Tourism – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Mon, 12 Nov 2018 13:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Tourism Ministry seeks to launch new private equity fund to overhaul sector https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/11/tourism-ministry-seeks-to-launch-new-private-equity-fund-to-overhaul-sector/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/07/egypts-tourism-to-contribute-15-to-gdp-this-year-al-mashat/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/06/hurghada-sharm-el-sheikh-expect-to-witness-44-and-40-growth-in-revenues-per-rooms-colliers/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/11/05/egypts-tourism-recovery-fdis-increase-keep-economic-growth-positive-ebrd/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/23/sharm-el-sheikh-insurance-reinsurance-rendezvous-to-revive-tourism-in-egypt-el-zoheiry/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/15/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-to-thrive-benefiting-from-positive-security-awareness-return-of-chartered-flights-colliers/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/04/taba-heights-to-diversify-its-leisure-activities-to-stimulate-tourism/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/german-tourism-to-egypt-expected-to-exceed-1million-by-year-end/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/10/03/lufthansa-group-to-receive-176-aircrafts-by-2025/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/29/kuwaiti-kharafi-group-considers-selling-a-hotel-in-marsa-alam/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/20/beit-al-umma-house-that-remains-immortal-to-tell-a-tale-of-a-great-leader/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/18/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-hotels-named-touristic-hotspots-18-13-forecasted-growth-respectively-colliers/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/09/egypt-became-fastest-growing-tourist-destination-unwto/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/tourism-sector-sees-remarkable-improvements-our-performance-numbers-reflect-this-hilton-luxor-general-manager/ https://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://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/05/us-invested-over-100m-to-conserve-egypts-monuments-masterpieces-over-23-years-old/ https://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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Stability drives increase in tourism revenues: Al-Mashat https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/04/stability-drives-increase-in-tourism-revenues-al-mashat/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/04/stability-drives-increase-in-tourism-revenues-al-mashat/#respond Tue, 04 Sep 2018 11:00:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=671839 Private sector contribution at 98%, Ministry's role mainly organisational 

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Egyptian tourism is in a state of recovery, after several years of being affected negatively by the problems suffered by the country, especially, terrorism.

Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat said that the sector’s figures this year will reflect the continued improvement that began last year, especially with the launch of a new promotional plan.

Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Al-Mashat, whereby she said that the Grand Egyptian Museum will be the heart of the new Egyptian tourism promotional campaign. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

Can you reveal Tourism Ministry’s expectations for tourism revenues as of 2018?

There are signs of positive signs since the beginning of the year, in terms of inflow and income compared to previous years. There is a significant growth in inflow that started in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, due to a number of reasons: the stability of the security situation in Egypt and the role of the political leadership in supporting tourism and enhancing foreign relations.

Tourism in Egypt is projected to realise good results by the end of the year, especially, as tourism demand picks up after the new promotional campaign that will be launched soon.

Can you tell us about your ministry’s plan to develop Egypt’s tourism sector?

We have an ambitious plan to develop the tourism sector, where the ministry implements an integrated

strategy based on more than one axis. The most important of these axes are the structural and organisational reforms of the ministry and the tourism sector as a whole, the development of the quality of services provided to tourists and maximising the competitiveness of the tourism sector in Egypt through investment in the human element to improve the efficiency of workers.

Here I would like to point out the importance of the training and qualification to create cadres able to raise the quality of services provided to tourists, which is consistent with the strategic vision of the ministry toward achieving the sustainable development of Egyptian tourism.

As for the promotional file, its tools are currently being updated as more modern social networking sites and digital platforms will be used. The ministry is about to announce its promotional campaigns soon, which will be launched under the slogan ‘People to People’ as a way the world can learn more about the Egyptian people, their customs, traditions, as well as culture.

The new promotional plan will also include promotion about the Grand Egyptian Museum under the slogan GEM 2020. The ministry is currently working on creating an agenda for recreational activities for Egypt throughout the year through the presence of international events and festivals.

The ministry’s promotional plan will also include advertising for each tourist destination separately by branding destinations.

Can you inform us of your ministry’s plan to develop hotel services?

The ministry is keen to heavily develop the quality of services offered to tourists in general and not only hotel services to maximise the tourist experience in Egypt. In terms of hotel services, the ministry is working to modernise the categories of hotel standards to match international standards. We have taken the first step in this regard, where a tourism expert came to Egypt to review the new norms of hotels.A training programme will also be put together to train workers and inspectors in the hotel department at the ministry to use the new system.

How does your ministry see private sector cooperation?

The private sector accounts for about 98% of the Egyptian tourism sector. It is an essential part of the industry. I would like to say that the ministry’s role is regulating the sector. The ministry works in favour of the local tourism generally and conducts structural and legislative reforms to the laws and regulations organising the tourism sector, which have been issued over 40 years ago. For example, the ministry issued a decision to amend some provisions of the joint regulations to the Egyptian Tourism Federation, in order to

simplify and facilitate their procedures for holding general elections of tourism chambers of commerce and their federations as soon as possible.

When will general elections of Tourism Chambers of Commerce be held?

It will be on Wednesday 31 October, after consulting the acting committees of the Egyptian Tourism Federation and the Chamber of Tourism Establishment. The ministry will open the door for candidates to be formally nominated on Saturday 8 September and will last for six working days until 15 September.

Can you reveal latest developments in real estate tax on hotels, tourist buildings?

The ministry recently signed a five- year protocol to solve the real estate tax crisis related to hotels and tourist buildings, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, represented by the Real Estate Tax Authority, starting from the date of activating the law from 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2018. The protocol took into account the interest of the private tourism sector, the main partner in the success of the tourism system, without prejudice to any of the state rights.

According to the protocol, it was agreed to take into consideration the investment cost of each hotel star rating according to the evaluation of the General Authority for Tourism Development (including the cost of land, buildings, fixtures, and all services) for the first five years of applying the law. Then the ministry will look into the situation for the next five years after the election of the Chamber of Tourism Establishment’s boards of directors and the Egyptian Tourism Federation, in accordance with the law in this regard.

The current protocol was reached after holding several meetings between representatives of the ministry of finance (Real Estate Tax Authority) on one side, and representatives of the tourism sector (Egyptian Tourism Federation, Chamber of Tourism Establishments, and Tourist Investors Associations) on the other hand to find the best method for evaluating tourism establishments. These establishments face many crises, and do not achieve full occupancy rates throughout the year.

 

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Egyptian Ministry of Tourism to participate in ‘WTM’ exhibition in November https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/03/egyptian-ministry-of-tourism-to-participate-in-wtm-exhibition-in-november/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/09/03/egyptian-ministry-of-tourism-to-participate-in-wtm-exhibition-in-november/#respond Mon, 03 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=671579 WTM fair one of most important events to increase reservations during coming winter, says official

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The General Authority for Tourism Development is preparing to participate in the World Travel Market (WTM) tourism exhibition, that will be held in London from 5 to 7 November.

The Authority contacted the Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA) and sent a letter explaining in it the cost of participation, the date of the conference, the payment, and the date of registration.

According to this letter that Daily News Egypt obtained a copy of, the cost of participation in the exhibition is €1350 and the deadline for payment is 5 September.

An official in the General Authority for Tourism Development said that the authority has an ambitious plan for Egypt’s participation in the WTM exhibition this year, which is considered as one of the world’s most important tourism fairs, as well as the annual ITB Berlin exhibition which is going to be held in March.


“The London fair is important for increasing winter reservations for Egypt during the next season until February 2019, while the Berlin exhibition is important for summer bookings,” the official said.

He added that British tourism was ranked second after Russian tourism in Egypt before the revolution in 2011.

