India By The Nile Festival in Egypt

Cairo: Unfazed by political unrest in Egypt, India will launch the second edition of a mega cultural extravaganza, including a Bollywood musical, to showcase vibrant bilateral ties and make the relationship more dynamic.
“I think a festival like this gets a lot of visibility and demonstrates that India has taken a major initiative here. That generates goodwill, both at the official level and amongst the public,” India’s Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri told PTI ahead of the “India by the Nile” festival this week.
The festival, running from April 1-20, will have a grand opening with Bollywood Love Story- A Musical at the Opera House from the April 3 to 6, and will see more than 35 Indian dancers performing to the much-loved music of Indian cinema.
The musical will also travel to three major Egyptian cities namely Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor. The festival is being held for the second consecutive year in Egypt.
Suri said events like these make the relationship between one of the leading emerging economies, India, and the largest country in the Middle East, Egypt, more “dynamic and vibrant”.
Asked about the timing of the festival with political unrest in Egypt, Suri said, “We are aware, of course, about the various incidents of violence but as residents of Egypt, we also see the extent to which daily life continues normally.”
“We have always enjoyed close ties with Egypt and there is a genuine fondness for Indian culture amongst the Egyptian people. But we can’t get complacent and take things for granted. The festival is part of the embassy’s pro-active approach to reach out to the Egyptian public and to promote cultural understanding,” he said.
Suri said Bollywood was quite popular in Egypt and for this reason a number of Bollywood-themed events were planned in the festival, including the big Bollywood-style musical and the participation of Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar.
“We are keen to convey a more composite picture of Indian culture, to tell our Egyptian friends that there is more to India than Bollywood. And so we have Kathak dance, Rajasthani foil music, conversations among writers, cuisine and much more,” he said.
The Ambassador stressed that India stands to gain from engaging with Egypt by helping it build institutions of democracy and investing in the economic sector.
“We have a number of economic cooperation projects in the pipeline and work continuously to enhance trade and investment flows,” he said.

@ http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/india-to-launch-mega-cultural-fest-in-egypt_921309.html

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The historical expedition of Prince Kamal El Din Hussein

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Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism This is a historic event taking place from the 14th to 26th of March 2014.
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Who is the Prince?
The Prince  Kamal El Din Hussain (son of Sultan Hussain) who was heading out into the deep desert with Citroen Kegresse Autochinelles in the years 1923 – 1926.  Massive camel caravans of up to 500 animals were carrying his fuel supply as the logistical backbone of his ventures. He was the one who found and named the Gilf Kebir Plateau.A memorial plaque was laid down by Count Lazlo Almasy – better known as – The English Patient. This plaque was placed in honor of the Prince at the southern tip of the Gilf Kebir Plateau in 1933 after his death. The Hollywood film “The English Patient”, won nine Oscars in 1996. The Prince was the first to introduce the automobile into deep desert explorations.After 1 year of the construction of the memorial Almasy returned with tourists to revisit the site. That expedition was sponsored by the Royal Automobile Club of Egypt which was represented by Prince Muhammed Abdel Moneim and by the Ahram Newspaper represented by Hassan Sobhi.
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The preliminary agenda for passengers

13 March 2014 – Arriving Cairo
Overseas participants arrive in Cairo. We will assist with hotel bookings and we will be delighted to assist and organize transfers to the hotels (only hotels listed as participating in Kamal Expedition).

14 March 2014 – Opening ceremony – Flight – Drive heading to Gilf Kebir
We will have a transfer organized from the hotels of our choice to the Kamal Expedition Opening Ceremony which will be held at the Automobile & Touring Club of Egypt in Cairo. You also have the choice of joining us independently at the Club if you wish. After a brunch and the ceremony we will be heading to the Cairo International Airport to catch a charter flight to Dakhla Oasis.
At the airport of Dakhla the packed 4×4 cars will be waiting for us and will bring us to have lunch. Meanwhile the last formalities will be finished with the government to have
a fast start to the desert after lunch. Divided into several groups, the participants will be leaving the Oasis heading south on the Asphalt Road. Leaving the road, our first visit will be the Balise of Saviem Trucks which traversed the entire Sahara from West to East in 1977 (from the Atlantic ocean to the Nile). In the area of G-Hills we will be looking for a camping place. In the evening we will have the chance to listen to an interesting lecture on a chosen topic related to the desert by one of our top speakers.

15 March 2014 – Wadi Eight Bells
After breakfast, we will be continuing in groups crossing different desert landscapes to approach the Gilf El Kebir plateau. We will find some relics from the Second World War: broken down Cars which were used by the British Special Forces, the Long Range Desert Group. We will also cross some dunes to reach the landing ground of 8 Bells where we will set up camps nearby. Like every night we will have the chance to listen to an interesting lecture on the desert by one of our top speakers.

