Egypt’s St. Catherine City hosted 826 tourists of different nationalities on Christmas Eve this year despite temperatures dropping to -1 Celsius, state news agency MENA reported on Sunday.
The head of St. Catherine's local municipality unit El-Sayed Abdel-Sadek told MENA that the tourists visited Christian sites and attended midnight mass at the St. Catherine Monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the world’s oldest functioning monasteries.
The tourists also visited the tomb of Nabi Saleh and local Bedouin dwellings, according to Abdel-Sadek.
South Sinai's St. Catherine City lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, known locally as Jabal Musa and believed to be the site where the Prophet Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Of the visiting tourists, 251 were foreigners and 575 were Egyptians.
St. Catherine Monastery follows the Greek Orthodox faith, celebrating the nativity of Jesus on 25 December.
The majority of Egyptian Christians follow the Coptic Orthodox faith, celebrating the holy nativity on 7 January.
Temperatures in St. Catherine are expected to reach highs of 14 degrees Celsius on Monday and lows of zero degrees Celsius, according to a Sunday statement by Egypt's Meteorological Authority.