Kish Island. Kish Island.

The Gulf island of Kish is experiencing increased Iranian investment, as hopes of white beaches, coral reefs and more relaxed Islamic rules will transform it into a major tourism destination, according to local media.

Kish attracts 1.8 million visitors per year, mostly Tehranis hoping to escape not just social strictures but also the traffic and pollution of the capital, and the island aims to reach 2.6 million tourists within 10 years.

Kish has forty operational hotels, with forty luxury hotels of four-to five-star ratings that are currently under construction.

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Islamic rules are less strict on Kish, however they are still in force, creating an obstacle for investors hoping to attract Western expats for short breaks from Dubai.

There are no bars or clubs, and there is no alcohol on Kish either.

Investors are hoping health tourism will increase popularity of the island, with two hospitals already in operation.