Located on the north east of the Persian Gulf with a minimum distance of 17 km from the southern offshore of the mainland Iran, the Kish island with an area of 90 square kilometres is one of the most marvelous and most beautiful regions of the Persian Gulf and has attracted the attention of many tribes and nations since times immemorial. Oval in shape, the island is 15 km long and 8 km wide. The island is largely flat, sandy and uncultivated, with a high point of 45 meters above sea level. Although very hot and humid in summer, it has got a pleasant weather from about November to March, with an annual average temperature of 27 degrees centigrade. Its beautiful coast is covered with white silvery sand washed by azure blue waves of the sea. Already a famous island, Kish owes it present flourishing to its status as Irans first and, for a long time, the only free port, and its sweet water.
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. 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 Emperors 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 abled team of managers under Kish Free Zone Organization, KFZO, (formerly KIDO, Kish Island Development Organization) to establish Kish as a free zone, taking advantage of the facilities already in place.
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