Notably, the number of tourists coming to Egypt during the first half (H1) of this year reached 5 million tourists, achieving revenues worth $4.8bn, a growth of 77% compared to the same period last year.


The British government has been imposing a travel ban on its citizens to the city of Sharm el-Sheikh since the beginning of November 2015 following the crash of the Russian plane in the Sinai and the death of all its passengers.

Meanwhile, the number of British tourists who visited Egypt since the beginning of last year and until the end of November was 289,000 tourists, an increase of about 37% over the same period last year.

For his part, the former chairperson of the Egyptian Tourism Federation, Elhamy El-Zayat said that
that British tourism is important for Egypt, especially, for tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh region.


El-Zayat added that the British market is a major market for Egyptian tourism, and is not limited to beach tourism only, although it represents the largest part of it, but British tourists have a percentage of interest in cultural tourism in southern Egypt.

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Hidden stories of Egyptian Museum https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/30/hidden-stories-of-egyptian-museum/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/30/hidden-stories-of-egyptian-museum/#respond Thu, 30 Aug 2018 09:00:52 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=671110 As for most important monuments, those have an important story to tell

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A tour in the Egyptian Museum would take its visitors to ancient Egypt. It is a time travel journey to decipher the symbols of the amazing monuments and to know the meaning of the most important archaeological pieces in the museum.

The Egyptian Museum has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. The museum was opened in 1902, during the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmy II in the heart of Cairo.

The visitors would feel that they have crossed to another time, from the first step in the Egyptian Museum.

Upon entering the gates, the first thing visitors witness is the large garden with a fountain with lotus flowers, which the Pharaonic civilisation was famous for.

The front of the museum is rectangular shaped like the Karnak Temple, which represents the ancient Egyptian civilisation, and the sculptures are carved into the front which represent Cleopatra.

The museum’s interior columns are similar to the columns of Egyptian churches in the Coptic era and the dome of the museum is taken from the Islamic architecture. Then there is the spacious lobby with giant statues from Pharaonic Egypt.

The museum’s first floor is divided according to historical periods from the oldest to the most modern eras, whereby it is advisable to walk inside the museum clockwise. The second floor is divided by collections like Tutankhamun’s.

As for the most important monuments, those have an important story to tell.

Narmer Palette

It is a plate recording the victory of King Narmer and the unification of the two countries, according to the old views of archaeologists.

The title of Narmer, was the wrestler of catfish, the tour guide explained that he wrestled the catfish as punishment for it to eat part of Osiris’s body, according to the Osiris myth.

As for the inscriptions’ symbols, the first side depicts the fighting between Narmer and his enemies, and on the other side there are two monsters representing the unity of the north and south. Then there is a bull that represents Narmer when he beat his enemies.

According to the modern views of archaeologists, Narmer did not unite the north and the south, but rather, the king of the south in pharaonic Egypt, fought against an occupation in the north and became king of the south and north.

As for the two monsters and the ebull, there are inscriptions of the Gemini the astrological sign in their old forms and Taurus as it is known so far. The inscriptions define the time when Narmer went to fight the northern occupiers.

Collection of Queen Hetepheres I

Hetepheres I is the wife of pharaoh Sneferu and the mother of King Khufu.

In the collection there is a tent in the form of cubes, a bed, portable chair and, box containing hand bracelets. In addition,n there is another room containing the statue of Prince Rahotep and his wife Nefert.

He is the older brother of King Khufu, but he did not take the thorn, as he died after being injured in a hunting trip.

Rahotep’s statue is carved to contain many symbols, and one of his hands is on his chest, which means that “I am the son of the king and the other is closed and placed on his leg that means I was a strict commander in the army.”

Statue of King Mentuhotep II

What is noticeable in that statue is that the legs are bigger than the body, because the big legs symbolise the stability of his legs on the throne by resisting the demonstrations that occurred in his era.

Tutankhamen’s collection

As for the second floor, the most important archaeology is the collection of Tutankhamun’s.

The young king’s tomb was not exposed to thefts, which had happened with the rest of the royal tombs, therefore there is a whole collection of the King’s possessions that still exists.

The coffin of the king is composed of four coffins: the first is composed of stone, the second composed of wood, the third composed of the gold-plated wood with gemstones, and the last composed of pure gold.

The king’s gold coffin alone weighs 110 km of pure gold, while the gold mask weighs about 11 km.

There is also an alabaster bulb that has a picture of King Tutankhamen and his wife carved in, whereby when the bulb lights up, it reflects their image on the wall just like a small projector.

Protector of dead statue

Anubis the god of embalming and protector of the dead is actually a jackal.

Jackals are medium-sized omnivorous mammals of the genus Canis, which also includes wolves and they feed on dead bodies.

The reason why Egyptians take the jackal as the guardian of the dead is due to a short story. When ancient Egyptians bury someone, the jackal would come and eat their body, hence whenever people went to bury someone they bring meat with them to feed the jackal. Consequently, the jackal would sit in front of the grave as if it was guarding the tombs.

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Amigo hotel: stylish escape in historical centre of Brussels https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/28/amigo-hotel-stylish-escape-in-historical-centre-of-brussels/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/28/amigo-hotel-stylish-escape-in-historical-centre-of-brussels/#respond Tue, 28 Aug 2018 13:00:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=670872 This is first choice for business moguls, film stars, presidents

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The Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo is a luxurious, 173-room property set in the historical heart of Brussels and it includes 19 suites with a simple decor, top-quality dining with a cosy ambiance. The property is the quintessence of simple sophistication, and the welcoming and courteous employees strive to make all guests feel welcome. The location could hardly be more central as it is just off the Grand Place and minutes’ walk from several tourist attractions. The rooms are spacious and stylish with a modest luxury and eating and drinking options are excellent including sumptuous breakfasts with a high-end Italian cuisine. This is the first choice for business moguls, film stars, and presidents, but also for those who do not mind paying a premium price for staying somewhere special. The clientele is mostly affluent tourists and corporate business guests, and the signed portraits of celebrities and VIP guests grace the hotel walls to attest to their stay.

Accessibly located, the hotel offers guests quick and easy access to many of Brussels’ attractions, such as La Grande-Place square; Parc de Bruxelles, the city’s largest urban public park; the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium; and the famous Manneken-Pis statue. Other tourist attractions in the area include the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate about a block away. The area also has good public transport connections with the central train station under a 10 minutes’ walk. The hotel forecourt also has a pickup area for taxis, and Brussels Airport is about 20 minutes’ drive away.

This capital city of Belgium is well known for its gastronomy and stunning architecture that even people visiting for business make time to enjoy Brussels at their leisure, taking in the charming destination with beautiful scenery and architecture, friendly locals, great boutique and antique shopping, and plenty of culinary options including Irene and Lydia Forte who may be based in London, but they often travel via train to Brussels for meetings at Hotel Amigo, a property owned by their hotelier father Sir Rocco. Irene (Rocco Forte Hotel’s Brand Manager) and Lydia (restaurant and beverage development) were once quoted saying “Brussels is definitely having a creative moment, with an emerging contemporary art scene and cutting-edge concept shops and galleries popping up all over.”

