Promenade along the Nile: Cairo celebrates opening of Mamsha Ahl Masr

Ghada Abdel-Kader, Saturday 19 Mar 2022

The highly anticipated Ahl Masr Walkway (“Mamsha Ahl Masr”) on the majestic banks of the Nile opened to the public on Friday after months of preparation.

Ahl Masr walkway
A general view of Ahl Masr walkway which is located along the eastern bank of the River Nile. Ahram

The two-level promenade is free and open daily from 9am-2am along the Nile Corniche.

The grand opening festival for the first phase of the promenade lasted until 9pm, with visitors enjoying clowns shows, magician parades and musical concerts by the Youssef Ismail band throughout the day at the walkway’s open theatre.

The inauguration ceremony was held Thursday evening in the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly along with ministers and formal representatives of the governing bodies.

The ceremony featured two musical concerts held aboard the country’s first floating theatre equipped with the highest technology.

The concerts featured performances by Lebanese megastars Nancy Ajram and Ragheb Alama, which were attended by top businessmen, entrepreneurs, representatives from major commercial companies, actors and famous celebrities.

The first phase of the promenade is located along the eastern bank of the Nile River, stretching from the 15 May Bridge to Imbaba Bridge with total length of 1,800 metres.

The upper walkway is 4.5 metres wide and exhibits natural green scenery including 260 palm trees, 235 miscellaneous trees and other small plants.

The upper walkway also includes service buildings, administrative and security offices and toilets.

“The services delivered in the first phase abide by the same quality and efficiency standards of all phases. Admission is free of charge. Only restaurants and cafes have entry fees. The total green landscape space of the first phase is not less than 30 or 40 percent,” Engineer Tarek El-Refaie, an aide to the project supervisor for the minster of housing and utilities and urban development said.

“The walkway design and construction is all done by Egyptian hands. The design was made by the Armed Forces Engineering Authority and was built by the Arab contractors Company,” El-Refaie said.

“The total cost of the first phase is EGP 585 million [about $37.2 million]. The quantity of concrete used in the walkway construction is equivalent to one and half times the amount used in Cairo International Stadium,” El-Refaie added.

The lower walkway is parallel to Nile River and is 6.5 metres wide. Guests are free to walk along it on foot or stand next to river to enjoy the sound of the moving water.

One visitor, Mustafa Mahmoud, 20, from Sharqiya governorate, reflected on his impressions of the opening.

“The place is amazing. It is beyond our imagination,” Mahmoud told Ahram Online.

“The beautiful location seems so attractive after the renovation. Everything is done precisely and is highly organised,” another visitor, Mohamed El-Mogahzi, added.

“You cannot help but fall in love with the place from the first sight... The whole view is wonderful.” a couple enjoying their walk told Ahram Online.

Aqua Marine Bazaar is a souvenir store selling fine handmade Egyptian crafts including decorative plates, metal works, jewelry boxes, Arab perfumes bottles, papyrus paintings, Pharaonic antiques and statues.

“It is first time there is a bazaar on the Nile. All staff members speak five languages. They can tell the story of and give full information about each Pharaonic statue and piece,” the owner of the bazaar, Mohamed Saeed, said.

“The walkway is a unique place, especially since it is situated near luxury hotels,” Saeed says.

Sightseers can grab a cup of coffee or enjoy lunch or dinner at restaurants. The walk includes five restaurants, five cafes, 62 shops and three underground parking areas with a capacity up to 180 cars each.

The theatre offers a space for musical concerts, live entertainment shows or sports and cultural events. It has three seated spectators’ stands with a capacity 1,240 individuals.

The walkway also has a feature mimicking a marina, with feluccas, luxury boats, yachts and a capacity for water sports and sailboats. Meanwhile, the yacht club offers an exclusive dock serving visitors daily.

The Egyptian Canoe and Kayak Federation (ECKF) in cooperation with Mamsha Ahl Masr provides canoes and kayaks, where the whole family can take part and spend quality time together.

“ECKF introduces the kayak and canoe sport to a broader range of the public,” Medhat Farouk, Egyptian rowing champion and owner of Egyrow Kayak Academy explains.

“It is a sport for everyone, no experience is necessary, but also we provide another level for professional athletes. All the safety measures are taken,” Farouk concludes. 

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