General Information About Kish Island
Kish Island has a unique situation in the strategic Persian Gulf region among tens of large and small islands. This island is so beautiful and attractive that it has become known as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf since ancient times.Its calm coasts are covered with coral sands that shine in the sunlight, creating a unique and fascinating sight.
History and Culture
Kish has a long history of about 3,000 years, being called under various names such as Kamtina, Arakia, Arakata, and Ghiss in the course of time. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great commissioned Niarkus to set off an expedition voyage into the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Niarkus's writings indicate that he visited Araracta in the 4th century BC. His descriptions of Araracta precisely match with the characteristics of Kish.
Once again, greatness, ability, creative power, intention, and diligence have appeared in revival of one of the Iranian Traditions. Those who were living on Kish Island tens of centuries ago, with their Iranian inherent intelligence in building aqueducts, underground canal—mostly known as Qanat or Kariz—stroked the coralline layers of Kish Island in search of potable water and were rewarded with "fresh water" or "sweet water" as people say. For centuries afterwards, the sweet water of Kish Island not only relieved the thirst of the local residents, but also, by exporting it to neighboring states, the local residents could swap it with sugar or cash.
Nowadays, the Kish Kariz has changed into a world unique phenomenon. The ancient canal was expanded below the surface of the Kish Island with museums, art galleries, handicraft workshops, traditional and modern tea/coffee shops. The present length of the underground complex is about 3000 meters, and the visitors will have the choice either to walk inside it or to sail in power/pedal boats and see its beauties on board.
It’s beautiful coast is covered with white silvery sand washed by azure blue waves of the sea. Already a famous island, Kish owes its present flourishing to its status as Iran's first and for a long time free port and its sweet water. The island was known for the quality of its pearls; when Marco Polo was visiting the imperial court in China and remarked on the beauty of those worn by one of the Emperor's wives, he was told that they had come from Kish.
The island fell into decline in the 14th century when it was supplanted by Hormoz. It remained obscure until just before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, when it was developed as an almost private retreat for the Shah and his privileged guests with its own international airport, palaces, luxury hotels and restaurants, and even a grand casino. Shortly after the Revolution, the new government appointed a very capable team of managers under Kish Free Zone Organization, KFZO, (formerly known as KIDO, Kish Island Development Organization) to establish Kish Island as a free zone by taking advantage of the facilities already existed in place