There is in fact so much to see and do, and there are some fantastic boutiques, art experiences, and museums in Brussels that should not missed. Given Hotel Amigo’s location, it is very convenient to catch a tram or taxi to the Boghossian Foundation. In 2010, the Villa Empain—a 1930’s home in Brussels—was converted into a gallery and art centre by the Armenian-Lebanese Boghossian family. The resulting Boghossian Foundation not only promotes cultural exchange and education between eastern and western countries, but it ultimately hopes to use fine arts to inspire children and teenagers from around the world resulting in cultural understanding and appreciation. Classed as a historical monument by the Brussels-Capital Region, the Boghossian Foundation is a cultural association, which hosts a rich artistic programme and unique activities all year round: exhibitions, concerts, and conferences, dance performances, workshops for children, artist encounters, guided tours, meetings, film screenings, performances, yoga classes, and so on. Located in an upmarket residential area, it is an Art Deco masterpiece. From the striking front door to the rear swimming pool, the former home of Baron Louis Empain oozes a timeless chic. Designed by Swiss architect Michel Polak, it is now a museum promoting dialogue between eastern and western culture. There are some fascinating temporary exhibitions, such as a recent one featuring artworks by Daniel Buren, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol.

Amigo depicts a refined and distinctive style with an understated, calm luxury. Guests appreciate the stylish, artistic touches that make each bedroom unique. The attention to detail includes fixtures and fittings with a distinctive yet clear Belgian touch, surrealistic prints from Belgian artists such as Marcel Broodthaers and Rene Magritte are featured in many guestrooms—giving the feeling that it is not just another international hotel.

Talking about luxury, one cannot forget the oldest fine leather luxurious goods brand in the world, Delvaux which was founded in Brussels in 1829 by Charles Delvaux. Delvaux has been a warrant holder to the Royal Court of Belgium since 1883—a title it still holds today. Outstanding craftsmanship, high quality standards—and a deep sensitivity toward luxurious goods—define this exceptional house, where skilled artisans have devoted themselves to the production of timeless bags and accessories. Each Delvaux creation is handmade, originating from the brand’s own ateliers. The Delvaux luxury leather goods boutique on Galerie de la Reine is in close proximity to the hotel and in the holiday season of the year 2015, Hotel Amigo teamed up with Delvaux to create a special Christmas tree for the hotel on the theme of the surrealist Belgian painter Magritte, who was originally from Brussels too.

Carine Gilson’s Couture House is another must visit especially, for female travellers and guests at Hotel Amigo. Specialising in luxurious underpinnings and beachwear with a coquettish twist, the pieces are beautifully crafted from sumptuous Lyon silk and Chantilly lace all hand-stitched in the designer’s Brussels workshop. An avid storyteller, Gilson’s work is inspired by aspects such as the Garden of Eden and romantic architecture that form the most unique and beautiful range of lingerie. Receiving industry acclaim in the likes of Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, her matching sets and nightwear are a work of art to those that appreciate intimate luxury.

Michelin Guide have reviewed Hotel Amigo as, “a real institution, and one of the best hotels in Brussels! Its assets? Its central location…luxurious rooms, impeccable service, and refined charm.”

All the rooms feature large and well-equipped, marbled bathrooms. The simplest ‘classic’ rooms are 28 sqm, but there are several levels of luxury suites, some with interconnecting doors to adjacent rooms for families with children who might predominantly enjoy the ‘Tintin Suite’ where visitors will find all sorts of prints, characters, and collectables from Hergé’s famous comic book series The Adventures of Tintin at the hotel. Cribs, babysitting, and a children’s club are also available for children. For active guests a gym and fitness centre are provided. The very top of the range is the Armand Blaton Suite, which is a presidential suite category, with a large rooftop terrace overlooking the city.

Hotel Amigo is a special place that truly embodies the city of Brussels such that when Olga Polizzi designed the hotel, she immersed herself in the destination, in order to incorporate local touches. Superbly located in the very heart of Brussels, adjacent to one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, Grand Place, close to Brussels’ financial district and within easy walking distance of the antiques district of Le Sablon, Hotel Amigo clearly provides a stylish and central base, from which to explore the city. Celebrity or not, guests can expect to receive star treatment at this historic hotel that has an ideal location and a reputation for excellence, which is absolutely justified.

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Egypt maintains its position as first destination for MENA-based travellers in Q2 of 2018: Wego https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/27/egypt-maintains-its-position-as-first-destination-for-mena-based-travellers-in-q2-of-2018-wego/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/27/egypt-maintains-its-position-as-first-destination-for-mena-based-travellers-in-q2-of-2018-wego/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 15:13:18 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=670766 In Europe, UK, Germany remain first, second respectively

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Wego, the online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announced on Monday in its report that Egypt continued its reign as the first destination for MENA based travellers in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018.

This report highlights the rise and fall in popularity of travel destinations among travellers from the MENA region. The destination rankings are derived from the flight and hotel search activity of millions of Wego’s applications and website users during Q2 of 2018.

According to the report, Egypt maintains its position as the first destination due to the continued patronage of both leisure and business travellers from the region.

It continued that visitors cannot seem to stay away from this enigmatic country, popular for its historical sites, stunning river cruises, bustling markets, and all-around value for money.

Meanwhile, India jumped a significant two places to reach the second position in Q2 of 2018 up from being the fourth in the same period last year.

The report explained that this significant jump is probably a result of the holy month of Ramadan beginning in mid-May and many Gulf-based Indian expats who chose to travel to their home country during this period (or immediately afterwards). 

Similarly, in Pakistan it jumped two places also from the 11th to the ninthh position for the same aforementioned reason.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that Saudi Arabia has been pushed down to the third spot from the second position in Q2 of 2018.

The report stated the fact that Saudi Arabia remains a popular destination in Q2 among domestic and international visitors who travel for business, leisure and Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) purposes.

Furthermore, the report stated that Turkey was also moved down one spot in Q2 to reach the fourth position.

 “The UAE retains its spot as the fifth most popular destination, a position that it has been holding on to for the last four quarters,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, Indonesia and Jordan maintain their position as the sixth and seventh position in Q2 of 2018.

The report stated that travel to the Philippines from the MENA region saw strong growth in Q2 in 2018, reaching the eighth spot instead of the 10th spot.

In that context, the report explained that this appears to have been caused by expats travelling home during Ramadan, marketing efforts by the Philippine Department of Tourism and the opening up of new airline routes.

Also, Pakistan jumped two spots in Q2 of 2018 to reach the ninth position instead of being ranked number 11 in Q2 of 2017.

Finally, Morocco ranked as tenth in Q2 of 2018 compared to number 11 in Q1 of 2017.

Concerning Europe, the report stated that the United Kingdom ranked in first position and Germany was in second position, continuing to lead the pack as the most popular European destinations for visitors from the MENA region.

On the other hand, in terms of Asia, the four tropical destinations of Indonesia are the Philippines at number one, followed by Thailand at number two, Malaysia at number 3 and they retain their spots.

Finally, the report assured that rQ2 of 2018 has seen significant changes in the ranking of the most popular destinations for MENA-based travellers. This reflects changing consumer tastes and shifting market conditions within the region.

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Experience modern city life at heart of historic Munich, Germany: Charles Hotel https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/27/experience-modern-city-life-at-heart-of-historic-munich-germany-charles-hotel/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/27/experience-modern-city-life-at-heart-of-historic-munich-germany-charles-hotel/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 11:00:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=670703 Overlooking the peaceful Old Botanical Gardens, The Charles Hotel is an elegant hotel conveniently located within walking distance from Munich’s Central train station and the Kunstareal, the museum quarter that showcases some of Bavaria’s most prestigious cultural attractions, as well as the designer boutiques that line Maximilianstrasse, one of the city’s royal avenues. Built in …

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Overlooking the peaceful Old Botanical Gardens, The Charles Hotel is an elegant hotel conveniently located within walking distance from Munich’s Central train station and the Kunstareal, the museum quarter that showcases some of Bavaria’s most prestigious cultural attractions, as well as the designer boutiques that line Maximilianstrasse, one of the city’s royal avenues. Built in 2007, on the site of a former university library, The Charles Hotel has a total of 160 rooms, of which 24 are suites including the Royal Suite Monforte. While most of the Rocco Forte Hotels are situated in historical old buildings, The Charles Hotel is a completely newly built hotel and one of Munich’s most captivating buildings and has been awarded the prize for Best Architectural Hotel. The interior design tells three different stories: one of the Forte Family, one of the Old Botanical Gardens, and one of Munich and its art heritage. The hotel is named after Lord Charles Forte, the father of Sir Rocco Forte.

