Tourism – Daily News Egypt https://www.dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Tue, 22 Jan 2019 09:30:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 2018 record year for MENA startup investment, UAE, Egypt top destination with 30%, 22%: MAGNiTT https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/2018-record-year-for-mena-startup-investment-uae-egypt-top-destination-with-30-22-magnitt/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/17/2018-record-year-for-mena-startup-investment-uae-egypt-top-destination-with-30-22-magnitt/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:00:02 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=687117 The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) startup ecosystem witnessed a record year in terms of investment growth in MENA-based startups in 2018, recording 31% increase in funding from 2017, according to a recent report issued by MAGNiTT. According to the report, a record number of deals, with $893m was invested across 366 deals in …

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) startup ecosystem witnessed a record year in terms of investment growth in MENA-based startups in 2018, recording 31% increase in funding from 2017, according to a recent report issued by MAGNiTT.

According to the report, a record number of deals, with $893m was invested across 366 deals in 2018 up 3% from 2017.

The UAE remained the top destination for startup investment, with 30% of all deals, while Egypt came in the second place in terms of deals, with 22%, marking the biggest increase of 7%, and Lebanon in the third place with 10% of deals, and the biggest drop of 4%.

Furthermore, the UAE saw the lion’s share of investment amounts, accounting for 70%, as well as 30% of total number of deals.

“Egypt is seeing a second wave of entrepreneurs and investors that are more mature and experienced. The population is also starting to embrace technology for everyday activities, and we see that large but young tech firms are a great source of talent and inspiration” said Ziad Mokhtar, managing partner at Algebra Ventures.

Sector wise, Fintech overtook e-commerce as the most actively invested industry accounting for 12% of all deals, while e-commerce came second with11%, followed by delivery and transport in third with 9%.

“We see a strong push from governments to support the innovation space along with a significant rise in the quality and speed of growth of startups from the region,” Issa Aghabi, VC investment officer at the IFC commented.

Startups graduate to later stages of funding

Maturity in the startup ecosystem has seen more startups raise later stages of investment, with 4% of all deals at series A, 3% at Series B, and 2% at Series C and higher in 2018.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada to witness RevPAR growth of 17%, 12% respectively: Colliers https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/13/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-to-witness-revpar-growth-of-17-12-respectively-colliers/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/13/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-to-witness-revpar-growth-of-17-12-respectively-colliers/#respond Sun, 13 Jan 2019 17:08:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686683 Hotel occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continues to grow in light of the positive movement witnessed in the tourism sector during the last period. The two Red Sea resort cities are expected to witness 17% and 12% growth in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) respectively, Colliers International said in its latest MENA Hotels Forecast …

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Hotel occupancy in Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continues to grow in light of the positive movement witnessed in the tourism sector during the last period.

The two Red Sea resort cities are expected to witness 17% and 12% growth in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR) respectively, Colliers International said in its latest MENA Hotels Forecast report for the period from December 2018 to February 2019.

The report explained that the revenues rebound comes as a result of the improved security situation. Colliers expects that the Red Sea resorts will continue to benefit from the positive security perception, and the return of chartered flights.

In Sharm El-Sheikh, “similar to Hurghada, travel sentiment from the most source markets is now relatively relaxed resulting in a surge in international leisure demand,” the report noted.

Colliers stated that Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and Egypt’s Cairo maintained their steady performance, explaining that the Saudi capital is expected to witness a slight decrease of 4% in RevPAR during the period from December 2018 till February 2019.

“Despite a slight decline in performance in Jeddah owing to a leaner quarter four, the long-term outlook remains positive,” the report continued.

Meanwhile, “Cairo is expected to witness 5% increase in demand due to the corporate meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) and some leisure activity, in addition to the strong destination marketing and political stability,” according to the report.

On the other hand, the report said that Oman’s Muscat and Kuwait City continue to feel the negative consequences of the decline in leisure demands and limited corporate and MICE demand.

Colliers explained that Muscat and Kuwait City are expected to witness 2% and 1% decline in RevPAR, respectively from December 2018 to February 2019.

Colliers International Hotels division is a global network of specialist consultants in hotel, resort, marina, golf, leisure, and spa sectors, dedicated to providing strategic advisory services to owners, developers and government institutions to extract best values from projects and assets.

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Korean Air resumes flights to Cairo after 7-year absence https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/12/korean-air-resumes-flights-to-cairo-after-7-year-absence/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/12/korean-air-resumes-flights-to-cairo-after-7-year-absence/#respond Sat, 12 Jan 2019 17:39:05 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686574 Before 2011 Revolution, 70,000 annual Korean visitors to Egypt: Korean ambassador

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The Cairo International Airport (CAI) received the first Korean Air’s charter flight after seven years of absence, with 209 tourists onboard, said a statement from the airport, adding that the flight arrived to Cairo from Seoul on Friday evening.

The statement pointed out that a delegation from Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA), Ministries of Tourism and Civil Aviation welcomed the Korean visitors at the airport with flowers and souvenirs.

The Korean Air will operate six charter flights in January and February 2019 in a step by the South Korean flag carrier to resume its regular direct flights to Egypt soon.

“In the past years, we had about 70,000 annual Korean visitors to Egypt, but after the revolution, the situation changed. However, last year, we registered about 15,000 people which was considered an indication of improvement,” Yeocheol Yoon, South Korea’s ambassador to Egypt, informed Daily News Egypt in April 2018.

It is important to give Korean people the impression that Egypt is safe, as Koreans get scared of the media reports they watch, which show the militant attacks in Sinai and even in Cairo, noted the ambassador. He added that Korean travellers used to visit cultural destinations in Egypt but now they may come to Egypt for fun and to visit other cities such as Hurghada, Dahab, and Luxor.

In the first half of 2018, Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped by about 77% to $4.8bn, compared to the same period in 2017, a government official told Reuters late August 2018, adding that the number of tourists visiting Egypt saw a year-over-year increase of 41% to about 5 million visitors.

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Egypt’s revenues from tourism rose by 45.5% during first 3 months of current FY https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/12/egypts-revenues-from-tourism-rose-by-45-5-during-first-3-months-of-current-fy/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/12/egypts-revenues-from-tourism-rose-by-45-5-during-first-3-months-of-current-fy/#respond Sat, 12 Jan 2019 17:34:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686573 Tourism balance surplus increased to $3.2bn, up from $2bn, an increase of 60% during period from July to September in FY 2018/19 compared to same period last FY

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Egypt’s revenues from tourism rose by 45.5% during the period from July to September in the current fiscal year (FY), according to Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Balance of Payments Performance (BOP) report.

The report explained that the receipts (revenues) of tourism reached $3.93bn during the first three months of the current FY compared to $2.7bn during the same period last month.

On the other hand, the report stated that the payments of tourism during the first three months of FY 2018/19 accounted to $717m, up from $649m during the same period last year, an increase of 10.47%.

Notably, before the 2011 uprising, tourism in 2010 was growing briskly, but then after the 2011 uprising, tourism suffered significantly, subsequently suffering the most in 2016, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 will all its onboard passengers killed.

But currently the tourism is recovering, demonstrating that earlier the Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said that the number of tourists to Egypt increased by 40% during the first nine months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, recovering from a slump that began with the Arab Spring and continued as unrest persisted.

Al-Mashat previously ensured that the government plans to use this improvement in tourism to encourage investments in the Red Sea islands, as well as in a new private equity fund to upgrade Egyptian hotels.

The minister insisted that the government is trying to diversify its tourist base, targeting travellers from Asia and Latin America.

Regarding Egypt’s BOP, it continued to achieve an overall surplus, accounting for $284.1m in the period from July to September of FY 2018/19, as the current account deficit stabilised at $1.8bn and the capital and financial account stood at $1.6 bn.

This means that the BOP remained steady despite emerging markets’ turbulence, normalisation of developed markets monetary policy, and the resulting narrowing of global conditions.

The services balance and workers’ remittances are the key drivers of stability in the current account, as the services surplus surged by 50.4%, to register $4.3bn, up from $2.8bn, driven mainly by the following developments, travel balance surplus increased to $3.2bn, up from $2bn.

Meanwhile, Suez Canal receipts rose by 4.3%, recording $1.44bn up from $1.38bn.

Furthermore, the net unrequited current transfers scaled up by 1.4% to reach $5.9bn, up from $5.8bn, supported mainly by the increase in workers’ remittances.

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2018 is booming year for tourism in Hurghada throughout last 3 years: Guirguis https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/08/2018-is-booming-year-for-tourism-in-egypt-throughout-last-3-years-guirguis/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/08/2018-is-booming-year-for-tourism-in-egypt-throughout-last-3-years-guirguis/#respond Tue, 08 Jan 2019 10:00:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=686191 Hilton Hurghada Resort launched new renovation plan, scheduled to be completed by 2020

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Despite Egypt being one of the best destinations for tourists worldwide, and known for having the most attractive locations, tourism has declined for a long period, but with the government’s and the private sector’s incentives, Egyptian tourism has witnessed a major boost during 2018.

Marketing the sector was one of the challenges listed on top of the government’s work agenda for the past years. Reviewing the prices strategy, opening new markets, development, as well as improving the security conditions, were the main factors which helped the return of tourism after two years of unstable conditions, following the crash of the Russian airplane in 2015.

Daily News Egypt interviewed the General Manager of Hilton Hurghada Resort, Gilaine Guirguis, one of the leading figures in the tourism sector who has worked in it for almost 37 years. During our interview, she introduced the hotel’s renovation plan, which is to be fully executed during the upcoming few years, and explained how the hotel worked on flourishing tourism with the government’s help during the time of crisis.

Gurguis was the general manager of Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort from 2013 to 2016, and the general manager of the Hilton’s Fayrouz Resort in Sharm El-Sheikh from 2011 to 2013.

The transcript for the interview is below, lightly edited for clarity:

To begin with, will you give us a brief on the current situation of the tourism in Hurghada, compared with the past years?

Tourism has really improved much during the past two years all over Egypt. The foreign tourist is willing to fly to Egypt for a stay, however tourists became more selective than before.

After the 2015 incident, Hurghada’s tourism sector was negatively affected, as the Russian tourists were the main market feeders. Accordingly, both hotels and travel agents started to look for alternative markets in order to recover from this decline, while depending on the domestic tourism.

In 2017, slight changes began to appear on the ground, especially after the flow of the Chinese market to Egypt. Chinese tourists like to visit Egypt in groups for five-nights tours divided between Hurghada and Luxor. This is in addition to the flow of tourists from specific European countries like the UK and Germany to Hurghada, instead of Sharm El-Sheikh due to flight suspensions. Currently, we can see that the occupancy rates and the number of flights are increasing in Hurghada.

The improvement of occupancy rates encourages many hotel owners to invest in building new hotels and extending the total number of guest rooms in Hurghada, which is an indicator prooving that tourism is actually doing well.

What was Hilton Hurghada’s role in promoting tourism?

First, let us note that the Russian tourist was the main one contributing to the Egyptian tourism market until 2016. Accordingly, we started to collaborate with travel agents to explore new markets and search for alternative tourists to visit the country. 

We prepared a strategic sales plan to increase the current flow of tourists from the UK, Germany, and Lebanon in parallel with penetrating new markets such as Belgium, India, China, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and more notably France.