16 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir Wadi WassaKamal El DIn Monument
We will be traveling through the Wadi Eight Bells to reach the Wadi Wassa and the Rock paintings of the Mararet el Qantara which was found in 1935 by a British explorer group under the leadership of Shaw. From here we will be heading south to the southern tip of the Gilf el Kebir Plateau where Almasy erected the Kamal El Din Monument 81 years ago. Nearby, we will find a set up prepared for the group. It will be on that occasion were all the groups will be gathered together and we would have a longer entertaining program for you that evening including the screening of a documentary film. If you do not feel like attending the screening, you could enjoy the calm evening weather some hundred metres away.

17 March 2014 – Camil Crater
After a late evening, the starting of the groups will be delayed. They will be heading to the south to reach the meteorite crater of Gebel Kamil, where they will be camping nearby. The evening will once again be filled with an interesting topic of one of the speakers.

18 March 2014 – Gebel Uweinat Karkur Talh
The groups will be heading towards Gebel Uweinat to arrive there after a few kilometers looking for camping places in the Karkur Talh area and will be exploring the different sites of the Gebel Uweinat. In the evening there will be a chance of attending another interesting lecture.

19 March 2014 – Rock cave near Peter & Paul
There will be a chance to have a short hike in the mountain in the morning before heading back north to reach some interesting rock art caves near the mountain of Peter & Paul. In the evening another interesting lecture will be organized.

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20 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir – Wadi Sura
We will be reaching the area of Wadi Sura (the Cave of Swimmers) which became famous through the 1997 film The English Patient. We will be visiting the Clayton Cave and the Chinati Camp site exploring some rock paintings nearby. Before that, we will have a second gathering in front of the Cave of the Beast. Here all the groups will unite for a second time to watch a short film about the life of the late Egyptian Father of Environment, Prof. Mohammed el Kassas, who died on that day (March 21st) one year ago in Cairo. Through different presentations and a film we will have a second longer night in that area.

21 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir Aqaba Pass
The groups will split up again to move over the Three Castles to the Aqaba Pass to drive on top of the Gilf Kebir Plateau and to cross some dunes which are on top of the plateau. Here we will be looking for different camping areas and have the chance to another interesting lecture.

22 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir – Wadi Hamra
We will reach the higher level of the Plateau and have a nice view at Belle Vue
onto the southern plane. Driving along the edge of the plateau we will reach a passage which will get us to the southern tip of Wadi Hamra. Here, we will be visiting different engraving sites and have a special look at the different Fauna of the Gilf el Kebir area. We will be camping at the northern exit of the Wadi Hamra where each group will get a chance to listen to an interesting lecture.

23 March and 24 March 2014 – Crossing Great Sand Sea
These 2 days we will be crossing the dunes of the Great Sand Sea having exciting passages crossing the dunes from west to east.

25 March 2014 – White Desert
We will be back near the Wadi Obaid and we will be entering the National Park of the White desert. Here a buffet will be waiting for all the participants. The groups will be spread in the National Park and a last evening with lectures will end our evenings in the desert.

26 March 2014 – Cairo – Closing Ceremony in Mena Hous
We will be leaving the White Desert National Park heading back to the road in a northerly direction reaching Baharya Oasis where a lunch will be prepared for everyone. After lunch, a 300 kilometre drive to Gizeh will bring us to the Mena House Hotel at the foot of the Pyramids. After a welcome coffee and cakes, the closing ceremony will be held in the hotel and will include a dinner. The anniversary of the Prince Kamal el Din monument will come to the end of its journey.

for more info visit : http://www.kamalexpedition.com

under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism This is a historic event taking place from the 14th to 26th of March 2014. – See more at: http://en.egypt.travel/events/id/371#sthash.aYWVe1KJ.dpuf

Lavrov hopes to restore tourism cooperation with Egypt

Egypt

 

 

 

Moscow is confident that the scale of tourism cooperation with Egypt will be restored after the lift of the state of emergency in that country, the Voice of Russia correspondent Ksenya Melnikova reports.

“We have agreed on the intensive development of dialogue on tourism. This is an extremely important area of our relations and part of stabilization efforts in Egypt; as I understand, the lift of the state of emergency regime which occurred yesterday can restore the scale of tourism cooperation. I am absolutely positive about that,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference after his negotiations in Cairo.

Voice of Russia 
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_11_14/Lavrov-hopes-to-restore-tourism-cooperation-with-Egypt-after-state-of-emergency-is-over-6248/

Minister of Tourism said : Egypt open for tourism

Egypt

 

 

Egypt will end its state of emergency and lift all curfews in the country by November 14, according to Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Hesham Zaazou Speaking at World Travel Market at London’s Excel, he said, ‘Over 18 countries have now lifted their negative travel advice to key regions of the Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan. Egypt’s compass is now pointing in the right direction.’

