UK lifts travel restrictions to Egypt's Western Desert

Ahram Online , Thursday 6 Apr 2023

The British government's travel advisory body, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), has lifted its non-essential travel warning for the Farafra and Bahariya Oasis regions in the Egyptian Western Desert.

A file photo for the Valley of Agabat on the way to Bahariya Oasis in the White Desert. Flickr/Elias Rovielo


In its Tuesday update to Egypt travel advice, the FCDO announced that it is "no longer advising against all but essential travel" to the Giza Governorate, northeast of the Bahariya Oasis, as well as the road between Giza and Farafra and the areas within 50km on either side of this road.

“UK citizens can now visit these amazing areas and experience some of the most unique places in Egypt, including the Black Desert and White Desert,” the British Embassy in Egypt said on Wednesday.

​The UK announcement came during a visit by the UK Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the UN and FCDO Lord Tariq Ahmad to Cairo this week, where he met with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

The FCDO regularly updates its travel advice to foreign countries to ensure the safety of British visitors based on security, health, and terrorism-related issues, among other concerns.

The FCDO confirmed that the vast majority of areas in Egypt are safe to visit.

Last year, the UK lifted a previous travel advice for the southern part of South Sinai governorate and Fayoum governorate.

The UK remains one of the biggest tourist markets for Egypt, with an estimated 500,000 British visitors traveling to the country in 2022.

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