Haifa is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain, the historic "via Maris" - the ancient road between Europe, Africa, and Asia. The city is split over three tiers: The lowest is the center of commerce and industry including the Port. The middle level is on the slopes of Mount Carmel and consists of older residential neighborhoods, while the upper level consists of modern neighborhoods looking over the lower tiers. From here views can be across the Western Galilee region of Israel towards Rosh HaNikra and even Mount Hermon.
Haifa today has a population of 266,300. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Arab citizens of Israel constitute 9% of Haifa's population, the majority living in Wadi Nisnas, Abbas and Halissa neighborhoods. Haifa is commonly portrayed as a model of co-existence between Arabs and Jews in Israel. The population of Haifa today is 80% Jewish, 4% Muslim, 6% Christian Arab, and 10% members of other faiths or nonreligious (the vast majority being immigrants from the former Soviet Union).