Apart from the Red Sea resorts, the UK government currently advises against all but essential travel to most of Egypt including Luxor and Aswan, but the Minister hopes this is reviewed and expects to meet with the Foreign Office in the coming days.

 

Following this summer’s revolution and subsequent protests, Egypt has seen a huge drop in tourist arrivals. ‘It’s been a challenging time as over 4 million Egyptians work in tourism,’ he said. ‘In the last week of September, we saw a drop of 90% compared to last year which is huge. However, while the media has focused on negative images of Cairo, I want to stress that not one single tourist has been targeted.’

 

As part of the mission to win back tourists, the tourist board has launched their ‘Egypt Now’ initiative with live streams of key tourist hot spots in Egypt available on their website, as well as an ‘Egypt Travel’ mobile application  for visitors to plan their holiday.

 

‘One million British tourists visited Egypt last year and 1.46 million in 2010. We must be doing something right and we’re adamant we can retrieve these figures.’Blue hole entrance

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Egyptian Tourist Authority reassures travel industry at WTM 2013

During a press conference at World Travel Market (WTM) on Monday 4th November, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Mr. Hisham Zaazou, gave an update on the current situation in Egypt and the tourist authority’s plans for 2014. Mr. Zaazou stated, “More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan.” “Egypt ranks amongst the top destinations in the area; over a third of UK visitors have been to the country three times or more. Currently we are ranked as the top tourist destination across the Middle East and North Africa, accounting for up to 21.5% and 37.6% of tourism respectively. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open,” he continued. Looking ahead, Mr. Zaazou commented, “We’re embracing real-time online communications by utilising the latest visual technologies such as webcams and mobile apps to show exactly what is happening on the ground in Egypt now.

“2014 will bring a renewed and reinvigorated interest in Egypt as the ideal medium-haul historical, cultural and beach destination for British and Irish travellers. The destination’s abundance of world-class tourism attractions will again see travellers choosing Egypt for their holidays year-round,” he concluded.In 2014, the Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) will be undertaking a vigorous programme of education to ensure that the UK travel industry is kept up to date on all the latest tourism developments in Egypt. The UK team led by Omayma El Husseini, Director UK & Ireland, will develop and activate a strategic mix of tactical travel trade and consumer marketing campaigns to promote the destination’s abundance of world-class tourism attractions.

What’s new in 2014?
New developments in 2014 include:

  • El Gouna Water sports Complex Set to be one of the world’s largest cable water parks, the new complex will combine world-class water sports facilities with a new leisure and entertainment venue.
  • Ancient Sands Golf Resort, opening April 2014
  • Orascom Development is opening a new five-star, luxury apartment hotel as part of the new Ancient Sands Golf Resort. The hotel complex will offer 261 apartments in total, with 114 apartments opening with the hotel in April 2014.
  • Ritz-Carlton Hotel , Cairo will welcome a new Ritz Carlton Hotel in 2014.

Tourism minister sounds optimistic about Egypt tourism

hisham zaazou Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said he is optimistic that tourist rates in Egypt will return to normal.Many nations have dropped their travel warnings against traveling to Egypt,” he said in a press conference held on the sideline of his participation in the World Travel Market 2013, which is held in London on Nov. 4-7 That will help in restoring the normal rates of tourism after many nations have issued their travel warnings in the wake of the June 30 revolution,” he said.He acknowledged the country has suffered from setbacks in tourism.

The tourist rates decreased by 35 percent in July compared to the same month last year, the minister said, adding the number of tourists continued to decrease till reaching 90 percent in September.The minister criticized the bleak and negative image that is being portrayed by some media outlets regarding the latest developments in Egypt.

A message From the Minister of tourism in Egypt

The official message of H.E. HISHAM ZAAZOU, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. The Message is addressed to the tour operators (Egypt’s professional partners).
on the official YouTube Channel hisham Zaazou

Nabq Protectorate: It will certainly leave you breathless !!

Click Me Sharm El Sheikh is the capital of the Red Sea Riviera, a quintessential resort town that caters to about everything you might think of. It will certainly leave you breathless. But what if you want to gasp some fresh air, away from the crowded beaches and the hip night life?

