For centuries Istanbul has been a key trading point, connecting the east and west, thanks to its prime location between two continents. The market stalls of the Silk Road may have been replaced by gleaming skyscrapers and major banks, but Turkey’s largest city remains one of the world’s premier business destinations. Read on to discover Istanbul's business highlights and why it's an ideal city for business travelers.
Location, location, location
Istanbul’s commercial heritage dates back to its founding more than 2,500 years ago on the western side of the Bosphorus strait: the border between Asia and Europe. This prime location helped the city to grow rapidly into a cross-continental trading hub, paving the way for its distinction as the premier international business destination it is today. Now, still thanks in part to its thriving port, Istanbul is responsible for over half of Turkey’s trade, making it an important meeting point for representatives from the oil, metal, rubber and pharmaceutical industries. The Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul is at a prime location next to the Bosphorus Bridge, so those in the trading business will be right where the action is, or the view in itself is a reason to stay. Away from the water though, Istanbul’s chief business districts are Levent and Maslak, both on the European side of the strait.
If the height of a city’s skyscrapers alludes to its economic success, then Istanbul appears to be doing well. Unsurprisingly, the tallest buildings are located in the two business districts. Despite being united by trade, the areas are locked in a fierce rivalry competing for the next big construction project, which means an ever-changing, super-modern cityscape. Currently Turkey’s tallest structure is the 284m tall, 65-storey Skyland Istanbul, located in Şişli. In fact, Skyland Istanbul consists of 2 (towering skyscrapers of mixed-use that act as offices as well as residences. International banks including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Citibank and Merrill Lynch all have offices in the Levent and Maslak districts, while others, most notably the Commercial Bank of Qatar, are acquiring stakes in domestic Turkish banks. With the country’s financial sector continuing to present investment opportunities, it’s likely that other overseas financial institutions will follow suit in the near future and join Istanbul.
Şişli: Istanbul’s retail hub
Retail is big business in Istanbul, especially in the upmarket Şişli neighborhood. The district is home to Europe’s largest shopping center, the Istanbul Cevahir. International brands including LG, Samsung and Sony all have outlets here, and the mall has over 200 stores spread across six floors. Located just 10 minutes' walk from the Radisson Blu Hotel Istanbul Sisli, visiting professionals can make full use of the hotel's well-equipped business center and complimentary high-speed wireless internet in the meeting and event spaces, before wandering over to the mall to unwind at the cinema.
The new entrance to the city
During the 20th century, the gateway to Istanbul for business travelers shifted from the trading port to the Istanbul Airport. More than 50 million passengers traveled through the old airport in Istanbul, the Atatürk International Airport in 2013, making it Europe’s fifth busiest airport. Recently, the airport underwent a massive renovation project and the new Istanbul Airport was reopened in April 2019. Istanbul will now be seamlessly connected to more than 300 destinations and the airport will receive more than 200 million passengers annually. It's developments like these that have confirmed Istanbul as a 21st century international business hub. With only a four hour flight separating London and Istanbul, it's the ideal middle point for meeting with colleagues or business partners travelling from locations as diverse as southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa.
Istanbul is a hustling and bustling city of business and booming opportunity. What better than to join the new age industrial revolution than by doing business in Istanbul? Whether its through investment, hosting conferences or entertaining your business guests in the city, Radisson Blu has hotels in Istanbul that will suit every need.