Some of those markets have specific requirements in order to come and stay with us. For example, the Indian market requires an Indian chef to accompany tourists in order to cook their meals and recipes. After we looked into this request, we succeeded to execute the business deal once we dedicated a separate kitchen and obtained the required equipment. Their feedback on the hotel’s action has been significantly positive and satisfying.

How do you describe the occupancy rate in 2016, 2017, and 2018?

In 2017, a noticeable increase of 27.9% has been recorded compared to 2016.

In regards to 2018 results, we haven’t announced our Q4 year-end earnings numbers yet, they are to be released in the near-term, yet occupancy rate, and total revenues have improved, compared to 2017. Moreover, Hilton Hurghada recorded great satisfaction and problem resolution scores.

Are you planning on increasing the prices during the upcoming period?

As long as we are in a high demand, reviewing the pricing strategy is essential. For instance, we are witnessing high demand during January and February, so I decided to increase the prices, and no negative feedback was witnessed.

Did the Al-Haram district incident affect the hotel’s occupancy rates during the Christmas celebrations?

We did not receive any cancellations, and I also think that the attack did not leave any impact on tourism anywhere in Egypt.

During the evening of the day of the attack, we prepared a sheet and we expected that we will start taking cancellation requests, but thankfully, no one submitted any cancellation or even any guest left the hotel.

We were so worried especially that the timing of the attack coincided with the New Year’s and Christmas celebrations, so it was definitely a high season.

How did your hotel work on its marketing strategy during the decline of tourism?

Our marketing strategy depends on two factors, the outbound marketing, which focuses on the ways to reach clients. Our dedicated sales team plans regular sales calls and visits to tour operators in Egypt and abroad. Those trips mainly aim to strengthen the business collaboration between the hotel and tour operators, and usually help in exploring new ideas and alternatives to support the business, so that we are capable of choosing the right promotions at the right time, and to the right people. We also were keen to be present in all the international travel forums and exhibitions. As for our second strategy, the inbound marketing, our focus is to boost digital marketing, and work on updating the website, keywords, content, images, online travel agencies (OTAs), as well as our social media presence.

What was a major achievement that Hilton Hurghada implemented in 2018?

Hilton was established 25 years ago, so the hotel needed some upscaling to cope with the guests’ expectations, especially that Hilton is one of the few hotel chains in Hurghada. As for my work agenda, it was important to prepare something which will meet all our new clients’ expectations.

First, we started with renovating the rooms, as they were built several years ago, and it was important to reconstruct new interiors in order to cope with modern designs.

The rooms’ renovations are planned to be finished in phases, putting into consideration that we have to avoid the guests’ interruption during their stay. This is the reason why we work in winter when the occupancy rate is lower than in summer, so that we are able to close and renovate those rooms. During the summer, hotels are fully booked, and it is not easy to lose our guests.

We already finished 80 out of 400 rooms. This phase took almost six months from January to July 2018. The rooms are now decorated with a new interior style, making them more delightful and colourful. The rooms are completely renovated including their colours, ceramics, as well as the furniture.

We are now preparing to start working on another 80 rooms during 2019, and will continue until we are finished with all the 400 rooms.

The new phase is expected to start this January, and will end by the beginning of the summer. We are planning to finish 280 front-line rooms by 2020.

Restaurants are also part of the renovation, as we are looking forward to expanding the size of the restaurants to accommodate the numbers of guests. We are expected to work on this after finalising the rooms’ refurbishment. Occupancy is mostly over 80%, so we do not want the guest to feel that the restaurant is overcrowded, and that is why we had to renew it.

Moreover, we also have another 121 rooms located in the second line of the promenade,

as they were designed in an older stage than the front-line rooms, and we will still have another four to five years for their complete renovation, and we are working on a refurbishing plan for a period of one year.

What were Hilton Hurghada’s challenges during 2018?

First, we had a big challenge in improving the food taste and quality, which made us replace the chef two times, until we succeeded in reaching the best results which we were looking for. We also conducted training courses for our chefs.

We also changed the animation team three times. In addition, we constructed the Aqua Park, which was really one of the best ideas. Most importantly, we succeeded to start our renovation plan.

What are your main goals for 2019?

We are looking to start the second phase of the room’s renovation and increase corporate business. We increased our business with big corporates such as petroleum services companies.

We also launched a plan in order to arrange weddings by the beach, something that we already started, with the first wedding held two months ago. We are coordinating with various wedding planners in Hurghada to reach out to Hurghada’s residents, letting them choose Hilton as the venue for their wedding celebrations.

Recently, people are more frequently visiting places like Sahl Hashish, Gouna, and Dahab as they are becoming mainstream destinations, do you think this has influenced tourism in Hurghada?

No. Our clients are different, and each destination has its specific market and visitors. The hotels here are different, which combine both shopping and relaxation. Clients choose places according to their needs.

How did you work on improving the employment rates?

Due to the tourism’s decline during the past three years, many employees left Hurghada to look for other jobs. Therefore, we worked on training fresh graduates in order to select the best ones. The induction-training plan takes place for 15 days before joining the hotel’s operation.

We are now very concerned with language abilities more than before, and we do not accept slang language anymore. We also targeted breadwinner females, as we train them on cooking and baking pastries, and provide them with the chance to work with us.

We already trained 10 females who send us baked desserts, and anyone who wants to learn or work, we are open to teaching them.

We also do some community work by sending some equipment and materials to charity organisations so they can use them to train children and young people who are interested in working in the tourism sector.

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3,000 tourists spend New Year’s Day at Abu Simbel temple https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/02/3000-tourists-spend-new-years-day-at-abu-simbel-temple/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2019/01/02/3000-tourists-spend-new-years-day-at-abu-simbel-temple/#respond Wed, 02 Jan 2019 16:53:23 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685826 Winter is this city high season

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The first day of 2019 witnessed the visit of 3,000 tourists from across the globe to Abu Simbel temple in Aswan, state-owned media outlet Al-Ahram reported.

On Tuesday morning, dozens of tourist buses headed to Abu Simbel city, while others arrived on two flights and three Nile cruise ships.

Winter is this city high season. Thousands of visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the sunlight in Luxor and Aswan during the two-month season.

There is a unique event that still amazes the world in this city, when the sun rays go inside the corridor of the Abu Simbel temple and perpendicular light the faces of Ramses II, his wife, Queen Nefertari, and the god Amun on the back wall. It happens twice a year on the same two dates: 22 October, Ramses II’s birthday, and on his coronation day, 22 February.

Hotels in Aswan and Luxor said the occupancy rate has exceeded 60% since the holiday season started, including Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

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Rich, breath-taking beaches of Arab countries https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/rich-breath-taking-beaches-of-arab-countries/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/rich-breath-taking-beaches-of-arab-countries/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:00:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685255 Egypt had four of top beaches across its beautiful coastline

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Arab countries are rich with breath-taking beaches that extend from the borders of Asia, with vast oceans and lakes, to the dazzling Red Sea in Africa.

FlightNetwork, an online travel website, listed Africa’s and Asia’s top beaches by surveying over 1,200 journalists, editors, bloggers, and agencies. From this, Forbes Middle East extracted the top 10 beaches in the Arab world.

Egypt had four of the top beaches across its beautiful coastline, followed by Jordan, Algeria, Oman, Tunisia, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia with one destination each.

Dead Sea, Jordan

The Dead Sea was ranked the top beach in the Arab world and the 10th best in Asia. Located in Jordan, the Dead Sea is not really a sea but a lake. Nonetheless, it is one of the most famous beaches in the world for its salty, mineral-rich water, which allows visitors to float effortlessly. Visitors can also appreciate the fact that it is at 400m below sea level, which is considered the lowest point for a beach on dry land.  

Falaises d’El Marsa a Alger, Algeria

The grey-speckled cliffs hovering above Falaises d’El Marsa beach outside of Alger serve as the backbone of this magnificent strip of sand. The frothy, white-capped waves crashing into these rocks are home to an abundance of marine life, and are wonderful for swimming, kayaking and snorkelling.

Fizayah Beach, Oman

Fizayah Beach is located at the end of a dusty hairpin road. After the notoriously beautiful but adventurous drive through the mountains, visitors reach the dirt path, which leads to 5km of untouched white-sand, kissed by the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

Sharm El Luli, Egypt

The main draw of Sharm El Luli is that it is completely undeveloped. There are no shops, hotels or restaurants to distract from its natural beauty. The destination is distinguished by vivid yellow sands and water in so many shades of blue, along with the smooth shore speckled with a sampling of rock formations; shallow warm waters, and the vast coral reef where visitors snorkel and dive.

Blue Hole, Egypt

Dahab is famous for the Blue Hole, a 110m dive site drawing adventurous travellers from around the globe, and is considered to be one of the prime dive spots in the world.

Located on the Gulf of Aqaba in Egypt, it is rich in coral and diverse in marine life, drawing visitors who come to enjoy the tranquil beauty both above and below water. Besides diving, windsurfing draws people to sail along its golden sandy shores and enjoy the laid-back vibe due in part to its native Bedouin tribes that have lived here for 800 years.

Djerba, Tunisia

Vibrant teal water kisses the silvery sand at Djerba beach in Tunisia. With consistent water temperature year-round and stunning views, this mystical island gives visitors an unforgettable experience.

When exploring or diving into the refreshing water, visitors get a taste of what Tunisia’s marine ecosystem looks like. From camels and crocodiles to eclectic art, this island gives the same feeling as if you have landed in Peter Pan’s Neverland.

Fjord Bay, Egypt

Fjord Bay in Taba, Egypt is a crystal-blue gem surrounded by harsh, beautiful desert, while the cotton-candy sky highlights the brilliant water colour and the coral reefs below. Over 15km from any city, Fjord Bay is home to some of the best diving sites in the world. Dive 12m to the banana-shaped reef or dive 24m to the infamous Fjord hole to enjoy watching thousands of unique marine creatures.

Legzira Beach, Morocco

This remote stretch of beach takes travellers back in time to a long lost land that was undiscovered by humans. The highlights are two massive red stone arches that stretch from cliffs into the sea. These impressive giants were formed from erosion, and are wrapped in cascading waves during low tide. Sunsets at Legzira Beach are a must-see as the sun causes the red stone to glow with an exquisite flare.

Agiba Beach, Egypt

Agiba beach retains Egypt’s cultural essence — tucked on the Egyptian shore alongside the breath-taking Mediterranean Sea. Located in Marsa Matruh, the beach is mere metres from Cleopatra’s Rock. Stand on the famous rock and look over the water like Cleopatra did 2,000 years ago, imagining how she lived in this luxury in ancient Egypt. “Agiba” means miracle in Arabic.

Al Fanateer Beach, Saudi Arabia

Al Fanateer is the most popular coastal hub for locals and expats in the region. The impeccably clean beach is lined with palm trees, and filled with green areas that are perfect for family picnics or barbeques. With various water sports activities for visitors, the beach is also located close to many stores, malls, hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

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Mit Rahina Museum https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/mit-rahina-museum/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/27/mit-rahina-museum/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 09:00:59 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=685262 Waste for tourists, people to go all way to Giza, without visiting amazing, yet forgotten place

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Although Memphis is located in Giza governorate, with people always visiting the Giza Pyramids, yet most of them know nothing about this town.