“Our guests have meetings in generous rooms with daylight and state of the art technique, sleep in the largest rooms and swim in the city’s longest hotel indoor pool, and enjoy healthy coffee breaks and modern international cuisine in Sophia’s Restaurant and Bar with a terrace surrounded by trees,” according to Frank Heller, director of The Charles Hotel.

Munich is in fact a burgeoning art world to discover and offers the city’s best art institutes to uncover a creative industry that’s sure to intrigue and inspire. From historical collections at leading museums to modern works at the city’s best contemporary art galleries, follow this essential guide to the Munich art scene. Located right in the museum quarter, The Charles Hotel is the perfect location to start your tour. Lenbachhaus is one of the most important art museums in Munich and is located just behind The Charles Hotel. It is a leading space for local and visiting art history enthusiasts. Curators put together insightful exhibitions focusing on key artworks from the 19th century, including pieces from The New Objectivity movement (a style of Expressionism developed in Germany in the 1920s), and works by artists from the acclaimed Der Blaue Reiter group of the 1910s, as well as historical artworks, and showcases contemporary art by international artists to encourage a dynamic dialogue between the past and the present.

For attractions and destinations further afield, a broad range of underground and tram services are also available nearby. Guests can reach museums, the lively art scene and the English Garden, one of the world’s largest city parks, by foot in only a few minutes. The English Garden rivals London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park in size and is a popular playground for locals and visitors alike. Home to Bavaria’s Wittelsbach rulers from 1508 until World World I, the Residenz is Munich’s number-one attraction. The amazing treasures, as well as all the trappings of Wittelsbach’s lifestyle over the centuries, are on display at the Residenz museum, which takes up around half of the palace. The Main Station or the suburban train and underground connections is only 300 meters away from the hotel and the International Airport can be reached within 40 minutes by car or by the suburban train.

With spacious, contemporary rooms featuring artwork and warm décor that comes with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, delicious modern European cuisine at Sophia’s restaurant, modern meeting spaces and a state-of-the-art spa with the city’s longest indoor pool, The Charles Hotel undoubtedly presents remarkable facilities. Furthermore, upgraded rooms add views of the botanical gardens and suites add separate living areas and/or extras, such as complimentary breakfast and minibars.

The hotel’s rooms are considered among the most spacious in the city; bedrooms are plainly but pleasingly finished in taupe, moss green, and creams. Some rooms offer views of the adjacent Old Botanical Gardens from French balconies, while all feature liberally sized limestone bathrooms with heated flooring. In the rooms, large art photographs of Hubertus von Hohenlohe are also an eye-catching. The pictures show the artist against a background of Munich scenery. A further connection to Munich is the wall decoration in each bathroom—the architect Sattler had this especially made for the hotel in the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory. With Adam or Eve as theme, this also tells the story of creation.

The Rocco Forte Hotels is the only European 5-Star hotel chain, which is family-managed since four generations. The comfort and the wellbeing of the guests are part of the family tradition. Suites stand out too, with most categories provide guests with complimentary minibars and airport transport. The most impressive abode of all is the Monforte Presidential Suite, which can be combined with three connecting suites to occupy an entire floor.

The programme especially developed for the suite guests, gives the guests a maximum of comfort and time to enjoy their suite, the city and their life to the full. “Nowadays, for many people time is the biggest luxury. We give our guests the time by dealing with certain things or think along with them,” explains Heller, adding, “the Suite Experience Programme, for example, makes packing and unpacking of suitcases or ironing needless for our guests.”

Set in an inviting, light-filled room, the newly established restaurant Sophia’s at The Charles puts vegetables and fruits centre stage and promises a refreshingly light substitute to the heavy dishes most commonly associated with this region. The upscale restaurant with part outdoor seating is unique in the sense that it provides uncommonly generous breakfasts offering Middle Eastern cuisine for those that desire a distinctive culinary journey. Chef Michael Hüsken that heads up the kitchen was in fact trained in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and mentioned that the, “Middle Eastern cuisine is the most popular ethnic cuisine now and has won the hearts of food lovers from all over the world. Talk about, hummus, falafel, and tahini and you would find people asking for more.”

The hotel’s buffet breakfast, is abundant, varied, and exceptionally generous: it is in fact available until 2:00 pm on weekends and public holidays, which makes it different than what is usually offered.

The former Michelin starred chef, has experience in some of Germany’s most well-regarded restaurants, including Lafer’s Stromburg, Käfer’s, Acquarello, Schloss Elmau, Geisels Werneckhof, and Reisers am Stein. His menu for Sophia’s stresses the importance of regional and seasonal products, with some guest appearances for more exotic flavours and ingredients. Though the highest quality meats and freshest fish are also available from his specialist butcher, and fishermen, vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs take centre stage. Guests will find dishes like beetroot, ricotta, cumin with iced pumpernickel; char with soubise and sweet and sour onions; and duck breast, with carrot ginger puree, wild broccoli and tamarind jus.

Hüsken said, “I try to cook food which is spontaneous, individual and personal. I want my guests to enjoy surprising and gastronomic food, presented simply and delivered with warm and easy hospitality. We cook with our usual high standards, but do not only serve our guests the filet that is found on many menus, but also other often tastier pieces of the meat as a shoulder, neck or belly. And of course, fresh herbs and vegetables will play a significant role.”

One cannot overlook the civil, calm, and courteous, staff that are always welcoming, helpful, pleasant, and professional. Not to forget, given Munich’s economic importance, the hotel offers plentiful business facilities including on-site tailoring service, but more enticing amenities are the upscale spa, with sauna and steam rooms, and a munificently sized indoor swimming pool—a lovely space, in which to while away a day during severe autumn or winter visits. The pool, measuring 15×8 metres, is actually the longest indoor pool in Munich. The Charles Spa, the wellness area of the 5-star Superior hotel induces the innovative concept of ‘Wellness for Myself’ :The idea behind the concept is based on the term ‘Selfness’ and is a continuation of the idea of ‘wellness,’ explains Johanna Schneider, the Spa Manager at The Charles Spa. “It is about a holistic, sustainable concept of wellbeing which not only restores energy but also sustainably which optimises personal lifestyle,” summarises Johanna.

World’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor featured a recent review by a visitor which stated, “the staff was friendly and quite accommodating. The concierge had great recommendations and was helpful in finding us transportation. The food at the restaurant was quite good and the service was wonderful.”

The Charles is also considered as a very family-friendly hotel and the hotel is mindful of making it a memorable stay for families, such that a special ladder is available at check-in, whereby little guests can reach the reception desk. Among the ample range of special services and amenities, children will also receive a teddy bear, colouring books, and cookies at turndown, while babies are provided with complimentary meals and 24-hour babysitting services. One visitor was extremely impressed who reviewed it online and expressed, “I can’t begin to say enough about this hotel. We stayed in July 2018 with our three kids. We had adjoining rooms—in the children’s room, they had children’s sized robes/slippers, a PlayStation, coloured pencils, and colouring books, special children’s shampoo/conditioner/body wash, etc. It was so very thoughtful.”

