About Erbil

The old kurdish name for Erbil, Hawler, means a city where the sun was worshipped,and the Citadel in Erbil has been an important trading post and multicultural melting pot since 2300 BC

Hawler City (Erbil) is the oldest living city in the world, the capital of the Federal Kurdistan Region and about 350 km2 north of Baghdad . It lies on a rich fertile plain between two rivers, the Greater Zab and the Lesser Zab. Already in the 23rd century BC, the location was an important crossroads between East and West. Assyrians, Persians, Ottomans, and Arabs have all ruled he area at some point in time.

The name “Erbil” was mentioned in holy writings of the Sumerians (about 2,000 B.C.) as Orblum or Urbilum and in the Babylonian and Assyrian texts as Arba-Elu. The Kurdish name “Hawler” is found from the ancient time. It refers to the ancient Citadel and Minaret. Throughout the history, Hawler has been the center of culture and trade in the region.

The old Kurdish name for Erbil, Hawler, means a city where the sun still worshipped, and prosperity shone upon Erbil, perched on the Silk Road between Europe and the Chinese Empire. The sun still occupies a central spot on the Kurdish flag.

The Citadel in Erbil has been occupied for 5,000 years as a fortress and inner city, and has always been an important trading post and multicultural melting pot. It is currently restored with the help of Unesco, and will become an open air museum.

Modern Erbil is the capital of Kurdistan. With more than a million inhabitants, it is the third largest city in Iraq, as well as its fastest growing city. Ankawa, the Christian part of the city, it is now nearing 20,000 inhabitants.

Expanding population

People move into Kurdistan for job and safety- over 212,000 migrants since 2003Kurdistan: 5,000,000 as of 2008Erbil: 1,300,000 as of 2008

Runway of infinite growth for a New IRAQ

With a long history and tradition as well as abundant resources, Kurdistan is embracing the new century and Erbil is now at the centre of Kurdistan’s future.

The Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region in federal Iraq.Located in the north-east of Iraq, Kurdistan has a population 4 million of people distributed into three governorates: of Dohuk, Erbil, and Suleimaniah.


The Kurdistan Region borders Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Turkey to the north, where fertile plains meet the Zagros mountains, and is cut through by the Tigris, Big Zab, and Little Zab rivers.Kurdistan covers 50,000Km2 – four times the area of Lebanon and larger than the Netherlands.


Languages: mainly Kurdish; Turkmani, Arabic, Armenian, and Assyrian in some areas.Refered to as  “Hawler” in Kurdish, Erbil is the capital of Kurdistan and is located about 350 km north of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.Erbil is the biggest city of Kurdistan, followed by Suleimaniah and Dohuk.Kurdistan has grown rapidly since the  liberation of Iraq in 2003.Over 65% of Kurdistan’s villages which were destroyed during Saddam Hussein’s regime, have been rebuilt.Stability and prosperity spurred by KRG’s strong Economic policy have been a source of inspiration  model for a new Iraq.