Memphis, which is currently known as Mit Rahina, has many mesmerising monuments. It is such a waste for tourists and people to go all the way to Giza, without visiting this amazing, yet forgotten place.

Mit Rahina Museum

The Mit Rahina is an open Egyptian museum, with several ancient Egyptian artefacts discovered on site.

Memphis city is the centre of Badrasheen in Giza. Memphis was the capital of the first Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt, since the unification of the north and south by King Narmer, until the year 2,200 BC.

Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic period. He was considered the unifier of Egypt, and the founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.

Meanwhile in the New Kingdom, the city of Thebes was the capital, while Memphis was the centre of the political power and government, as it had the rulers’ palaces.

Most of the pieces in the museum date back to the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt. The museum was built around a statue of Ramses in order to protect it. The statue was discovered in the same place as where it currently stands.

The museum consists of two parts, the indoors museum, and the outdoors museum. The indoors area contains that statue of Ramses II, and the ancient columns and statues of dwarfs. On the other hand, the outdoor area contains the Ramses Sphinx, and the Triad of Memphis statue.

The Ramses Sphinx

This Sphinx was fashioned to imitate the original Sphinx at the Giza Pyramids. Yet, the head of this Sphinx represents the face of Ramses II, rather than King Khufu, with the lion’s body constant.

The statue of the Triad of Memphis

The Triad of Memphis consists of Ptah, Sekhmet, and their son Nefertem. The three Gods’ centre of worship was in Memphis. In Egyptian mythology, Memphis was believed to be under the protection of the God Ptah.

Ptah is the God of craftsmen and architects. Sekhmet was Ptah’s wife and the mother of Nefertem, the Lotus God. Sekhmet, meaning strong, was always represented as a lady with the head of a lioness sitting on the throne adorned by the sign of unification of the north and south of Egypt, topped by the sun disk and the Cobra snake.

Ramses II statue

The statue of Ramses II was discovered in 1820 by the Explorer Giovanni Batista Cavellia, near Memphis in Egypt.

Ramses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th Egyptian dynasty. He is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, who ruled for the longest time any pharaoh did.

There are protective cartridges on the shoulders of the statue, with Ramses wearing a dagger, and two heads representing Horus.

The statue’s hand is closed to represent intensity and strength, while the statue’s smiling face represents mercy and tolerance.

The ancient columns

The museum also contains columns representing the late age of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, through displaying the lotus flower.

The other columns represent the Christian era with the columns displaying the acanthus leaf, which are inspired from grapes, with the grape juice representing Jesus’s blood.

The statues of dwarfs

These dwarfs appeared in the New kingdom of ancient Egypt, when they came from Africa.

During this period, the dwarfs had two roles, either as court jesters to entertain the king, or as educated dwarfs serving as scribes and mufflers of royal secrets.

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Experiences of my Sri Lankan odyssey  https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/21/experiences-of-my-sri-lankan-odyssey/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/21/experiences-of-my-sri-lankan-odyssey/#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2018 19:11:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=684655 Why would you travel so far to an unknown land? How will it help to build your career? Could not you find a volunteering project in Egypt? These are the questions that I heard before traveling and I thought my volunteering abroad was brown into pieces, but I was determined to take the risk, and …

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Why would you travel so far to an unknown land? How will it help to build your career? Could not you find a volunteering project in Egypt? These are the questions that I heard before traveling and I thought my volunteering abroad was brown into pieces, but I was determined to take the risk, and I volunteered in Sri Lanka for 45 days and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

A fresh graduate from the University then, I did not know what to do in my life, asking myself too many questions about my passion and what will be my next step. This made me so stressed which prevented me to take any further step in my life. I heard about the volunteering programmes abroad and how it can help me as a person to get over my stress and clear my head, so I decided to volunteer in Sri Lanka. It is an island nation besides India that is not a famous destination for the Egyptians and most people do not know where it exists. I was in charge of conducting English language sessions for the orphans, and vulnerable mates at the SOS village in a city named Galle. At the beginning, communication was difficult as the kids at large failed to maintain decorum in the classroom. They started to scream and shout, they wanted to get out of the class, but I never thought that I will get attached to them so quickly. In spite of all the running around which I had to do, I found common grounds of attachment. The language was no longer a barrier. And our hearts clicked together. Mutual trust premised upon friendly environment allowed me to substitute English language sessions for fun activities to bond further. It was not about teaching them English, it was about making them believe in themselves and they can do anything if they insist on it. In my last day in the SOS village, one of the girls in my class approached to me and gave me her bracelet and said, “Please do not take it off, I want you to remember me”. These words capture my heart immediately and made me forget everything about my life, stress, and problems that was bothering me back in my home.

Experiences of my Sri Lankan odyssey would be incomplete without a worthy mention of my colleagues who belonged to eight different nationalities. It made me feel that I have travelled the world in these 45 days, we talked about our traditions, culture, and ambitions. This made me realise that the world is really small, and you can find someone who can understand you perfectly from different background and religion. Talking about religion, sports, and politics for hours give you the chance to know their way of living which was better than watching many movies about it. However, they widely held notorious cliché about Egypt. They believed Egypt to be a dangerous place to visit. A country full of poverty, illiteracy, and instability. (They only revered Mo Salah which was not a surprise to me). At the end of one of these discussions, one of them told me that he never thought that he will find many people that are well-educated from a country that exists in Africa and, he added that “we should not believe the news because it is really deceiving!” The perception they had about Egypt had seen a massive plunge and I could succeed in substituting truth for deception, and Information for misinformation.

On a whole, to make the long story short. Be it for the society or for yourself. We all have our problems. But they appear minnows once we learn to appreciate them. I realised that the life that I enjoy is a dream to many outsiders. Challenges, and therefore, the opportunities that it brings helps one to adapt to the outstanding situation. When one travels abroad, it opens a new horizon, a new avenue. Personally, I am more than convinced that the 45 days in Sri Lanka were more fulfilling and rewarding than anything else. I firmly voice in favour of taking up volunteering projects abroad.

Wondering why you had not had the experience yet? No worries, this is just the perfect time. Go ahead and shoot!

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Rooms revenue at Nile Ritz-Carlton up by 22% in 2018 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/20/rooms-revenue-at-nile-ritz-carlton-up-by-22-in-2018/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/20/rooms-revenue-at-nile-ritz-carlton-up-by-22-in-2018/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 07:39:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=684515 Occupancy rates at 77%, Dahab hotel to be completed in 2019

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The Nile Ritz-Carlton hotel rooms’ revenue rate rose this year by 22% from 2017, as demand increases in Cairo. Amr Attia, chairperson of the Holding Company for Tourism & Hotels (HOTAC), told Daily News Egypt that the price per room this year was EGP 4,233, up from EGP 3,465 last year.

HOTAC’s revenues increased by 57.6% in the fiscal year (FY) 2017/18 to EGP 149.8m, up from EGP 95m in the last FY. The company’s revenues increased during the last FY to reach EGP 462m, against EGP 201.7m in FY 2016/17. Attia noted that average occupancy rates at the Nile Ritz-Carlton in 2018 reached 77%, up from 72% in 2018.

A report issued by Colliers International expected the average spending in Cairo by tourists to increase in 2019-2022 by 16.5% per year.

The report noted that the rooms’ price per night averaged $118 in the current year, up by 34% from 2017.

Attia said that renovations in the company are still ongoing. The company is developing a hotel in Dahab in South Sinai, at a cost of EGP 120m-130m. He added that the financing is funnelled through the company’s own resources, amid the high interest rate of 22%.

He said that there are many investment opportunities being studied by the company at the time being, but the current interest rate limits investment operations in the tourism sector. The number of tourist arrivals in Egypt during the first seven months of the current year reached 6.1 million, up by 41% from the same period last year. The sector is hoping to reach arrivals of 10 million tourists by the end of this year, against 8.3 million last year.

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Tourism Ministry likely to launch EIS’ promotional campaign H1 2019 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/13/tourism-ministry-likely-to-launch-eis-promotional-campaign-h1-2019/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/13/tourism-ministry-likely-to-launch-eis-promotional-campaign-h1-2019/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:48:53 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=683828 Tourism sector's legislative framework needs to be updated: Al-Mashat

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Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, expected her ministry to launch Egyptian Influencers Summit (EIS) promotional campaign over the first half of 2019.
“Egypt is branding itself, yet few people knows facts about the country that is why we are keen on increasing our presence internationally and launch successful marketing and promotion campaigns to change Egypt’s stereotype abroad,” Al-Mashat added during her speech at an event organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) on Thursday.
The tourism ministry will inaugurate the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in 2020, affirmed Al-Mashat, adding that GEM will be a fantastic place where many historical monuments will exist with the pyramids in the background.
Additionally, Al-Mashat said that her ministry is implementing a structure reform programme to push the sector forward, noting that this programme includes five main pillars which are institutions reform, promotion, infrastructure, tourism development, global tourism trends, and legislative reforms.
“Achieving the tourism sector’ success requires development of human resources and infrastructure,” Al-Mashat noted, adding that her ministry is cooperating with the education and higher education ministries to ensure that the tourism curriculum are updated and align with the tourism sector’s needs and ethics.
Al-Mashat said that her ministry is also coordinating with international institutions to fill the gab of the expertise in Egypt, including the World Committee on Tourism Ethics for increasing the sector competitiveness through an intensive programme.
The minister pointed out that the sector’s legislative framework needs to be updated as the law was approved since 1970, adding “we need to take a look in the current laws in cooperation with business community and parliament.”

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Promoting tourism on top of government’s priorities: Al-Mashat https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/10/promoting-tourism-on-top-of-governments-priorities-al-mashat/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/10/promoting-tourism-on-top-of-governments-priorities-al-mashat/#respond Mon, 10 Dec 2018 18:57:38 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=683462 40% increase in number of visitors to Egypt y-o-y, says tourism minister

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Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said that promoting tourism comes on the top of Egypt’s priorities currently, stressing that her ministry is in ongoing talks with the private sector, which owns about 98% of the tourism sector in Egypt, to solve any problems facing them.

During her participation in a session entitled ‘Tourism in Africa,’ within the activities of the ‘Africa 2018 Forum’ in Sharm El-Sheikh, she added that Egyptian tourism is one of the largest contributing sectors to the country’s economic growth. Tourism revenues represented about 20% of Egypt’s GDP at the end of the first quarter of this fiscal year, while the number of foreign visitors increased by 40% year-over-year (y-o-y).

Al-Mashat noted that the tourism sector creates more jobs than any other sector, especially during boom seasons.

“We are working on many institutional reforms within the ministry, as well as offering training programmes abroad for the ministry’s staff, with the aim of developing local tourism to match global developments,” she said.

Al-Mashat further added that the ministry is working on reforming and updating current tourism-related legislation. It also develops online marketing of Egypt’s tourism.

The minister said that African tourism suffered from deterioration until 2016, but there has been a boom in the last two years with a significant increase in tourist nights.

Tourist experts previously told Daily News Egypt that the shortage of promoting tourism is the main challenge facing Egyptian tourism.

Thebeetsile Ikalafeng, a member of the board of directors of the South African Tourism Agency, highlighted that the biggest challenge facing tourism in Africa is the absence of technology in the sector, urging the necessity of facilitating movement among African countries using technology.

