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  • 29/12/2010 - JAN 2011

    • Christmas in Egypt

      Hotels and touristic outlets in Egypt have long celebrated Christmas for tourism-related reasons. However, over the past few years, the holiday has been visibly gaining ground throughout various strata of Egyptian society.
      Around 10 December, the Christmas buzz starts to hit with displays popping up in almost every major Cairo mall. Banners with “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” adorn different store and restaurant fronts, and it becomes all too evident that the consumer fever that hits many other parts of the world has caught on here this year too.
      Some reports say that around 500,000 Christmas trees will have been sold this year in Egypt by 25 December–a large number considering how many Egyptians observe Christmas as part of their religion.
      The Coptic Catholic Church, which celebrates 25 December, has around 200,000 adherents only. Over 95% of Egypt’s large and observant Christian population are Orthodox Coptic, and celebrate Christmas on 7 January. An Orthodox Coptic Christmas is also distinctly void of reindeer, evergreen trees, and carols about Santa coming down Cairene chimneys.
      Christmas in Egypt has departed from its roots as a celebration of the birth of Christ and taken on a more social role, with many Muslims and Christians–especially in the more affluent communities–celebrating it without really observing it.
      Many consumer and touristic outlets, however, use the season in any way possible to incite consumerism

      Gonchar hired to lead ASTA

      ASTA has announced that Tony Gonchar, a travel industry veteran with more than 25 years of global travel industry experience, has accepted the position of CEO. Gonchar’s experience includes roles in strategic planning, marketing and branding, sales management, and customer recognition and retention. His first day as CEO of ASTA will be Jan. 3, 2011. In 2007, Gonchar was appointed executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Virtuoso where he was responsible for the company’s member and supplier relationships, as well as all marketing programs and strategy. Prior to working at Virtuoso, Gonchar spent seven years at Expedia running its private label and branded partnerships division. Most recently, he was a consultant for Microsoft.

      United Nations World Tourism Organization

      UNWTO activities at FITUR 2011

      Intelligent investment in emerging markets and renewable energies; the development of new, innovative technologies and access to knowledge are all decisive in enhancing tourism’s competitiveness and its contribution to global growth, development, and job creation. These areas provide the focus for United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) activities at the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR 2011 to be held in Madrid, Spain, January 19-23, 2011. UNWTO PRESS CONFERENCE - LATEST INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FIGURES January 17, 1100–1300 UNWTO Headquarters FITUR 2011 will be preceded by UNWTO’s annual press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Madrid, at which UNWTO will present the latest edition of the World Tourism Barometer, providing an overview of 2010 results and a first comprehensive outlook for the year ahead. Register with LAUNCH OF THE UNWTO KNOWEDLGE NETWORK January 19, 1530-1830 Rooms N111-N112 A worldwide community of innovative companies, institutions, and other public and private organizations dedicated to furthering tourism knowledge have been brought together under the new UNWTO Knowledge Network. The network is designed to support UNWTO and its Member States in all matters concerning science, technology, innovation and knowledge management, and directly contribute to the competitive and sustainable development of the tourism sector. At FITUR, the 73 Network members, appointed as UNWTO Think Tanks, UNWTO Strategic Centres, and UNWTO Knowledge Institutions, will come together for the first time for the UNWTO Knowledge Network Kick-off Meeting. This meeting, to be opened by UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, will debate the role of innovation and knowledge management in tourism; present projects for the members of the network in Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific; and provides an invaluable networking opportunity. Register with HOTEL ENERGY SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE January 20, 1000-1800 Room N103 Following two years of research and testing, the second edition of the Hotel Energy Solutions Conference, "An Innovative Energy Toolkit for Hotels" will present the HES E-toolkit, an easy-to-use software application, to help hoteliers assess their current energy use and decide on the most advantageous technology investment solutions. Representatives from Europe’s leading energy management agencies will present the latest innovations in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, while HES pilot destinations will discuss the services they provide for supporting and guiding hotels in their energy use. Running parallel to the conference and after last year’s success, FITUR and UNWTO will for the second time organize a special exhibition area dedicated to energy and tourism; FITUR GREEN (January 19-23). Hoteliers will have the opportunity to meet directly with energy experts and other tourism professionals to learn how a better energy management strategy can boost their business profits and reduce their carbon footprint. Register at INVESTOUR - TOURISM INVESTMENT FORUM FOR AFRICA January 20, 930-1830 Rooms N115-N116 The Tourism Investment Forum for Africa, INVESTOUR, organized by UNWTO together with FITUR and Casa Africa, will hold its second edition at FITUR Madrid to continue promoting sustainable tourism development in Africa. The event positions the African continent as a destination for tourism investment, allowing destinations to open up and present their offer to potential investors. At the same time, the event highlights the importance of investment for economic growth, sustainable development, and job creation across the continent. The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will be featured as a special guest. Register at PLATMA: NEW ONLINE PLATFORM FOR UNWTO AFFILIATE MEMBERS January 20, 900-1400 Rooms N101-N102 UNWTO, in collaboration with SEGITTUR (the Spanish Cooperation for the Management of Innovation and Technology in Tourism), will officially launch its new online platform for UNWTO Affiliate Members; Platma. This new technological tool is aimed at promoting open dialogue, collaboration, and the exchange of experiences, opinions, and knowledge among UNWTO Affiliate Members. During the seminar, "Innovative solutions applied to the development of the tourism sector," at which Platma will be presented, guests will also have the opportunity to learn first-hand how companies and destinations are pioneering innovative solutions and using new technologies to develop new products and services and improve management. Register at OF THE UNWTO TECHNICAL COOPERATION PRODUCT PORTFOLIO January 21, 1030-1200 Room to be confirmed Technical cooperation is at the very heart of UNWTO’s work and a key instrument in supporting Member States in their efforts to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of their tourism sector. A UNWTO Technical Cooperation Product Portfolio outlining the wide range of technical products and services provided by UNWTO will be presented for the first time at FITUR. The presentation will introduce various technical products focused around four major areas: policy and economic planning; human resources; product development, marketing, and promotion; and statistics and quality standards. UNWTO Members will have the opportunity to learn more about the products and services available, how to obtain UNWTO technical assistance, and the implementation process for technical cooperation projects. Register with Please visit the UNWTO stand at FITUR: 8D22.

      70pc of ATM exhibition space already sold out

      ARABIAN Travel Market (ATM) has revealed that 70 per cent of exhibition space for its 2011 event has already been sold after unveiling a new format to its four-day event. An additional day of business focus has been introduced while still maintaining a dedicated session for consumers.
      So far confirmed exhibition space totaling around 15,000 sq m has been secured, which is a five per cent increase over the same marketing period last year. Indeed, despite a fragile global economic recovery, retention rates for ATM have been particularly impressive with a 63.6 per cent average over the last three years, which rises to 72.6 per cent for companies which have participated for two consecutive years or more.   
      “To sell 70 per cent of our exhibition space at this stage of the marketing cycle with such consistent retention is a testimony to the strength of our brand,” said Mark Walsh, group exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. “It also highlights the fact that we deliver our promise, our extended business sessions are a good example of that.”
      Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the show, which is approaching its 18th year, takes place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
      In 2011 the event will open a day earlier running from Monday to Thursday (May 2 to 5), with new opening times creating an extra day of business on Thursday followed by a dedicated consumer session later the same day between 3pm and 9pm.
      ATM has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world. The 2010 show attracted 2,236 exhibitors covering more than 20,000 sq m and attracting 22,000-plus visitors.
      Underscoring the strength of the brand throughout the region, Rotana Hotels Management Corporation, one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East and North Africa, has agreed to sponsor the pre-event registration process and the onsite registration area at the show.
      “Rotana is a well respected, dynamic hospitality brand with ambitious expansion plans, having already grown from from two properties in 1993 to 42 today, exemplifying the extraordinary growth throughout the region over the past 15 years,” said Walsh.
      The agreement is an exclusive sponsorship opportunity with high brand visibility on all registration collateral material as well as high-impact onsite exposure including registration staff in Rotana-branded uniforms.
      Omer Kaddouri, COO of Rotana, said: “Our overall objective at the show is to strengthen our regional presence and to support our expansion plans for 70 properties by 2014. Sponsoring the pre-show and onsite registration at a premier event such as Arabian Travel Market will assist us greatly in promoting our brand and showcasing the products within the Rotana portfolio.”
      “In addition, all participants who pre-register for Arabian Travel Market 2011 will be eligible for a 10 per cent discount on their airfare from Emirates,” said Walsh.

      Egypt and Canada sign airline agreement

      The expanded agreement allows airlines to operate more flights between Canada and Egypt.
      Air Canada is currently the only airline offering flights between the two countries. EgyptAir, which is Air Canada’s Star Alliance partner, offers flights only part of the year.
      The new agreement also allows the airlines to offer service between the two countries using other carriers, in what are known as code-sharing services.

