In the New7Wonders: Cities competition, which aims to highlight the seven wonders of cities around the world, Jerusalem is currently the top-ranked city in the Middle East. Tel Aviv is ranked third, and Bethlehem and Jericho, listed in Palestine, both made the top ten. Tehran is ranked number 12.
Starting in January, more than 1,200 cities in 220 countries were nominated for the competition. Last week, the campaign whittled down the entries to a little over 300. The numbers will be further pared in November and December, and the winners of the New7Wonders: Cities will be announced in December 2013.
Israel mounted an intense campaign to be awarded one of the coveted New7Wonders of Nature for the Dead Sea in November, but lost in the final stage of voting.
The New7Wonders competition is an effective avenue for advertising, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said following the Dead Sea campaign. "Though we did not win the title, thanks to the impressive campaign led by the Ministry of Tourism over the last two years, hundreds of millions of people worldwide have now been exposed to the Dead Sea and Israel"