Orascom Development denies reports Zelensky family own villa in Egypt's El Gouna resort

Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 31 Aug 2023

Orascom Development, the owner of El Gouna upscale resort town on Egypt’s, denied reports that the family of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky owns a villa in the resort.

El-Gouna resort
Yacht marina of Red Sea resort of El-Gouna. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transport


The reports circulated online were "completely false," added the company in a statement on Wednesday.

The company is committed to protecting customer privacy and does not share any information or details about its customers, the statement added. Nevertheless, it noted, after reviewing its records, it found no evidence that Zelensky or any member of his family owned a property in El Gouna.

The company also said that the reports on social media included a photo of a villa that is currently owned by an Egyptian family.

The photos of the alleged contract are also false and the company's contract templates do not match the images that were shared, the company added.

The false reports began to circulate on social media two weeks ago when Egyptian blogger and journalist Mohamed El-Alawi claimed in a video on his YouTube Channel that the family of the Ukrainian president acquired a villa using the humanitarian aid money allocated to support Ukraine.

The reports were based on a photo of a villa that was allegedly owned by Zelensky's wife, Olena.

The photo was accompanied by a fake contract that claimed to show the sale of the villa to Zelensky. YouTube shut down El-Alawi’s YouTube Channel yet his videos are still shared on other platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. 

Orascom Development said it is taking legal action against those who spread false reports.

The Egyptian developer's statement comes after its co-founder, multi-billionaire Naguib Sawiris, denied on Twitter on Tuesday that the Ukrainian president and his family owned a $5 million villa in El Gouna.



— Naguib Sawiris (@NaguibSawiris) August 29, 2023


In a Tweet quote, Sawiris denied the alleged news describing it as untrue.

Built in 1990, El-Gouna is a full tourist city owned, developed and operated by Orascom Development and its founder Samih Sawiris in 1990, 25 km away North of Hurghada. One of the successful privately owned towns and compounds in the country, El-Gouna became one of the main upscale tourist attractions in Egypt’s Red Sea whether for Foreigners or Egyptians.

In statements to CNN Business Arabia on Wednesday, El-Gouna city Mohamed Amer stated that real estate sales in the city increased by 46 percent in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, reaching 2.9 billion Egyptian pounds (approximately $93.9 million).

This accounts for about 40 percent of Orascom Development's real estate sales, "despite recent economic fluctuations” he added.

The CEO of El Gouna City stated that hotel revenues in the city have increased by over 100 percent in the first half of 2023, driven by market demand on a global scale. Additionally, the positive impact of exchange rate reductions during that period contributed to this growth.

The hotel occupancy rate in the first half of the year reached 71 percent, compared to 66 percent during the same period last year. He explained that "85% of hotel occupancy in El Gouna during the first half of the year was attributed to foreigners”

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