Ikalafeng also stressed the need to study the cultures of different African countries so as to promote each one in a creative and unique way.

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Tourism sector contributes 20% to Egypt’s GDP: Al-Mashat https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/02/tourism-sector-contributes-20-to-egypts-gdp-al-mashat/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/12/02/tourism-sector-contributes-20-to-egypts-gdp-al-mashat/#respond Sun, 02 Dec 2018 15:36:17 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=682684 Only shortcoming Egypt presently faces is failure to promote tourism in a creative manner, says expert

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The tourism Minister, Rania Al-Mashat, stated that that the tourism industry contributed 20% to Egypt’s GDP this year.

Al-Mashat said during the Al-Ahram third annual economic conference that the sector is connected to about 70 subsidiary industries, which reflects the importance of this sector.

Notably, AL-Mashat previously said that the number of tourists visiting Egypt jumped by 30 % during the first quarter of 2018 compared to last year, asserting that that tourism currently represents 15% of the total income sources of the national economy.


During the conference, Al-Mashat pointed out that the global tourism sector has been in recovery since the end of 2016, especially with the high demand by people to visit new areas, due to their recent great enthusiasm to explore new places.

She confirmed that the political leadership is interested in removing all the challenges facing the tourism sector.

By asking the former head of Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers, Elhamy al-Zayat, about the obstacles that still face the tourism sector in Egypt, and how to face them, he stated that in 2010 the tourism sector was exponentially growing, then after the 2011 revolution the sector suffered to a great extent then it suffered most in 2016, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015, where all its onboard passengers were killed.

He explained that in order to restore the tourist numbers to pre-2010, the government has to launch a creative marketing campaign to promote tourism in Egypt.

He mentioned that Egypt has already developed its airports, hotels, tourist services, safety measures compared to the period after the revolution, affirming that Egypt’s tourism sector needs more efforts, in order to attract new tourist nationalities. He indicated that the only shortcoming and challenge that Egypt presently faces is the failure to promote tourism in a creative, unique manner.

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Egypt’s Red Sea ranked world’s third best scuba diving destination: DIVE https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egypts-red-sea-ranked-worlds-third-best-scuba-diving-destination-dive/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/25/egypts-red-sea-ranked-worlds-third-best-scuba-diving-destination-dive/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 17:20:35 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=682032 Website also highlighted Ras Mohammed, describing it as undoubtedly one of finest diving sites on planet

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The scuba diving magazine, DIVE, ranked Egypt’s Red Sea third in terms of global scuba diving destinations in its annual DIVE Travel Awards which are decided by readers’ votes. Indonesia and the Philippines were named first and second, respectively.

After coming in at sixth place last year, Egypt climbed the ranks ahead of the likes of Fiji, Australia, the Solomon Islands, the Galápagos Islands, and the Maldives.

The Egyptian Red Sea has over 400 recorded coral species, several hundred species of fish (20% of which are endemic), stunning reefs, dramatic walls, and an established dive industry, stated DIVE magazine.

The announcement of the results on DIVE’s website also came with a few particular highlights including Ras Mohammed, describing it as undoubtedly one of the finest diving sites on the planet.

Ras Mohammed is Egypt’s oldest national park and constitutes a 480 sqm sanctuary for a proliferation of corals and marine life.

DIVE also highlighted The Brothers offshore islands which offer high-energy diving, and St. John’s Reef as hotspots for diving fanatics.

The Red Sea is renowned for its reefs, which remain stable and healthy at a time when other major systems are suffering from the effects of climate change and marine pollution.

“In total, the reefs of the Red Sea support more than 220 different species of hard and soft coral. Together, these corals provide the basis of an ecosystem that offers both food and shelter to over 1,100 species of fish, almost a fifth of which are found nowhere else on Earth,” according to TripSavvy’s report.

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40%, increase in number of tourists to Egypt in first 9 months of 2018: Al-Mashat https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/13/40-increase-in-number-of-tourists-to-egypt-in-first-9-months-of-2018-al-mashat/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/13/40-increase-in-number-of-tourists-to-egypt-in-first-9-months-of-2018-al-mashat/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:12:14 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680922 German tourists rank 1st followed by British tourists, Ukraine tourists, says Al-Zayat

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The Minister of Tourism, Rania Al-Mashat, said that the number of tourists to Egypt increased by 40% during the first nine months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, recovering from a slump that began with the Arab Spring and continued as unrest persisted.

“We expect that by the end of 2018, we awill not be at the levels that we saw in 2010, but we are approaching that,” Al-Mashat continued during her interview with Bloomberg TV.

“The rebound is quite steep, and we are trying to put the industry on a competitive base compared to our peers,” she said.

Al-Mashat ensured that the government plans to use this improvement in tourism to encourage investments in the Red Sea islands, as well as into a new private equity fund to upgrade Egyptian hotels.

The minister talked also discussed the importance of tourism to the Egyptian economy, underlining that tourism revenues accounts for 20% of its profit.

Finally, the minister insisted that the government is trying to diversify its tourist base, targeting travellers from Asia and Latin America.

In that context, the former head of Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers, Elhamy El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt, that it is crucial to diverse the tourist base, highlighting that the map of the tourists coming to Egypt has changed, stating that before the 2011 uprising, Russian tourism was ranked number one on Egypt’s touristic map, followed by British and German tourism.

“On the contrary, now German tourists are ranked number one, followed by British tourists and then Ukraine tourists, in terms of tourist numbers,” El-Zayat added.

He elaborated that in order to retrieve the number of the tourists pre-2010, the government has to launch a marketing campaign to promote tourism in Egypt.

El-Zayat explained that before the 2011 uprising, tourism in 2010 was growing briskly, but then after the 2011 uprising, tourism suffered significantly, then it suffered the most in 2016, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its onboard passengers were killed.

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Tourism Ministry seeks to launch new private equity fund to overhaul sector https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/11/tourism-ministry-seeks-to-launch-new-private-equity-fund-to-overhaul-sector/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/11/tourism-ministry-seeks-to-launch-new-private-equity-fund-to-overhaul-sector/#respond Sun, 11 Nov 2018 18:08:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680761 “It's not about establishing fund, it’s about activating it,” experts agree

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Minister of Tourism, Rania Al- Mashat, announced that the government plans to establish a new private equity fund to upgrade Egypt’s hotels as well as provide new investment opportunities in the sector.

Al-Mashat explained during her TV interview with Bloomberg that this step would be part of a comprehensive sector strategy, called ‘E-Trip’ that would include new legislation for the industry which would be introduced to the House of Representatives.

Commenting on this announcement, the former Chairperson of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhamy El-Zayat told Daily News Egypt (DNE) that if this private equity fund is activated, it will lead to great progress for Egypt in general, and to the tourism sector specifically.

He explained that the role of this fund is simply to help the financially troubled investors.

El-Zayat elaborated that this fund will buy shares from investors that are financially troubled, noting that the fund will buy the share by its current market’s value, then it will sell it again by its market value at the sale time, either to the same investor or another, after an agreed period of time.

“Thus, this fund will benefit by the differences in prices between the time of the share’s purchase and sale, and on the other hand, the investors themselves will benefit by maintaining their investments without having the pressure of asking for bank loans,” he continued.

El-Zayat pointed out that activating this fund is crucial, as this it was launched before in March 2015, but it was not activated.

In March 2015, the Minister of Tourism, Hisham Zazou, declared during the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, the launch of a Tourism equity Fund, in coordination with AYADY for Investment and Development, Cairo Capital Group, and the National Investment Bank, explained El-Zayat.

Meanwhile, the former minister said at that time, that the fund’s aim was to revive the tourism industry through restructuring finance for tourism projects, without imposing additional financial  burdens on the state, declaring that the tourism fund would contribute with EGP 50m, targeting the collection of investments of nearly $250m to enhance the tourism sector.

Talking about the obstacles that impede activating this fund, Adel Abdel Razek, former vice-president of the Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers told DNE that the problem was in collecting the capital for this fund, explaining that at the time it was agreed that the minister of finance, government, banks, as well as the private sector, shared in the capital of this fund, but unfortunately this did not take place, he said.

He affirmed that the Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers has been among the first ones who called for the establishment of this fund, agreeing with El-Zayat that it’s not about establishing the fund, it`s about activating it.

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Egypt’s tourism to contribute 15% to GDP this year: Al-Mashat https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/egypts-tourism-to-contribute-15-to-gdp-this-year-al-mashat/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/egypts-tourism-to-contribute-15-to-gdp-this-year-al-mashat/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 20:44:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680567 “We exerted substantial efforts in developing hotels, airports, now we need to focus on promotion campaigns,” says Al-Zayat

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The Tourism Minister, Rania Al-Mashat, expected that the tourism sector will contribute 15% of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year, according to Reuters.

Al-Mashat stated that Egypt, as a tourist destination, still has a lot to offer, pointing out that the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be completed in 2020, will be a distinctive symbol of Egyptian tourism.

The number of visitors have increased by around 40% year-over-year (y-o-y) at the end of September. “If the trend continues it will mean annual tourist numbers will top 10 million for the first time since 2012, compared with 7.5 million in 2017,” Al-Mashat declared.

In Swept ember, Egypt was named the fastest growing tourist destination by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Former head of Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhamy Al-Zayat, informed Daily News Egypt that choosing Egypt as the fastest growing destination was expected due to the severe decline that happened in 2016. “When comparing the bad results of tourism in 2016 to this year’s, we will see a great shift,” Al-Zayat said.

Following the 2011 revolution, the tourism sector suffered severely, but the worst period was in 2016, after the crash of the Russian passenger flight over Sinai late October 2015, he added.

Al-Zayat explained that recovering tourism requires launching an epic marketing campaign to promote it.

“We exerted substantial efforts in developing hotels and airports, and now we need to focus on promotion campaigns,” Al-Zayat said.

Al-Mashat said earlier that the number of tourists visiting Egypt jumped by 30 % during the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period of 2017, noting that tourism now represents 15% of Egypt’s total income.

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Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh expect to witness 44% and 40% growth in revenues per rooms: Colliers https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/06/hurghada-sharm-el-sheikh-expect-to-witness-44-and-40-growth-in-revenues-per-rooms-colliers/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/06/hurghada-sharm-el-sheikh-expect-to-witness-44-and-40-growth-in-revenues-per-rooms-colliers/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:56:24 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680415 Cairo expected to witness higher RevPAR levels compared to last year

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Hotel occupancies in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh continue to grow following the trend of the first three quarters of 2018. They are expected to witness 44% and 40% growth in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR), Colliers International said in its latest MENA Hotels Forecast report released in October 2018.

The report explained that the witnessed rebound is as a result of the improved security situation. Colliers expects that the Red Sea resort will continue to benefit from the positive security perception, and the return of chartered flights.

In Sharm El-Sheikh, “similar to Hurghada, travel advisories from most source markets are now relatively relaxed resulting in a surge in international leisure demand,” the report noted.

The report stated that beach hotels in Abu Dhabi and hotels in Cairo maintained their steady performance, explaining that Abu Dhabi beach hotels are expected to witness a strong momentum in occupancy, Average Daily Rates (ADR), and a growth of 3% in RevPAR. Further, it stated that Cairo is expected to witness growth of 9% in RevPAR.

