Largest #tourism #project launched in #Giza – #Egypt

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CAIRO, Egypt – In an effort to revitalise the tourism sector, Giza Governor Ali Abdel Rahman announced on Sunday the details of the “largest” tourism service project in the governorate at a cost of EGP 7.5m, according to a statement from the governorate.

Ministry of Tourism will fund the project which will be implemented by Ministry of Antiquities, Abdel Rahman said. Situated near Haram Street, the project will include 280 bazaars, commercial shops, touristic restaurants and cafes with the aim of serving tourists.

According to Abdel Rahman, the tender to implement the project will be issued on a usufruct basis for the developers within a month. The announcement followed a Sunday visit by the governor to the project site, which he said would attract tourists due to proximity to the Giza Pyramids.

A total of EGP 21m has been allocated by the governorate to develop roads in the area of Haram Street, with Abdel Rahman pointed out that the governorate has spent EGP 25m on this over the past two years.

The tourism sector struggled in 2013 after many European and foreign governments warned travel agencies in August to stop selling holiday packages to Egypt amid rising fears of violence after the dispersal of a sit-in held by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The Ministry of Finance recently announced that tourism revenues in the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2013/2014 are down 66% year on year, registering $1.9bn. Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou announced last week an increase in visa fees for tourists visiting the country from $15 to $25. In a positive outlook, however, Zaazou said he expected the number of tourists to increase by 3 million in 2014 to 12.5 million, up from 9.5 million in 2013, generating $11bn in revenues.

Source: dailynewsegypt.com
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Important news about Egypt entry visa

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CAIRO, Egypt –

Egypt will increase tourist visa fees from $15 to $25 starting on May 1, 2014.

According to Hesham Zazou, tourism minister, the increase is slight and is not expected to affect the flow of tourists to the country.

The decision to increase the cost of a tourist visa to Egypt was previously postponed several times. The decision was initially meant to be implemented in November 2013. It was then postponed to February 2014, and finally to 1 May.

According to the tourism ministry, Egypt’s visa is still amongst the cheapest worldwide.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in the first two months of 2014 dropped 28 percent to 1.3 million in comparison to January and February 2013.

As the security situation in South Sinai has deteriorated under a growing militant insurgency, Germany issued a warning against travel to the peninsula.

Egypt’s revenues from tourism, a key source of foreign currency, dropped drastically after the 2011 revolution amid subsequent political instability and violence.

Source: ahram.org.eg

Umm Kulthum Museum

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The preparation for founding the Umm Kulthum Museum began in 1998, and the museum was open to the public in Dec.2001. Umm Kulthum’s role as a pop singer, cultural icon in both the Egyptian community and the Arabic world contributed enormously to the creative phase of Egyptian modern history.
Therefore, it is important to preserve this legendary tradition through collecting Umm Kuhlthum’s music, personal belongings, and related artifacts and to house them in a well established archive center.
In this process, CDF is proud to take the leadership role in supervising and funding the museum. Moreover, in order to enrich the museum collection, CDF is also responsible for collecting lesser -known personal traits and artifacts through countless direct contacts with Umm Kulthum’s family members, hoping to provide with the public a more comprehensive view of Egyptian music during the 20th century.
Located on the Roda island, the Museum, a destination to display and store Umm Kulthum’s items, shares the 250m2 building attached to the Minsterley Palace. Another reason for choosing this location is that it contains the Nile-meter, the second oldest Islamic monument in Cairo and that it is adjacent to the 161 year-old Minsterley Palace (1000m2). The significant importance of this historical area reinforces Umm Kulthum’s
cultural status in Egypt.

The Umm Kulthum Museum
consists of four halls:
The Main Hall:
It displays the collection of her dresses, awards and pendants, five collages of her photos, as well as correspondences and letters.

The Cinema Hall:
It displays a documentary movie commissioned for the opening of
the museum about Umm Kulthum, and the hall seats a maximum of 30 people

The Multimedia Hall:
It consists of a digital archival system with bilingual notes (Arabic and English?) about her life, a complete list of her songs in audio and video formats, as well as a collection of her photos. In addition, there is a collection of archive of newspaper clippings about her from 19242000- and the most important written biography about her.

