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Erbil ( Central Kurdish : ھەولێر Hawler , Syriac : ܐܪܒܝܠ Arbel , Arabic : أربيل Arbīl , also spelt as Arbil or Irbil ), is the capital city of Erbil Governorate in Iraq. It is located approximately 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad. Its governorate has a permanent population of approximately 1.61 million as of 2011 [update] . 
Human settlement at Erbil can be dated back to possibly 5000 BC, and it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world.  At the heart of the city is the ancient Citadel of Arbil. The earliest historical reference to the region dates to the Ur III dynasty of Sumer , when king Shulgi mentioned the city of Urbilum , the ancient Assyrian name of modern-day Arbil.  
Erbil's archaeological museum houses a large collection of pre- Islamic artefacts (particularly Sumerian and Assyrian) and is a centre for archaeological projects in the area.  The city was designated as Arab Tourism Capital 2014 by the Arab Council of Tourism.   In July 2014, Erbil Citadel was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.