Shalom and welcome to Tel Aviv!

Hugo Slimbrouck, our Director of Strategic Partners has written this article.


Tel Aviv, Israel’s global city, has gained international popularity and esteem in recent years. They like to call themselves a ‘Lighthouse City’ – a centre of art, innovation and multi-culturalism with a unique and relevant international appeal.


Tel Aviv

The worlds Smartest City

The “World’s Smartest City” is located at the epi-centre of Israel’s world-renowned tech scene. It is home to most of Israel’s leading cultural institutions and one of the world’s leading LGBT and lifestyle destinations. This vast experience and expertise make it an ideal and safe destination to host events, conferences and incentive travel programs. My visit came during the European Song Contest in town. Which is an excellent example of how a memorable experience can boost a destination’s image.

Our Ovation partner ESHET arranged for me to join a group hosted by the Tel Aviv Convention Bureau. I was able to meet and bond with our local team. Moreover, I was bale to discover major venues and experiences in a short period of time.


Upon arriving, my first impressions were of the security, efficiency and true hospitality. As soon as I checked in for my El Al flight at Brussels Airport, I was whisked through customs and security. The experience was impressive for me. From the moment we left the airport, our driver made us feel at home and it was as if he was welcoming friends.


We kicked off with dinner at SahkiSahki. A relaxed hospitality with the desire to honour the customer with an emphasis on the high quality of the food and cocktails and a great ambience.


When in Tel Aviv,  what to do after dinner?

Party time of course! White Night Tel Aviv (Laila Lavan) is one of the biggest cultural events of the year. Throughout this celebratory night, dozens of events take place simultaneously across the city. We visited Bialik Square with Live Performances by Israeli Musicians in Honor of Tel Aviv’s 110th Anniversary. What made one thing certain this weekend in Tel Aviv was that God is a DJ indeed.



A wide choice of meeting and conference venues


 Our Tel Aviv discovery started with the Hilton Tel Aviv, located in the heart of Independence Park, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel has undergone a complete makeover and looks fabulous once again. The building now houses two hotels.Hilton Hotel is located in the lower floors. However, for their upmarket VISTA brand you need to take the elevator to the highest floor for a truly luxury and authentic service experience. Additionally, the ‘inhouse’ convention centre is impressive and ideal for smaller conferences. According to our partner Eshet, this hotel has offered great value for the Brazilian and the US markets as well as of top delegations that are looking for a high-class experience.


Hilton Tel Aviv



The Tel Aviv convention bureau team had an enjoyable activity planned for us. At the Hilton Beach, one can practice beach sports or beach Olympics for corporate groups or events.  One of those activities is SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding). SUP is a paddle training method that combines surfing, paddling and balancing. Paddleboarding develops all the muscles and strengthens the internal core muscles. Thus enhancing stability and balance.This is all while you admire the spectacular view of Tel Aviv’s shoreline. For those less adventurous among our small group, an hour of relaxing on the beach definitely helped to recharge the batteries. At the Hilton Beach, we were served excellent salads and local Eastern Mediterranean food in a true beach club atmosphere.


 The InterContinental David Tel Aviv  has brought the essence of modern luxury to the Non-Stop City. You can experience the stunning Mediterranean Sea views, the SoHo of Neve Tzedek and historic Old Jaffa . The location is fantastic, and the hotel makes quite an impression. Their conference and exhibition space is massive, a true convention centre within the hotel. Furthermore, top-quality finishes and services are expected from this grand brand of hotels. This hotel is great for conferences and meetings and we have recommended it often as they have an excellent in-house congress centre.




Dining with locals


Eatwith is the world’s largest community for authentic food experiences with locals. They connect hand-selected local hosts with travellers seeking unique, immersive experiences. Whether they’re home cooks, food-lovers, MasterChefs, or Michelin-starred chefs, Eatwith hosts all share one special ingredient: a passion for bringing people together through food. You can book your seat at the table and join other travellers or locals for dinner. Additionally, you can book one or multiple venues for groups and incentives. Furthermore, it’s a grand alternative to dining out with a much more authentic and immersive dining experience. We had the pleasure of visiting the family home of a famous former bar and restaurant owner. The food was superb, and the company was even better with the ‘chef’ sharing the conversation and talking about life, love, and living in Tel Aviv.

Guided tour of Jaffa and the Green Side of Tel Aviv.


The following day we started off early with an amazing walking tour of Old Jaffa. It is one of the world’s oldest port cities. Our group experienced its picturesque, magical narrow streets and abundant history, which dates to biblical times.


Tel Aviv Group


Ganei Yehoshua Park

Ganei Yehoshua Park is the largest park in Tel Aviv, spreading across 3,750,000 Sqm. The park includes extensive lawns, botanical gardens, sports facilities, outdoor concert venues and many more attractions that serve the residents of Tel Aviv and thousands of annual visitors from around the world. We were toured around by a young woman, serial entrepreneur, feminist, activist and Food Experience organizer. She showed us the many ‘open-air’ opportunities the parks presented for events. From a small theatre to the vast prairie where major rock concerts take place. In the middle of the park, you can board a balloon that takes you up in the sky to discover the city from above.




