🇱🇾 Benghazi is a city in Libya. Located on the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean, Benghazi is a major seaport and the second-most populous city in the country, as well as the largest city in Cyrenaica. A Greek colony named Euesperides had existed in the area from around 525 BC. In the 3rd century BC, it was relocated and refounded as the Ptolemaic city of Berenice. Berenice prospered under the Romans, and after the 3rd century AD it superseded Cyrene and Barca as the centre of Cyrenaica. In 1911, Italy captured Benghazi and the rest of Tripolitania from the Ottomans. Under Italian rule, Benghazi witnessed a period of extensive development and modernization, particularly in the second half of the 1930s. Benghazi remains a centre of Libyan commerce, industry, transport and culture. It continues to hold institutions and organizations normally associated with a capital city, including several national government buildings as well as the National Library of Libya.
Economy Benghazi, as the principal city of eastern Libya, is one of Libya's major economic centres. The city has an important port which is vital to the economy, as Libya imports many foodstuffs and manufactured products. Benghazi is also an industrial and commercial centre in Libya. Major manufactured goods include processed food, textiles, tanning, processed salt and construction materials, particularly cement; a large cement factory is located in al-Hawari. Food processing is based on local fish, imported goods, and the produce of irrigated coastal lowlands and the nearby Jabal al-Akdhar Mountains, including cereal, dates, olives, wool and meat.
Finance is also important to the city's economy, with the Libyan Bank of Commerce and Development maintaining branches in Benghazi; the Bank's headquarters is a high office tower on Gamal Abdel Nasser Street in el-Berka. Other large banks include the Central Bank of Libya office in the city centre.
The oil industry drives the city's commerce. Large national companies such as the Al-Brega Oil Marketing Company and the Arabian Gulf Oil Company are important to the city's economy and employ many people. An increase in consumer prices has been coupled with an increase in the importance of the retail sector to the city's economy.[when?] In recent years, international franchises such as United Colors of Benetton, H&M and Nike have opened in Benghazi.
Tourism is still in its very early stages in Libya. The industry is however growing in importance in Benghazi. The majority of tourists that visit Eastern Libya use Benghazi as a base for which to explore the Greek ruins in Cyrene or to make desert excursions south in Kufra. The two main hotels in the city are the Tibesti Hotel and Uzu Hotel, and several other hotels have opened in recent years[when?] to cater for increased demand. Handicrafts are found in the many souks in the city, but are of little significance to the economy.
Skanska built a good connection of speedways and flyovers in the decades after the Libyan revolution in 1969; this has made the transport of goods between Benghazi and other cities easier. Benghazi's air transport uses Benina International Airport; numerous daily flights leave for Tripoli and connections are also available to other African, Asian and European cities.
Benghāzī is rated E+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. E+ cities are strong regional gateway cities. Benghāzī was ranked #1324 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Benghāzī has a population of over 632,937 people. Benghāzī also forms the centre of the wider Benghāzī metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,110,000 people.