The city of Marsa Alam – known for its pristine beaches along Egypt's southern Red Sea – will now be a part of Luxor governorate in Upper Egypt, announced Luxor's Governor Tarek Saad Eddine on Wednesday.
The governor said a new highway will be constructed between the two cities to connect Luxor's ancient temples with Marsa Alam's virgin beaches.
He added that the government is also studying the construction of a railway between the two cities.
"Integrating Marsa Alam into Luxor governorate will increase chances for Luxor touristic development and the number of sites visitors [can see]", said Eddine.
According to him, the aim of this step is to create a permanent integration between cultural tourism in Luxor and coastal tourism in Marsa Alam.
The integration will see the area of Luxor governorate increase by 10 times to reach 92 million feddan (38.64 hectares), becoming one of Egypt's largest governorates in terms of area.
The Upper Egyptian city of Luxor is one of the country's most important touristic destinations as its ancient sites and temples add up to a whopping third of the world's total antiquities, according to government figures.
Marsa Alam draws tourists, too, but for different reasons – it's one of the world's top diving destinations and a starting point for safaris as well, due to its key location between the Red Sea and the desert.