Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Tourism Rania El-Mashatte and Suez Governor Ahmed Hamed are set to inspect a development project to make Sinai’s Moses Springs area more tourist friendly.
The inspection tour will be attended by a number of foreign ambassadors, including those of Brazil, Cuba, Belgium, Chile, Argentina and Greece, as well as top officials from the Ministry of Antiquities.
The project started in late 2015 in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism under the direction of Presidential Assistant for National and Strategic Projects Ibrahim Mahlab.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, explains that the Moses Springs area had been suffering neglect and a lack of maintenance, and that the springs were covered in sand.
Waziri said that the project aims to provide the area with more facilities, which includes renovating old kiosks and restrooms and the establishment of restaurants, cafeterias and bazaars for Sinai handicrafts.
Main and side roads in the area have been paved, and a new solar energy lighting system has been installed.
The budget for the project was EGP 8 million provided by the Ministry of Tourism, and the Arab Contractors Company has carried out the development work.
Ayman Ashmawi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, explains that the first phase of the project, which has been completed with a budget of EGP 3 million, included the renovation of seven springs ranging between six and eight metres in depth, as well as the installation of sun shades and special lighting systems.
The second phase is set to start immediately and will include the establishment of a ticket station, a wide parking area, shops for handicrafts, and a wall to be built surrounding the area.
Moses Springs is located in Ras Sedr city along the Red Sea in South Sinai, almost 30km south of Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, and covers almost 164 feddans. The area is composed of a group of hot springs, some sweet and some bitter, forming a small fertile oasis with natural palm trees. It includes seven springs that date to the Byzantine era, a number of clay ovens, and a residential settlement.
The water from the springs is said to have healing properties, particularly for diabetes patients, and can purportedly strengthen the body and help regulate high blood pressure.
The underground spring supplies water to the area’s monastery, which is believed to sit on the spot where Moses met his future wife after protecting her and her sisters from an aggressive group of local shepherds. According to the monks at the monastery, the well never dries up and is the monastery's main source of water.
El-Enany, Al-Mashat and Mostafa with the foreign ambassadors to Egypt
Development at the springs