Tel Aviv (Hebrew: תֵּל אָבִיב, [tel aˈviv], Arabic: تل أَبيب) is the second most populous city in Israel – after Jerusalem – and the most populous city in the conurbation of Gush Dan, Israel's largest metropolitan area. Located on the country's Mediterranean coastline and with a population of 438,818, it is the financial and technological center of the country. Silicon Wadi is another name for Gush Dan, in comparison to Silicon Valley in the U.S. state of California.
Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, headed by Ron Huldai, and is home to many foreign embassies. It is a global city and is ranked 34th in the Global Financial Centres Index. Tel Aviv has the third-largest economy in the Middle East after Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City.[not in citation given] The city has the 31st highest cost of living in the world. Tel Aviv receives over 2.5 million international visitors annually. A "party capital" in the Middle East, it has a lively nightlife and 24-hour culture. Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, the largest university in the country with more than 30,000 students.
The city was founded in 1909 by Jews on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa (Hebrew: יָפוֹ Yafo). Its name means Spring Hill, though the hill was mostly sand. The modern city's first neighborhoods had already been established in 1886, the first of which was Neve Tzedek.
Immigration by mostly Jewish refugees meant that the growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced that of Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. Tel Aviv and Jaffa were later merged into a single municipality in 1950, two years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Tel Aviv's White City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, comprises the world's largest concentration of International Style buildings, including Bauhaus and other related modernist architectural styles.