      Egyptian-Sudanese Tourism Cooperation

      Sudan and Egypt confirm cooperation in the tourism projects field

      The Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Tourism, Ali Mahgoub, confirmed the governments of Egypt and Sudan support to their partnership in the field of tourism projects. He noted that in regard of the agreement made between his ministry and the Egyptian tourist Businessmen Association and some companies to activate the tourism partnership around the Red Sea area, parks and areas of archaeological importance, besides the establishment of tourist areas along the shores of the River Nile as well as the establishment of a joint Institute of tourism between the two countries. He said during a seminar of the development of tourism between Sudan and Egypt in areas of investment: “Egypt has given the world a model of tourism investment as tourism is the largest revenue in its national income.” The Sudanese official said in a statement that tourism revenues in Sudan amounted to 485 million dollars in 2009. Source:

      Heathrow boss apologises as flight disruption continues

      BAA boss Colin Matthews has apologised to Heathrow’s passengers as the Government announces an inquiry into Britain’s transport failure after the snow chaos is over. Matthews said he was “really disappointed we have disrupted so many people’s Christmas plans”. And he told the BBC Today programme that “he couldn’t be more sorry” about the situation, and added that there would be a “forensic analysis” of Heathrow’s ability to cope with the bad weather in the upcoming weeks. “We are well set up to cope with what we are used to having in the UK,” he added. But it has been revealed that at London Gatwick, which has coped better with the adverse weather, more snow ploughs were ordered earlier this month and it is set to have as much snow clearing machinery as Oslo within a couple of months. Matthews admitted that “it may well be that we have under invested”. Meanwhile, while Matthews advised travellers not to come to Heathrow airport until they had checked with their airline, many airlines’ websites were collapsing under the onslaught of enquiries. British Airways put out an apology for problems with its website via its Twitter feed. Other London airports appeared to be coping better with the weather, and a Gatwick spokesperson said it was returning to normal today. But this afternoon Heathrow was issuing warnings saying terminals 1 and 3 were full and passengers should not travel to those terminals until further notice. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond promised a thorough investigation of how Britain’s infrastructure coped during the extremely cold weather, once the worst was over. But Hammond faced criticism from Labour about why it hadn’t put an emergency plan with 43 recommendations into action. And London mayor Boris Johnson has called on BAA to pull out all the stops to get Heathrow moving again, and questioned why so few aircraft took off even after it stopped snowing.

      Press Release - Cache of Demotic Ostraca Found

      A Roman cache of demotic ostraca has been discovered at the Greco-Roman site of Soknopaiou Nesos/Dime es-Seba, located two kilometers north of Qarun Lake in the Fayoum. Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced today that the cache was uncovered during an excavation carried out by an Italian archaeological expedition from Università del Salento. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that 150 ostraca were found. Each ostracon was inscribed with the name of a priest who worked at Soknopaiou Nesos in a temple dedicated to the god, Soknopaios. The texts written on the ostraca date back to the Roman period and have been very helpful in illuminating the religious practices and the prosopography of Greco-Roman Egypt. Dr. Mario Capasso, Director of the mission, suggests that the newly discovered ostraca were originally kept in a storeroom situated in a courtyard in front of Soknopaios’ temple. Dr. Capasso believes that the ostraca were thrown out of the temple during a clandestine excavation at the end of the 19th century. Soknopaiou Nesos is very important for the understanding of Greco-Roman society in Egypt because of its excellent state of preservation and the amount of papyri and other inscribed material found at the site. Civilization at the site reached its peak during the first and second century AD as it sat along a major trade route. In addition to the Ptolemaic temple of Soknopaios, the site is well known for a collection of sphinxes, as well as Roman and demotic papyri. 



      New lecture announced!


      Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Vice-Culture Minister for Egypt and one of the most important Egyptologists in the world today, will be holding his first public lecture in Manchester at Bridgewater Hall on Friday, 4 February 2011. This lecture sees Hawass return to the UK after his sell-out speech in front of 2,300 visitors at the IndigO Theatre in London’s O2 Arena, back in August 2008.Highly regarded among experts for his commitment to drawing worldwide attention to Egypt’s history and treasures, Hawass has made a decisive contribution to the lasting public legacy of Ancient Egypt and the far-reaching cultural significance of this era. Dr. Zahi Hawass will discuss Egypt’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun, the search for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, new insights on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the exciting research into the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony in his 90 minute multimedia lecture. He will also draw on biographical anecdotes and personal experiences from his many years of scientific activity, including his current excavations at Giza and latest project – revealing the secrets of the mummy of Ramses III. Following his lecture, visitors will be treated to a book signing and be able to get signed copies of Hawass’ books, ‘Inside the Egyptian Museum,’ ‘A Secret Voyage’ and his long-awaited new children’s book ‘King Tut and I.’ The lecture is being hosted in conjunction with Semmel Concerts and The Manchester Ancient Egypt Society. Tickets are available from 16 December, 2010. To book visit or call 0161 907 9000 Front stalls £20.00 Adult £15.00 Concession £10.00 (Senior Citiziens, Students, Unemployed and Registered Disabled on production of relevant ID). Children (up to 16 yrs) and school groups: £7.00 Price includes VAT, service charges apply for internet and telephone bookings.

      Snow disruption to air travel “unacceptable”, says EC

      The level of air travel disruption during this month’s bad weather was “unacceptable and should not happen again”, according to European Commission vice president Siim Kallas, who hinted that the introduction of new regulations for airports could happen next year. “Airports must get serious about planning for this kind of severe weather conditions,” he said. “We have seen in recent years that snow is western Europe is not such an exceptional circumstance. Better preparedness, in line with what is done in Northern Europe, is not an optional extra. It must be planned for and with the necessary investment, particularly on the side of the airports.” Kallas, who is responsible for transport at the Commission, said if regulation was needed to set a minimum level of service from airports, then the Commission was prepared to consider this. “We need to ensure that, from infrastructure providers such as airports and rail infrastructure manages, there are appropriate service levels and minimum quality requirements that are followed and delivered.” Regulation could be considered when the Commission looks at slots and ground handling in the summer of 2011. The vice president added that safety must always be a priority and that “there can be no compromise on that front”. The European Commission was also monitoring the current situation very closely and was in constant touch with airlines, airports, rail operators and national authorities responsible for passenger rights. “I have become increasingly concerned about the problems relating to the infrastructure available to airlines – airports and ground handling – during this severe period of snow. It seems at this stage that this is a ‘weak link’ in a chain which, under pressure, is contributing to severe disruption,” said Kallas. He will hold a meeting with airports representatives in the next few days to ask for further explanations and to “take a hard look” at what is necessary to make sure they would be able to operate more effectively in the similar situations in the future He added: “What we need for the future is to make sure that there is proportionate responsibility and risk sharing between all the operators in the supply chain, in particular when it comes to air travel, and this includes also passengers. I intend to address this issue during next year.”

      New Phase of Egyptian Museum Development Project Inaugurated

      Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), inaugurated the new Development Project of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. View of the newly opened Egyptian Museum Store (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny announced that the project’s aim is to provide more services and facilities to the museum’s patrons, which will include adding a new visitor’s route and extending the hours of operation until 10:00 pm. The museum is now equipped with a brand new visitor’s center that includes a beautiful bookstore, cafeteria, restaurant and a children’s museum. This center is located on the western side of the Egyptian Museum and will be accessible through

      the museum’s new tour route. Dr. Hawass also will announce the opening of an open-air permanent exhibition on the eastern side of the museum. The collection includes a number of sarcophagi, statuary and architectural elements from ancient Egyptian tombs and temples. Dr. Hawass inaugurated the new phase of the Egyptian Museum Development Project, which includes a bookstore, cafeteria, restaurant and open air exhibition (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) At the completion of this Development Project, visitors will enter the museum from the main entrance gate located at Tahrir Square and exit from the side gate next to Mariette’s mausoleum. This phase of the Egyptian Museum Development Project is one part of a multi-phase plan to transform the museum into a beautiful space for the display of ancient Egyptian art. The project will be complete after transferring some of the existing Egyptian Museum collection to the planned Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking Giza plateau. The basement of the museum has also gotten a face-lift as part of the project. Hawass explains that it has been transformed into a research center for scientific testing, equipped with a DNA lab, documentation center and administrative sector.

  • 21/12/2010 - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  • 04/12/2010 - December 2010

    • Hotel Design And Construction Egypt Conference
      Tourism and hotel industry thriving in Egypt

      Mena Cairo House Oberoi Hotel / Image via CAIRO - Egypt is currently witnessing an unparalleled boom in tourism, which is propelling this historic nation to the forefront of the developing tourism industry. Recent statistics on Euromonitor International indicate that, in the past four years, tourism revenue has increased by 40 percent. In order to further increase national income from tourism, the country has directed part of the foreign investment capital to construct new hotels to accommodate the growing number of tourists. This trend is the driving force for IQPC's Hotel Design and Construction Egypt, which will take place from December 12-15, 2010. When asked to describe the current market situation, Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, commented that, "With the growth in tourism, the increasing strength of the Egyptian economy, the sustained development of the infrastructure required, and the investment support from within the Egyptian tourism and hospitality sector, we see expansion within Egypt to be an important future strategy." It appears not only leading hotel operators are looking to branch into this emerging market. Cooper's sentiments were echoed by HGBD Arabia's Waleed Mohammed Abdel Saleem. In a recent survey, the Design Divison manager gave his opinion on the Egyptian tourism market saying, "Egypt is a healthy and profitable market, there are lots of areas that need resorts and hotels." Experts have indicated that there needs to be a level of sophistication in designing and constructing hotels to fit the demands of the increasing tourism boom. With an evolving industry, it is vital for industry leaders to stay up to date and transport the emerging tourism market in this region to a wel- established and competent market. As was outlined, this region holds a great potential for future construction projects in the tourism industry, and there is no doubt that the demand is there. In order for hotel owners to learn more about the direction of the market, it is paramount to network with and understand the unique challenges in the design and construction industry for Egyptian hotels. Hotel Design and Construction Egypt will provide case studies on landmark designs, consider the challenges in guaranteeing sustainability and maintainability of hotel projects and will present industry insider techniques on ensuring the legacy of developments through cultural and demand-driven relevance. Held in Cairo, Egypt, from December 12-15, 2010, the launch in IQPC's hotel design events will bring together international key speakers to share best-practice methods of ensuring responsible tourism during the design stage, adhering to green building regulations and harmonizing stakeholder's expectations in order to achieve brand characteristics from design through to construction.

