The red sea and the Gulf of Eilat is Israel's door to Africa and Asia. The port city of Eilat is situated close to the biblical city Ezion-Geber where Solomon built a fleet of ships for trade with the island of Ophir (I Kings 9:26-28). When taken by Israel Defence Forces in 1949, it was a small derelict police post and started off slowly. However, since the Sinai Campaign and the lifting of the Egyptian naval siege on the Straits of Tiran, it has greatly developed as a port. Because it is sunny and warm, even in winter, Eilat has become a major winter resort for both Israelis and foreigners, especially Europeans who can fly there directly. Its variously priced hotels, cafes, nightclubs and restaurants and a cosmopolitan atmosphere, as-well as its magnificent underwater museum, cater to every whim.
Eilat's most visited site is the remarkable Underwater Observatory "Coral World" which affords the visitor a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the splendor of the underwater life of the Gulf of Eilat. Here one can view the magnificent coral formations, fish, sponges and other invertebrates from large windows in the wall. There are aquaria with tropical fish, pools containing sharks, sea-turtles and stingrays and a yellow Submarine from which one can observe the deeper coral reefs.