Egypt s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa in the press conference on Tuesday at the New Administrative Capital. Photo : Egyptian Cabinet
In a press conference held at the New Administrative city, Issa stated that the new facilities are currently being reviewed before they are opened to the public.
The review process includes testing electronic payment machines and areas designated for horses, camels, carts, and electric buses, he added.
Pilot operations for the first phase of the development project began in September 2022. These included the new main gate on the Cairo-Fayoum Road, the visitor centre, the international restaurant complex, and the new Khufu restaurant.
In October 2020, the pilot operation of an eco-friendly electric bus took place, in addition to the opening of the first restaurant within the Pyramids Lounge.
The development project, which began in 2018, is being carried out by Orascom Pyramids Entertainment and managed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).
During the press conference, Issa also revealed that the ministry is self-funding the EGP 3 billion budget allocated for restoration and maintenance work of archaeological sites around the country. As a result, the SCA will rely on the general state budget for less than half a billion pounds.
Holy Family Trail
Ghada Shalaby, the deputy minister of tourism and antiquities for tourism affairs, emphasized that the state has shown significant interest in developing and rehabilitating the Holy Family Trail.
The trail follows the path taken purported to have been taken by the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and Jesus through Egypt after they fled the persecution of King Herod in the early years of the first century CE.
Almost six stops along the trail have been developed, and work on the final two stops in Assiut are close to being finished.
She highlighted that the journey of the Holy Family is a significant boost to tourism in Egypt, adding that they are collaborating with the vatican to promote the sacred and historical trail.
Kazakhstan Order of Friendship
The press conference was held on the sidelines of event in which Issa received the Order of Friendship from Kazakhstan in recognition of his efforts in strengthening bilateral relations in the fields of tourism and antiquities.
The order was presented by the Kazakh Ambassador to Egypt Kairat Lama Sharif, as an appreciation of the ministry's dedication to completing the restoration of Al-Zaher Beybars Mosque in Cairo, which was inaugurated last June.
Egypt is the third most popular destination for Kazakh tourists, according to statements by Egyptian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Manal El-Shinnawy in May to Kazakh media.