Colliers highlighted that the trend of the strong momentum in occupancy and ADR in Abu Dhabi beach hotels is expected to continue in the quarter 4 of 2018, mostly driven by the leisure segment.

Concerning Cairo, the report stated that the market is expected to see higher RevPAR levels compared to last year due to the stable corporate, Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE), and leisure demand. The report identifies strong destination marketing and political stability as further factors for the increase in revenues per rooms.

On the downside, the report shows that Bahrain’s Manama and the Saudi Arabian city Al Khobar continue to feel the negative consequences of the decline in leisure demands, limited corporate, and MICE demand.

Manama and Al Khobar are expected to respectively witness 6% and 4% decline in RevPAR during the period from October to December 2018.

Colliers International Hotels is a global network of consultants specialised in hotel, resort, marina, golf, leisure and spa sectors. They provide strategic advisory services to owners, developers and government institutions. The analysis is based on actual operating data from a sample of 3 to 5 stars hotels and quality serviced apartments. The forecasting methodology is based on rolling averages, trend estimation and extrapolation.

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Egypt’s tourism recovery, FDIs increase, keep economic growth positive: EBRD https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/05/egypts-tourism-recovery-fdis-increase-keep-economic-growth-positive-ebrd/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/05/egypts-tourism-recovery-fdis-increase-keep-economic-growth-positive-ebrd/#respond Mon, 05 Nov 2018 07:30:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=680129 General upturn reflects improved competitiveness in wake of currency depreciation, says report

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is forecasting Egypt’s economic growth to reach 5.5% in the fiscal year 2018/19 compared with 5.3% a year earlier, noting that growth is expected to be supported by a continued boost in confidence, a recovery in tourism, an increase in foreign direct investments (FDIs), and improved competitiveness.

The EBRD’s latest Regional Economic Prospects report mentioned that the general upturn reflected improved competitiveness in the wake of currency depreciation in Egypt and Tunisia, combined with the implementation of reforms.

Early this week, Egypt’s Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat said Egyptian tourism is recovering, affirming the clear and continuous improvement in tourism indicators starting last year and the first quarter of this year.

Al-Mashat pointed out that the winter season began with a very promising start, asserting her ministry’s efforts to achieving sustainable development in the tourism sector, to become a stronger and more tolerant sector against shocks, and improve the efficiency of services provided to tourists.

Noteworthy, Egypt’s tourism sector serves more than 70 related industries, according to previous governmental statements.

Other positive factors are expected to include a boost inf exports, the start of natural gas production from the Zohr field, the implementation of business environment reforms, and prudent macroeconomic policies, noted the EBRD’s report.

Moreover, the report said that economic growth in the southern and eastern Mediterranean will continue to pick up speed this year, with most countries in the region enjoying their best tourism season since 2010, according to the EBRD.

However, forecasts for growth in Jordan and Lebanon have been revised down from earlier predictions in May, after the roll out of reforms in those two countries were held up because of social unrest and political instability.

In both Jordan and Lebanon, the projected growth in 2018 remains below the growth rate of the population, implying a decline in real per capita incomes, the report indicated.

The EBRD expects growth across the southern and eastern Mediterranean as a whole of 4.4% in 2018, compared with 3.8% in 2017. Expansion in 2019 is seen at 4.7%, supported by recovery in traditional drivers of growth: higher exports; the implementation of business environment reforms to attract FDIs; stronger private consumption from refugees, and greater domestic and regional political certainty.

In Morocco, growth is expected to slow down in 2018 to 3.0%, influenced by the negative base effect following favourable weather conditions for agriculture in 2017. In 2019, growth is forecast to rise to 3.5%, supported by the continued recovery in tourist arrivals; an increase in FDIs; greater competitiveness from the move to a more flexible exchange rate regime; a rebound in services and manufacturing, stronger export growth and expanded mining capacity.

The sustained growth is predicated on continuing the implementation of reforms to improve the business environment and boost productivity as well as diversifying the economy away from agriculture.   

In Tunisia, growth is expected to pick up in 2019 to 3.0%, after 2.8% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2017, supported by a continued recovery in tourism and investment, stronger growth in major export markets in Europe, and the implementation of structural reforms in the run up to the elections in November 2019.

In Jordan, growth is expected to rise only modestly to 2.2% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019, after 2.0% last year, supported by stronger private consumption from the rising refugee population; FDIs, and greater certainty and confidence stemming from fiscal consolidation. Moreover, exports will benefit from higher mining output; higher phosphate prices, and the re-opening of the border with Syria and Iraq.  

The EBRD report said tourism arrivals in Jordan had increased by 7.8% in 2017, the first increase since 2010, signalling the best tourism season since the Arab uprising. The rise has continued into 2018, with a year-over-year increase in tourism receipts of 14.9% in the first half of 2018.

Growth this year in Lebanon has been negatively affected by a slowdown in the real estate sector, a major driver of growth, following the phasing out of subsidised lending. Delays in the formation of a government after the May 2018 elections also contributed to an expected slowdown in economic growth to 1.1% in 2018, from 1.5% last year.

Lebanon’s economic growth is expected to pick up to a range between 1.5 and 1.9% in 2019 depending on the pace of recovery in the Lebanese construction and financial sectors, and the extent of reconstruction in Syria.

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‘Sharm El-Sheikh Insurance, Reinsurance Rendezvous’ to revive tourism in Egypt: El-Zoheiry https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/23/sharm-el-sheikh-insurance-reinsurance-rendezvous-to-revive-tourism-in-egypt-el-zoheiry/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/23/sharm-el-sheikh-insurance-reinsurance-rendezvous-to-revive-tourism-in-egypt-el-zoheiry/#respond Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:32:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=678827 Event will include 25 speakers, 18 or 19 from international insurance, reinsurance markets

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Alaa El-Zoheiry, chairperson of the Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE) said during a televised interview, that ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Insurance, Reinsurance Rendezvous’ will benefit Egypt in general, and the insurance industry specifically in many ways.

The IFE announced that the first annual ‘Sharm El-Sheikh Insurance and Reinsurance Rendezvous’ will be held from 28 to 30 October 2018 in Sharm El-Sheikh, under the theme of “spreading your precious ideas”. The event will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Sector, and the Financial Regulatory Authority.

El Zoheiry explained that there are several benefits for holding this ‘Rendezvous’, including that the attendees of the event reserved about 3,000 tourist nights in Sharm El-Sheikh, which contributes to promoting and reviving tourism in Egypt.

“It is also a good opportunity to attract new foreign investments in the insurance sector, in addition the ‘Rendezvous’ allows Egyptian insurance companies to negotiate with reinsurance companies to renew reinsurance contracts,” he added.

El-Zoheiry told Daily News Egypt that the ‘Rendezvous’ aims to provide a unique opportunity for the participating delegations to take advantage of the experiences from different markets, in order to develop the Egyptian insurance industry.

He stated that the ‘Rendezvous’ is expected to witness the participation of over 2,000 experts from the insurance and reinsurance industry, of which half are expected to be from the international insurance market.

The ‘Rendezvous’ will include about 25 speakers, of which about 18 or 19 are from the international insurance and reinsurance markets, including companies such as Marsh, Willis Towers Watson, Hannover Re-Takaful, Swiss Re, and SCOR Glob, indicated El-Zoheiry.

The IFE announced earlier that the ‘Rendezvous’ will discuss four important axes, which are the best global practices in insurance and reinsurance, what is new in the international market, what needs to be developed in the brokerage business in the Egyptian insurance market, and discussing the challenges and opportunities of the insurance and reinsurance market in Egypt.

The ‘Rendezvous’ will also tackle the most important challenges in meeting the needs of the insurance industry’s customers, as well as the role of global block technology in the insurance sector, and its consequences for customer service development.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada hotels to thrive, benefiting from positive security awareness, return of chartered flights: Colliers https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-to-thrive-benefiting-from-positive-security-awareness-return-of-chartered-flights-colliers/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-to-thrive-benefiting-from-positive-security-awareness-return-of-chartered-flights-colliers/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2018 19:36:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=677649 Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada hotels’ forecasted growth of 29%, 36% respectively in y-o-y RevPAR

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Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada hotels are expected to thrive, benefiting from positive security awareness, and the return of chartered flights from the traditional resource markets, with a forecasted growth of 29% and 36% respectively in year-over-year (y-o-y) revenues per available rooms (RevPAR), according to Colliers International MENA Hotel forecast for September to November 2018.

The report said that Cairo’s hotels are forecasted to witness a 7% growth in RevPAR in the same period, while Alexandria’s hotels are expected to witness a moderate increase of around 14% in RevPAR.

The Jeddah hotel market has experienced continuous growth in RevPAR in the first eight months. The increase in performance is driven by growth on an average daily rate (ADR) with a 7% increase. Meanwhile, Al Khobar hotels market witnessed a decrease of 4% in RevPAR in the mentioned period. 

On the other hand, the UAE’s Abu Dhabi continues to witness strong momentum in occupancy and ADR. This trend is expected to continue over the next three months by 1% increase in RevPAR from September 2018 to November 2018, driven by the luxury segment.

Moreover, the UAE’s Dubai beach are forecasted to witness a decline in RevPAR of 5% during the same period, resulting in a drop in ADR, which is adversely affecting the RevPAR.

The report pointed out that Bahrain’s Manama y-o-y RevPAR is forecasted to decrease by 7%, meanwhile, Jordan’s Aqaba is projected to witness a growth of 4% in y-o-y RevPAR in the period from September to November 2018.

Colliers International Hospitality division is a global network of specialist consultants in the hotel and resorts sector.

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Taba Heights to diversify its leisure activities to stimulate tourism https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/04/taba-heights-to-diversify-its-leisure-activities-to-stimulate-tourism/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/04/taba-heights-to-diversify-its-leisure-activities-to-stimulate-tourism/#respond Thu, 04 Oct 2018 08:00:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=676009 Resort is unique hotel, situated in beautifully preserved bay, between two mountains, best hotel in world of Club Med Group

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Orascom Development Egypt (OD), the owner of Taba Heights, targets attracting Ukrainians, Romanians, Polish, Latvian, German, and Eastern European tourists during its winter season, according to Emad El Tarabishy, senior owner representative of Taba Heights Resort.

El Tarabishy told Daily News Egypt that the Taba Heights Resort, South Sinai, intends to hold two big parties in April and July, in an effort to attract more Arab and Egyptian tourists because those two months are seasonal.

“We do not seek profit from those parties and concerts, but to market the place so that we can increase the number of tourists and reduce the losses we incurred,” he said.

Taba Heights held a series of parties starting in January last year, to activate tourism, and Taba Heights continues to hold other celebrations to attract tourists to the region, which is suffering from a lack of promotional activities by the concerned state agencies, even though it is one of the best touristic locations within Egypt’s borders.

El Tarabishy said that the company, through these parties, began slightly to cover operational costs.

According to OD’s financial results for first half (H1) of the current year, Taba Heights remains the most challenging destination, due to the extended travel bans on Sinai. Nevertheless, the company successfully curbed the GOP losses from EGP 7.9m to EGP 6.1m in H1 2018, and revenues increased by 74.9% to EGP 41.8m, compared to EGP 23.9m in H1 2017.

