The Sleepy Fayoum oasis is about to undergo some major change. Last week at Al-Azhar Park, Egypt’s tourism development powerhouse Orascom Development Holding (ODH) launched its latest project: Byoum Residence, the first luxury real estate complex in Fayoum.
Byoum Residence covers 103 feddans and is situated along Lake Qarun. It will boast 142 villas, a five-star hotel, a commercial center, hunting grounds and Fayoum’s first-ever marina.
While Fayoum is less than an hour’s drive from Cairo, it is an underutilized holiday spot. ODH wants to transform this little-visited gem in the desert into an upscale destination.
The company already owned the land, according to Real Estate Marketing Director Omar El Halaby, and saw an investment opportunity.
“Investors, nature lovers – people that want to get out of the city in just 45 minutes to a place that is clean – can unwind [in Fayoum] and smell some fresh air, El Halaby said.
Byoum Residence comes across as being a Ain Sokhna-style weekend getaway for Cairenes, replacing the Red Sea beach atmosphere with an eco-friendly setting for nature lovers.
The complex will also house several restaurants, bars and a luxury-style spa.
Byoum is named after the Pharaonic name for Fayoum, which was known as King Farouk’s favorite hunting spot. It continues to be an attractive location for hunting, bird watching and other outdoor activities.
Although the complex will house a five-star hotel, Byoum Residence is not geared toward mass tourism. According to El Halaby, Byoum is being marketed to a very specific target.
A large percentage of the plots of land in Byoum have already been sold, though ODH declined to give an exact figure or name the average price at which the land is selling. The marina and hotel are scheduled to open in two-and-a-half years.
Orascom Development Holding is the hotel, real estate and town management arm of the Orascom Group of Companies. It is the largest single hotel owner in Egypt.
It has also recently launched its promotional campaign for Al Gouna Mansions, a new real estate project in the companies’ flagship town on the Red Sea coast.