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Aruba



A NETHERLANDS territory in the CARIBBEAN SEA and formerly the A in the ABC Islands, Aruba has come into its own in the past two decades, thanks in large part to aggressive advertisement campaigns on U.S.
television.
Already prosperous due to oil refineries established by the Dutch in the early 20th century, this advertising strategy aims to make tourism the numberone element in the Aruban economy, long before petroleum resources are used up.
Aruba has an area of 75 square mi (193 square km), and its capital city is Oranjestad.
The highest point is Mount Jamanota at 617 ft (188 m) and lowest point is seal level.
A population of 70,844 enjoys a gross domestic product per capita of $28,000.
Aruba lies only 15.5 mi (25 km) off the north coast of VENEZUELA and a few miles west of the other Dutch islands of Curacao and Bonaire.
The islands became a Dutch colony in 1636 but retained a diverse population of local natives, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and English traders, resulting in the curious language combining all of these elements known as Papiamento.
Aruba alone of the Caribbean islands has retained a significant portion of its pre-European population (Arawak), mainly because the islands are too arid to have been developed as commercial tobacco or sugar plantations in the 17th century.
Instead, the ABC Islands became a center of piracy, raiding the rich Spanish galleons as they left the South American ports for Europe and developing as the center of the Caribbean slave trade.
Hit hard by the abolition of slavery by the Dutch in 1863, the islands first reinvented themselves as center for the South American gold rush of the 19th century, then as primary refiners of oil from the Maracaibo oil fields in Venezuela in the early 20th century.
The first refinery on Aruba was built in 1920s, at the time the largest of its kind in the world.
Unlike the more tropical islands of the eastern Caribbean, the islands off the coast of South America have a more arid climate, where cacti and aloe vera thrive.
The islands are outside the hurricane belt and are sunny and dry (less than 25 in or 64 cm of rain per year), which is a draw for tourists, but also creates the problem of finding freshwater for the large amount of visitors arriving each year, mostly from the UNITED STATES and Venezuela.
Large water collection facilities have been set up on Aruba to convert seawater to drinking water, and in the process, this has created a subindustry of salt production.
Tourism is an appealing alternative to dependence on Venezuelan oil, which began to diminish after Venezuela opened its own refineries in the 1980s.
Resenting the dominance of its larger neighbor, Curacao, Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Movement toward full political independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Aruba Images


Last News

- Titanic will be cruising in three years
"The ship, which is the copy of the infamous ship, will be first launched in 2018. The Australian billionaire Cleve Palmer made a decision in 2013 to recreate the Titanic that sank a century ago. It was planned that the ship should become a part of the Blue Star Line Company and make its first cruise in 2016. It was planned that Titanic 2 would have its precursor’s route from Southampton to New York.
However, according to the last information published the ship will be launched only in 2018 and its first cruise will be routed from Jiangsu to Dubai. As the press reports, the route was changed not because of the superstitious threat, but to arrange the collaboration with the Emirates. "

- Traveling to Ellada is getting more expensive
"Because of the abolition of tax benefits for the most visited islands, the traveling prices to Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros and Skiathos will be considerably increased.
The preferential tax treatment, regulated on the islands, was canceled from October 1, 2015 according to the Government decision. The capacity to pay 30% less tax will also be concerned towards hotels located on the above mentioned islands. And from the beginning of the summer next year the new rules will be applied to the rest of the islands.
The imposed measures will affect the tourists, who will have to pay the bills without any tax treatment benefits. The new rule will first of all be applied to the hotel room prices, which may be increased up to 7-10% according to the experts forecast. Consequently, the vacation package price will also be increased, which does not favor the tourists. "