There are several ways of getting around in Iraqi Kurdistan such as Taxi, Bus, and Private car hire:
If you are mainly interested in staying in a city, taxi is reliable and good value for money. An average charge within a city drive is 2$, as for the Bus it is definitely cheaper.
Private car hire
To hire a car with or without driver could be the option for you. You can have your own chauffeur at your disposal throughout your stay. This will offer you the choice to travel short or long distances. A local driver has the knowledge and will advise you throughout your visit.
Iraqi Kurdistan has two international airports, one in Erbil and the other in Sulaimany, providing direct flights from and to KURDISTAN (Please see our “Links” page for links to these websites). There are several direct international flights from and to these two airports. Currently there are direct flights from Kurdistan to Dubai, Amman, Beirut, Frankfort and many new international airlines have applied from license.
There is another option to reach to Kurdistan which is flying to Turkey:
- Purchase a ticket to Diyarbakir (the nearest large city to the Turkish – Iraqi Kurdistan border).
- Upon arrival to the Diyarbakir airport, you will need to take a taxi to the border (Ibrahim Khalil / Habur).
- Once you have crossed the Turkish border into Iraqi Kurdistan (Ibrahim Khalil/Habur), you will be greeted by the Kurdish customs officials who will issue you a visa and further information on your destination.
Why… Investment in Iraqi Kurdistan Region?
Facts and practical data that are mentioned below clarify that Iraqi Kurdistan Region is deemed to be one of the most distinctive areas of the world regarding availability of great investment opportunities of various types and sizes because Kurdistan has preserved its natural resources and capabilities while these resources have been exploited and perhaps expired in many other countries around the world.
In addition there is an availability of great human resources and cheap manpower which makes Kurdistan remarkable with its great power of human resources due to the returning of large number of its citizens back home after living for long time in the advanced Industrial countries which have provided them with high level of knowledge, practice, experience and technological development. Large number, have returned home to contribute in the reconstruction of Kurdistan, and many others are waiting for a better chance to return. There is also a large number of local skilled manpower who have acquired great experience, qualification and skills through working, for many years, with different international companies and agencies in different fields and specializations. Computer system and modern office technology in Kurdistan has become a normal process similar to the developed countries.
Iraqi Kurdistan Region is considered to be one of the most distinctive areas in the Middle East, whereas the availability of investment opportunities exist now and in the future, and it is indeed prepared to receive foreign investors in order to implement strategic Tourism projects which result in obtaining great profits and also targeting the benefit of the peoples of Kurdistan, these investment opportunities may be summarized as follows:
1- Countries that have stability and security , impose hard terms and conditions on foreign investors due to the self-sufficiency prevailing there and in order to make investing exclusive for citizens of the respective country, through imposing hard terms and provisions on foreign Investors especially in taxes , customs , Insurance , banking and other facilities , which have forced many investors to look for new investment opportunities abroad, among them is Iraqi Kurdistan Region , which offers much easier terms and provisions .
2- Due to the unstable conditions of Iraq, mainly Kurdistan, for ages the natural resources and attractions of Kurdistan were kept buried, undiscovered and unexploited, waiting for someone to discover and exploit them. In addition of being a warm Region which is desired by visitors, it also has the advantage of being a “tourism junction” connecting Europe and Asia through the Middle East.
3- Kurdistan Region is a 100% virginal natural area which has not been affected by artificial or technological changes, or by Industrial development, environmental pollution and population crowd, and that itself is an important point to attract a large number of visitors who seek a clean environment and a pure nature.
4- In Kurdistan Region there is abundance of Tourist attractions which are four seasonal and of high international level. Multi purpose tourist attractions exist such as Natural, environmental, therapeutic, entertainment, historical, heritage and religious, and shopping, seasonal and permanent. All the aforementioned potentials and opportunities are still not exploited properly and are waiting for companies and investors to exploit them and utilize their features and high international standards.