An elegant and cosmopolitan 5-star hotel, The Charles is certainly one of the landmarks of luxury accommodations in Munich with a unique and wholesome disposition. The consistent service alone is impressive and is accompanied with a clean and safe hotel design in a convenient location. The Charles Hotel is one of those places that will not have a hard time converting first timers into repeat guests.

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‘Swiss Inn Hotels & Resorts’ to inaugurate three additional hotels in Egypt over one year https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/18/swiss-inn-hotels-resorts-to-inaugurate-three-additional-hotels-in-egypt-over-one-year/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/18/swiss-inn-hotels-resorts-to-inaugurate-three-additional-hotels-in-egypt-over-one-year/#respond Sat, 18 Aug 2018 14:08:37 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=670131 Group mulls expansions in Addis Ababa, Jordan, says chairperson

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Swiss Inn Hotels & Resorts plans to inaugurate three additional hotels in the Egyptian market over one year, the group’s Chairperson Anton Good told Daily News Egypt, adding that the group is already managing 10 hotels in Egypt right now.

Good added that first hotel is expected to be inaugurated in Sharm El-Sheikh within three or four months, while the two other hotels will be opened in Marsa Alam and south Hurghada in one year.

He noted that Sharm El-Sheikh is still facing challenges, over the missing Russian tourists, while most of the hotels’ occupancy is mostly by Egyptians, adding, “occupancy is good, but rates are very low.”

Following the Russian plane crash end of October 2015 in Sinai, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, amid concerns over the airport’s security practices, banning travel to Sinai.

Good mentioned that expansion in the neighbouring region is very complicated, which pushed the group to close its hotel in Adan, Yemen, because there were no rates, saying that the group is mulling inaugurating three hotels outside Egypt.

Moreover, he also mentioned that his group is expected to open two hotels in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, noting that the plan includes opening one hotel in Amman, Jordan.

Swiss Inn Hotels & Resorts has evolved into a highly regarded niche hotel management company, since its founding in 1994 by Good. With over 10 hotels and resorts existing or under construction in the core markets of Egypt and Middle East, this group is clearly positioned in the niche segment.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada occupancy grows over 30% in Q2 2018: Colliers https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/15/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-occupancy-grows-over-30-in-q2-2018-colliers/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/15/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-occupancy-grows-over-30-in-q2-2018-colliers/#respond Wed, 15 Aug 2018 15:33:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=669904 Supply rise by 9% in KSA, 3% in UAE, 2.1% in Egypt in same period

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Egypt’s resort towns of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continue their recovery as both posted growth in occupancy by 34% and 39%, respectively, year over year (y-o-y) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, according to Colliers’ quarterly MENA review report. The witnessed increase was driven by increased security measures, tourism campaigns, and increased consumer confidence.

In terms of hotel supply, Saudi Arabia’s hotel inventory grew by 9%, the equivalent of 3,800 rooms, in Q2 2018, and the highest growth was witnessed in Dammam and Khobar with a 15% increase in supply.

Meanwhile, in Egypt’s case, a 2.1% increase was witnessed, or 1,700 rooms, keeping in mind that the InterContinental Hotels Group are continuing their plans to increase their portfolio, with the signing Holiday Inn, and Satybridge Suites Giza Sun Capital. On the other hand, the UAE’s hotel supply grew by 2,450 rooms, or 3%, mainly the new opening in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Moreover, in terms of the average daily rates (ADR), Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada both witnessed a boom of 20% and 26%, respectively, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah with a10% increase in ADR, Kuwait’s Manama with a 10% increase, and the UAE’s Fujairah, which grew by 5%.

On the other hand, Makkah’s ADR shrunk by 12%, while in the UAE, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi witnessed a 6% decrease in ADR, as both cities dropped tourism related fees for hotels in order to increase competitiveness.

Colliers forecasted that Saudi Arabia’s outlook forecast is to witness strong growth in occupancy, with domestic tourism as the key driver of such growth, supported by investments in entertainment industries, with the opening of the first multiplex cinema and the screening of the first film after 30 years in April.

In Egypt’s case, recoveries in occupancy and the ADR are expected to continue, with the strengthening of the domestic tourism market and the return of key source markets, while in the UAE, Abu Dhabi is expected to lead the growth in occupancy, while other cities such as Sharjah, Fujairah, and Ras Al-Khaimah expect growth in the ADR.

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80% increase in British tourism to Egypt by end of 2018: The Guardian https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/11/80-increase-in-british-tourism-to-egypt-by-end-of-2018-the-guardian/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/11/80-increase-in-british-tourism-to-egypt-by-end-of-2018-the-guardian/#respond Sat, 11 Aug 2018 16:56:01 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=669297 Experts argue that British tourism will not return with high percentage unless UK abandons ban on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh, call on government to launch marketing campaign

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The British newspaper The Guardian revealed on Friday that British tour operators have revealed an increase in non-European tour bookings, led by Egypt, expecting an 80% increase in British tourism to Egypt by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook explained that it now has the largest number of customers returning to Egypt, which helps in making Egypt a “great destination in the summer of 2018.”

The report pointed out that reservations to Egypt exceeded expectations, which led Thomas Cook Airways to increase the number of flights to the preferred destination to 11 flights per week this summer.

Commenting on this, tourism experts told Daily News Egypt that they could not expect a percentage for the British tourism increase in Egypt, unless the UK abandons its ban on flights to Sharm El-Sheikh.

For his part, Elhamy El-Zayat, the former head of Egypt’s Federation of Tourism Chambers, told DNE that before the 2011 revolution, Russian tourists were ranked number one in the touristic map of Egypt, followed by British and German tourists.

He explained that after the revolution, tourism in Egypt suffered a devastating blow, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its passengers were killed.

Notably, following the plane crash, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh amid concerns over the airport’s security practices, banning travel to Sinai.

In January 2018, the Russian government gave permission for flights to resume to Egypt after a two-year hiatus, and Russian flights returned to Cairo in April. On the other hand, the UK is still imposing bans on travel to Sinai, and hence tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh is very limited.

El-Zayat said that the revenues of Russian tourism to Egypt before the 2011 revolution stood at about EGP 3m, while the British tourism revenues reached about EGP 1.5bn.

He added that in order to return British tourism to Egypt again, the government has to launch a marketing campaign for tourism in Egypt.

Agreeing with El-Zayat, Adel Abdel Razek, a member of the Egyptian Federation for Tourist Chambers, told DNE that in order to retrieve British tourism to Egypt by a high percentage as it was, the government should launch a marketing campaign, assuring that the touristic office in London should cooperate with the government to promote tourism to Egypt through making British people who have never visited Egypt before more aware about the difference between North Sinai and Sharm El-Sheikh, explaining to them that Sharm El-Sheikh is far from the issues of North Sinai and that it is safe.

In addition, the government should use non-traditional ways in promoting tourism.

He explained that the return of British tourism to Egypt is very important economically, as their tourists’ average spending is higher than that of the Eastern European countries, who just stay at the hotels, while British tourists spend a lot as they partake in many activities.

El-Zayat continued that Egypt is considered among the cheapest countries in terms of tourism, explaining that British tourists come to Marsa Allam, Hurgahda, Luxor, and Aswan, spending a week at any of the aforementioned places at a very cheap cost of roughly £200.

