IsraTransfer interviewed Dep. Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum about the city's developments in infrastructure, getting creative with tourism, and her new podcast.
The Tourism Plan
Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, a native of Gibraltar, oversees foreign relations for the Jerusalem municipality and founder of the UAE-Israel business council.
Jerusalem is an international city, and its economy depends heavily on tourism. In this podcast, we discuss Jerusalem's plan for increasing local tourism in light of covid-19 travel restrictions. Local tourism in Jerusalem is only about 20% while the other 80% is overseas tourism. Places like Eilat have opposite statistics, with 80% of its tourism coming from Israeli's. The goal is to shift Jerusalem's numbers by focusing on attracting locals.
New Infrastructure Revamps Jerusalem
If there was a plus side to the pandemic, it was the lack of traffic on the roads. This created an opportune time to work on the city without disrupting the lives of too many people. A major area of focus is the entrance to Jerusalem. The entrance is notoriously congested and leads to heavy traffic jams. Hassan-Nahoum refers to plans to expand city entrance routes as a "revolution of infrastructure" in that it will make Jerusalem and Tel Aviv closer to feeling like one large city.
Once the city is easier to enter and exit, possibilities are endless. More people can live in Jerusalem and work in Tel Aviv and vice versa. An increased number of major companies will set up offices in Jerusalem, creating numerous job opportunities.
The inner-city light rail is also expanding. The current line, which now runs to Mt. Hertzl, will continue all the way to Hadassah Ein Keren hospital. Two more lines are in the works: one from Emek Refaim to Malcha and the other from the Han theater to Gilo.
The Abraham Accords Podcast
The Abraham Accords podcast is hosted by Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council, Robert Curtis. The podcast interviews knowledgeable guests from Israel and the UAE. Guests include former MK Michael Oren, social media activist and linguist Loay Alshareef, Ambassador Eitan Na'eh and others. You can check out the podcast here.