5- Iraqi Kurdistan region has been through ages the major center for attracting tourists not only from Iraq but also on the international level especially the Middle East and Gulf region. Iraqi Kurdistan has been a basic tourism center visited by millions when only a part of Kurdistan was exploited by European companies such as French, Italian, German and other Arab tourism companies. Statistics indicate that the number of tourists who visited ‘Shaqlawa’ resort alone for the period of three months of (2005) was (1210000) tourists, who (760,000) of them stayed in ‘Shaqlawa’ for more than two days.
6- Kurdistan is the most peaceful and stable part of contemporary Iraq, and has a high proportion of its educated people skilled in non-Arabic languages. So, it will have initial advantages over the rest of Iraq, as a commercial gateway, and as an experienced manager of international and cross-frontier relations
7- The readiness of Kurdistan regional authorities represented by the (Presidency of the Council of Ministers) to offer facilities for foreign investors by allocating lands for strategic tourism projects or long lease up to (50 ) fifty years, in addition to customs exemption, banking facilities, insurance…etc. All that could be organized through bilateral agreement approved by the highest judicial authorities for the time being until the issuing of the new investment law in the near future which will provide legal rights, advantages and good facilities for foreign investors.
8- The geographical location of Kurdistan and its Mediterranean climate makes it, an international commercial junction which will attract international commerce and also a large number of tourists.
9- Kurdistan region has great opportunities to build international standards of seasonal tourism especially in winter, whereas snow covers most of Kurdistan’s Mountains, valleys and plains, the snow remains on the peaks of some mountains throughout the year, perhaps we can coordinate with certain neighboring countries especially the gulf states to exploit Kurdistan as an attracting center for high level winter tourism activities.
10- The distinctive demographic nature of Kurdistan people proves through the past that its people have enough capability and flexibility to adopt, harmonize and accept different international cultures without any sensitivity, fanaticism, or seclusion, therefore Kurdistan has become a tourism center for large number of foreign civil and military workers who spend their vacations enjoying Kurdistan security, safety and hospitality.
11- Kurdistan has the availability of opportunities and cheap manpower, the average payment for an unskilled worker is about (10 U.S) dollars daily and for the skilled worker it is about (20 U.S) Dollars daily.
12- Iraqi Kurdistan Region needs new projects, programs, planning and reconstruction, therefore there are great opportunities for foreign investors and companies to contribute in the comprehensive reconstruction campaign that Kurdistan witnesses at the present time.
13-Kurdistan has the privilege of possessing two international airports, one in Erbil and the other in Sulaimania. This will facilitate the arrival of investors and tourists by coming directly to Kurdistan.
14- Any existing agreements and contracts made with the Kurdistan Regional Government (or with private parties in Kurdistan) since 1992 are valid, provided they do not contradict the new constitution. Since natural resources are removed from the list of exclusive federal competences that were listed in the Transitional Administrative Law I can see no past agreements or contracts that are endangered, and many that are now fully assured.
15- Kurdistan is now in a position to move from preparing its own draft constitution to validating its own constitution. This will confirm its intentions to provide a wholly regularized, constitutionalized, lawful, predictable and human rights respecting environment in which to conduct business. Investors will have a legal, secure, and certain constitutional environment.
16- Confirmation of the recognition of Kurdistan’s federal regional status by the rest of Iraq will stabilize Kurdistan’s cross-border relations with Turkey and Iran, which will again be helpful for investment and trade.
As we present true facts and denotations that prove the availability of great investment opportunities in Kurdistan, we would also like to mention an essential point which is the humanitarian responsibility towards an innocent people who have suffered severely of intensive campaigns of oppression , discrimination and massive genocide, therefore it is the responsibility of officials and investors to undertake investment in Kurdistan in order to create job opportunities for these oppressed people, to avoid them being drifted towards trends and different types of fanaticism.
Abdullah Yousif Denkha
Head of the General Establishment of Tourism
Iraqi Kurdistan Region
Should you be interested in further information and details don’t hesitate to contact us on the following addresses:
Address: Iraq- Kurdistan- Erbil – Shorsh Q., opposite to the Maternity & Pediatric Hospital.