The Panorama Hall:
It features a 10-minute documentary photos in an artistic way accompanied by well-known
Egyptian composer “Ragh Daood.” Since Sep. 2011, and there is a monthly Saloon held in the museum, beside a bunch of music outreach programs to reach various audience; especially students. In addition, the museum is adapting a new topic in reaching out to the
world by presenting Umm Kulthum Open Daily from 9 am – 4 pm (except for National Days)
Tickets: Ordinary LE 2
Students LE 1
Foreigners LE 6
1 El-Malek El-Saleh street, Manyal, Telfax: 23631467
http://www.facebook.com/museum.ummkulthumcdf@cdf-eg.org

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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Danny Glover to be honoured at Luxor film festival and he is today in Cairo

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The Luxor African Film Festival begins on Tuesday with a screening of Guinea-Bissau’s The Children’s Republic, starring Danny Glover

The third Luxor African Film Festival will begin on Tuesday.

The festival will open with a screening of Flora Gomes’s The Children’s Republic, a joint production between Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, about a small, fictional country in Africa where children rule after every adult abandons the place. The country prospers, but the children can no longer grow.

The film’s director, as well as its star, Danny Glover, will be present at the opening ceremony in Luxor’s famous temple. He will be receiving an honourary award for his long and fruitful career in film.

In the Long Narratives competition, Egypt is taking part with The Mice Room, while in the Short Narratives and Short Documentaries competition, Egypt’s contenders are El-Bostan El-Said Street, Sidhom and Erkie. In the Freedom Films competition, Egypt’s entry is Logical Revolt, while I Am the Film Director, another Egyptian film, will be screened in the out-of-competition selection.

Forty-one African countries are participating in the festival with more than 55 films, in addition to nine non-African countries taking part in the Freedom Films competition.

@Ahram online

Replica Tutankhamun tomb set to open in Luxor

A painstakingly accurate replica of King Tut’s tomb is set to open in EgyptLuxor

Its existence will present visitors with the moral dilemma of paying to see the original tomb or helping to preserve its future existence by visiting the facsimile version instead. 

The Supreme Council of Antiquities commissioned carefully-crafted replicas of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun back in 2009.

The move was a bid to stave off further irreparable damage caused by decades of tourists flocking to see the boy king’s burial chamber and other ancient tombs.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor
Changes in temperature and humidity, say experts, is causing the intricately painted plaster to crumble away from the walls. Visitors could soon be completely banned from entering them

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A Madrid-based company, Factum Arte, which has worked with museums all over the world to produce facsimiles of endangered art, used high-tech 3D scanners to create the replica of King Tut’s tomb in a process that has taken several years to complete.

November will see the new version of the tomb of Tutankhamun installed just outside Howard Carter’s house, around half a mile from where the original lays in Luxor‘s Valley of the Kings.

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon at Opening of King Tutankhamun's Tomb

On November 4th 1922, after years of toiling away in the Valley of the Kings, British archaeologist Howard Carter sensationally discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and revealed one of the most significant Egyptian excavations of all time.

The fascination with Carter’s story and the perpetual promise of more discoveries has seen tourists pouring into the sun-drenched site although there has been a significant dip in tourism this year as the country has suffered from ongoing political protests.

One of the Factum Arte team, Briton Adam Lowe, is hopeful that the replica will become as popular as the orginal as visitors ‘become part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction.’

He told the BBC: ‘They will have the thrill of visiting something they know is 3,000 years old and they have the guilt of knowing, as they look at it, that their presence is part of the reason why it won’t be there in another 100 years’ time.’

Source: dailymail

Classic Egypt back on map as FCO relaxes advice for tourists visiting Luxor and Aswan

British tourists wishing to visit the Valley of the Kings, home to Tutankhamun’s famous tomb, can once again do so safe in the knowledge that they will be covered by travel insurance after the British government relaxed long-standing advisories.

The FCO is still warning against all but essential travel to a large part of the country including Cairo and the North Sinai but destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and the Abu Simbel temples in Nubia are back on the map.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: ‘We continue to urge British nationals already in Egypt to follow the instructions of the local authorities and obey curfews where they are in place. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt. This has not changed.’

They continued: ‘As always, the safety of British nationals is a priority. We continue to follow developments carefully, and keep our travel advice under continuous review.

‘British nationals should continue to monitor FCO travel advice closely for any updates and stay away from any demonstrations or protests.’

Speaking at a holiday industry conference in London last week, Egypt’s minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou told journalists: ‘More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan. 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.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2500039/Egypt-map-FCO-relaxes-advice-tourists-Luxor-Aswan.html#ixzz2kdoGTpIN

Lavrov hopes to restore tourism cooperation with Egypt

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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/

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.