complexes 1-6 are designated for hotels and the seventh complex is designated for hotels and tourist attractions on the water. In the tender, the Israel Land Authority invites entrepreneurs to submit proposals for a development contract for four years, following which a lease contract will be signed for a period of 98 years, with an extension option for another 98 years.

The deadline for submission of proposals is midday on 11/07/2022. The tender is restricted to those who receive approval from the Tourism Ministry. Requests for approval from the Ministry of Tourism should be submitted in accordance with the conditions specified in the tender booklet. A bid submitted without the recommendation of the Ministry of Tourism will be disqualified.

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