Haifa is the largest city in Northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of about 266,300. Haifa has a mixed population of Jews and Arabs. It is also home to the Baha'i World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Haifa, built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, has a history dating back to Biblical times. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late 14th century BCE. Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square kilometers (24.6 sq mi). It is located about 90 kilometers (56 mi) north of Tel Aviv and is the major regional center of northern Israel.
In 2005, Haifa had 13 hotels with a total of 1,462 rooms. The city has 17 11 mi of beaches, 3 mi. Haifa's main tourist attraction is the Baha'i World Centre, with the golden Shrine of the Bab and the surrounding gardens. Between 2005 and 2006, 86,037 visited the shrine. The restored German Colony, founded by the Templers, Stella Maris and Elijah's Cave also draw many tourists. Shrine of the Bab and terraces on Mount Carmel. Located in the Haifa district are the Ein Hod artists' colony, where over 90 artists and craftsmen have studios and exhibitions, and the Mount Carmel national park, with caves where Neanderthal and early Homo Sapiens remains were found. A 2007 report commissioned by the Haifa Municipality calls for the construction of more hotels, a ferry line between Haifa, Acre and Caesarea, development of the western anchorage of the port as a recreation and entertainment area, and an expansion of the local airport and port to accommodate international travel and cruise ships.