Taba Heights’ total revenues reached EGP 53.9m in H1 2018, compared to EGP 38.3m in H1 2017, an increase of 40.7%.

In 2013, European capitals had warned their citizens not to travel to Egypt as result of the volatile security situation at that time, and then Egyptian tourism suffered a devastating blow when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015, killing all its passengers. This was in addition to a tourist bus explosion in Taba city in February 2014, which resulted in the death of four Korean tourists, the bus driver, two others, and injuring about 16 tourists.

“The travel ban is the main challenge for us and we are struggling to provide comfort for tourists who travel to Taba. Currently, we are in negotiations with Ukrainian and Polish travel agencies to conduct flights to Taba International Airport. Moreover, we succeeded to attract Lithuanian and Latvian tourists. We also managed to attract Romanians, who will arrive in Taba through Aqaba in November. However, the airport is operating partially, and we exert increased effort to contract with other Egyptian travel companies, after receiving the first aircraft since years of suspension, an Alexandria Airlines flight in June,” El Tarabishy noted.

On 10 September, OD signed an agreement with a Polish company to operate two aircrafts a week, to enhance the flow of tourists to the region.

The agreement with the Itaka tour operator company stipulates flights to and from Taba International Airport, with flights starting from 7 November until May 2019.

The company expects the agreement to add 10,500 new hotel nights during that period.

OD said that the Polish company plans to operate two additional planes from the Czech Republic by next year, increasing its stake in the total number of hotel nights in Taba Heights to 45,000 nights.

Moreover, OD is successfully moving towards reaching that cash income to be equal to the cash costs in Taba Heights in 2019.

El Tarabishy reaffirmed that, “Taba’s life is related to the airport”, pointing out that the current closure causes great losses for the region. The company uses Jordanian airports and Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport to transport its tourists to Taba, calling for the removal of the travel ban on tourism in Taba, as Egypt is currently secured and there is no longer a need for this ban.

Also, the company sees that by using Jordanian airports and Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport to transport its tourists to Taba, this helps in promoting tourism between Taba and Jordan. We have signed an agreement with the management of King Hussein International Airport in Jordan, the Jordanian Commission, and a number of Jordanian maritime companies to operate joint flights between Aqaba, and Taba.

The international port will be used in Taba to transport Egyptians to Aqaba to spend their vacation and exchange tourists between the two parties. The agreement includes the arrival of tourists from any airport in Egypt to Taba to spend their vacation, and then move to the port of Aqaba, and get a flight from there to speed up the process of transporting tourists back and forth from Taba, and Aqaba.

Furthermore, it was agreed with the Jordanian side that Egyptians will pay for the fees of the Taba Aqaba trip in Egyptian pounds to preserve the foreign currency within the country.

The company owns six hotels, which constitute 2,365 rooms, of which 1,260 rooms are in full capacity in the Taba resort, with its land bank is 4.3m sqm, with about 2.1m sqm developed.

The Bay View, which the company has reopened on 30 September 2017, has achieved a great occupancy in July, and it was completed in August. Moreover, after completing the current year and holding studies, the company will consider the rest of the hotel rooms, which depend on the results of the study and market needs, he noted.

One of the important closed hotels is Club Med Sinai Bay, which is one of the resorts of Taba Heights, is a unique hotel, situated in a beautifully preserved bay, between two mountains. The retreat has the best hotel in the world of the Club Med Group, which has 120 hotels worldwide. The hotel’s capacity is 385 rooms.

Regarding the reopening of the Club Med hotel, El Tarabishy elaborated that the nature of the hotel demands specific, or wealthy, tourists from France or Francophone countries, which cannot be reopened under the current travel ban.

He explained that once the travel ban is lifted, the Club Med management will reopen negotiations for operating the hotel.

Currently, we receive holy trips of Indian and Mexican vacationers who visit Taba as a station to Jerusalem and Saint Catherine’s.

El Tarabishy noted that the minimum occupancy during concerts is 90%, and sometimes the rooms are fully booked, especially during Eid Al Adha, when the occupancy exceeds 100% due to the significant demand by guests.

In January 2016, the resort had the only hotel which was fully operational, and occupancy was 40%, but in January 2017, three hotels operated, and by the end of the year, we added a new hotel to our three hotels, and occupancy reached about 50%, which means that Taba had recovered with four hotels.

Prices increased by 10-15% in the current year compared to last year, due to the demand on the resort, and new entertainment activities added to resort such as Aqua activities.

Unfair pricing for hotel nights still exists in Taba, compared to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. El Tarabishy commented that Taba’s prices are much lower than Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada’s, by about 25%, because of the far distance due to lack of flights through Taba Airport.

He called on the concerned agencies to set a minimum price for hotel rooms in South Sinai to fight the practice of pricing below market value. Some camps in South Sinai sell at prices higher than many hotels located in the governorate. 

Moreover, he elaborated that Taba Heights Marina is serving not only Taba, but also South Sinai in general, and is operating very well. It has a capacity of about 750,000 passengers annually, however, the actual passengers are 120,000-140,000 passengers to and from, and year-over-year.

“Currently, we are studying the diversification of our entertainment and leisure activities, such as holding fashion shows in the coming year in Taba Heights Resort. Plus, two events in Eco sports and kayaking will be held before the year-end,” El Trabishy revealed.

He explained that the resort held a sports event in 2017, and three in 2016.

In April 2017, Egyptian swimmer Omar Hegazy, 26, became the first Egyptian to cross the 20 km from Jordan’s Al-Aqaba to Taba, challenging his own record after having lost his leg in a tragic accident three years earlier. This event was held between 27-29 April 2017. Omar Hegazy, an amputee athlete, was the first Egyptian swimmer to attempt the 20 km swim from Aqaba in Jordan to Taba Heights, Sinai.

Meanwhile, in 2016, Taba Heights Resort held three sports events, the first was kayaking, as Yara Shalaby assembled  a team with the support of the  Nile Kayak Club, and crossed country kayaking their way from Taba Heights, Sinai, to Aqaba – Tala Bay from 23 September 2016 and back to Taba Heights Marina on 25 September 2016.

On 5 November 2016, Global Biking Initiative Egypt Team cycled a journey started 2 November until 5 November 2016, where they travelled all the way from Taba Heights, Sinai to Sharm El Sheikh.

Moreover, Talented Canadian swimmer Norman Piche crossed the Gulf of Aqaba on 15 November 2016 from Taba Heights, Sinai, beside kayaking and swimming in the Red Sea all the way to Tala Bay – Aqaba, ending 17 November 2016, back to Taba Heights, Sinai.

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German tourism to Egypt expected to exceed 1million by year-end https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/german-tourism-to-egypt-expected-to-exceed-1million-by-year-end/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/german-tourism-to-egypt-expected-to-exceed-1million-by-year-end/#respond Wed, 03 Oct 2018 10:30:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=675837 Total number of tourists reached about 6.146 million in 2018

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The German market recorded the highest growth in the European market, with the number of arrivals close to one million tourists, registering 927,600 tourists during the first seven months of the current year, compared to 612,300 tourists during the same period last year, according to World Tourism Organization.


During the first seven months of this year, the number of incoming tourists to Egypt increased by 42% over the same period last year.

The total number of tourists reached about 6.146 million tourists, compared to 4.341 million tourists for the same period last year with a growth rate of 42%.

The Ministry of Tourism is seeking to increase the number of tourists to10 million by the end of this year, compared to 8.3 million last year.

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Lufthansa Group to receive 176 aircrafts by 2025 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/lufthansa-group-to-receive-176-aircrafts-by-2025/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/lufthansa-group-to-receive-176-aircrafts-by-2025/#respond Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:00:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=675829 Winter schedule 2018-2019, Lufthansa will offer 21 weekly flights from Cairo to its four hubs in Europe

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This year the Lufthansa Group has expanded its presence in the Egyptian market by providing its customers with 100,000 more seats. The number of passengers flying with the Lufthansa Airlines Group has grown significantly this year, with over 70% more passengers flying this year, compared to 2017, according to General Manager Sales Egypt at Lufthansa Group, Sadiq Mohamed.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Mohamed to discuss the group’s business, and new products in Egypt, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What are new products to be provided to Egyptian passengers?

We recently rolled out FlyNet on all Lufthansa A320 family aircrafts, Austrian Airlines, and Eurowings. Passengers can now stay connected while onboard their flights to Europe. Furthermore, we now have ejournals where passengers can download media onto their personal devices through their digital boarding pass. We have hundreds of selections in over 20 languages, including a selection of Arabic newspapers and magazines. Starting in 2019, we also have a new product that will be introduced on our A320 family aircraft for Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, and Swissair, namely new and more modern economy seats that were designed by Geven, an Italian manufacturer, and will be introduced in newer aircrafts in 2019. The seats have an innovative slim backrest, and full foam seat cushions, which ensure a comfortable travel experience. The new, ergonomic pressure distribution, and fully-structured seat upholstery, will allow customers to have an ever more comfortable feeling onboard. The newly, innovated literature pocket has been horizontally designed, leaving a slimmer backrest, which allows guests to enjoy more personal freedom. In addition, travel becomes more comfortable not only during the flight, but also while the aircraft is taxiing, during take-off, and landing: Previously, guests were seated at a 12-degree inclination, whereas now they will be able to rest comfortably with their backrest at 20 degrees during the whole flight. Aside from these new updates, Lufthansa was recently certified as a 5-Star airline by Skytrax, showing that it is a premium airline, providing quality to passengers.  

Sadiq Mohamed, General Manager Sales Egypt, Lufthansa Group

Do you plan invest more in air services and aircraft supplies? If yes, please elabotrate.

As the leading European aviation group, the Lufthansa Group airline will continue to modernise its fleet, which is one of our biggest projects at the moment. In 2017, we would receive a new aircraft nearly every week of the year—and this year we are receiving a new aircraft every two weeks. Overall, we have ordered 176 aircrafts for the Lufthansa Group, with a list price of €30bn, which will be delivered by 2025. Some of the aircrafts include the Airbus A350, Airbus A320neo, Boeing 777, and the Bombardier C-Series, all of which have lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, are quieter, and have up to 20% lower operating costs.  The newly ordered Boeing 777X is planned to be delivered in 2020, with brand-new business class seats that allow every passenger to direct access to the aisle.

What is your share in the Egyptian market?

This year we expanded our presence in the Egyptian market by providing customers with 100,000 more seats. The number of passengers flying with the Lufthansa Group has grown significantly this year, with over 70% more passengers flying this year, compared to 2017.

How do you see Egypt’s market and investment climate?

Positive, as Egypt’s economy achieved its highest growth of  over 5.3% since the financial crisis, which was presented by Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit during an AmCham Egypt event on 19 September. Also, news articles of the last couple of days mentioned Egypt as the strongest economy in the region.

What are problems that hinder your business in Egypt’s local market?

Daily business builds bridges by connecting passengers from one country to another in the safest, most comfortable, and most convenient way. The reform that occurred in the recent months support our commitment and longstanding relationship in the market. As you know, this year we will be celebrating 60 years of service in the market, and we look forward to continuing this longstanding relationship.

In 2017, Egypt Air and Lufthansa signed partnership agreement to provide air services and aircraft catering. Any updates? Plus, is there any potential future cooperation?

Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft, or LSG Sky Chefs, has been present and dedicated to the Egyptian market for many decades now. In 2009, we entered a joint venture with Egypt Air, EAS, LSG Sky Chefs, and the agreements in regard to management and trademark were prolonged last year.

How many your flights in Egypt annually?

Winter schedule 2018-2019, the Lufthansa Group will offer 21 weekly flights from Cairo to its four hubs in Europe; Austrian Airlines offers six flights a week to Vienna, which includes a special baggage allowance of two pieces. Lufthansa offers a daily flight to Frankfurt, and four weekly flights to Munich. Swissair offers four weekly flights to Zurich. Furthermore, Brussels Airlines will offer two weekly flights to Hurghada and one weekly flight to Marsa Alam from Brussels. Edelweiss Air will offer two weekly flights to Hurghada, and one weekly flight to Marsa Alam from Zurich.

Does the decline in Egypt’s tourism affect your business in the country?

Our commercial activities focuses on departures from Cairo. As Lufthansa offers connections to over 340 destinations, in over 100 countries around the world, a large majority of our passengers are actually departing Cairo. Given our vast network through the Lufthansa Group airlines, we offer over 15,000 weekly frequent flights, and focus on taking people from Egypt around the world. Almost all of our sales originate from Egypt, with Cairo being a main hub.

How do you see flight delays and do you have an explanation for them?

There are often many reasons for flight cancellations and delays. For example, recently in Europe, numerous air traffic controllers went on strike in several countries, extreme weather conditions (thunderstorms, storms, hail, etc.) in Germany, but also in southern Europe, which repeatedly led to the closing down of airports for several hours. All these incidents have a direct impact on the flight operation of an airline. In addition, there are sometimes structural reasons, such as massive capacity shortages due to fragmented European airspace controls, and acute staff deficiencies in air navigation services. Another example is processes in urgent need of reform, and personnel shortages at security checks at airports.

A reform of security controls at airports (processes and infrastructure), an increase in air navigation services personnel, and a Single European Sky—as demanded by European airlines for many years—are more urgent now than ever. Only if this infrastructure for European airlines is finally modernised and adapted to the rapidly growing traffic volume in Europe, will there be more punctuality and much fewer flight cancellations in air traffic. Lufthansa is constantly working to improve punctuality and reliability. Measures such as direct transfer, when transfer times are too short, help to ensure that passengers still reach their connecting flights. Also, in the event that there may be an irregularity, Lufthansa immediately looks to offer passengers alternative travel plans to get them to their destinations as soon and as smooth as possible.

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Kuwaiti Kharafi group considers selling a hotel in Marsa Alam https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/29/kuwaiti-kharafi-group-considers-selling-a-hotel-in-marsa-alam/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/29/kuwaiti-kharafi-group-considers-selling-a-hotel-in-marsa-alam/#respond Sat, 29 Sep 2018 20:34:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=675372 Kharafi largest investors in tourism sector in Egypt, $2.1bn to establish Marsa Alam Airport

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Source close to the Kuwaiti Kharafi Group in Egypt said that the company is considering an offer for one of the hotels it owns in Marsa Alam.

The sources added that the hotel the company would like to sell comes with a capacity of 210 rooms, and it is run by Blue Sky Tourism, along with another hotel, and they are both considered two of the largest investments in the region.

A private bank purchased two hotels owned by the group in 2015, worth $125m, and two hotels remained.

The sources said that the company does not plan to exit the tourism activity in the upcoming period, however, it desires to inject new investments through partnerships with tourism development companies in the areas it obtained from the Ministry of Tour

ism, estimated to be 20m sqm. Kharafi is one of the largest Arab investors in the tourism sector in Egypt, injecting $2.1bn to establish the Marsa Alam Airport, which is managed in accordance with the build-operate-transfer system for 40 years. Investors have estimated the value

of the projects owned by the group to be around $3bn, distributed over four hotels, and two of them were sold. Additionally, there is Marina Porto Ghaleb near Marsa Alam, with a capacity of 1,050 yachts on a water area of 277,000 sqm, in addition to a berth of 5,300 metres, and a tourism housing project.

One of the investors in Marsa Alam said that the group has a plan to establish six new hotels with a capacity of 1,800 rooms, which may make it sell one of its hotels to provide the necessary liquidity for new projects.

He said that currently there is disparity in tourist occupancy in the region, ranging from 25% to 64%, how- ever, there has been noticeable improvement over the past three years, and growth is expected in winter.

Inbound tourism in Egypt increased over the past seven months to 6.1 mil- lion tourists, with 42% growth com- pared to the same period last year.

“Kharafi selling one of its hotels does not mean exiting the sector given the company’s desire to develop the rest of the areas it owns in Marsa Alam, which is still a large and promising portfolio,” he added.

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Beit Al-Umma: house that remains immortal to tell a tale of a great leader https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/20/beit-al-umma-house-that-remains-immortal-to-tell-a-tale-of-a-great-leader/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/20/beit-al-umma-house-that-remains-immortal-to-tell-a-tale-of-a-great-leader/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 13:00:48 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=674145 The house still contains all the collectibles of its owners, which remained in the same place as the owners left it when they died.

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In one of Al-Mounira’s streets there is one house that stands firmly, carrying the greatness, glory, ambitions and dreams of Egyptians, it is the house of Saad Zaghloul or as it was called “Beit Al-Umma” (The House of the Nation).

The house still contains all the collectibles of its owners, which remained in the same place as the owners left it when they died. Once a visitor enters the house, he will feel as if the owners are still there with him and their souls are floating around him to tell him about their stories and secrets.

The house itself witnessed many difficult events, as the owner of the house was a revolutionary man who was proud of his country and defended it, and even after he died, his wife carried that cause after him. The house was never closed, and it remains a place that brings together all Egyptians from all communities.

Zagloul is one of the most famous leaders of the national and political movement in Egypt during the British occupation. He was also the founder of the Al-Wafd Party, the first prime-minister of Egypt after the constitution of 1923.

His wife Safia Zagloul, she was of a Turkish descent and the daughter of Mustafa Pasha Fahmi, who himself headed Egypt’s Cabinet five times. She played her own role in mobilising women in support of the nationalist cause and, even after his death, was a force to be reckoned with.

Zaghloul’s property, built in 1902, in the Al-Mounira district in central Cairo, not far from parliament’s buildings. The building was designed in the style of palaces of the Franco-élite, with grand architectural features similar to Europe more than Egypt, and with furniture imported from France, Austria, and Germany.

The house is surrounded by a large garden, which gives it more pride, decorated with palm trees and lamps, and also surrounded by high walls and a large iron gate to secure it.

Once visitors cross the huge gate, they will witness a statue of Zaghloul, sculpted by the famous Egyptian artist Mahmoud Mokhtar amd surrounded by trees on each side.

The house consists of three floors and 14 rooms, containing 750 pieces of house holdings.

The first floor consists of four rooms. The first room is the small living room that used to receive Zaghloul’s guests in the winter.

Meanwhile, the second one is the dining room, which is surrounded by a large table, where he used to sit at the head of the table and his wife used to sit on his right. After he died, his chair remained empty and no one was allowed to sit on it. Lunch time was at 1:30 pm.

As for the rest, comes a big living room , where Zaghloul met members of Al-Wafd Party, it is also the place where Safia received Umm Kulthum—who was an internationally renowned Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress active from the 1920s till the 1970s—when she came to offer her condolences after his passing. In the walls of the room there is a wall carpet with a picture of Saad Pasha and a watch, presented to his family on the 40th anniversary of his death, there is also the hand fan that belongs to Safia.

The last room in the first floor is the office room, which contains a wardrobe with a luxurious set of writing tools and an American ink pen given to him by his wife, but Zaghloul never used it.

As the visitors ascend to the second floor, they will find two entrances, in front of each one of them there is a metal crate, which includes a couple of parrots that according to the tour guide were calling after Zaghloul’s name, those parrots were mummified after their death.

The first entrance leads to Safia’s dressing room, which includes her clothes, shoes, perfume bottles, accessories, and a radio.

Then there is the bedroom of the couple, which was maintained by Safia as it is, where Zaghloul’s bed is located, as it was in the life of its owner.

From the bedroom, the visitor leaps into his dressing room to find the leader’s suits, including a suit with a small blood stain and that is the suit he was wearing during an assassination attempt in 12 July 1924 by a young man fired from his pistol and hit him in the right arm.

The next room is the Haramlak, where Safia was receiving her friends and relatives. The room has an Arabesque salon decorated with pendants and ivory and the walls have many paintings.

The Haramlak leads to another room, which is the library room of Safia, where there is a collection of books that she liked to read, and a picture of her wearing the flag of Royal Egypt in red, and a big portrait for her father, Mustafa Pasha Fahmi.

The last room is the bathroom, which consists of three small rooms, a toilet, a shower room, and a massage room with a big massage bed.

In the fort of Beit Al-Umma there is Zaghloul’s shrine, which was designed in Pharaonic style, as the state decided to build a huge memorial shrine that includes his body, whereby he was buried in Al-Imam Al-Shafi’i cemetery until the completion of the building.

The shrine occupies an area of 650 metres and is about 26 metres high, which has granite marble columns and stone walls. The shrine has two copper-plated wood doors, which are six-and-a-half metres high. The exterior and interior walls of the building are covered with marble, and the stairs are also covered with the same type of marble, the mausoleum is surrounded by a magnificent garden with statues with lamps.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada hotels named touristic hotspots; 18%, 13% forecasted growth respectively: Colliers https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/18/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-named-touristic-hotspots-18-13-forecasted-growth-respectively-colliers/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/18/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-named-touristic-hotspots-18-13-forecasted-growth-respectively-colliers/#respond Tue, 18 Sep 2018 17:57:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=673932 While in the Egyptian capital case, Cairo maintained a 9% forecasted RevPAR growth in the same period, the report states.

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Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada hotels were named touristic hotspots by Colliers International, with a forecasted growth of 18% and 13% respectively in revenues per available rooms (RevPAR). The surge is a result of the continued improved security perception for seven months, return of charter flights, and a surge in international leisure demand, according to Colliers’ MENA Hotel Forecasts August 2018 report.

While in the Egyptian capital case, Cairo maintained a 9% forecasted RevPAR growth in the same period, the report states.

On the other hand, Alexandria and Abu Dhabi Beach are expected to witness limited increase in RevPAR, with 4% and 3% expected respectively. In Alexandria’s case, the sure and steady performance is driven by the consistent growth in leisure demand, while in Abu Dhabi the performance is backed by strong momentum in occupancy, and average daily rates (ADR).

On the other hand, Bahrain’s Manama and the UAE’s Sheikh Zayed Road continue to feel the negative consequences of limited corporate and MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and events) demand, as well as the growing demand from more price-sensitive markets in Ras al-Khaimah’s case. Manama and Ras al-Khaimah are expected to respectively witness 9% and 8% decline in RevPAR during the same period.

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Egypt became fastest growing tourist destination: UNWTO https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/09/egypt-became-fastest-growing-tourist-destination-unwto/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/09/egypt-became-fastest-growing-tourist-destination-unwto/#respond Sun, 09 Sep 2018 08:30:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=672530 Highlighting Egypt as fastest tourist destination compared with 2016 ranks 'normal measure’, says Al-Zayat

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Egypt is the fastest growing tourist destination, while France is the most visited country, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) revealed in its annual report on global travel and tourism.