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‘City of the Dead’: mesmerizing forgotten place in heart of Cairo  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/09/city-of-the-dead-mesmerizing-forgotten-place-in-heart-of-cairo/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/09/city-of-the-dead-mesmerizing-forgotten-place-in-heart-of-cairo/#respond Thu, 09 Aug 2018 09:00:15 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=669043 Although there are many well-known historical spots in Cairo, The City of the Dead remains an ancient necropolis that almost no one knows about. This city has several places to visit and many stories to tell. Nonetheless, knowing these stories face an obstacle, having a tour guide while visiting the place as it is hard …

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Although there are many well-known historical spots in Cairo, The City of the Dead remains an ancient necropolis that almost no one knows about. This city has several places to visit and many stories to tell. Nonetheless, knowing these stories face an obstacle, having a tour guide while visiting the place as it is hard to reach.

The Desert of the Mamluks or the Cairo Necropolis is an Islamic necropolis below the Mokattam Hills in south-eastern Cairo, Egypt. That area was from the Cairo Citadel to the Abbassia district.

This place has many graves dating back to the Mamluks and Khedive Tawfiq family.

Egyptians call it “el’arafa”, (which in Arabic means cemetery—a name that is usually disliked or not digested peacefully by Egyptians). However, the place is not named for the graves it has, it was actually named after the tribe of “Banu Qarafa”, one of the first tribes to come with Al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah and lived in that area, the tour guide explained.

The city consists of several touristic spots, each belonging to different people who all lived in the same era.

Kobet Afendina

It is the second largest and most beautiful grave in the world after the Taj Mahal. The royal graves, the place where the graves are built, is surrounded by gardens, followed by a big gate, then a garden with pomegranate trees. Then there is a huge four-column dome surrounded by four small domes.

The graves inside are more like etemples rather than graves. It is like one of the reception rooms in a place. It is built according to the Mamluk architecture designs. The walls and floors are made of marble and embellished with golden decorations, as well as it has stained-glass windows. There is also a sofa, which was designed on the occasion of  the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

Emina Ilhamy, the wife of Khedive Tawfiq and the mother of Khedive Abbas Helmi II, ordered the construction of the grave according to the Mamluk style in 1870. 

There you find the graves of Khedive Tawfiq, his wife Emina Ilhamy and their sons, Abbas Helmy II and his brother Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfiq.

There are also the graves of the son and daughter of Khediwi Abbas Helmi II, the Prince Mohamed Abdel Moneim and Princess Fathia.

Complex of Sultan al-Ashraf Qaytbay

Qaytbay’s complex, which was built in 1474, includes several facilities, such as a mosque, school, dome, sabil (water tab for passerby to drink from for free), tub (drinking trough for animals), and rab’ (an old name for the local markets in which people trade take place).

Unlike what is commonly said that what remained from that complex is only the mosque, tour guides assure that what remains today from all of that is actually the school. The common cultural mistake is corrected by studies, which proved that the architecture design of the place was built as the school-style design of that era. The school is attached to the grave of Qaytbay and his sons. The school is not very big it has four Iwans, (an Iwan is a hall or space, walled on three sides, with one end entirely facing the courtyard).

The school is under a renovation process right now, but it is remarkable that there are stained-glass windows.

Other than the school, there is also a tub and a rab’. At one point it was also described to have had large gardens. The tub is next to the school, and still exists in its original state and the rab’ is also in the same state. At one point it was also described to have had large gardens.

The grave has the third biggest Quran holder in the Islamic monuments. It also has two stones with footprints of the Prophet Muhammad.

Qaytbay was the 18th Burji Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. Burji Mamluk was a Circassian Mamluk dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 1382 until 1517. The Burji Mamluk rulers’ era can be described as an era with short-lived sultans, as the political power-plays often became important when designating a new sultan. In Arabic, “Burji” means the tower, referring to them as they ruled from the Citadel east of Cairo, which was the highest tower of the city back then.

The Mamluk in Egypt had two reigns. The first reign was the Bahri Mamluks ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382. The term Bahri refers to “river” which surround al-Rawdah island in Cairo, where the Mamluks lived and it was built by Sultan Ayyub.

The second reign was Burji Mamluk it was a Circassian Mamluk dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 1382 until 1517. That era can be described as an era with short-lived sultans, as the political power-plays often became important in designating a new sultan. Their name means (the tower), referring to them ruling from the Citadel east of Cairo.

Al-Ashraf Barsbay mosque

The small mosque includes Barsbay’s grave inside. Due to the low economy, Al-Ashraf Barsbay built his mosque with two Iwans instead of four Iwans.

Al-Ashraf Sayf-al-Din Barsbay was the ninth Burji Mamluk sultan of Egypt. During the ruler Barsbay’s (lion), era the Egyptian economy was not strong, people mixed copper with gold in the currency industry, which led to the devaluation of the Egyptian currency and people began using the currency of Venice, hence he collected all the currency available and re-manufactured them in the form of the Egyptian currency, which restored the value of the Egyptian currency.

Nasir-ad-Din Faraj complex

Nasir-ad-Din Faraj ruled after his father Sayf-ad-Din Barquq to become the second Sultan of the Burji of the Mamluk of Egypt.

The complex was built based on the will of Faraj’s father, who requested to keep his memory and story alive after his death.

Faraj’s father was named Barquq, an Arabic meaning that has the synonym of starring. Known with it for the rest of his life. Before being a ruler, at the slavery time, he was always called that for starring all the time. The real name of Faraj’s father was never identified. Hundreds of years later, he is still being called “Barquq”.

Faraj was born in 1386, in the same year his father was deposed and was imprisoned in Karak in Jordan, therefore Barquq considered his son as bad luck and named him Belgack (disaster in Tatar language). Then the next year his father was brought back to power, hence he changed his son’s name to Faraj (relief).

Faraj’s complex is a school, sabil and the kotab (elementary school).

Faraj’s school is the largest school in Islamic architecture, while the Madrasa (school) of Sultan Hassan is the tallest. Inside the school, there are the grave of Nasir-ad-Din Fara, his father and his family.

The place is built with the well-known Mamluk architecture design. With large open-door spacious places, giant dome. The place follows the same style of Sultan Hassan Mosque. )

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Hotels, resorts use solar energy to cut bills https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/07/hotels-resorts-use-solar-energy-to-cut-bills/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/08/07/hotels-resorts-use-solar-energy-to-cut-bills/#respond Tue, 07 Aug 2018 17:06:49 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=668948 Negotiations with KarmSolar to implement plants, systems to produce electricity, says Rady

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A group of hotels and resorts in Marsa Alam are considering contracting with KarmSolar for the provision of processed diesel to generate electricity, which reduces the quantities of consumption.

Adel Rady, chairperson of the Investors Association in Marsa Alam, said that the consumption of electricity generated by solar energy has increased during the current period with the increase in the cost of conventional electricity during the recent period.

He told Daily News Egypt that the number of resorts moving to install solar systems has amounted to three, noting that they received offers from some solar companies to set up plants to produce up to 1,000 kW.

Tourist occupancy in Marsa Alam during the past months rose up to about 70%, according to Rady, and room prices have reached $120 per night.

He noted that some hotels still have rooms for under $100 per night, but there is a general trend of prices going up in the past two months.

Ahmed Zahran, chief executive of KarmSolar, said that the company signed contracts to sell energy to private companies, factories, and hotels in Minya, Marsa Alam, and Western Desert’s Bahareya Oasis, including stations that will soon be completed.

He explained that the company aims to secure electricity for the sector at prices lower than government prices, adding that the contracts extend over 25 years at a fixed rate, while ownership of the plants remain with KarmSolar.

Zahran said that KarmSolar manages the financing of the projects through a number of banks and contributes part of its own sources.

