Lack of proper marketing and legal restrictions are primarily what keep South Sinai's development limited and slow, said governor Khaled Fouda on Tuesday, while talking about his vision for the peninsula to flourish.
"Moses' Mountain is the only area where God ever appeared, yet we still cannot attract an abundance of tourists with a site of that significance," he said while speaking at Al-Ahram news organisation's main building, where he was a guest of honour at a dinner party.
Fouda, a former army general, stressed that only diving tourism is successful due to the spectacular Red Sea spots, but that all other kinds of tourism are far from developed. "Though South Sinai's potential is huge," he said.
To support the tourism sector as well as other fields, Fouda believes he needs to capitalise on this month's economic summit in South Sinai's Sharm El-Sheikh to attract foreign investment.
However, he added that, "we need legal amendments. Some laws would fend off interest from foreign investors. For instance, their assets are not inheritable. Arab investors complained to me that they cannot own or leave their projects for their children. The same for businessmen who hold dual nationalities."
"What we're suggesting to the Cabinet is to extend the usufruct to 99 years. We say in our suggestions at least 50 years. Premier Ibrahim Mehleb said he will look into it after he's back from Ethiopia. The president [El-Sisi] doesn’t mind as long as national security is considered."
Fouda said that one of El-Sisi's initial directives is to develop the road networks in South Sinai. "That would be the first step."