The report showed that Egypt received about 8.5 million tourists during 2017, with an increase in the number of tourists up to 55.1%, compared to the same period of the previous year.

Meanwhile, the UNWTO explained that the number of tourists in Egypt decreased in 2016, reaching 5.2 million in 2016, down from 14.7 million in 2017.

The report explained that this came as a result of the suspension of flights following the downing of a Russian charter jet and the turmoil following the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

According to the report, Egypt attracts tourists to the likes of Giza and Luxor, who come to discover the Great Pyramids and Sphinx.

Earlier in August, a government official told Reuters that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77%in the first half of 2018 to amount to $4.8bn compared with the same period last year.

For his part, the former head of Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers, Elhamy Al-Zayat told DNE that the indicators that showed that Egypt is the fastest growing destination are good, mentioning that it is a normal indicator due to the devastating blow that happened in 2016, hence when comparing the worst results of Egypt ever in tourism in 2016 to the results of this year, we will see that it is a great shift, but normal.

He explained that before the 2011 Revolution, in 2010 the tourism were growing fastest, but then after the 2011 Revolution the tourism suffered a lot, then it suffered the most in 2016, especially, when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its passengers were killed.

Al-Zayat added that this return happened without paying efforts, pointing out that American tourists returned, the tourists from France also returned.

He continued that in order to retrieve the number of the tourists as it was in 2010, the government has to launch a marketing campaign for promoting tourism in Egypt.

“We need more efforts in order to attract the tourists as we already cut a long shot in developing the hotels, the airports, in being safer if compared to the period after the revolution, thus the only lack is in promoting tourism,” he explained further.

Al-Zayat explained also that the touristic map of the tourists coming to Egypt has changed, stating that before the 2011 Revolution, the Russian tourism was ranked number one on the touristic map of Egypt followed by the British and German tourism.

On contrary, now the German tourists are ranked number one followed by the British tourists and then the Ukraine tourists, in terms of the number of tourists.

Notably, the Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said earlier that the number of tourists visiting Egypt jumped by 30% during the first quarter of 2018 compared to last year.

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Tourism sector sees remarkable improvements, our performance numbers reflect this: Hilton Luxor general manager https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/tourism-sector-sees-remarkable-improvements-our-performance-numbers-reflect-this-hilton-luxor-general-manager/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/tourism-sector-sees-remarkable-improvements-our-performance-numbers-reflect-this-hilton-luxor-general-manager/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 11:30:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=672066 The General Manager at Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa, Florian Gruhl, told Daily News Egypt that the tourism sector has seen remarkable improvements and that their performance numbers reflect this. Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Gruhl, who talked about Hilton’s plan in the coming five years, especially, after they received TripAdvisor’s …

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The General Manager at Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa, Florian Gruhl, told Daily News Egypt that the tourism sector has seen remarkable improvements and that their performance numbers reflect this.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Gruhl, who talked about Hilton’s plan in the coming five years, especially, after they received TripAdvisor’s Traveller Choice Award 2018 for the ninth consecutive year, the HolidayCheck Award 2018, The Cristal Hygiene Award 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, and the Booking.com Guest Review Award 2017. The interview also touched upon the challenges still facing the tourism sector in Egypt. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

What your plan entails as new general manager for Hilton Luxor in upcoming five years?

Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa has outstanding resort facilities and I look forward to working with the team to enhance our services and ensure we cater to all the needs of our valuable guests.

Over the next years we would like to increase our market share and verify our position as the best hotel in Luxor. On the commercial side, my focus will be to increase number of visitors arriving to our stunning property and provide them with the best services Hilton has to offer.

How liberalising Egypt’s pound exchange rate affects guests’ average spending in your hotel?

With the current economic reform plan in place, the tourism sector has seen remarkable improvements, and our performance numbers reflect this. Hilton is one of the fastest growing companies in the hospitality sector worldwide, providing excellent quality of services and a wide range

of amenities in our hotels across the world. As such, we are confident that our guests across the world look for Hilton hotels in any country they visit.

How do you see tourism in 2018 for Egypt, for Hilton hotel group, especially, in Luxor?

Tourists are coming back to Egypt. Tourism in Egypt hit an all-time high in 2010 with almost 15 million visitors but fell in 2015 to below 5 million. However, now, and after challenging years, visitors are returning to Egypt. There were over 8 million tourists in 2017 and 2018 numbers are even more promising. The most important fact is that people feel safe again in Egypt, which is reflected in the increase of annual charter flights, especially, to Luxor in the past year. Several traditional flights from Germany, Spain, and Italy are making a strong comeback, and flights from new countries, such as Turkey are in the pipeline to open routes to Luxor. The traditional ‘Classic Tours’ are back and are even more popular than ever. People will always come to Egypt to see the Pyramids in Giza, The Valley of the Kings in Luxor, or to stay at one of the relaxing beach resorts in the Red Sea.

Currently, which most prominent nationalities stay at your hotel?

The most prominent nationalities are Egyptians on business trips or weekend getaways from the busy city of Cairo, followed by Americans who come to Luxor to see historical locations, such as the Luxor and Karnak temples. The third largest group are Western Europeans like the British, French, and Germans.

In your opinion, what needs to be developed in Egypt to attract more tourists?

The infrastructure of Egypt needs further development and major tourist projects, such as the new museum of Egypt that needs to be completed in time.

For a place like Luxor it would be great to see more entertainment venues, as these would help to drive the number of visitors and increase their average length of stay.

What challenges does tourism still face in your opinion?

Some of the charter flights have not returned to Luxor yet, and flight tickets from domestic carriers are relatively costly for flights from Cairo to Luxor. Charter flights to Cairo would give an extra incentive towards popular classic tours.

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US invested over $100m to conserve Egypt’s monuments, masterpieces over 23-years-old https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/us-invested-over-100m-to-conserve-egypts-monuments-masterpieces-over-23-years-old/ https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/us-invested-over-100m-to-conserve-egypts-monuments-masterpieces-over-23-years-old/#respond Wed, 05 Sep 2018 11:00:58 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=672062 States implements more cultural programming in Egypt than in most countries worldwide, says Klitz

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The United States Mission to Egypt believes strongly that Egypt’s antiquities are not only part of its cultural heritage, but also represent an important economic asset that creates jobs and income, Cultural Affairs Officer at the US embassy, Ruth Anne Stevens-Klitz told Daily News Egypt.

“We have invested over $100m since 1995 to conserve monuments and masterpieces spanning the full range of Egypt’s long cultural heritage—from Pharaonic times to the late Ottoman period,” said Klitz, during an interview with DNE, the transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

Would you please elaborate on US efforts in terms of heritage preservation with Egypt?

Yes, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded conservation and preservation activities not only employing semi-skilled workers from the local population, but also improving the capacity and technical skills of archaeologists to better protect and manage these historic sites for future generations.

Our current activities focus on significant monuments and tourist destinations representing key elements of Egypt’s cultural heritage, including Pharaonic civilisation in Luxor, the Ottoman period in Esna, and Christianity in the Nile Valley in Sohag. The USAID is also working with the government to implement large-scale engineering projects to protect Kom Ombo and Edfu in Aswan, and the Catacombs in Alexandria from rising groundwater.

Additionally, Egypt received substantial funding from the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through the Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation, to protect its cultural heritage. 

Current projects include conservation work at the Seti I Temple in Abydos; conservation of the dome of the Imam al-Shafi’i mausoleum in Cairo; and restoration of Pharaonic wooden coffins at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

In November 2016, Egypt became the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to sign a bilateral agreement with the US on the protection of cultural property, and our two countries have been working closely together since then to prevent the illicit import and export of cultural property, thereby safeguarding Egypt’s priceless cultural heritage for Egypt’s people.  

How many programmes do you have implemented on cultural front? Can you describe their details?

The US Embassy and the US Consulate General in Alexandria present a wide range of cultural programmes in Egypt, ranging from educational exchange programmes and English language programmes to performances featuring visiting American artists. We also welcome Egyptian audiences to the American Centre in downtown Cairo and the American Corner at the Maadi Public Library, both of which offer a wide range of cultural and educational programmes.

Please elaborate on funds allocated to cultural programmes over years?

Because the funds for our cultural programmes come from a variety of sources, it is difficult to estimate the total amount. What I can say is that the US implements more cultural programmes in Egypt than in most countries around the world, which is an indication of the importance we place on strong people-to-people ties between our two countries.

Can you tell us of any upcoming programmes which you will start soon?

Yes, absolutely. We are looking forward to welcoming acclaimed American filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe to conduct workshops and master classes at El Gouna Film Festival’s CineGouna platform for young and emerging filmmakers from Egypt and across the MENA region. 

Along with our partners, we are already recruiting for the 2019/2020 ‘YES’ scholarship programme, which gives Egyptian students the opportunity to attend one year of high school in the US, while living with an American host family.

We are also preparing for the arrival of English Language Specialists during this academic year, who will work with NileTESOL, an Egyptian association for English teachers, and other English teachers throughout the country.  

Each year, 640 Egyptian teenagers join the English Access Micro-scholarship Programme, which provides intensive after-school English classes for a duration of two years and teaches students about American and Egyptian cultures. We are working with the Ministry of Culture to bring Tony Award-winning American playwright David Henry Hwang to Cairo as a speaker at this year’s Cairo International Festival of Contemporary and Experimental Theatre (CIFCET). Plus, we are looking forward to a workshop in September in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, bringing together Egyptian and American experts to discuss how to stop trafficking in Egyptian antiquities, and how to bring trafficked items back to Egypt. And that is just for the month of September.

Do you have programmes for people to people exchange? Could you provide details about them, including their importance?

We offer a full range of exchange programmes that send Egyptians to the US, from high school students to post-graduate researchers. The nature of the programmes vary, but all of them aim to increase mutual understanding between Egyptian and American people. Some of the programmes are educational in focus, such as our summer ‘Study of the United States Institutes’ which sends students and scholars to study at American universities. Some are more targeted at professionals, such as our ‘OneBeat’ programme for musicians, or our ‘Teaching Excellence and Achievement’ programme for teachers. Some exchange programmes target English teachers for short-term English language teacher training, as well as American culture. These teachers come back to share what they have learned with their peers in their local communities.

Some of these exchange programme opportunities are administered by partners at the Fulbright Commission and other exchange organisations, and some are run directly by the embassy. The full details for all of our exchange programmes can be found on the embassy’s website.

Beyond our exchange programmes run by the embassy’s cultural affairs office, our colleagues at the USAID also offer a number of important exchange opportunities. With their partners at the US National Academy of Sciences, the USAID promotes collaboration between US and Egyptian scientists to address development challenges and promote economic growth, particularly in applied research and technology commercialisation. The US-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, another important USAID programme in Egypt, provides hundreds of undergraduate scholarships to premier Egyptian and American universities for talented and underprivileged students in fields critical to Egypt’s sustained economic growth. This scholarship programme also provides opportunities for Egyptian professionals to pursue post-bachelor’s degree programmes or professional training courses in the US to develop skills that will strengthen standard business practices in their Egyptian workplaces.

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