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Monday, 24 September 2018

Egypt’s road to development success

The Galala Mountain plateau is shaping up as an ambitious touristic and investment destination

Reem Leila , Friday 14 Sep 2018
Galala Mountain projects
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi inspecting number of development projects in Galala Mountain, located between Ain Al-Sokhna and Zaafarana on the Red Sea (Photo: Spokesman of the Egyptian Presidency)
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President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi this week inspected a number of development projects in Galala, located between Ain Al-Sokhna and Zaafarana on the Red Sea.

Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi said the Galala Mountain projects aim to create a new urban area including residential, commercial, educational and tourism facilities.

“These projects provide more than 150,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in different fields. More than 100 Egyptian companies and 10 engineering consultancy offices are involved in the projects.”

The town of Galala is 700 metres above sea level. The temperature is 10 degrees less than surrounding areas, making it a perfect site for resort developments.

A 1,000 feddan resort area has been earmarked at Ras Abu Al-Darag on the Gulf of Suez. It will include two hotels, one on the mountain, the second on the coast.

The mountain hotel will include 300 rooms and 40 chalets and the beach resort 300 rooms and 60 chalets. A modern mall and a marina for yachts will also be constructed.

Rich with marble quarries, including the beige-coloured Galala marble, the area will include an LE40 million marble factory.

“The positive impact on investment movement, tourism and industry make it essential to finish these projects quickly,” said Al-Sisi.

Al-Sisi also visited the site of the King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz University, 7km away from the city. The university will be built over 100 feddans and will comprise 13 faculties, including medicine, agriculture and mining.

The planned city will include an international medical centre and an Olympic village where sporting events will take place. The distinctive mountainous and coastal environment, say tourist operators, gives the new resort wide appeal.

Mohamed Mahdi, marketing manager of Amer Group, the owner of Porto resorts which operates in Ain Sokhna, says the Galala project represents a qualitative leap in tourism services by integrating all the elements of a resort, with hotels, villas, chalets, water parks, commercial, leisure and commercial activities.

“The setting of Al-Galala mountain city will appeal to local and foreign tourists,” says Mahdi.

“Tourism will strongly return to the Red Sea area and we have high hopes in the city as a new touristic destination.”

Aliaa Al-Mahdi, a professor of economics at Cairo University, says “the site is very attractive to investors and its sea level location will offer a healthy environment for residents and tourists.” She also notes that access roads to the town will facilitate additional urban and industrial development.

“The main Galala road includes three lanes in each direction and industrial and commercial areas have already been designated,” she says.

The road network will link touristic, industrial, agricultural and commercial projects to ports that are being built within the framework of the Suez Canal development project.

Also this week, Al-Sisi inaugurated the Nile Axis and Tama corridor and three bridges in Qous, Burg Al-Arab and Balteem.

The new roads are part of Egypt’s massive infrastructural development that includes the northwest portion of the ambitious regional ring road.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 13 September 2018 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: Road to development success 

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