Epsilon Delta Holdings and Investments, owned by the Alfifi family, has won the contract to build the world’s first hotel in a Bedouin village. The 120-room, four-star hotel will be at the foot of Mount Tabor in the village of Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam.
The winning developer will finance the development cost of the hotel, with the assistance of a Ministry of Tourism grant of up to 33 percent of the cost of construction. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism recently approved a budget for the establishment of a tourism infrastructure in the village.
“A luxurious and unique boutique hotel is planned, based on Bedouin culture, featuring Bedouin hospitality and healthy natural Bedouin cuisine from the Galilee,” said Na’im Shibli, who heads the Shibli regional council. “This will be a luxury hotel unlike any other in Israel, which will give an economic boost to the village and the entire region and create hundreds of jobs in the hotel itself and the surrounding tourist industry.”
With about 70,000 residents, Shibli is on the route up to the churches atop Mount Tabor and on the axis of the Gospel Trail and the Israel Trail. More than half a million tourists pass through it every year.
“I welcome the establishment of the hotel, and I am convinced that tourists will enjoy its special location, its proximity to the Christian holy sites, and the unique and authentic village experience,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said. “We are placing special emphasis on the development of tourism throughout Israel and all the different sectors, and I am convinced that, with the assistance of the ministry, together with the establishment of tourism infrastructure in the area, tourism will develop successfully in the area.”
Israel Lands Authority Director Adiel Shimron added, “Alongside efforts to market land for housing, we are also working to promote tourism and commercial projects in Israel, such as the first Bedouin hotel in the world, which will attract both incoming and domestic tourism and serve as a source of employment for the residents of the region.”