() is a resort island in the Persian Gulf
. It is part of the Hormozgān Province
. Due to its free trade zone
status it is touted as a consumer's paradise, with numerous malls, shopping centres, tourist attractions, and resort hotels. It has an estimated population of 20,000 residents and about 1 million people visit the island annually. Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times
in 2010, and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in the Middle East after Dubai
, and Sharm el-Sheikh
. Foreign nationals wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain visas prior to travel. Valid travel permits are stamped for 14 days by airport and Kish port police officials.
Kish Island has been mentioned in history variously as Kamtina, Arakia, Arakata, and Ghiss. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great
to set off an expedition voyage into the Sea of Oman
and the Persian Gulf
Nearchus's writings on Arakata is the first known mention of Kish Island in antiquity. When Marco Polo
visited the Imperial court in China, he commented on the Emperor's wife's pearls, he was told that they were from Kish. In the 1970s the last Shah of Iran
turned the island into a luxury resort for the international elite complete with a Grand Casino (now known as the......