      Travel Trends Survey 2011 travel trends revealed

      Nov 29, 2010 LONDON, England - The results of annual Travel Trends Survey have been announced today. "Overall, 2011 looks more positive for both travelers and the travel industry," comments Emma O'Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson. "Britons intend to travel more often and will spend more money doing so, but will proceed with caution as the industry emerges slowly from a very difficult year." FOREIGN TRAVEL FORECAST Travel Trends Survey reveals that 2011 will see Britons travel more, with a significant number (66%) of people planning to take a long-haul holiday. Only a third of Brits are planning a stay-at-home holiday next year, marking the possible demise of the 'staycation' trend which has dominated the last few years. - One in 10 Brits are planning to travel more on holiday in 2011 than they did this year - Two-thirds (66%) of Brits are planning at least one long-haul holiday in 2011 - Just 38% of Brits are planning a staycation in 2011, compared to 45% in 2010 - Over two-thirds (67%) are planning at least one domestic holiday, a slight decrease from 73% in 2010 2010: A YEAR OF AIR TRAVEL ANXIETIES The devastating earthquakes in China, Haiti and Indonesia this year have had an impact on our psyche - but despite a threefold increase from a year ago, national disasters affecting travel plans are only a concern for 6% of British travellers." Other issues concerning British travellers this year: - A brand new travel issue to emerge since last year's survey is volcanic ash - 15% of Brits admit they are worried about this disrupting their 2011 travel plans - A third (31%) are fearful of further strikes affecting the travel plans - Concerns over rises in APD, the air travel tax, are likely to afcect the travel plans of over a quarter (28%) of Brits - Following the recent high profile collapses of travel firms including Goldtrail and Kiss Flights over a quarter (26%) are worried about travel companies going bust But all this uncertainty in the travel industry is good news for travel insurance companies - over a quarter (28%) of Brits admit they are more likely to buy travel insurance in 2011 than this year. CAUTIOUSLY CONFIDENT BUT A FEW WILL SPLASH THE CASH Despite Government austerity cuts and fears of a double-dip recession, the general mood of the nation when it comes to holiday spend is more positive than a year ago: - Over a third (36%) of Brits think they'll spend more on their holidays in 2011 than they did in 2010 - A third (32%) plan to spend between GBP2,000-GBP4,000 in total on leisure travel in 2011 - An extravagant 14% of Brits intend to spend over GBP8,000 on travel in 2011 FLYING FRUSTRATIONS Security breaches, bomb scares, full body scanners and inconsistent airport rules have all contributed to travellers feeling increasingly frustrated and confused with air travel over the last 12 months. The TripAdvisor 2011 Travel Trends Survey also reveals: - 14% of Brits have had items confiscated or had to re-pack bags at an airport this year - Almost a fifth (17%) of Europeans (14% of Brits) admit that confusing baggage rules will affect their holiday planning in 2011 BRITS WEAKEN OVER GREEN TRAVEL Brits' best environmental intentions have weakened in the last 12 months - 14% of Brits planned to be more environmentally conscious in their travels in 2010, compared to just 10% now. - Nine out of ten (90%) Brits admit they do not think they will be more environmentally conscious with their travel plans in 2011 - 83% of Brits neither plan to fly or drive less for their holidays in 2011, compared to the EU average of 64%. "Although economically British travellers are more confident for the year ahead, it's still been a turbulent time for the travel industry with strikes, volcanic ash and airport security issues. With all these aviation anxieties it's perhaps no surprise that environmental concerns are now an even lower priority for British travellers," concludes Emma O'Boyle.

      Ashmolean Museum initiates renovation of Egyptian galleries

      A £5m redevelopment at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum to showcase the museum’s collections from Ancient Egypt has been granted planning permission by Oxford City Council. The new Egyptian section will be designed by Rick Mather, the architect responsible for the award- winning museum extension. Under the plan, the four existing Egyptian galleries will be refurbished. A fifth gallery will be created by transforming the Ruskin Gallery, which is used as the Ashmolean shop. The Egyptian galleries will close on January 1 with new galleries expected to open in 12 months’ time

      Thesis reveals Queen Arsinoë ruled Egypt as female pharaoh

      Queen Arsinoë II, daughter of Ptolemy I (366–283 B.C.), a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, ruled Egypt as pharaoh some 200 years earlier than Cleopatra, according to a new study into a unique Egyptian crown. “She was no ordinary woman. She fought in battles, and even participated in the Olympics, where she won three events for harnessed horses,” Maria Nilsson, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told Discovery News. A crown, which has never been found, but is depicted on statues and carved stone reliefs, was created especially for her. Nilsson analyzed 158 Egyptian relief scenes dating from Arsinoë’s lifetime to Emperor Trajan, spanning about 400 years, studying every detail of the crown, including hieroglyphic titles and relief scenes. She found that the crown was made of four main elements: the red crown, symbolizing the rule of Lower Egypt, the ram horns, connected primarily with the ram god of Egypt, Amon, the cow horns and solar disc, symbolizing the goddess Hathor and the harmony between male and female, and the double feather plume, another important symbol of Amon. According to Nilsson, these symbols show that Arsinoë’s crown was created for a living queen who was supposed to be a high priestess, a goddess and the ruler of Lower Egypt at the same time

      Exhibition brings ancient Book of the Dead to life

      The coffin of Pasenhor, an influential member of the Libyan Meshwesh tribe, around the 22nd dynasty (725 BC) which is inscribed with various spells from the Book of the Dead, is seen at the British Museum in London, Tuesday, Nov. 2. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

      As self-help manuals go, the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead has certainly stood the test of time. For centuries, the 3,500-year-old guidebook offered Egyptians a step-by-step guide to the journey from this life to the next. It remains famous, if poorly understood — a spooky collection of arcane symbols, crocodile-jawed monsters and jackal-headed gods. A major new exhibition at the British Museum hopes to shed new light on the book, which was not a single volume, but a series of spells and illustrations inked onto papyrus scrolls and designed to help the dead make the perilous journey to the afterlife. The show seeks to dispel the modern notion — partly created by all the tombs, mummies and funeral masks — that ancient Egyptians were obsessed with death. "They were not obsessed with death, as some people say — they were obsessed with life," the exhibition's curator, John Taylor, said Tuesday. "Most people would have died by 35, but they had quite a privileged life in many ways, and wanted to continue with it after death." The show, which opens Thursday and runs to March 6, is the first of three British Museum exhibitions looking at death and spirituality through the ages. A show next year looking at devotion in Medieval Europe will be followed in 2012 by one about the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. The Egyptian exhibition reveals a highly developed society with a complex theology — and an eye for commerce. It winds, labyrinth-like, through the museum's circular Reading Room, mirroring the journey humans were thought to take after death. It was a spiritual obstacle course that saw the soul leave the mummified body of the departed and travel through the nether world. There it could be waylaid by scorching fires, poisonous snakes, wild animals and worst of all the Devourer — a demon with the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. The final obstacle was a trial, at which the heart was placed on a set of scales and weighed against a feather. A light heart meant successful passage to the afterlife. A heavy heart, weighed down with sin, meant being thrown to the Devourer. The book's spells and illustrations, developed over centuries from about 1,500 BC, were intended as a guide to overcoming these obstacles. There were 200 spells in all, from which wealthy Egyptians could pick and choose for their own custom-made Books of the Dead. The exhibition brings together some of the treasures from the museum's world-famous collection of Egyptian artifacts. There are mummies, gilded funeral masks and cedar coffins colorfully decorated in red and blue. The star objects are the scrolls themselves, long rolls of papyrus covered with neat black and red hieroglyphic columns and illustrated with scenes of the afterlife. They were rolled up and placed alongside mummies in their coffins. Spells also were inscribed on coffin walls, mummies' shrouds and even their linen bandages. Fragile and easily damaged by light, the scrolls are rarely displayed. The longest, a 120-foot (37-meter) scroll made for the daughter of a high priest about 3,000 years ago, has never been shown in public before. The exhibition reveals the Egyptians' spirituality — but also their knack for commerce. Only the most powerful individuals could afford their own custom-made scrolls, and mass-market options were available to the less well-off. Archeologists can tell that Ani, a senior civil servant — scribe to the king — who died about 1275 BC, bought his scroll off the shelf because his name has been inserted into blanks spots in the text. Another exhibit is a basalt and gold amulet in the shape of a scarab beetle, with a blank space on the back where the buyer's name could be written. It was one of a variety of objects that could be purchased as part of preparations for a good death. "Over time, more things became essential," Taylor said. "Somebody had a business sense there." Having completed the arduous journey, the successful person could spend the afterlife sailing with the sun god Ra in his boat across the sky, or dwelling with Osiris, god of the underworld. But the most favored option was to settle in the Field of Reeds, a fertile riverside land that resembled an idealized version of the Egypt the deceased had left behind. "The ultimate goal was going home," Taylor said, "but without the illness, suffering and death."

      Press Release - Ancient road uncovered in Luxor

      Mr. Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, announces that the expedition of the Supreme Council of Antiquities at the Avenue of the Sphinxes found today twelve new sphinx statues from the reign of Nectanebo I (380-362 BC). These sphinx statues were found in the last sector of the Avenue of the Sphinxes

      New road of Nectanebo I discovered in Luxor. Remains of sphinx statues can be seen in the middle of the area. (Photo: SCA) Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said the discovery is not located within the known road of the Avenue of the Sphinxes between Karnak and Luxor Temples, but instead at the end of the newly discovered road of Nectanebo I. The Avenue runs from Luxor to Karnak, where it connects to the temple of the goddess Mut. Mansour Boraik, Supervisor of Luxor Antiquities, indicated that this is the first time a new road that runs from east to west, toward

      West Bank lighting system completed

      The SCA had finished the lighting system project of west bank, Luxor with a budget of 56 million Egyptian pounds. The project was done in co-operation with Egypt sound and light company and Architecture Lumiere (French company). Dr.Zahi Hawass said that the point of the project is to protect the tombs of the west bank as the huge number of visitors will be distributed on longer hours of the day from 7am till 8pm which will decrease the humidity that affects the tombs badly.