12 points from Belgium!


Tel Aviv Expo is the leading and most progressive venue in Israel for professional conferences and exhibitions, attracting business tourism from all corners of the globe. With new state-of-the-art pavilions, a business hotel, and a restaurant complex which is due in 2025. They thrive to realize the Center’s true potential as an international hub for business, culture, science, and technology.


Tel Aviv Expo is the venue that hosted the Eurovision Song Contest when we visited. A “behind the scenes” tour of the facilities and the main concert hall were impressive, to say the least. For those who watched the show on TV, you have no idea how impressive the stage was. Moreover, needless to say that many of the artists had to put on an impressive performance, including mid-show act by Madonna. Furthermore. we did not meet the diva backstage but did have a nice conversation with her friendly personal tailor, Jean-Paul Gauthier.



All this touring made us hungry again, so we went to have lunch at an Italian local in the Tel Aviv Port set in a food hall. The food hall offered an impressive range of vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. Additionally, Israel is known for its food, and again we were overwhelmed with the best dishes and flavours. Moreover, You can either sit at the Horseshoe bar and watch the chefs prepare or opt for one of the upstairs rooms if you wish to privatize the space for your group.

Tel Aviv Port


Tel Aviv Port has recently undergone an extensive renovation and is now one of the trendiest spots in town. During the day, the area is bustling with activity as Tel-o-fun bikers pass through on their way to Park HaYarkon and shoppers take advantage of the many outlet stores. Families can be seen eagerly waiting in line for weekend brunch. Friendly fishermen proudly display their catch of the day.

As night falls, the atmosphere changes and the hangars of the Tel Aviv Port are transformed into a lively hub of entertainment. The area comes alive with an array of bars, restaurants, and clubs, all offering a unique experience. Whether you are looking for a quiet drink with friends, a romantic dinner, or a night of dancing, there is something for everyone.

The Tel Aviv Port is also home to various cultural events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and festivals. With its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and vibrant atmosphere.

A pre-concert dinner was served for us at @Par Derriere. Located in the urban neighborhood of Noga. Par Derriere is a wine bar and restaurant, offering local food, wine, and an enjoyable atmosphere. The meaning of the name “Par Derriere” is “from behind”. Hinting at the wonderful garden, which is located at the back of the restaurant. In this area, there are several secluded spaces for a small group. Additionally, there are also similar restaurants in Tel Aviv where we have excellent experiences. Onza and Kitchen Market are two trendy restaurants that showcase Israel’s great gourmet food. Moreover, the many Eatwith locations (a concept created in Tel Aviv but now gathering momentum in many other cities around the world.)



A Eurovision Celebration at the Eurovision Village


The city of Tel Aviv had turned the beach in front of the major hotels into the Eurovision Village. Moreover, It is the the official festival area during the Eurovision Song Contest. In the Eurovision Village, one could see live performances by artists, DJs, special events and public viewing of the show broadcasted from Expo Tel Aviv.



Peace and Innovation


After a night of partying, it was time to be serious again. On Sunday morning we visited the Israeli Innovation Center aka The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation. It presents the incredible story of Israel, the “innovation nation” and showcases the diverse fields and people behind Israeli innovations. Our partner Eshet has often used the venues for symposiums, cocktails and even open-air dinners on the esplanade of the building by.




As you cannot do Israel without a tour of the sacred city of Jerusalem we extended our program to a one-day day visit to the ancient sites. Firstly, Our tour started on the Mount of Olives with a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Then we stopped at Mount Zion to visit King David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper, and the Abbey of the Dormition. Furthermore, we entered the Old City and walked through the Armenian and Jewish quarters to the recently excavated and restored Cardo, the Roman road. Moreover, We left a note between the stones of the Jewish Wailing Wall – the Kotel.  We then continued our walkabout to the Christian Quarter. Finally, along the Via Dolorosa, we visited the impressive Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Our short discovery of Jerusalem was ended with a light Sunday night dinner back in Jaffa at Kalamata, a Greek restaurant in the Old City of Jaffa. A unique experience is created through the window overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. One that combines Tel Aviv’s culinary world with the long-standing heritage of Old Jaffa and its food markets.



The City that never sleeps 

My visit to Tel Aviv allowed me to have a long working lunch with Amnon Ben David of Eshet Conferences and Incentives, Ovation’s strategic partner for Israël. Moreover, we had a conversation about the security and perception of the destination, price-quality ratios of hotels and venues. Additionally, Tel Aviv has a fabulous food scene and is considered to be the ‘city that never sleeps’ .It has some of the best nightlife entertainment in the world. Tel Aviv is a global centre for the LGTB community. With over 30 years of experience, Eshet is the go-to partner when planning corporate or association events in Israël. 




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