Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and its largest city. Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza. Jerusalem's religious landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City. The government, cantered in Jerusalem, generates a large number of jobs, and offers subsidies and incentives for new business initiatives and start-ups. Israel is in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon. The climate is temperate. It is hot and dry in the southern and eastern desert areas. The official languages are Hebrew and Arabic. English is also widely spoken. The main religions are Judaism and Islam. The economy of Israel, despite limited natural resources, has seen intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades which has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Israelis tend to converse at a much closer physical distance than in the West. A handshake is an appropriate greeting, and a smile at initial contact is important. Expatriate business dress for men is typically a shirt and tie, while women generally wear a blouse with either slacks or a skirt, but should dress modestly if passing through ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas. The security risk for expatriates in Israel is generally low to medium. Risks include militant terrorist attacks, arbitrary rocket fire, petty crime such as theft, and poor standards of driving. Expatriates should be cautious not to offend local cultures and religious sensitivities with regard to dress and behaviour. The currency of Israel is the Israeli New Shekel (ILS). There are ATMs in Israel and Jerusalem that accept international cards. Medical facilities are good but can be expensive. Hospitals may insist on payment and may delay departure until bills are met. The population of Jerusalem is 1 Million (2016 est.), while the inflation rate is -0.7% (2016 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in In Jerusalem, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Jerusalem as at 1 April 2016 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: High 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Jerusalem is for example -26.1% cheaper than Japan for groceries, -33.7% cheaper for household costs than Fukuoka, and 43.9% more expensive for transport costs than Kawasaki. The hardship premium for Jerusalem for an expat from Almaty, is for example -10%, i.e. host location (Jerusalem) premium of 30% minus home (Almaty) location premium of 40%. Jerusalem is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Jerusalem? Register subscribe to your home location and Jerusalem and run your personalised reports.