      Terry Fox Run DECEMBER 11 , 2010 at the Giza Pyramids

      Join us to fight cancer! It gives us great pleasure to share with you the news of a great endeavor that is taking place around the world to fight cancer and which we hope you can participate in. Since his famous run across Canada in 1981, Terry Fox has become synonymous with fighting cancer. A cancer victim himself, he decided to raise funds to fight this disease instead of waiting to die on his death by running a marathon across Canada; he ran till the last breath as he died before completing his run. Since then the Terry Fox run has been a fund raising event that takes place annually in many parts of the world. This year the Canadian embassy is organizing the Terry Fox run in Egypt on Dec 11, at the foothill of Giza Pyramids. All the funds raised will be donated to the research center at Hospital 57357. We would like to ask you to participate in this event and spread the word.

      5 Middle East countries Americans think of as friendly

      NEW YORK - A new Harris Poll that measures the attitudes of Americans to 13 countries in or near to the Middle East Many people see Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as friendly to the U.S. On the other hand, many people see Iran, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan as unfriendly or as enemies. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive. Key findings of this poll include: More than two in five adults (43%) think of Israel as a close ally. Few people see any of the other twelve countries as close allies. Kuwait ranks second on the list with 13%;Fully 69% of the public see Israel as either a close ally or a friend. Sizable numbers see five of the countries, Egypt (49%), Kuwait (45%), Turkey (44%), Saudi Arabia (39%), and Jordan (38%) as friendly; At the other end of the list, a large majority (71%) think of Iran unfriendly and an enemy. No other country comes close, but sizable minorities feel this way about Afghanistan (45%), Iraq (42%), Libya (39%), Syria (34%) and Pakistan (32%); There have been no large changes in American perceptions of these countries since the Harris Poll first asked these questions in 2006, and in comparable polls since then. However, fewer people now think of several of these countries as close allies or friends than in any of the earlier studies including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. But the decline in public perceptions of these countries is generally modest. So What? Several conclusions can be drawn from these findings. Public belief that Israel is a friend or ally, while down very slightly from the 2009 survey, remains very strong. Most of the other countries measured are predominately Islamic nations, although it appears American attitudes to Muslim countries are not monolithic or uniform—opinions of different countries vary greatly. However, the modest decline in positive attitudes toward five of the Muslim countries may suggest a slight increase in anti-Islamic feeling among some Americans.

      Naomi Campbell's wedding in Egypt

      Witness the historic Egyptian city of Luxor Witness the historic Egyptian city of Luxor during the month of December wedding supermodel Naomi Campbell and her fiance, wealthy Russian Vladislav Doronen. The report said a photographer for the program (Life Today) that the wedding Naomi Campbell-old daughter and her fiance, 40-year-old Russian 47-year- And which is scheduled to be held in the temple of Luxor in the seventh month of December .. Ceremony will be legendary and will exceed the cost of millions, and the couple they invited 250 relatives and friends along with a large number of journalists And Naomi Campbell and her fiance at the hotel will hold a historic construction dates back to 1886 and overlooking the River Nile south of Luxor Temple. The program emphasized that the Temple of Luxor is the place of the wedding, which will be the legendary Naomi Campbell and her fiance, wealthy. He added that the couple will hold a program in the hotel «Winter Palace», overlooking the River Nile south of the temple, which is the same hotel, which witnessed the first public appearance of French President Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni.

  • 31/10/2010 - November 2010

    • Dear members,

      We are proud to announce that according to Kuoni Travel

      LTD half year assessment, Traveline Egypt has hit number one country Worldwide.

      Traveline is exhibiting in the WTM at the Egyptian Pavilion booth number 65.

       WTM diary – show promising more business than ever

      WORLD Travel Market 2010 (WTM), the premier global event for the travel industry, is poised to be the barometer for the health of the travel and tourism industry as the global economy emerges out of the financial downturn. The World Travel and Tourism Council is predicting a 0.5 per cent increase in real GDP growth this year increasing to an average of 4.4 per cent over the coming 10 years, while Euromonitor International, at WTM Vision this summer in London, predicted a multispeed recovery with different sectors and geographical regions returning to growth at different times. As the global industry comes to London for WTM 2010 from November 8 to 11, the omens are looking positive. Last year, WTM generated more than £1,139 million ($1,765 million) in travel industry deals and senior buyers from the Meridian Club are confident of increasing that figure with almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of members polled stating they expect to conduct a greater amount of business (in monetary value) at WTM 2010 than they did at WTM 2009. Three out of 10 Meridian Club members expect to conduct between 11 and 25 per cent more business than last year and a further 35 per cent expect to conduct up to 10 per cent more business than in 2009. The results of this poll are encouraging for both World Travel Market and the wider industry as it would appear the industry is leaving the financial downturn behind. World Travel Market 2010 will be the largest ever WTM due to the £165-million ($255-million) expansion of host venue ExCeL, London. This expansion has allowed WTM to introduce a number of new features while also improving the environment to conduct and conclude business in. One major new initiative is the sports pavilion which opens up WTM delegates to one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry, responsible for generating more than $51 billion a year. The sports pavilion has some of the world’s leading stadia exhibiting including Wembley, Lord’s, Wimbledon and Twickenham. Furthermore, this year will see a Meridian Club lounge in each exhibition hall with the intention of making it even easier for exhibitors and club members to conduct negotiations. The travel and tourism industry has experienced difficult times through the recent financial downturn and will continue to do so – 13 travel companies in the UK have failed this year with predictions of a further 20 collapsing before the end of the year. However, the industry’s desire to sign deals and the global consumers’ clear desire to travel means World Travel Market 2010 is poised to be a very busy four days indeed.

       Egypt's Plans for Luxor: Vegas on the Nile?

      Luxor has long been Egypt's prize possession. It was here that the ancient Egyptians at one time built their capital of Thebes; where Pharoahs dedicated massive temples to their gods; and where Howard Carter unearthed the world-famous boy King, Tutankhamen, in his tomb full of riches in 1922. "It has been one of the biggest and most famous tourist attractions for at least 200 years."says Francesco Bandarin, the head of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO. Adds Mansour Boraik, who oversees Upper Egypt for for the country's Supreme Council of Antiquities, "30% of world monuments lie in Luxor, and 70% of the monuments in Egypt are in Luxor." In an effort to preserve the riches — and beef up the number of tourists they attract — local authorities have been pressing an ambitious project to reinvent and revive Luxor; rehabilitating tombs, and expanding the city's tourist infrastructure at a dizzying pace to the tune of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. Egyptian authorities are in the process of excavating an ancient "Avenue of the Sphinxes," a 2.7 kilometer pathway once lined with the human-headed lion statues from the pharaonic past; after it has been resurrected, the avenue will link the Luxor Temple on one end to the colossal Karnak temple on the other. The plan is to turn the city into an open air museum by the year 2030. "Luxor needs a pioneer project like this to preserve it for the new generation," says Boraik of the ongoing work.

       Egypt Responds to Increasing Tourist Numbers by Boosting   Airport Capacity

      The on-going Airports Development Project, which was set up to eliminate capacity problems at Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh airports is set to continue with the planned creation of a third terminal building at Cairo airport. The initiative, created in response to the growing popularity of Egypt holidays ensures that visitors to the country won’t face any unnecessary waiting before they start their holiday. Luke Nathan of online travel consultants says: “The Airports Development Project has been in existence since 2003, when it was realised that both Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh airports were struggling with their capacity restraints, and were collectively handling 62% of all air transport traffic to Egypt. So the second terminal at Sharm el Sheikh was built and opened in July 2009, to cope with the increasing demand, which has now paved the way for Cairo to get a third terminal.” The popularity of cheap holidays to Sharm El Sheikh has caused more visitors to visit Egypt in recent years, with officials at Sharm el Sheikh airport reporting an increase in traffic of 12% to 18% annually from 2002-2008. Sharm el Sheikh airport’s second terminal was officially opened in July 2009, and boasts a design capacity of 4.5 million passengers per year. Nathan continues: “More holiday companies are offering holidays to Sharm el sheikh than ever before, opening up the area to many more potential holidaymakers over the last few years. As a result the area has had so many more tourists choosing to holiday there, including those who might not have been able to afford a holiday there, had it not been for the accessibility of cheap Sharm El Sheikh holidays.”