Nabq is your long pursued quest.Located just 25km north of Sharm ElSheikh, it doesn’t take more than ten minutes to reach the natural protectorate of Nabq. The 600 km² marine
reserve offers a unique opportunity to experience Mother Nature at its best. With varying terrain, Nabq interiors are dotted with high chain mountains while its coast plays host to a five kilometre stretch of mangrove; the most northerly in the Red Sea. Mangrove is not just an atypical tree that grows out of the sea!
It plays a pivotal role for the surrounding ecology; acting as a natural nursery for small fish and crustaceans, providing nestling locations for birds and forming natural tsunami wave breakers. Put on your sneakers and go mangrove wading, it is spectacular. In one particular location, El Gharqanah The Drowned, you can have a peaceful stroll, or rather a wade, midst the mangrove trees, and all the way to a nearby shipwreck. No need to bring your diving gear, the walk is waist-deep and the shipwreck is visible from the shore. If you are a nature lover but not that into trees, Nabq is an ideal place for bird watching. Located right on several species migration route, some stop for a break, while others call the place home. Grab your binoculars and look out for herons, plovers, gulls, terns and the Red Sea endemic White-Eyed Gull with its vibrant yellow legs, blood red bill and a crescent-like white ring around the eyes. Tired of staring through your binoculars? Get in your diving suit and take a plunge; the reefs are mind-boggling to say the least, especially those at Ras Tantur and Nakhlet el-Tal. And if your still waiting for your PADI open water certificate, put on your snorkelling gear; there are a plethora of underwater life to behold without getting too deep. And after all said and done, if you still feel the urge for some good adrenaline pumping activity, no need to worry; certain areas are designated for quad biking and four-wheel off-roading. Enjoy the thrill as you bash through the roving dunes.

 

Tiran Island seen from Nabq area, Sharm el She...

Tiran Island seen from Nabq area, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt (Photo credit: Jacob Wodzyński)

 

Thinking out of the box, Nabq Natural Protectorate is not all about enjoying nature and the great outdoors, it can also make up for a good team building activity playground; especially if you are having your company’s year-end meeting held in one of Sharm El Sheikh copious hotels. A Summer Camp at Nabq sounds enticing as well. Without a doubt Nabq Natural Protectorate is great place to have fun; lest we forget that it is a fragile ecosystem that we have decided to safeguard and protect. Such a notion has to be carefully regarded when we pay the place a visit. Take as much as you want of photographs, but please leave only footprints behind. Haphazard littering and trashing can have a devastating impact on the ecology. Equally destroying can be your own four-wheel drive; driving outside the designated areas and tracks can squash plants and blossoms. Locals are part of the grand ecosystem as well, and in Nabq there are two main permanent Bedouin settlements; the villages of Khereiza and El Gharqanah. Please be respectful to their conservative culture and don’t flash your camera before asking for permission first. Reaching Nabq from Sharm El Sheikh is straightforward; just follow the airport road heading north. The tarmac ends right before the protectorate main entrance gate. From there it is dirt track all the way; hence, it is much advisable to have your 4X4 in mint condition before you venture. Inside the protectorate there is a rather small rest house that offers soft drinks and a limited variety of sandwiches. Grab a light lunch with you; after all it is a picnic into the wilderness at your footsteps.

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Turkey PM Erdogan announces Egypt visit

Erdogan to be accompanied by historic delegation of 12 ministers

Cairo: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due in Egypt on November 17 for talks on boosting ties between the two countries, foreign ministry spokesman Amr Roshdi said on Saturday. He said : details of the trip were agreed during talks in Ankara on Friday between Foreign Minister Mohammad Kamel Amr and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.

Erdogan is to be accompanied by a delegation of 12 ministers, “the largest in the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” the spokesman said in a statement. Egypt’s Finance Minister Mumtaz Al Said said last month that the two countries had reached agreement on a Turkish loan of $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) as part of an aid package of $2 billion to support the troubled Egyptian economy. Political instability since last year’s overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak has damaged Egypt’s major revenue earner, tourism, and led to a drop in foreign investments and deepened the budget deficit.

@GulfNews

Egypt and Turkey tourism to see common promotions: Minister

Egypt and Turkey will launch a common advertising campaign to boost tourism in both countries, Egypt’s minister of tourism said during the World Travel Market that was held in London from 5 to 8 November

“The relationship [between Egyptian and Turkish tourism] is one of integration and not of competition,” Hisham Zaazou said during his meeting with his Turkish counterpart in London earlier this week.While Turkey and Egypt are both Mediterranean touristic hubs; the former is one of the largest travel destinations in the world.

Egypt, on the other hand, is much smaller in size, receiving 14 million tourists in 2010 compared to a whopping 27 million in the same year, according to United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

Tourism in Egypt was severely hit following the social and political turbulences that occurred in the aftermath of the popular uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak out of office early 2011. It started to show a slow but steady recovery in 2012, according to the latest figures.

Zaazou revealed the Egypt Air is currently cooperating with the Turkish Airlines to extend trips to areas previously not covered by the Egyptian airlines such as Brazil and South Korea.

Last October, direct flights between Istanbul in Turkey and Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt’s most sought-after beach towns, were initiated.

The minister’s statements come as part of Egypt’s effort to gather international support for the struggling tourism indusrty.

In September, Zaazou said that Egypt aimed to increase the number of visitors from a projected 12 million in 2012 to around 15 million in 2013 – which would equal the number of visitors in 2010.