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Walls of Fatimid Cairo, along with man who puzzled history https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/26/walls-of-fatimid-cairo-along-with-man-who-puzzled-history/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/26/walls-of-fatimid-cairo-along-with-man-who-puzzled-history/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:00:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=667507 Fatimid Cairo is fourth capital in Islamic history

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When Jawhar Al Sicily, the Fatimid general in Caliph Al-Mu’izz era, ordered to build Fatimid Cairo he ordered to build walls also to fortify the capital and the army was guarding those walls, then the walls were then restored by Saladin.

Cairo was not the name Jawhar had chosen for the new capital, but he named it as Al-Mansouriya after the name of Al-Mu’izz father, and when Al-Mu’izz came to Egypt he changed the name to Cairo or El-Kahera.

There are two stories that try to explain why he chose El-Kahera, which means the conqueror, as a name.

The first story tells that the Caliph Al-Mu’izz was fond of stars, whereby when the capital was built, the “oracles” were used to choose the right place to build the capital. They set up bells in several places and they were supposed to ring the bells after studying the stars positions and setting the right place, but some crows came and stood on the bells, by which the builder thought it was the signal and started the construction, in that time there was only one star in the sky, which was planet Mars or which they called El-Kaher star, hence the caliph named the city after the Mars.

The other story is when Caliph Al-Mu’izz came to Egypt and named the capital El-Kahra saying” it might conquer the capitals of the world.”

The walls surrounding the capital have three doors, Bab Zuwaila, Bab el Nasr and Bab Al-Futuh, each name have a story to tell.

Bab Zuwilla its name dates back to the tribe of Zuwaila, the first tribe to come from Morocco with the Caliph Al-Mu’izz. This tribe settles in Zuwila alley and the most famous person of those who belong to that tribe and died a while ago is the scientist Ahmed Zewail.

Bab Al-Nasr, which means the door of victory, that door was opened to the army when they won in battles.

Bab Al-Futuh, which means the door of conquest, they used to open that door for the army when it went out to battle in order to conquer new cities.

Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah, the man who puzzled history, he was the sixth Fatimid caliph and succeeded his father Abū Mansūr Nizār Al-Azīz at the age of eleven. Some accused him of injustice, others of madness, others said he was fair, but his policy was strict.

Because of his strange decisions, he prevented the cultivation of Malukhia and grapes, prevented women from going out of the house, prevented manufacturers from making shoes for them, and turned the night into morning and morning to night. But in his defence, he has a reason for each decision.

He prevented the cultivation of Malukhia, because according to medical reports it causes sluggishness, and the citizens in his era suffered from inactivity and laziness because of their addiction to eating  Malukhia.

He also did not prevent the cultivation of grapes, but reduced it, due to the large number of wines industry in his era.

Then for women in his reign, the work of women has spread, causing the unemployment of men and the spinsterhood, therefore, women were prevented from working and to ensure that they do go out for work, he ordered the shoe manufacturers to stop making women’s shoes.

He turned the night into morning and morning to night because people in his era used to sleep in morning and wake up at night, so to force them to work he change the work hours to be at night.

He was accused also for being mad but who accused him was Sitt Al-Mulk, his sister, she accused him after he was killed, and history scientists say that she was the first suspect in the murder, as she had a good reason to kill him, because he killed her lover.

Sitt al-Mulk loved the Chief of Police whose name was Ghabn, he was one of the Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah’s servants. In 1011 AD he was promoted to be the commander in chief. Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah appointed him to be in charge of social regulations.

Ghabn used to send poetic love letters to Sitt al-Mulk, later on Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah found one of those letters by chance, so on November 1013 AD Ghabn was punished by the caliph by cutting one of his hands (the right hand), but Ghabn did not stop and wrote the poetic letters with his left hand, eventually the caliph ordered to cut his other hand, and the hand was sent to the caliph on a plate. That plate was put in a fort of the caliph’s palace for people to see it. 

However, Ghabn did not stop, he read poetry in fort of the palace, for everyone to hear, yet he was punished by having his tongue cut, and then he was killed.

The plate in which held the hand of Ghabn is in the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, which was decades was placed there. This plate is one of the largest plates in Islamic Arts.

Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah’s mysterious case of his murder remains uncertain. History says he was killed, yet the Shiite sect said he was not killed because they did not find his body, but he was lifted to heaven of Shiite, as he is the Mahdī, the redeemer of Islam and ultimate saviour of humankind and the final Imām who will emerge with Jesus Christ, in order to bring peace and justice to the world, and in order to do so he will come again to his mosque to start his mission.

Therefore, the Shiite sect was responsible for the renovations that took place in the mosque of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah in Al-Mu’izz Street, during the former President Anwar Al-Sadat’s reign. oas.

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Discussing status quo, challenges of hotel investment tourism in Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/25/discussing-status-quo-challenges-of-hotel-investment-tourism-in-egypt/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/25/discussing-status-quo-challenges-of-hotel-investment-tourism-in-egypt/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2018 08:00:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=667276 Egypt is ranked second largest branded hotel market in  Middle East, third in Africa, says Marriott International president

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While tourism is slowly recovering from the crisis following the downing of the Russian Metrojet aeroplane in Sinai in October 2015, hotel tourism has been struggling to survive the deteriorating conditions in Egypt with attempts to re-attract tourists and increase the number of investments in the Egyptian market.

As the largest international hotel company operating in Egypt, with 18 hotels and resorts and more across seven brands, including The Ritz – Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance, Sheraton, Le Meridien, and Westin, Daily News Egypt interviewed Arne M Sorenson, the president and CEO at Marriott International, and Alex Kyriakidis, the president and managing director for the Middle East and Africa at Marriott International.

In a round table interview, they discussed the challenges that the tourism sector faces in Egypt and the investment potentials the market holds. The transcript for which is below, lightly edited for clarity:

How do you find Egyptian market when it comes to hotel investment, especially after global deterioration in tourism sector?

Sorenson: We are gratified that business is coming back really well in the past couple of years. When you look at the performance today compared to 2015, Marriott occupancy increased 50% in top-line hotels, which makes a huge difference in the ways these hotels are performing.

We are not back yet to peak levels at all, but we make sure that Egypt grows as a tourism market.

Where is Egypt located from touristic market in region?

Kyriakidis: Egypt is ranked the second largest branded hotel market in the Middle East, after the UAE, and then comes Saudi Arabia.

When it comes to the Middle East and Africa, it comes in third place after the UAE and South Africa. This adds the potentials it holds when it comes to investment.

How is Marriot International planning to attract international tourism, especially as tourism is down worldwide?

Sorenson: If you look at Egypt’s numbers when it comes to tourism, you’ll find that the peak in down travelling reaches out to 14 million tourists, and nowadays the number is around 9 million.

Hence, you can see that compared to the peak, Egypt is experiencing less tourism today than its potential.

However, numbers have been going up significantly in the past two years, which leads us to believe that we will see continuous growth in the upcoming years.

When you look at the global numbers in comparison, that last year there were, roughly, 1.3bn trips worldwide, and that number was 6% or 7% higher than it was in 2016, this leads us to believe that 2018 will witness more growth again.

The growth is global but mainly coming from China; we have been witnessing increasing in numbers of Chinese who are travelling abroad, and Egypt is among their hitting markets, as they want to see the signs they have been reading about.

Does Marriott have any potential in hitting new places in Egypt like Alamein in North Coast, which has become popular in past couple of years?

Kyriakidis: Yes, we have been discussing with the Ministry of Housing, in order to establish projects there. But also we are entering cities where we would want to take part of, like Alexandria, and in Upper Egypt, like in Luxor and Aswan. These are our high priorities nowadays.    

We are currently discussing new projects with several potential partners.