       Exhibition: Book of the Dead at the British Museum

      This month, the most comprehensive exhibition to be staged on the ancient doctrine of denying death will open inside the Reading Room at the British Museum. It will showcase, for the first time, the entire length of the Greenfield Papyrus, which, at 37 metres, lays out each detailed stage of a journey the ancient Egyptians believed they would all have to make when mortal life had slipped away. On display, too, will be a succession of paintings taken from the papyri of Hunefer and of Ani, probably the two most famous works to depict the many episodes, or trials, that together constitute The Book of the Dead. According to John Taylor, the British Museum’s expert in these ancient last rites, the best way to think of The Book of the Dead is as a reassuring map to the afterlife. “It is a kind of a combination of a spell, a talisman and a passport, with some travel insurance thrown in too,” he explains. The majority of the papyri in the museum’s collection came to Britain in the 19th century and were part of the booty of returning diplomats and aristocrats. Before they were comprehensively deciphered, over the decades following the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799, it was supposed that they told individual life stories. Now it is clear they were an essential piece of funerary kit and were produced by specialist scribes who toiled in workshops attached to temples. Sometimes, the scribes worked at speed, perhaps leaving the images sketched out in crude black ink, like a modern film storyboard. But if the client was rich and there was time, the papyri were ornate and colourful. Intriguingly, evidence reveals that there were some sceptics who were prepared to question the likelihood of a paradisal “field of reeds” waiting for everyone on the other side of death. Taylor confirms that documents have been found in which these sceptics, the Richard Dawkins of their day, seem to query the point of The Book of the Dead. Most, however, seem to have decided that buying a papyrus was a useful insurance policy in case it all turned out to be true. The British Museum exhibition will twist and wind like the route taken by dead souls and visitors will have to negotiate gateways at each stage. In one section, the ceilings will narrow to the height of the tomb, but it will not be necessary, as it was for a dead Egyptian, to offer the name of a god as a kind of magic password. Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, sponsored by BP, is at the British Museum, London WC1, 4 November until 6 March.

      Egypt unearths 3,400-year-old granite statues of Tutankhamun's grandfather Amenhotep statue found in Egypt

      Double statue of
      Amenhotep III and Amun at Kom el-Hittan (Photo: SCA) Head of Amenhotep III wearing the double crown / Photo by SCA (eTN) - The upper part of a double limestone statue of King Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC) was unearthed at Kom El-Hittan in the west bank of Luxor. Kom el-Hittan is the site of the temple of Amenhotep III, which was once the largest temple on Luxor’s west bank. The temple originally had two entrances: one on the eastern side where the Colossi of Memnon reside, and one at the northern side, where the double statue was located. The statue was found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian team of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). The statue depicts Amenhotep III seated on a throne accompanied by the Theban god, Amun. The king wears the double crown of Egypt, which is decorated with an uraeus. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, said that the statue is one of the best new finds in the area because of its expert craftsmanship, which reflect the skills of the ancient Egyptian artisans. He added that King Amenhotep III was famous due to the overwhelming amount of statuary, which feature him in groupings with different deities, such as Amun-Re, Re-Horakhti, Bastet and Sobek. The latter statue is now a masterpiece of the Luxor museum. Since this new find is the third of such double statues discovered at the site of Kom el-Hittan, it is possible that a large cache for King Amenhotep III’s statuary may have been buried in the area, said Hawass. Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, Head of the Pharaonic Sector of the SCA, said that the statue is the second of its kind to be found in the area. A similar statue was previously unearthed, which showed the king seated beside the solar god, Re-Horakhti. He added that the archaeological mission also found a statue of the god of wisdom, Thoth, carved in the likeness of a monkey.Mr. Abdel Ghaffar, head of the mission said that the newly discovered statue of Amenhotep III is 130 cm tall and 95 cm wide. Excavations are now focused on unravelling the rest of the statue. A few months back, a granite colossus of the ancient Egyptian deity of wisdomThoth was unearthed at the northwestern side of King Amenhotep III’s funerary temple on the west bank of Luxor. The figure is 3.5 meters tall and 140 cm wide, and was found during routine excavations carried out by Hawass. At the site where the colossus was found, Hawass said that more colossi would be found there similar to a statue 5 meters in height discovered last year. Afifi Rohayem, the assistant of the mission’s director, said that the area could contain an avenue of Thoth statues that once outlined the original path leading to the temple. Traces of these colossi were first uncovered at the site during the dig - aimed at controlling the subterranean water level on Luxor’s west bank. As part of the process Dr. Hawass assigned a special excavation mission to explore the site. True enough, a few months later, Amenhotep rose from the sand.

      International Congress of Egyptologists

      The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt (SCA) is proud to announce that it has been entrusted by the International Association of Egyptologists (IAE) with the task of organizing the 11th International Congress of Egyptologists (ICE) 2012. The SCA hopes to build on the enormous success of the 2000 Congress, the last to be held in Cairo, which is remembered as one of the most memorable Egyptological gatherings in recent history. The ICE 2012 will be held from September 7-14, in the Mena House Oberoi at Giza, and scholars are cordially invited to participate by submitting abstracts of research papers. The ICE 2012 follows the end of a decade that has witnessed a complete restructuring of the SCA’s administrative system and redefining of its mission in the management of Egyptian archaeological heritage. Over the past decade, the SCA has strengthened its relationship with all members of the Egyptological community, a relationship that is based on mutual respect, and partnership to preserve and protect Egypt’s antiquities. The organization of the ICE 2012 represents one part of this cooperation between the SCA and international scholars, focusing on a better understanding of Egypt’s rich heritage. The International Congress of Egyptologists is traditionally open to all areas of Egyptological research, and it is the goal of the organizing committee of the ICE 2012 to maintain the ethos set by the previous congresses by seeking research papers focusing on all major themes of Egyptology. However, a multidisciplinary approach to aspects of Ancient Egypt and its material culture is highly encouraged. The list of suggested themes includes: history, social history, prehistory and state formation, archaeology, art history, cross-cultural relations, economy, religion and religious literature, language and literature, archaeometry, and museum studies. Also, proposals for closed sessions (3-4 papers) reporting on the progress of excavation on major archaeological sites will be considered by the scientific committee of the ICE, and time slots will be allocated upon the approval of the proposal. While attendance of the ICE 2012 is open to all Egyptologists, abstracts of papers will only be accepted from MA and PhD holders, who also must be members of the IAE. In keeping with the tradition set previously, the ICE 2012 organizing committee will administer a refereed congress, whereby abstracts will be peer-reviewed. In the same manner, articles submitted for final publication of the ICE 2012 proceedings will also be subject to peer review. The languages of communication of the ICE 2012 are English, French, German and Arabic. For scholars who are proposing to present in Arabic, their abstracts should, however, be submitted in English for peer review. The deadline for abstract submission, as well as, the guidelines will be included in the second announcement of the ICE 2012 in January 2011. Questions should be sent to Dr. Ramadan B. Hussein, Coordinator of the ICE 2012 at: Further information: International Conference on Repatriation in the Media

       Alicia Keys Gives Birth To Baby Boy Named Egypt

      Alicia Keys has given birth to her first child, a baby boy called Egypt and has tweeted about her happiness.
      The R&B singer, who married Swizz Beatz in the summer named their son Egypt Daoud and has taken to the social-networking site to reassure her fans that she's happy and well. Keys, 29, wrote: "There is no word to properly describe LOVE, to describe BLISS, to a express a FEELING like this!!!. Thank U 4 your love, support and prayers! (sic)" While producer and rapper Swizz Beatz tweeted: "I'm so thankful for everything I been blessed with in my life." Mary J. Blige tweeted the stars by saying: "Congrats 2 My Brother And Sister @therealswizz &@Alicia Keys 4 bringing the life of a future King into the universe."
      Check out our pictures of Alicia Keys in New York only a few days before giving birth to their baby boy....

  • 02/10/2010 - October 2010

    • Dear Members

         We are glad to announce that Traveline Egypt will be exhibiting in the18th
      IT&CMA and 13th
      CTW Asia-Pacific 2010 Exhibition From 5 to 7 October 2010 • Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World, Thailand IN C11 (The Egyptian Pavillion)

      Traveline Egypt will be exhibiting in ITB ASIA 2010, Booth No. F16 Will have the pleasure to serve you.

      Cairo Opera Monthly events, October 2010, To View Or Download Opera Schedule
      Click Here

      World’s largest lagoon to be built in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

      Crystal Lagoons, creator of the world’s largest crystalline lagoon will showcase what will become the largest navigable crystalline lagoon in the world, in Sharm El Sheikh on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, at the Dubai World Trade Center on 4-7 October 2010. The company will unveil 50 of its ongoing and planned developments throughout the Middle East, including 12 projects in Egypt. Besides the aforementioned Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada projects, other developments are planned in Cairo and in the new resorts near to Alexandria. The real estate development in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, will have the largest navigable crystalline lagoon in the world. Besides this 12 hectare lagoon, the project features another 10 giant lagoons that in total hold more than 100 hectares of crystal clear water in the middle of the desert. The first lagoon will be inaugurated in early 2011. At present, the largest crystal lagoon in the world is in Chile.

      Golf in the Sinai? It's a miracle worthy of Moses, showing tourism's enduring strength

      What with volcanoes, BA strikes and travel company collapses, 2010 is hardly likely to go down in the holiday business annals as a vintage year. In the present gloomy circumstances, it may seem long ago, but back in January things had looked so good. At the start of 2010 there were growing indications that the economy had turned a corner and that after forgoing foreign travel last year, people would start living a little more this year. Hopes of a bumper summer were stymied in rapid succession by the Icelandic volcano, the General Election and the South African World Cup.

      The Taba Heights Golf Resort on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt could be considered one of the travel wonders of 2010 While the effects of the volcanic ash were quickly shrugged off and tour operators appreciated England's woeful early exit from the Cup, the Election result has effectively put all holiday business growth on hold. As fears mount about the forthcoming spending review - widely predicted to result in higher unemployment - people may well be preferring to save rather

      than spend. But while business hasn't been brilliant, there should be satisfaction that, for the most part, travel companies are managing to hold their own. It would be easy to overlook the fact that foreign travel continues to be an essential pleasure for most of us. And it's worth reflecting that not only does travel enhance the lives of many, but that in a number of countries tourism has proved to be an extraordinary power for good and transforming the political map.

