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Egypt to build £16.4bn seaside resort to nab tourists from Spain, Italy and Greece

A major new seaside resort on the country’s northern coast – named “South Med” – was announced by Egypt’s Prime Minister on Tuesday, with hopes for it to become a tourist hotspot like those in Spain, Italy and Greece. 

The project, developed by Egyptian real estate giant Talaat Moustafa Holding Group (TMG), is expected to attract investments worth EGP 1 trillion – or £16.4 billion – and generate sales of EGP 1.6 trillion – £25.7 billion, the company’s CEO, Hisham Talaat announced during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Assem El-Gazzar, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, was also present. 

The project is set to span across 23 million square metres and feature a large international marina for yachts and tourist ships. It also boasts a strategic location of just over 100 miles from Alexandria, with easy access from Alamein Airport, just 15 minutes away, said Daily News Egypt. 

Within the first few hours of reservations opening, the project achieved actual sales of EGP 60 billion, “an unprecedented figure in Egypt’s real estate and tourism sectors,” according to Talaat. 

He added that the project comes as a model of partnership between the state and private sector in real estate, in line with the government’s policy of encouraging the private sector to play a larger role in developing the national economy, reported thenationalnews.com. 

“Local investment is capable of generating projects that match global ones to create real added value for Egypt and its economy,” Talaat continued. 

The project is expected to generate 1.6 million direct job opportunities through construction and other related industries.

During his speech, the Prime Minister emphasised the government’s commitment to developing the north coast as a focal point to maximise the tourism sector. It forms part of Egypt’s Vision 2030 and National Strategic Plan. The goal is to double the current tourist numbers visiting Egypt by 2030, Madbouly said. 

“South Med” is expected to contribute to this goal by providing over 2,000 hotel rooms and numerous residential units with a rental programme linked to the hotel system.

He also highlighted the north coast’s moderate year-round climate and physical attributes as reasons for the area’s capability of absorbing a large portion of Egypt’s future population growth. 

The government is also working to provide more job opportunities through implementing a large, integrated set of projects, to encourage the Egyptian youth to permanently move to the north coast region. 

The Prime Minister stressed that this project, along with others including New Alamein City and the Ras Al Hikma project in partnership with the UAE will attract millions of foreign tourists from around the world, especially from the higher spending segments from Europe and Arab countries. 

Generally, Egypt is looking to develop its northern coast to offer tourists desiring Mediterranean sun and sea with a different, and arguably cheaper, option. 

The tourism sector in Spain accounts for about 15 percent of Spanish GDP, reaching an all-time high of 10.9 million euros – or £9.2 million, according to Trading Economics. In Greece, the global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to €57.2 billion – or £48.4 billion – by 2033, representing nearly a quarter (23.6 percent) of the Greek economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

In comparison, while Egypt’s tourism sector revenues have grown by five percent to £5.1 billion in the first half of 2024 compared to the same period of 2023, according to Skift, this is mainly confined to its ancient sites, capital and the Red Sea. It is hoped that through projects such as “South Med” and Alamein City, Egypt will nab tourists destined for Greece, Italy and Spain. 


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