Looking down from the 12th-floor terrace of the Kayseri Hilton, opened in 2002, one sees the reminders of Kayseri's long history: the blackened Selcuk city walls, the shining roofs of the covered bazaar and the town's principal mosques and medreses. Looking beyond the old town, the landmarks are from Kayseri's industrial history, especially the airfield of the aircraft factory opened in 1926, marking the beginning of industrialisation in the region. In the distance are the buildings of the rapidly expanding Erciyes University. To the west, on the foothills of Mount Erciyes, one looks towards the small and proud industrial town of Hacilar and the massive complex of the Hacilar Electronic Company (HES) reflecting the sunlight on top of a hill.
Modern Kayseri would be unrecognisable to a visitor from the 1950s. The city has grown from 65,500 inhabitants in 1950 to some 600,000 today. People moved in from rural areas to take advantage of jobs in the rapidly expanding New Industrial Zone, covering an area of more than 2,350 hectares west of the town. This is Turkey's largest industrial zone, and in 2004 it applied to the Guinness Book of World Records after adding 139 new businesses in a single day. In the past twelve months, more than 10,000 new urban apartments were connected to the electricity in Kayseri town alone.