      The Sinai Peninsula is also known for the diverse marine life, with excellent diving centres in Sharm el Sheikh Take Taba, for example, a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba situated at the border with Israel. Until recently, its principal claim to fame was that it is the northernmost resort of Egypt's Red Sea Riviera. The town is the location of Egypt's busiest border crossing with Israel but at first glance there seems little else here to excite the imagination. Yet Taba - or more precisely the nearby resort of Taba Heights - is an extraordinary beacon of hope. Despite all the bad things that happen in the world, especially the Middle East, here is somewhere that suggests the future may be extremely bright. The key to this bright future is tourism. Similar to many Egyptian towns on the Red Sea, Taba has grown from almost nothing into a major holiday destination practically overnight. Yet a couple of decades ago it seemed unlikely that the place had much to look forward to, caught as it was squarely in the middle of the apparently endless Egypt-Israel conflict. Seized initially by Israel in the wake of the Suez Crisis, it had been handed back in 1957 but then taken again when Israel occupied the whole of the Sinai Peninsula in 1967 during the Six-Day War. Taba was not handed back with the rest of Sinai in 1982 following the Camp David Agreement because Israel claimed it was historically part of Israel; but after much negotiating it was returned to Egypt in 1989 Its proximity to Israel, something that had jeopardised Taba's future for so many years, suddenly became its main asset. With the Camp David Agreement having opened the border between Israel and Egypt, Taba was perfectly placed to benefit from being able to attract a new generation of Israelis from across the border. With European tourists - led by travellers from Britain - flooding into the new Red Sea resorts, Taba Heights was well positioned to benefit from this new influx. Today, the resort community of Taba Heights, ten miles south of Taba, boasts several large hotels including the Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Sofitel and Intercontinental. Like other Red Sea resorts, it makes a good living from excursions to the tourist highlights of the region, including Petra, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, St Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai. It is also a diving area where many enthusiasts free-dive and scuba-dive or where beginners can learn via the many courses on offer. But perhaps most extraordinary of all, Taba has become a golfing destination with a new desert-style golf course.

      Breaking new ground: Taba and Taba Heights have become luxury beach resorts Longwood Holidays, a leading independent Red Sea specialist tour operator, is this winter promoting golf holidays in Taba Heights. With temperatures between

      22C and 24C, winter can be the most comfortable time for indulging in activities such as golf in the Red Sea region, says Longwood. This winter it has specially negotiated green fees as well as golf package holidays such as its Tee Time In Taba package at Taba Heights' 18-hole championship course, which includes three rounds of 18 holes, unlimited practice, use of golf cart, flights and seven nights' half board at the five-star Hyatt Regency Taba Heights. Golf in the Sinai desert promoting economic recovery and political reconciliation? It's a miracle worthy of Moses. Another encouraging sign this year has been that British holidaymakers are focusing less on price and more on value for money. According to Kuoni Travel's Tamara Diethelm, many are taking advantage of the increasing number of special offers at luxury hotels and are trading up. 'Many hotels we work with have some good discounts and value-added deals, meaning customers get more for their money,' she says. 'It means that, despite the financial crisis, luxury travel has become more affordable and is now more accessible as well.'

      A Royal Affair: Authentic Renovation of Cairo Restaurant, Saraya Gallery

      It's a well known fact that the Cairo Marriott hotel in Zamalek now resides in the location of the "Al Gezira" palace. This luxury hotel in Cairo is built around the palace and houses some rooms from the former royal abode. Rumours support the idea that Khedive Ismail, powered by his love for Napoleon III's wife Eugenie, built this palace to accommodate her during their visit to Egypt for the opening ceremony of the Suez Canal. With that in mind, the 5 star hotel in Cairo, Egypt, decided to resurrect the royal tale through the renovation of one of its old restaurants to its former Ottoman glory. Gold curtains frame the entrance, giving diners the feeling of seclusion to further enhance the experience of being transported to older times. On the right of the entrance are two huge oil portraits of Napoleon III and Eugenie; replicas of the original paintings by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a German painter famous for royal portraiture during the 1800s. During the renovation of Saraya Gallery, designer Sibylle Eberhard of Hirsch Bedner Associates Design, ensured that the style of the Cairo restaurant is authentic to the original palace. Al Gezira palace was carefully designed to relay strong French influences all over the structure; the intent of Khedive Ismail so as to make Empress Eugenie feel at home. Saraya Gallery was renovated to give such notion, carefully mixing European and Ottoman influences to result in an elegant, sophisticated yet comfortable scene. The influence is seen through the Gallery's high rectangular windows and cornices of the Renaissance period beside Islamic horseshoe arches, which were gilded by local craftsmen, along with carved wood work and gilded mirrors. Perhaps the Pièce de résistance of the Gallery is the brass chandelier, from the original palace, suspended in the middle of the restaurant. The chandelier is of Islamic style, with intricate carvings and Islamic patterns, housing light inside rather than outside to give a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. The chandelier was replicated locally and the replica was put in the entrance of the gallery. The chandelier took 150 days to be made and weighs a hefty 475 kilos. The chandeliers are only overshadowed by the Zamalek restaurant's ceiling; the high ceiling is from the original palace, declared a precious artifact by the ministry of antiquities and so was left untouched. One of the most distinctive features of Saraya Gallery is serving afternoon tea, where guests can enjoy a lavish moment of relaxation midday or have business meetings in an enchanting royal setting. Cairo Marriott hotel renovated Saraya Gallery with the intention of it becoming a comfortable hub for Cairo's elite, encouraging them to have their business lunches and Friday breakfasts in a luxurious setting, while visiting the Cairo Convention Center. Guests can enjoy their fillet fois gras while admiring Ottoman inspired architecture and enjoying top rate service, making them feel like kings and queens of modern Cairo.

      Hathor statues prepared for display in the Sharm el-Sheikh National Museum

      The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is removing remains of six statues of the goddess Hathor from their permanent location at Serabit El-Khadim temple located at Abu Zeneima in South Sinai. The statues are being moved to the Qantara Sharq galleries for restoration. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, announced that one of these statues had gone missing from its original location inside the temple, but thankfully it was later found inside one of the turquoise mines in the area. Hawass stated that these statues will be included in the collection of the Sharm El-Sheikh National Museum, which will be completed next year. Dr. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, Head of the Central Administration of Lower Egypt Antiquities, said that the statues are made of limestone and weigh 250 kilos a piece. The Serabit Al-Khadim temple is a very important pharaonic religious center where the goddess Hathor was worshipped. The temple was built in the Twelfth Dynasty and is located in an area opposite a number of turquoise mines. A group of four meter tall engraved memorials, each weighing five tons, also surround the temple. The temple is located 1,100 meters above sea level and requires a three hour climb through the mountains to reach it. The temple is guarded 24 hours a day by Bedouin guards, as well as ten archaeological inspectors. It is only because of the high level of security at the site that the stolen statue was so quickly recovered. Dr. Hawass said that the temple is currently undergoing a comprehensive restoration and development program in order to conserve the temple and create an easier route for tourists to gain access to the site.

      Experts research ancient Egyptian knowledge for climate change solutions

      A three-day conference opened on Sunday with experts hoping to understand how the ancient Egyptians dealt with climate change, the first of its kind to be held in Egypt. The French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) has joined forces with France’s national research centre CNRS and Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities to create a platform for brainstorming that could help experts find solutions for the future. The goal of their discussions is to unearth archaeological and geological evidence that may explain how the ancients survived climate change — and what lessons can be drawn from it. Some 200 archaeologists, geographers, historians, geologists and palaeontologists from 25 countries hope geoarchaeology — the union between archaeology and geology — will provide the key.

      Granite statue found in the Nile delta is probably of Ramses the Great

      Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a granite statue probably depicting Ramses II. Researchers discovered the statue 150 cm (five feet) under ground in the eastern Nile Delta town of Tell Basta, which was once the capital of ancient Egypt, the culture ministry said. The pink granite head had a broken nose and a missing beard, Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement. Archaeologists continue to dig around the site in hopes of finding the rest of the statue and possible remains of a temple built by Ramses.

      “Magical Egypt: A Symbolist Tour” lecture in Kingston, NY

      Chronogram Presents: John Anthony West in Kingston NY from John Anthony West on Vimeo. John Anthony West is an Egypt scholar and the most prominent champion of the “Symbolist” school of Egyptology — which demonstrates that the ancient Egyptian religion was in no sense pre-rational superstition, but rather a coherent doctrine, consistent with the most advanced contemporary science. West will discuss topics such as sacred geometry, the “gods” as cosmic principles and Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife relating them to current beliefs, inviting listeners to re-examine human civilization in its entirety, both where we’ve been, and where we’re going

      25th Dynasty Priest Burial Chamber found by Egyptian-American Team

      An Egyptian-American expedition has found the burial chamber of a priest named Karakhamun (TT223). The tomb dates to Dynasty 25 (c. 755BC) and was uncovered during conservation and restoration work on the west bank of Luxor. Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture, announced this discovery today and added that the restoration work of this tomb is part of a much larger initiative, known as the South Asasif Conservation Project (ACP). The el-Asasif area is a very important site, which contains nobles’ tombs from the New Kingdom as well as the 25-26th Dynasties.

      Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the team found the burial chamber of Karakhamun at the bottom of an 8m deep burial shaft. The chamber is in very good condition and contains beautifully painted scenes. The entrance to the chamber is decorated with an image of Karakhamun and the ceiling is decorated with several astrological scenes, including a depiction of the sky goddess, Nut. The leader of the expedition, Dr. Elena Pischikova, said that the tomb of priest Karakhamun was discovered in the 19th century in an unstable condition. It continued to deteriorate, and only parts of it were accessible to visitors in the early 1970s. It later collapsed and was buried under the sand. Dr. Pischikova’s team rediscovered the tomb in 2006 and has been carrying out conservation work since then. She believes that the tomb of Karakhamun could be one of the most beautiful tombs from Dynasty 25 because of the preservation of the color and the unique quality of the scenes

      Jumeirah Group Enters Egypt

      Jumeirah Group signs agreement with Palm Hills Developments to manage Jumeirah Gamsha Bay Resort Dubai, 2nd August 2010: Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hospitality company and member of Dubai Holding, has signed an agreement with Palm Hills Developments (PHD), one of Egypt’s premier developers, to manage Jumeirah Gamsha Bay Resort, a new five star deluxe resort located in PHD’s Palm Gamsha resort on the Red Sea, Egypt. Jumeirah has been appointed to manage a luxury 250-room hotel on the mixed-use development of Palm Gamsha, an integrated community of over 20 man-made islands forming the shape of a seahorse, located 47km North West of Hurghada airport. The combination of Jumeirah’s expertise in luxury hospitality and PHD’s development of a prime location is expected to transform Gamsha Bay into a leading world destination. Guests will be able to take advantage of the region’s renowned tourist activities and attractions, including bird watching, hiking, golf, diving, desert safaris and visiting archaeological sites. Jumeirah Gamsha Bay Resort is Jumeirah’s first management agreement signed in Egypt. This latest agreement brings the total number of properties under development or in operation by Jumeirah globally to 48.

  • 04/09/2010 - September 2010

    • Dear Members, We are glad to announce to you the time change in Egypt is GMT+2:00 started from Wednesday 11th of August till the 09th of September 2010. Then back to Summer time from the 10th of September to be GMT+3:00 till Thursday 30th of September. And from the 01st of October back to Winter time again till end of April 2011.

      Accordingly, the official IFtar Muslims Feast holiday will be from Thursday 09th of September to Sunday 12th of September 2010.


      Eid El Fitr

      Islamic feast Celebration in Egypt

      Eid el Fitr is an Islamic feast celebrated after the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is considered a reward for Muslims who struggled through Ramadan and achieved a whole month fasting. Eid El Fitr is a 3 day feast in which people have an official holiday in Egypt. Muslims start the celebrations by going to the mosques to perform a special prayer call the Feast holiday after sunrise where men women and children listen to a religious speech in which Imam usually reminds Muslims of the virtues and good deeds they should do to friends, relatives, neighbors and even strangers during Eid el Fetr and throughout the year. After the prayers Egyptians usually visit families and offer sweets made specially for this occasion called the feast sweets or Kahk. Bisuits are also made in multiple flavors either at home or at candy shops which consider this occasion a profitable one because although most people used to bake Kahk themselves, nowadays many Egyptians buy the sweets from shops. Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid so they have the rest of days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or Nile cruise. Sharm El Sheikh is considered a favorite spot for spending holidays is Egypt. Eid El Fitr is indeed a time for celebration but it is also a time for sharing as there is a special charity in the Eid called the "Sadaka" or the Eid el Fitr Charity which is paid by every Muslim before the end of Ramadan and given to the poor to be able to buy new clothes and kahk during the feast. In Egypt People like to celebrate with others so apart from the crowded streets you are likely to have fun if you spend your holiday during Eid el Fitrs in Egypt.

      Egypt Wants Ramadan Tourists Tourism news: Egypt aims to woo Arab tourists during Ramadan

      tCAIRO — With its cooler temperatures but more sizzling entertainment,Egypt has long been a prime destination for rich Arab tourists, especially from the Gulf states. This year, however, the authorities fear that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts on Wednesday at the height of the annual tourist season, will mean that many potential visitors stay at home instead. In a bid to avert a slump in its lucrative tourist industry, particularly during boom-time August, Egypt has launched a major campaign aimed at luring visitors, with the promise of fireworks, concerts, folkloric shows and displays by whirling dervishes. During Ramadan, Muslims who are fit and able are required to abstain from food, drink and smoking during daylight hours. They then traditionally gather to break the fast at sunset with their families for the iftar meal. For many Muslims, Ramadan is therefore not a time to book holidays abroad, but a time when most socialising takes place in the home. Against this tradition, Egypt is trying to attract Arab tourists to the banks of the Nile during the holy month with the "Fawanees Ramadan Festival." Fawanees are colourful lanterns hung across the country and in homes to mark the holy month. The festival will kick off in the capital Cairo with a parade of traditional sailing boats or "felucca" down the Nile. The campaign, organised by the tourism ministry, seeks to promote the Egyptian Ramadan experience in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Libya and Tunisia. Non-Arab Turkey, with its majority-Muslim population, is also being targeted by the campaign which is backed by heavy advertising. Egyptair's fleet of aircraft and Cairo international airport are also taking part and have been especially decorated for the occasion, while several luxury hotels favoured by Arab wealthy tourists are offering special Ramadan packages. Advertising spots have been aired on Egyptian and Arab satellite channels under the slogan "Egypt's Spirit in Ramadan." The campaign is of vital importance to Cairo's coffers. Arab tourists, particularly those from the Gulf, make up almost 20 percent of the 12 million visitors who come to Egypt annually. Egypt's tourist industry last year brought in more than 10 billion dollars in revenue and employs around 12 percent of the active population. "Arab tourists are very important for Egypt," Samy Mahmud from the ministry of tourism told AFP. "On average, they spend a lot more money than the others, and their stays are much longer," he said. While European or American tourists tend to travel in organised package holidays at low prices, Arab visitors book suites in Cairo's luxury hotels for stays that can last as long as several weeks, Mahmud said. But this year the timing could hit tourism revenues hard. The peak season for Arab tourists this year coincides with Ramadan, and this will also be the case for several years to come as the holy month, which follows the lunar calendar, goes forward by around 10 days every year. So deeply rooted is the family association with Ramadan that Egypt's glitzy campaign will have a hard time luring many Arab tourists away from mama's cooking during the holy month -- even for a jamboree on the Nile. "For me, Ramadan is celebrated at home and with the family," said Hussein Ali, a Kuwaiti visiting Cairo before the holy month begins on Wednesday. "During the month, there are many visits paid to family and friends' homes, and I would never miss that for a few concerts organised in Egypt," he said. Tunisian teenager Qassam agreed. "Egypt is a beautiful place and I have really enjoyed my stay here but Ramadan should be spent at home with the family, in Tunisia," he said.

      The Ramada Plaza - Naama Bay
      CHI Hotels and Resorts to operate second hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

      New Destination from Alexandria to Marsa Alam International Airport
      The M.A. Kharafi Group announced today that EgyptAir launched a new scheduled flight service from Alexandria to Marsa Alam International Airport, a key element in opening the area to wider domestic

      tourism. In addition, several new direct international routes will commence to Port Ghalib from Amman, Kuwait, and Jeddah. New flight routes will provide easier access to Port Ghalib, the perfect summer destination catered to individuals and families with activities such as safari dives, horseback riding, water sports, an arcade centre for kids and world renowned Six Senses Spas for adults.
      Vice President, Ibrahim Saleh noted that "EgyptAir is the first airlines to commence regular operation of domestic flight services to Marsa Alam from Alexandria, thereby further opening this maginificently diverse area to access by global tourism. EgyptAir's scheduled flight service to Marsa Alam is a key element in opening the area to wider access by international tourists and source markets, as well as providing easy and appealing access to the area by the domestic tourism market." Egypt’s tourism market, especially around the Red Sea Riviera, has enjoyed substantial growth over the past few years as increasing numbers of holidaymakers are attracted to the warm, comfortable climate, the vast array of activities and historic sites and the favourable exchange rate offered by the Egyptian Pound.
      Marsa Alam International Airport serves Egypt’s South Red Sea area including Port Ghalib which is just a few kilometres away from the airport. Comprising nine villages, a large conference centre, 160 retail and commercial outlets, 8200 apartments and villas, the international marina, four already operating hotels including The Palace by Intercontinental, The Oasis and The Sands by Crown Plaza and Marina Lodge, along with a substantial residential offering built, Port Ghalib is ready for occupation. In addition, a four lane ten-pin bowling alley, horse academy, children’s centre and all the water sports associated with such an international destination are all up and running. Once complete, the resort will include 19 additional hotels, a yacht club, an 18-hole golf course and further entertainment facilities and services.
      Backed by mountains, deserts and oasis containing Bedouin encampments, natural fauna and flora, and rare wildlife, Port Ghalib is located in the town of Marsa Alam in south-eastern Egypt where the Arabian Desert meets the Red Sea. Formerly a quiet fishing village, the area is now an exciting tourist destination, attracting visitors with its combination of diverse cultural, historical and natural influences.
      With three of the top ten dive sites in the world within easy reach from Port Ghalib – the Brothers Islands, Daedalus Reef, and Rocky Island – and some of best dolphin observing waters on earth, Port Ghalib is becoming the diving capital of the south Red Sea. Adding to this the proximity of Egypt's Nile Valley pharaonic monuments - only two hours away - and you have a wonderful unique area for tourism and tourism development.


      Marina El Alamein to Re-Open

      Following years of restoration and development, the Marina El Alamein archaeological site on the North Coast will be opened in mid-September. A high-tech lighting system had been installed through the entire site, which would permit visitors to view El Alamein in the evening, as well as during the day. Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the site includes Roman villas and baths, as well as Greco-Roman markets, remains of a church, tombs, streets and a Roman theater. The site of El Alamein was once the most important and well-known port during the Greco-Roman era and was named Locassis, which means “the white shell”. The goddess of love, Aphrodite, was worshipped there and the statues found of her on the site show her emerging from a white shell, in reference to its name. This is the first archaeological site on the North Coast to be developed as a tourist-friendly site, stretching to a length of 189 fedans. The entrance fee for the site will be LE 20 for foreigners and half price for foreign students.




