Tel Aviv-Yafo: An Overview of the City’s Sizzling Economy in 2014

Stretching over an area of 52 km2, Tel Aviv-Yafo is the undisputed economic and cultural center of the State of Israel. It is a leading media and academic center, a cosmopolitan city of approximately 420,400 inhabitants with diverse international activities, home to corporate headquarters and international banks, a hub of innovation and creativity that attracts international conferences looking to benefit from city’s location at the heart of a 3.5-million-people metropolis.

Tel Aviv is a bustling city: it welcomes approximately 1 million visitors daily. They fuel its economy, vitalize its spirit of entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and bear tremendous business potential.

Tel Aviv’s business segmentation testifies to its incredible diversity and centrality:
In 2013, there were over upwards of 68,000 businesses operating in the city, which accounted for approximately 13% of all businesses operating in the same year in Israel. This is a broad spectrum of businesses, from traditional workshops, through accounting and law firms and bank headquarters, to high-tech companies and international corporations. 15,000 of those businesses require a business license. Another thing the city is known for is its lively start-up arena: By the end of 2011, over 1,000 high-tech companies were operating in Tel-Aviv, including about 700 start-up companies.
In 2013 the city employed about 11% of of all employees in Israel. This is compared with 8% in Jerusalem and 5% in Haifa.

Above all, Tel Aviv-Yafo is desirable: A survey conducted by the Geocartography Group reveals that the majority of people perceive Tel Aviv to be the best place to live in. That may be because Tel Aviv is such a young city, with one in three residents between the ages of 18 and 35. Maybe that’s why the city’s residents and visitors enjoy a vibrant atmosphere with a unique DNA , lively public spaces, amazing nightlife, beautiful beaches, and a rich cultural life, alongside streets, gardens and parks. Its boulevards and promenades are not just physical places but are centers of economy, trade, culture, creation, and intellectual exchange. Even its current mayor, Ron Huldai, is the country’s most famous mayor.

A look at business real estate in Tel Aviv:

  • By the end of 2014, business areas occupied 7.8 million m2 (this figure refers to offices, retail, hotels, industry and trade, and transport and storage, based on property tax data).
  • Planned business space (unrealized, approved plans and plans currently under development) is estimated at approximately 6.3 million m2.
  • New construction areas in 2013 occupied 575,400 m2, 43% of them designated for accommodation and hospitality, commerce, and business services (which constitute 23% of construction for those purposes in Israel).

A look at real estate and rent prices:
Surveys looking into the prices of owned apartments, held by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), found that the prices of apartments owned by their tenants are highest in Tel Aviv-Yafo compared with Jerusalem and the rest of Israel.
During the first quarter of 2012, the average price for an apartment in Tel Aviv-Yafo was approximately 73% higher than the average apartment price in Israel, 29% higher than in Jerusalem and 134% higher than in Haifa.

Tel Aviv-Yafo as a center of education and academia:

Tel Aviv is home to dozens of first-rate graduate and academic institutes:

  • University of Tel-Aviv – Israel’s largest university with about 28,000 students (as of 2012).
  • Five academic colleges providing university degrees, with a total of roughly 10,500 students (as of 2012)
  • 20 graduate schools, with 7,200 students participating in a range of study programs.

Tel Aviv-Yafo, city of finance:

Tel Aviv’s prominence in the financial sector is particularly striking. This prominence is manifested in the high number of offices and jobs in the industry, the number of accounts and public deposits, and the existence of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

  • In 2013, employees in the financial services industry and insurance services (branch classification of economic activity, 2011) constituted 32% of all employees in these sectors in Israel.
  • In 2013, employees in various service industries (management and support services, scientific, professional and technical services, and real estate-related activities, according to a branch classification of economic activity, 2011) constituted 20% of all employees in these sectors in Israel.

By the end of 2013:

  • The number of bank branches and banks in the city (159 offices and branches) accounted for about 14% of all banks branches and offices in Israel.
  • The number of jobs in bank offices and branches accounted for 57% of all jobs in bank offices and branches in Israel.
  • The average ratio of jobs per bank office or chapter is exceptionally high in Tel Aviv-Yafo compared with other major cities or with the national average: Roughly 135 jobs on average per office or branch in Tel Aviv-Yafo, compared with 18 jobs per office or branch in Jerusalem, 20 in Haifa, and 33 in the entire country.

