Egypt eyes tourism investment

gigei.jpgEGYPT needs huge investment in the tourism sector to meet anticipated demand for facilities, a top official has said.
“The country is experiencing continued investment in hotel development and on-site innovation, with properties across the destination working to increase their hosting capacities,” said Amr el-Ezabi, chairman of Egyptian Tourism Authority.
In order to accommodate the expected rise from 8.6mn visitors in 2004 to 16mn in 2014, another 665 hotels were currently being developed, he told a press conference.
This would add 131,400 hotel rooms to Egypt’s existing 1,143 hotels and 180,000 rooms, according to the Egyptian Hotel Association.
The country’s ability to host more visitors had also been aided by upgrades to Cairo International Airport which would allow it to handle about 11mn passengers a year by 2007, up from 10.2mn in 2005.
Ezabi felt there was plenty room for further investment in resorts and other tourism development projects.
He expects to see considerable expansion on both the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, especially now that Egypt had streamlined its investment policies to make it easier for foreign companies to establish operations.
In order to encourage and cater to increasing numbers of international tourists, the Egyptian government had made a multi-million dollar investment in developing and enhancing tourism facilities and services in key tourist centres.
Egypt is home to one of the youngest overseas property markets in the Middle East with many new residential developments springing up along the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts. They offer huge investment potential for purchasers, Ezabi said.
Across Europe, the Gulf, and in other parts of the world, the cost of buying properties had risen dramatically.
As a result, many people were now looking at a wider variety of destinations where properties were more affordable for a vacation home, and were also recognising that Egypt could be an attractive investment opportunity.
Unlike other overseas markets, there are no restrictions on foreign buyers buying property in Egypt.
By 2010, it is predicted that over 10,000 properties in Egypt would have been purchased by overseas investors.
The government is committed to facilitating the purchase of properties in Egypt and developing sustainable communities and infrastructure to ensure that buyers were fully supported and see the property investment grew in value.
According to officials, the eight main hotspots for investment in Egypt are Sharm al-Sheikh, Hurghada, North West Coast, Marsa Alam, Ain Sokhna, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.
The Red Sea Riviera is the most popular area of Egypt for tourists and property investors, of which Sharm al-Sheikh was the main destination.
The press conference on Egyptian tourism was also attended by the Egyptian ambassador Abdulaziz Mohamed Dawoud and chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, among others.

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