An island in the far eastern Mediterranean Sea, below Turkey and to the west of Syria, Cyprus is is actually two countries - the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey) and the southern Republic of Cyprus. There are two large mountain ranges on the island: the Kyrenian Range in North Cyprus and the Troödos Massif in the centre of the Republic. The northern mountains are mainly limestone, the southern are volcanic rock. These ranges are separated by the Mesaoria Plain.
Cyprus has always been an island, and many Cypriot species, particularly plants, are found nowhere else in the world. There are three main habitats in Cyprus: the mountain ranges, the coastal plains and the cultivated lands. The coastal plains are irrigated by seasonal streams, and some support citrus orchards, but native flora and fauna have been largely displaced by tourism. The best areas to see wildlife are the mountainous areas of the island and the Akamas Peninsula (which, although not a national park, has been managed for conservation). The North, being less touristed, also has a larger population of native flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for griffon vultures, foxes, fruit-eating bats, sea turtles and moufflon, a wild sheep endemic to Cyprus.
The Cypriot climate is typically Mediterranean, with very hot summers in July and August. Most of the year is dry, with unpredictable rains falling in December, January and February. Cyprus often suffers drought years, and water is such a scarce commodity that it is often rationed.
Total area includes 3355 sq km in North Cyprus.
771,657 (July 2003 est.)
9,250 sq km (of which 3,355 sq km are in the Turkish Cypriot area)
Greek 85.2%, Turkish 11.6%, other 3.2% (2000)
Greek, Turkish, English
Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian Apostolic, and other 4%
Cyprus Tourism Organisation Increases Awareness of Middle East.
Arrivals from the Middle East and the Gulf countries to Cyprus increased by a dramatic 72% compared to 2006.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation since it established its regional Middle East office in Dubai, just three years ago has increased the awareness from the region and especially UAE towards Cyprus, which was the lesser known of the Mediterranean beach destination and the closest European country to the Middle East.
The growth was not only a result of the holidaymakers searching for clean beaches, crystal water, pine covered mountains and the 10,000 years of history which have made Cyprus popular , but the increasing incentives coming out of the Gulf countries bustling corporate world.
"Companies in the Gulf countries and especially the UAE have realised the importance of rewarding the employees or partners by sending them to off sites" said Vassilis Theocharides, Director of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf. Cyprus's proximity to the Middle East, great off peak deals and professional incentive organizers have made the island of Aphrodite one of the top MICE locations from the Middle East, "Companies have realised that they cannot afford to put their delegates or staff on long distance trips for incentives, and have to offer them a change of scenery all whilst making sure service is second to none" adds Theocharides.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation will be once more looking forward in attending the second GIBTM exhibition in April 8th-10th 2008 at the ADNEC exhibition centre in Abu Dhabi, accompanied by hoteliers and DMC's from Cyprus which are specialised in this travel sector to showcase. Agencies and companies from the UAE will have a great opportunity to meet and discuss any future needs they may have in the MICE sector during this three day event.