Despite lean years, indicators suggest that Egypt’s tourism industry is rebounding
Egypt is implementing a grand plan to revive its floundering tourism industry. With the allocation of a multi-million-dollar budget, Cairo is adding attractions such as a Disneyland-inspired venue in the Matrouh Governorate and placing electric cars at the pyramids to revolutionize how tourists are transported.
The amusement park is being funded through a joint U.S.-Saudi Arabian $3.3 billion investment agreement signed between the Entertainment World Company and Matrouh Governor, Ala Abu Zeid. The park, which will also a feature a city devoted to education, accompanied by hotels and malls, will be built over the course of a decade with its first phase slated for completion in two years.
A 45-minute plane ride away from Matrouh lie the famous pyramids of Giza, a UNESCO World heritage site that has experienced a decline in tourism since Egypt’s violent revolution in 2011. Recent innovative efforts to connect the pyramids to the newly built Grand Egyptian Museum are intended to boost the number of visitors.
The maqaad Mamay Al-Seifi in Islamic Cairo has been successfully restored and reopened to the public this week, reports Nevine El-Aref
Islamic Cairo, listed on UN cultural agency UNESCO’s World Heritage List of outstanding cultural and natural heritage sites worldwide, is the best surviving collection of Islamic monuments in the world, dating from the seventh to the 20th century.
However, over recent decades environmental pollution, population density and other factors have posed increasing threats to the historic city. In 2002, a rehabilitation project to rescue it was launched, and many buildings and monuments were restored, among them those along historic Al-Muizz li-Din Allah Street and its neighbouring alleyways.
Road surfaces were given appropriate treatment and the street furniture was enhanced. Residential houses were given a make-over, bringing them into line with the area’s historical character and urban fabric, and a high-tech drainage system was installed as well as a new lighting system.
In 2010, the area was declared a pedestrian zone where people could enjoy the magnificent Islamic monuments within their original environment and experience the traditions and customs of those who lived during the various periods of the Islamic era.
Take an enchanting tour to visit the pyramids and tombs of ancient Egypt on this once-in-a-lifetime 10-day, small-group tour, including a four-night, all-inclusive luxury cruise on the famous Nile. Stay in luxurious five-star accommodation – including Mena House which sits mere minutes from the Pyramids of Giza – as you uncover thousands of years of history. See the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the astounding Valley of the Kings – home to the tomb of Tutankhamun, the ruins of the ancient city of Memphis and other incredible sights. All this plus all internal flights, a tour of Abu Simbel, the services of expert local guides and more.
From sweeping deserts to bustling cities, majestic temples to colourful souks, Egypt is full of charming locations just waiting for you to explore.
More than 193 countries will show their support for environment protection on the occasion of Earth Day on April 22. This year, around 120 countries, including USA and China, are also expected to sign the landmark Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Climactic change, rising sea levels, desertification, torrential monsoons and melting glaciers are rapidly altering the landscape of our planet. There are many scenic locations in the world that could disappear in the next few decades.
BELIZE BARRIER REEF RESERVE SYSTEM
The largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The spectacular coastal lagoons, clear water and the intriguing ‘Great Blue Hole’ (pictured) make it a perfect adventure destination. But in 2009, UNESCO included it in the ‘danger list’ feeling that there needs to be a stricter control on the abated construction.
Local authorities decided to close down the Saint Catherine Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on January 5 and January 6, when Christmas church services are held according to the Orthodox calendar. The general directorate of tourist police further ordered all tourist companies not to lead tours to the historic monastery.
Although the official reason for temporarily closing down the building and canceling Christmas is due to the establishment of a plan for the development of the surrounding area as befits a World Heritage Site, it is believed that the order came as a precautionary safeguard against terrorists targeting the site and any foreign tourists visiting it during the Christmas holiday.
Built in the mid-sixth century, Saint Catherine Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the world; additionally, it has the oldest continuously operating library in existence, with many precious manuscripts.
Egypt reopened on Saturday an ancient library that’s filled with a treasure trove of centuries-old religious and historical manuscripts at St. Catherine Monastery in South Sinai.
The ceremony at the UNESCO World Heritage site, attended by Egyptian and Western officials, comes after three years of restoration on the east side of the library that houses the world’s second-largest collection of early codices and manuscripts outside of the Vatican, Monk Damyanos, the monastery’s archibishop, told the Associated Press.
“The library is now open to the public and scholars,” Tony Kazamias, an adviser to the archbishop, said, adding that restoration work is still underway.
The Associated Press reports that the ancient library holds around 3,300 manuscripts of mainly Christian texts in Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Georgian and Slavonic among other languages. It also contains thousands of books and scrolls dating to the 4th century.
Findings believed to date back to 18th dynasty, in what experts are calling ‘the discovery of the year’
The Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiquities announced on Saturday the discovery of two ancient tombs at the necropolis of Draa Abou Naga, part of the Unesco World Heritage site of Thebes, near the Nile city of Luxor.
The occupants of the private tombs are as of yet unknown but believed by the ministry to date back to the 18th dynasty (1550BC to 1292BC). It’s the latest find of a series of discoveries in Draa Abou Naga, and Egypt in general, after the minister Khaled Alnani announced at the beginning of 2017 that it would be “a year of discoveries”.
The final resting places of two ancient officials contain colorful grave goods, an elaborate mural, and linen-wrapped human remains.
LUXOR, EGYPTEgyptian officials today announced the discovery and excavation of two tombs found in the necropolis of Dra’ Abu el-Naga in Luxor. The tombs, dated to the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 B.C.) belonged to officials who likely served here at the ancient capital of Thebes, now a UNESCO world heritage site.
The tombs were surveyed and numbered by German Egyptologist Friederike Kampp-Seyfried in the 1990s. At the time, the tomb known as Kampp 161 was never opened, while the tomb identified as Kampp 150 was only excavated to its entrance. The tombs were recently re-discovered and excavated by Egyptian archaeologists.
The names of the officials buried in the tombs remains unknown, as no inscriptions bearing the names of the tombs’ occupants have yet been found.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi suggests the cross-fertilisation of ideas and practices that we take for granted today has a much longer history.
Smashing the record for any work of art sold at an auction, the long-lost painting of Jesus Christ – Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci – has sold at Christie’s in New York for $ 450.3 million: nearly half a billion dollars.
Salvator Mundi was painted around 1500 and was presumed to be lost until early this century. It was consigned to Dmitry Rybolovlev – a Russian fertiliser billionaire – who had acquired it from a Paris-based dealer Yves Bouvier for $127m, who had, in turn, acquired it from Sotheby’s in a private sale in 2013 for $50m less.
The price escalation of the painting from $77m in 2013 to $450.3m in 2017 is unprecedented and astonishing.