Located on the east coast of Eurasia Continent, at the southern tip of the Eastern Liaoning Peninsula, with Bohai Sea on its northwest, and the Yellow Sea on its southeast, Dalian consists of 260 islands of different sizes. One of the nation's 14 first coastal cities to open up to the outside world, Dalian serves as an important port in the province of Liaoning. As an international center for airlines, logistics and regional finance in Northeast Asia, it is also northeast China’s largest port.
Dalian has a total area of 13.8 thousand square kilometers and a population of six million people. There are 10 municipalities and counties, as well as five economic development zones that have been opened to the outside world.
Dalian's economy is always growing. Its GDP in 2009 reached 441 billion, an increase of 15% year-on-year, surpassing the predicted rate by 1%. Its recorded local fiscal revenue in 2009 was 400.2 million, increasing by 18% year-on-year, and it also reported an industrial added value of 173.3 billion, a 17.5% rise year-on-year. The total investment in fixed assets in 2009 was 327.3 billion, a 30% rise year-on-year. The average per capita income for the urban residents reached 19,090 RMB a year in 2009, with an increase of 9%; net annual income per capita for the farmers was 11,190 RMB, increasing by 14%. In addition, GDP per capita was 73134 RMB (USD10, 708).
By October 2009, there were 13521 foreign-invested companies in Dalian, 4,608 of which have gone into operation. By the end of December 2008, Dalian had utilized foreign capital totaling at 33.14 billion dollars and the registered capital reached 54.56 billion dollars. Currently, big enterprises such as Fortune 500's Intel, Starbucks, Volkswagen and Bosch GROUP, Toshiba, Panasonic, LG, STX and BT are investing in Dalian.
Capital of romance
It is also among the "Best Tourist Cities in China" selected by the National Tourism Administration and the World Tourism Organization.
In March 1999, the National Tourism Administration named Dalian "Capital of Romance".
Surrounding the city are prime spots to enjoy water sports, while every year it hosts various events such as the Sand Beach Cultural Festival, the International Fashion Festival and the International Beer Festival.
With the Bohai Sea to the west and the Yellow Sea in the east, Dalian is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter. The city has more than 60 public squares, including famed Xinghai Square - Asia's largest city square - and Zhongshan Square in the city's central business district.
Dalian promotes tourism through the 3S: - sun, sand and sea in summer and springtime climate, sports and shopping in winter.
A tourist resort in Lushun district showcases "half of the modern history of China" while Jinshitan resort in the development zone offers the highly regarded Geological Museum of China and attractions called the Golden Coast and Discovery Land.
More than 40 percent of the city is covered by greenery, the equivalent of 11.1 sq m for every resident.
Dalian has been awarded many titles for its environment, including the China Residence Award and the National Environment Protection Model City. It was among the world's top 500 cities with excellent environment listed by the United Nations.
Dalian is famous as the hometown of national athletes. China's Olympic dream started with a Dalian resident named Liu Changchun who became first Chinese Olympic athlete when he competed in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Wang Junxia, who was born and trains in Dalian, is the world record holder in the women's 3,000 m and 10,000 m races.
The Dalian football team won eight championships in the 13 seasons of China's professional football league.
Every year, the city holds more than 300 sports activities, including the International Walking Festival.
In 2006, the walking festival drew 230,000 people to walk along the seaside Binhai Road. It set a new world record.
It was the host city for one of two marathon races held in China by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Dalian also has wheelchair races for disabled athletes.