Egypt to receive rehabilitated iconic Tahrir Complex building in 2024: NOUH board member

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 11 Jun 2024

The repurposing project of the iconic Tahrir Complex building (or Mogamma El-Tahrir) in Down Town is anticipated to conclude in 2024 after 31 months of work, according to Board Member of the National Organization of Urban Harmony (NOUH) Soheir Hawas.

Sohair Hawas
Sohair Hawas speaks during her speech to the members of the American Chamber of Commerce during an event held on Tuesday 11 June, 2024.

 

Hawas made these remarks during her speech to the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) members in the event they organized later on Tuesday under the title: “Unlocking Business Opportunities within Egypt’s Cultural Heritage Tourism.”

She noted that the project aims to repurpose the building to be a unique five-star hotel with 450 rooms included.

The owner of the building is The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE).

In September 2020, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree canceling the public benefit status of several public properties, including the Tahrir Complex.

The decree transferred the ownership of these public properties to the TSFE so that untapped state buildings could be reused.

In August 2022, the CairoHouse development consortium signed partnership agreements to develop and rehabilitate the iconic building with investments exceeding $200 million.

CairoHouse is a US consortium led by Oxford Capital Group, Global Ventures Group, and Al-Otaiba Investments.

Hawas stressed that the current laws that govern the construction and the use of the archaeological buildings are not enough to preserve this wealth, urging the concerned bodies to consider this challenge for better use of these buildings.

She also called on the owners and residents of the archaeological and old buildings to support both the government and the private sector for better reuse of these buildings instead of demolishing them.

Private sector investments are key to boosting Egypt's tourism
 

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has adopted a strategy over the past 10 years focusing on boosting the private sector engagement in the tourism and antiquities sector, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities Mohamed Ismail stated, addressing AmCham’s members.  

“Engaging the private sector in the tourism activity in Egypt is crucial to restoring and preserving the archeological buildings and sites in the country, which need huge finances,” according to Ismail.

He also called on local communities, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to be a partner in repurposing the archaeological buildings to be utilized by the private sector’s investors.

Ziad Bahaa El-Din, former deputy prime minister and policy advisor for the USAID-funded Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism (IMCT) project, stressed the importance of the finances provided by the private sector to boost Egypt’s tourism sector in general and preserve the archaeological sites and buildings in particular, which both can maintain the sustainability of this wealth.

Bahaa El-Din called the concerned bodies to revisit the models of contracts signed between the investors and the government in terms of using the archaeological buildings, mainly those signed with the Ministry of Endowment which owns the majority of the country’s heritage-related buildings.

He also called for creating a fund for easing the private sector's engagement in boosting the tourism sector in Egypt, especially for maintaining and restoring buildings and sites.

The IMCT project focuses on consolidating and reinforcing Egypt’s efforts to create an enabling environment for investment in cultural tourism, selecting financially sustainable cultural heritage sites for rehabilitation, supporting the development of higher-value tourism products and services, and building capacity for enhanced cultural tourism in targeted destinations.

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