Hatay is a gateway of Silk Road trade to the Mediterranean Sea and an important logistics centre. Its economy is mainly focused on trade, transportation and agriculture. For years, aim was converting it into a total logistics base by developing Hassa-Dörtyol Amanos mountain tunnel and establishing nine thousand hectares of Hassa Organized Industry projects to support the logistic centre. In the last 30 years in the region, iron and steel industry has also developed. The production offlat plate of İskenderun Iron and Steel factory, made this sector more importantfor the region. Hatay is developing rapidly in the fields of cultural tourism, faith tourism and gastronomy tourism.
Thanks to the culture and tourism infrastructure there are significant movements in the service sector and a positive contribution to the socio-economic structure. Diversity in products, earliness in harvesting, multi-crop cultivation, and the port of İskenderun increases the importance of the city. Agricultural areas, soil structure and climate of Hatay are suitable for the cultivation of a wide variety and quality products. In the 42.395 agricultural enterprises in the city, it is possible to grow almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables and agricultural products alongside animal husbandry.
According to the 2000 census in Hatay, 61.62% of the working population (518.808) was employed in agriculture, 30.2% in services and 8.15% in the manufacturing industry. A large portion of the employees (22.17%) in the services sector are engaged in wholesale and retail trade. In Hatay, where the population development was examined in three periods, agriculture between 1940 and 1970, industry between1970 and 2000 and services sector between 2000 and 2010 was effective.
Depending on the border gates of Cilvegözü and Yayladağı in Hatay economy, trade based on industrial and agricultural products made with Arab countries, especially Syria, constitutes an important share. When the distribution of exports in Hatay is analysed by economic activities, the largest share belongs to the manufacturing sector with .
The coastline of Hatay is 186 km, and the land border is 296 km. (Syria) In addition, there 2 border gates and a port (in İskenderun) in Hatay. Hatay, which became a metropolitan municipality in 2013, has 15 districts and 589 neighbourhoods connected to these districts.
Mustafa Kemal University, which entered into service on 10.11.1992, consisted of three units at first (one college and two vocational schools). Our university has become an educational and scientific institution with 60 units in 18 years. Among these institutions, there are 15 Faculties, 3 Institutes, 6 Colleges, 1 Conservatory, 18 Vocational Schools and 17 Research and Application Centres.
Mustafa Kemal University has 1054 academic staff and 792 administrative staff, 1816 personnel in total and 26.260 students as of 2018. 3,664 students have graduated in the last academic year. And 4.425 new students have registered in 2018 and 319 of them are foreign students.
In addition, there is İskenderun Technical University in İskenderun district of our city. Founded on March 31, 2015, it provides education to approximately 8300 students.
Our region has made progress in terms of entertainment apart from education and industry. In this direction, many festivals are organized in our city during a year.
Some of these are;
- Akçalı Eggs Day, held on the last day of March every year in Arsuz district,
- Lemon Festival, in Arsuz district,
- EvvelTemmuz Festival, held in Samandağ district every year in July,
- International Antakya Film Festival, held in December every year,
- İlk Kurşun (first bullet) Kültür (culture), Sanat (art) veTurunçgiller (citrus) Festival, held in Dörtyol district every year in December,
- Olive and Olive Oil Festival, in Altınözü district. Fig Festival, in Belen district in the first week of August,
- Kırıkhan Melon Festival in Kırıkhan district, Aba Wrestling Festival in Yayladağı district,
- Caravansary Festival in Payas district in the first week of September,
- Photography Festival in Defne district in October,
- Silk and Sericulture Festival in Samandağ district,
- Spring Festival in Kırıkhan district on May 9,
- Kırıkhan Liver Festival in Kırıkhan district on May 14,
- Fish and Fish Sandwich Festival in İskenderun district on March 28.