Towards the rear of the atrium of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), where the granite colossus of King Ramses II proudly stands, Egypt's ministers of investment and international cooperation, antiquities and tourism, and Giza's governor, gathered along with a group of foreign ambassadors to Egypt.
Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced Sunday in a press conference addressing local and international companies and consortiums the opening of a pre-qualification stage for those hoping to bid for the contract to manage and operate facilities at the GEM complex overlooking the Giza Plateau.
The press conference was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, and supported by the Ministry of Tourism.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany said that GEM's facilities include a conference centre for 1,000 people, a cinema for 500 people, 10 restaurants, with two overlooking the Giza pyramids, food courts, bookshops and other retail outlets, a traditional arts and crafts centre, and a multifunctional building that could be for administrative purposes or as a boutique hotel.
El-Enany asserted that the Ministry of Antiquities is the only authority responsible for the management and security of GEM‘s treasured collection as well as anything related to antiquities, such as exhibition halls, the maintenance and restoration centre, and the children’s museum.
Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat said that GEM, the largest and most significant cultural project in process globally, is going to be a wonderful tourism attraction that blends history with a modern and authentic twist. “Egypt is the world’s capital of cultural tourism,” she pointed out, adding that nothing will make a bolder statement than when this magnificent museum has its official opening.
"And to complement GEM, the Giza Plateau is undergoing a massive renovation project to include boutique hotels, restaurants and cinemas and we’re determined to give all that come to visit the most wonderful experience," Al-Mashat said.
"The whole undertaking will reflect the splendor of Egyptian history in an attractive and modern way for international visitors, and for everyone throughout Egypt," she added.
Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr expressed her happiness to be at GEM to announce the launch of the prequalification stage of bidding for the facilities management contract.
She described the GEM complex as a state-of-the-art, world class destination, and cultural and touristic hub comprising large investment opportunities. “These opportunities are available online on the investment map where investors are encouraged to explore the area and location and see nearest facilities services and other landmarks,” she pointed out.
Nasr explained that starting today investors will also be able to download all relevant documents and schedules for bidding on the facilities management contract. This bidding is yet another sign by the Egyptian government that it is changing the approach and that more cooperation between the public sector and the private is planned. The process of this international bidding allows all applicants to visit the site within the second week of July 2018.
The submission of pre-qualification applications is scheduled for Tuesday, 24 July, while the opening of the envelopes will take place the following day Wednesday, 25 July. After which a list of qualified applicants will be announced mid-August.
At the end of the conference, the supervisor general of GEM, Tarek Tawfik, announced the museum’s distinguished logo, which will be used in promotional campaigns in Egypt and worldwide. The shape of the logo was inspired by the architectural design of the museum, Tawfik said.
The GEM complex is a cultural institution located on an area of approximately 500,000 m2 adjacent to the Pyramids of Giza. It includes one of the largest museums in the world displaying the heritage of a single civilisation.
The museum will contain over 100,000 artifacts, reflecting Egypt's past from prehistory through the Greek and Roman periods in Egypt, covering an area of 92,000 m2.
Construction work on its first phase is scheduled to be completed by end of 2018 and the museum open within the first quarter of 2019, at which point the entire funerary collection of King Tutankhamun will be put on show for the first time ever, displaying more than 5,000 artifacts.
The atrium and the grand staircase will also be displayed in the first phase and feature the colossus of King Ramses II and the King Meneptah Column, as well as a collection of 87 other large royal colossi and architectural items.
El-Enany, Nasr, Al-Mashat and the board
El-Enany and Nasr beside the GEM’s logo