Tabriz the capital of East Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran seeks to step out of the twilight with a spectacular gala which is set to attract heads of state, business leaders and gurus of the hospitality industry to the biggest tourism event of Muslims states in 2018.
A key location on the Silk Road and a gateway to Europe and East Asia, the city has been named by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the 2018 tourism capital of Islamic countries, PressTv reports.
The recognition has induced once the center of culture and Islamic civilization and the seat of many diplomatic, political and international missions to reinvent itself.
Tabriz is fabled to have been the historical site of the Garden of Eden. It has been Capital of Safevid Empire founder Shah Ismail I. It is one of the most ancient and largest cities in the region, with a history of some 4,000 years.
According to the 13th century travelogue of Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo, Tabriz attracted merchandise from India and Iraq, the Persian Gulf and many other places. At the time, it was the capital of the Persian empire which stretched from Egypt to Central Asia and from the Indian Ocean to Armenia.
When Persia opened up to the West at the end of the nineteenth century, Tabriz became a European foothold as industry grew, making it Iran’s economic capital. The carpet, textile, footwear, cement and food processing industries that are still the key components of the city’s economy have roots in this period.
The city was also one of the first to embrace modernization and many of the new developments in Iran’s history used to happen in Tabriz, such as the print shop, public cinema, theater, municipality, kindergarten, school for the deaf and the dumb, modern school, newspaper and firefighting service.