The city of Haifa, the "capital" of Israel's northern region, lies on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea basin, at the entrance to a natural bay at the foot of the Carmel Mountain. The city sprawls over an area of 60,000 hectares and its shoreline stretches along some 15 kilometers, 11 kilometers of which are swimming beaches.
The coexistence of Haifa's 270,000 residents, encompassing all ethnic groups and religions, has become a symbol both in Israel and around the world. The Baha'i World Center is located in Haifa and UNESCO declared the Baha'i Shrine and Gardens (which were constructed at a cost of $250,000,000) to be a World Heritage Site.
The city's urban area stretches from the Carmel Ridge, the city's main residential area, toward the lower city which is once again becoming a business
center, focused around an academic quarter that was built on the foundations of abandoned office buildings. The "Port Campus" project is revitalizing a formerly abandoned area and turning it into a blossoming area of academic institutions, student dormitories, entertainment facilities and outdoor events.
Haifa is home to Israel's largest deep water port, which is developing greatly and will double its previous dock area. Haifa is also a crossroads for rail lines and highways that traverse the country. Construction of the Carmel Tunnels, the longest road tunnels in Israel, will be completed within the next year, shortening the travel time from the northern region of the country to the south. Some of the most important Christian sites - Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and Tiberius, are only a 30-60 minute drive from Haifa.
Haifa has been transformed from a city characterized by heavy industry, refineries and petrochemicals into a center for hi-tech research and development. A hi-tech industrial park was established in the southern part of the city and a biotech industrial park is slated to be constructed nearby.
Haifa is Israel's largest academic center. Some 35,000 students study in numerous colleges and two universities: the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, which offers engineering, medicine, exact sciences and natural sciences programs; and the University of Haifa, whose main fields are humanities, social sciences, law, social work and the arts. The Port Campus includes the Carmel Academic Center for business administration and law and the Tiltan College for Design and Visual Communication. There are also teachers colleges and the WIZO Haifa Academy of Design and Education.
Haifa offers public parks and gardens, a beach promenade with cafes and restaurants, a symphony orchestra, a municipal theater, the National Museum of Science, Technology and Space, the National Maritime Museum, the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, a zoo, some of the nicest shopping malls in the country, nightclubs, bars, cafes and restaurants of all sorts.
The site of the International 420 Class World Sailing Championship, Haifa 2010 is located in Haifa bay, Israel's only natural bay, which has no currents and boasts marine conditions and global wind forces that are ideal for sailing year-round. In July the winds are westerly at 8-15 knots and the average temperature is 30°C, with water temperatures of approximately 25°C. The average relative humidity is 65%.
This is not the first time that international sailing championships have been held in Haifa. Haifa hosted the International 420 Class World Sailing Championship in 1988; the International Mistral Class Sailing Championship in 1989; "International Sailing Week" for all sailing classes in 1990; and the International Mistral Class Sailing Championship in 1996.
The residents of Haifa are pleased and proud to host the International 420 Class World Sailing Championship in July 2010.
See you in Haifa!
Mayor of Haifa