Bank Activity in Tel Aviv-Yafo (2013)


[The numbers in parentheses are the percentage of the general population]

*** Note: local currency accounts include deposits and savings plans; foreign currency deposits include resident and non-resident deposits.

Israel’s technological power:
One of the Tel-Aviv-Yafo’s main strengths is achieved thanks to the local tech community’s experience, talent, and entrepreneurship, encouraged by the Israeli high-tech’s industry dazzling success in recent decades and reinforced by the presence of leading international R&D centers and the local community’s connections abroad. The city has one of the highest concentrations of start-up companies, especially in the field of internet, mobile and information.

The distribution of high-tech companies and employees in Tel Aviv-Yafo by activity sector, as a percentage of the general population


The Distribution of high-tech companies in Tel Aviv-Yafo by activity sector


There are 694 Israeli startup companies in Tel Aviv:

  • Startups in Tel Aviv-Yafo account for 62% of all hi-tech companies in the city.
  • Startups in Tel Aviv-Yafo account for 26% of all startup companies in Israel.

Exits by Israeli hi-tech companies:

  • In 2011, there were 23 exits by hi-tech companies located in Tel Aviv-Yafo, amounting in total to $906 million.
  • 25% of all exits made in Israel in 2011 were made in Tel Aviv-Yafo, and they constituted 18% of total exit value in the country that year.

Note: High-tech data are based on the IVC database , which collects information on the high-tech industry in Israel. Information for October 2012.
IVC by definition considers only companies engaged in the development of technological products.
Companies that provide support services and/or sales without technological development are not included in the IVC data presented below.

Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality data:

  • City budget: Approximately ILS 5 billion; balanced.
  • The Municipality’s financial rating:Stable Triple A.
  • Income from property tax: About 72% of all property tax income comes from business establishments.
  • The city’s irregular budget proposal for 2012 stood at ILS 740 million.

Around the world, Tel Aviv is thought of as a global city.Tel Aviv-Yafo is “a city that never sleeps”. A global city adorned with a multitude of international titles:
– One of most prominent cities in the 21st century (Newsweek).
– The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo was elected Mayor of the Month in March 2012 and is considered for 2012 Mayor of the Year (City Mayors Foundation).
– One of the fastest-growing cities in the world (Forbes).
– One of the 10 most visited cities in the Middle East and Africa (MasterCard Worldwide).
– Urban beaches Gordon and Frishman featured in the list of 10 great urban beaches (Yahoo! Travel).
– 2nd place in lodging rental website Airbnb’s list of top travel destinations.
– Tel Aviv-Yafo is one of three finalists in the Wall Street Journal and CitiBank’s “most innovative city in the world” contest.
– Fortune Magazine gave Tel Aviv-Yafo second place in its list of best places in the world for business start-ups.
– Tel Aviv is ranked first in the world after the Silicon Valley as a supportive environment for the success of start-ups (global study by the Start-up Genome Project) – December 2012.

Want to operate in the field of leisure and tourism? You’ve come to the right city.

  • In 2013, more than a million guests stayed at our city’s hotels, including 741,000 tourists (which are 24% of all tourists who visited Israel).
  • 384,000 visits to orchestral concerts in 2012.
  • 782,000 visits to cinemas in 2013.
  • 1,446,000 visits to museums in 2012.
  • 1,574,000 visits to theaters in 2012.

Tel Aviv-Yafo is home to the country’s leading communication bodies, including:
Haaretz, TheMarker, Walla, Yedioth Ahronoth, Reshet, Keshet, Channel 23, Israel Hayom, Time Out, nrg, Ynet, Maariv weekend edition, Calcalist, i24 News, Bizportal, Radio Tel Aviv 102FM, and of course, Beit Sokolov (Beit HaItona’im).

In addition, many conferences are held in the city, including some of Israel’s leading economic conferences.

 Featured videos of the city

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