Banks reopen loan possibilities for Sinai tourism investors

Dalia Farouq, Monday 9 May 2011

Egyptian banks consider offering finance for projects in Taba and Nuweiba, raising hopes that construction halted for 15 years may finally be completed

Stalled tourist projects in Sinai may gain a new lease on life following discussions between Egyptian developers and the country’s major banks.

"National banks are finally agreeing to finance tourism projects in Taba and Nuweiba after 15 years of suspension for reasons we did not understand," said Sami Soliman, president of the Taba and Nuweiba business association for touristic and environmental development.

Soliman’s upbeat announcement followed an association meeting with Tarek Amer, head of the Federation of Egyptian Banks, where they discussed the status of projects suspended in South Sinai due to a shortage of financial backing.

Soliman said 80  per cent of the work on construction on 80 projects in the region had been completed before being frozen due to a lack of funding.

"Is it the role of banks to finance cars or projects that can create job opportunities? Developing tourism in the region can create 40,000 jobs," says Soliman.

Only Egyptians are allowed to invest in the Red Sea region that lies close to the border with Israel.

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