How do you see tourism in Sharm El-Sheikh now? And how does current situation affect your projects in there?

Kyriakidis: What we are seeing nowadays is a surge of interests in investing in hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh. The challenge we have nowadays in the city is the non-existence of airlifts. We need airlifts to help revive tourism back in Sharm El-Sheikh.

We also need to reinvent the city for the future. This means we need to upgrade Sharm El-Sheikh to attract up-scale travellers.

We have a lot of investors who want to put money in Egypt, especially from the Gulf now, and they are looking for the places to invest into, but what we need from the government and keep requesting is to open the sky again for airlifts.

How did you reach conclusion that you should invest more money in Egypt as a growing potential market?

Sorenson: It is not Marriott’s only decision to detect the places and markets to invest in. It is development teams and a large scale of connections with partners in the region who decide where they want to invest their money, based on the performance of the market and the future of it. What we do is identifying the places where the opportunities seem to be most right.

For example, where the government is moving to build a new city in Cairo, there will definitely be opportunities to invest in the area.

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Egypt, Turkey dominate  global tourism market: Exceltur https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/22/egypt-turkey-dominate-global-tourism-market-exceltur/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/22/egypt-turkey-dominate-global-tourism-market-exceltur/#respond Sun, 22 Jul 2018 16:00:56 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=667050 Egypt is one of the best tourist destinations in 2018, says American Forbes magazine

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A study of the Spanish tourist  association Exceltur  revealed on Saturday that  the popularity of tourism in Egypt and Turkey has affected the global tourism market in Spain.
For his part, Jose Luis Zoreda, vice president of Exceltur, said at a press conference that the reason for that decline in Spanish tourism is the recent political tensions caused due to the divisions of Catalonia.
The study stated the loss of the Spanish market for about 149,500 British tourists and about 109,000  Germans, noting that these losses are due to the new promotional policies in the Egyptian and Turkish tourism  markets.
The study pointed out that Egypt and Turkey witnessed a remarkable recovery in the tourism markets.
Notably,  tourism in Egypt achieved its highest level ever in 2010 with a total number  of 14.7 million visitors, but the revolution of January 2011 caused some disturbances, followed by the decline in tourism.
Tourism suffered another devastating blow when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai in late October 2015 and all its passengers were killed.
Following the plane crash, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while Britain banned travel to Sinai. Russian flights returned to Cairo inApril.
Hence, the following year, tourism fell to its lowest level in years, and the number of tourists reached 4.8 million.
Tourism flows have improved following the Central Bank of Egypt’s decision to float the Egyptian pound in November 2016, slashing the value of the local currency by about half and boosting the competitiveness of the sector.
Zoreda stated that Egypt and Turkey are recovering their tourism, while Egypt has the largest share of that recovery, pointing out that this remarkable recovery recorded an increase in  receiving tourism delegations by 40% of the Egyptian market, followed by 30% for the Turkish market.
Meanwhile, the American Forbes magazine praised the stability of the political situation in Egypt, saying it is one of the best tourist destinations in 2018.
It  continued  that that visitors began to return to Egypt again; there were about 8.3 million tourists in 2017, and they have increased their proportion in 2018.
Earlier, during a press conference on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market exhibition that took place in Dubai inApril, Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat announced that the number of tourists visiting Egypt jumped 30% during Q1 2018 compared to last year.
She added that tourism now represents 15% of the total sources of income for the national economy.
Finally, Forbes asserted that Egypt has been and remains the cradle of civilization, and that it is in a stable position at the present time and ready to welcome tourists.

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St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort: Gateway to a luxurious stay https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/19/st-regis-maldives-vommuli-resort-gateway-to-a-luxurious-stay/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2018/07/19/st-regis-maldives-vommuli-resort-gateway-to-a-luxurious-stay/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 11:30:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=666661 The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is definitely your perfect gateway to a luxurious, unforgettable stay in the beautiful Maldives. The most exquisite resort living at Maldives is willing to provide you with a sophisticated stay that meets your expectations. In the hotel you can find many accommodation options. It has variety of villas and …

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The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is definitely your perfect gateway to a luxurious, unforgettable stay in the beautiful Maldives.

The most exquisite resort living at Maldives is willing to provide you with a sophisticated stay that meets your expectations.

In the hotel you can find many accommodation options. It has variety of villas and suites to provide all the guests with a convenient stay, and all of them include a private pool.

There also many overwater villas, beach villas, garden villas, and the signature Carolin Astor Estate and John Jacob Estate Presidential Water Villa.

The hotel will definitely be taking you on a world-class culinary tour all around the world at its six dining venues.

The Italian cuisine Alba, Decanter is giving you an amazing wine menu, Orientale for the Asian cuisine, Whale Bar for the tapas, Cargo for the Middle Eastern cuisine, and Curst the pizza place.

St Regis Hotel will also take its guests to unwind in luxurious Maldivian style through its award-winning luxury spa, the St Regis’ Iridium Spa, 1,850 sqm overwater spa will make you refined retreat with a tropical inspired sophistication.

Iridium Spa includes many treatment types treatments massages, body treatment, and facial treatments; it also provides guests with different types of treating rooms a single or in the six couple’s treatment suites treatment rooms, also the two Ayurvedic suites that have a private steam rooms.

The sliding-glass doors are also to allow the guests enjoying the sea vistas during treatment time. There are also the private terraces with soaking bathtubs to provide the guests a high relaxation with the ocean breeze.

To give more privacy and convenience, Iridium Spa provides the en-suite showers and bathrooms that will give the guests an additional pampering, whether in the spa’s steam rooms, saunas, or cold-drench showers.

The hotel also has many facilities that you can experience during your stay, like the Vommuli Dive and Watersports Centre; it will allow you to enjoy many water activities like deep-sea fishing and kayaking and some of the high-adrenaline adventures like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and speed boating. 

St Regis’ Scuba Diving will give you unlimited adventures at St Regis Resort. Scuba diving will take you on a one–of-a-kind diving experience at the deep azure Indian Ocean that will let you enjoy the crystal clear turquoise lagoon and enjoy a private house reef with bountiful marine life that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Norma Yacht, the brand new Azimut flybridge 66 yacht, will complete your luxurious journey. St Regis Hotel offers the guests its most technologically advanced luxury yacht in its class; it also features four decadent cabins and is perfectly suited for a unique diving adventure. You can enjoy it with your family or indulge in a romantic getaway with your loved ones.

The little ones can also find a good space to enjoy their time at the children club with many activities like soul-satisfying yoga class, they can enjoy cooking courses in the kitchen that are specialised for them; there also so many crafts and arts and many other entertaining games that are available especially for them.

Outdoor Infinity pool is a 452 sqm pool that gives you a chance to experience the beachfront’s breathtaking view over the white sand beach of the Indian Ocean. 

With the St Regis Bentley, if you booked the Caroline Astor Estate or the John Jacob Astor Estate Villa, you can get a convenient transfer to your destination by this luxurious world-class car.

Sport is a part of the resort; you can enjoy playing tennis in the beautiful Outdoor Tennis Court, there also the Fitness Centre that can help you to work out and stay in shape during you stay and get a good chance to perform yoga and meditation at the unique St Regis Yoga & Meditation Studio. 

For more relaxation, you can spend your time in the pool and beachfront library that has more than 800 books.

St Regis also provides guests with a personal butler service and airport lounge; you can also arrange transportation with the hotel by seaplane, yacht transfer, and those who are willing to stay in signature suites and estates, such as John Jacob Astor Estate, Caroline Astor Estate, and two-bedroom beach suites, will be offered the St Regis Bentley for their airport transfers.

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