      Coins Through the Ages Exhibition open!

      The Egyptian Museum, Cairo opened a new temporary exhibit entitled: Coins Through the Ages on August 10. Over the past eight years the Egyptian Museum has hosted a series of temporary exhibitions, the most recent of which focused on five artifacts which were repatriated to Egypt. The temporary exhibition space (Hall 44) has also hosted a series of exhibits on excavations under the direction of foreign teams. This includes teams from America, France, Poland and the Netherlands. This exhibition was curated by Sayed Hassan, who did an excellent job and will be working with the new Egyptian Museum in Rome. I'm including here the text from the brochure that will be handed out during the exhibit:

      The poster from Coins Through the Ages outside of Hall 44 in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) Before the invention of money, people bartered their surplus crops and cattle amongst themselves to obtain necessary commodities. The invention of coins provided the means to transition from a barter system to a monetary system. Metal coins are divisible, variable in form, convenient for trade with foreign markets and can be saved for use at a later time. The first people to invent a coinage-system were the Lydians of Asia Minor in the second half of the 7th century B.C. The rich Greek merchants int he city-states on the western coast of Asia Minor adopted the Lydians' weight-system and began to issue oval ingots, stamped with seals to guarantee weight and purity. After ca. 600 B.C. coinage rapidly spread to Greece, and there, owing to improved techniques, coins developed into a splendid quality. Croesus, king of Lydia (560-546 B.C.) was the first to strike coins in gold and silver. During the pharaonic period, gold, silver and bronze rings and large bronze ingots were sometimes used in the barter system. When the Persians first came to Egypt (525 B.C.) they brought their coins with them. The Egyptians treated these coins as ingots, valuing them based on their weight in metal and sometimes melting the coins for other uses. In the 30th dynasty, the Egyptians revolted against the Persians, and Nectanebo and his son Tachos, struck Athenian coins to pay the Greek soldiers who helped fight the Persians. The coins were also used in transactions with Asian merchants. These famous coins were called the nwb-nfr coins based on the two hieroglyphic signs on the obverse (or front surface), meaning "fine gold." These rare coins, which bore a picture of a horse on the revers (or back surface), are now representative of the transition from barter to coinage in Egypt. The nwb-nfr coins were still likely to have been used in the barter system as well as in a monetary fashion with foreigners since the ancient Egyptians had not yet adopted a monetary trade system.

      A cache of coins on display at the Egyptian Museum (Photo: Meghan E. Strong) When Alexander the Great came to Egypt in 332 B.C. he considered himself a successor to the pharaohs. During his reign, the typical coin bore depictions of deities or religious symbols. Alexander's image appeared on coins after his death in 323 B.C. In this image he was portrayed as a deity or a hero on the obverse, while Zeus was represented on the reverse. In approximately 306 B.C. the Governor became an independent ruler and shortly thereafter the first coinage of an independent Egypt was created. When Ptolemy I proclaimed himself to be the king of Egypt, he struck his own coins of gold, silver and bronze. On the obverse was the head of Ptolemy I and on the reverse was an eagle on a thunderbolt, both symbols of Zeus. Around the edge of this scene appeared the king's name in Greek characters. During the Roman era, beginning with the reign of Augustus, Egypt had special coins, known as Alexandrian coins. These coins were named after the city in which they were minted and they were restricted to use within Egypt only. These Roman coins also had Greek inscriptions. The obverse showed a depiction of the emperor's head; the revers, beginning in the 3rd century A.D., bore representations of various Egyptian, Greek and Roman deities. After the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 A.D., the name of the minting location was changed into Arabic script on the coins.







      Stolen artifact returned to Egypt!

      Today Egypt recovered a Greco-Roman bust from Canada! Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced that the bust had been illegally smuggled out of Egypt but that the Canadian authorities were giving their full cooperation to repatriate the artifact. Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the bust would be handed over to the Egyptian ambassador to Canada, Shamel Nasser, who will then send the bust back to its homeland of Egypt. Hawass explained that the object is a 13 cm tall marble bust that has been stored at the Heritage Canada Foundation since Canadian Police confiscated it in 2007. Following several negotiations between Egypt and Canada, the bust is finally being returned. Ambassador Nasser said that the recovery of this bust highlights the strong friendship and cooperation between Egypt and Canada.

      The Hibis Temple in Kharga Oasis

      The Hibis temple is oriented along an east-west axis and consists of a pylon, open court, pillared hall and sanctuary. The temple would have originally also had a lake and boat quay along its eastern side. The lake would have allowed access to the temple for festival purposes. Today the first thing a visitor encounters at the temple is the outer or Roman gate that contains several Greek inscriptions. The most important one is the decree that was by the Roman governor, Tiberius Julius Alexander during the second year of the reign of Emperor Galba (69AD). The decree outlines the raising of taxes, the state of Kharga’s economy and the oasis’ system of administration. It was this gate that was moved from the old location to the new location.
      The Hibis Temple undergoing restoration (Photo: Kenneth Garrett) After the outer gate is a sphinx avenue, then a Ptolemaic gate, then a Persian gate that dates to the reign of King Darius I. The Persian gate is followed by the open court, which dates to the Thirtieth Dynasty during the reigns of Nectanbeo I and II. The court bears inscriptions and offerings scenes dedicated to different gods and goddesses. After the open court is the pillared hall that contains 12 pillars from the reign of Achoris (Twenty-ninth Dynasty). At the back of the pillared hall is a smaller rectangular room that leads to the sanctuary. Inside the sanctuary is a small open court supported by four pillars. Surrounding this court is a series of small rooms, which would have been used for storage of the implements used in the daily temple ritual. The sanctuary of the temple is the oldest and most important part and is decorated with 569 different gods and goddesses. On the northern wall of the sanctuary are the gods and goddesses of Lower Egypt, while the deities of Upper Egypt are depicted on the southern wall.
      The western wall has a group of deities from Thebes and Heliopolis, including Osiris, Isis and Horus, as well as the Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu to which the temple is dedicated. A small chapel on the roof is also dedicated to the god Osiris and to the southwest side of the temple is a mammisi, or birth house. Beginning in 1909, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was responsible for excavations at the Hibis temple. Their work resulted in three important volumes, which included translations of the inscriptions on the walls. After the Metropolitan Museum left the site, an Egyptian team continued to uncover and record buried parts of the temple until 1986. The reason that I went for the first time to visit Kharga oasis was because the SCA decided that the Hibis temple had to be moved from its current location, because the soil composition of the land was very weak and the temple was in danger of collapse. Because of this, the SCA began to organize a salvage program that would move the temple to another location 2km away from the original site.
      Aerial view of Kharga Oasis (Photo: Kenneth Garrett) From the first time I visited

      the site I could see that if the temple was moved it would be destroyed. The reliefs and the stone blocks were badly restored in the past and were very fragile. I sat down with the architects and engineers who wanted to move the temple and they explained to me two main reasons why they wanted to move the temple: 1. In order to keep the temple in its current location, the area would need extensive work to be consolidated. 2. They were afraid that the surrounding agricultural area would continue to encroach on the temple and it would be ruined. However, several other engineers believed that the temple could be restored in its current location and that to prevent far more extensive damage it should definitely not be moved. Unfortunately, the first gate of the temple had already been cut and moved! We immediately wrote to the Minister of Culture and stopped the work under his decree.
      I still think that this is one of the best decisions I ever made as Secretary General. Today the temple is beautifully restored and remains in its original location. To avoid problems from the surrounding agricultural fields, the SCA bought all the land around the temple to provide a safe zoning area. We are in the process of lighting the temple now and when it is finished I think Hibis Temple will be one of the greatest restoration projects completed by the SCA.

  • 02/08/2010 - August 2010

    • Dear Members

      We are glad to announce our Sand Surfing New Trend Page

        E-Brochure download / view link Please join us on:

      Now Egypt Streets are welcoming the UK Taxi to participate among the Egyptian transportation in use. For more info please visit:

      Ramadan in 2010 will start on Wednesday, the 11th of August and will continue for 30 days until Thursday, the 9th of September.
      Based on sight ability in North America, in 2010 Ramadan will start in North America a day later - on Thursday, the 12th of August.
      Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Ramadan on the sunset of Tuesday, the 10th of August.
      Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Ramadan moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year. The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.
      The dates provided here are based on the dates adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America for the celebration of Ramadan. Note that these dates are based on astronomical calculations to affirm each date, and not on the actual sighting of the moon with the naked eyes. This approach is accepted by many, but is still being hotly debated.

       The Fast of Ramadan
      Ramadan 2010: Wednesday, August 11th 

      Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation".
      It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.
      During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning.
      According to the Holy Quran:
      One may eat and drink at any time during the night "until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight: then keep the fast until night"
      The good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things –

      the telling of a lie
      denouncing someone behind his back
      a false oath
      greed or covetousness
      These are considered offensive at all times, but are most offensive during the Fast of Ramadan.
      During Ramadan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.

       On the evening of the either the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th day* of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year. 
      *(According to Wikipedia: "Laylat al-Qadr is to be found in the last 10 nights of Ramadan. There is no history in the Quran as to when the specific date is... What directs us to this is the Prophet's :saw: saying: "Look for it (i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) when there remain nine nights, when there remains seven nights, or when there remains five nights (i.e. 21st, 23 rd, 25th, 27th and 29th.")
      When the fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan.

      Luxury hotels carve a niche in Cairo

      A luxury hotel market is emerging in Cairo alongside the recovery of Egypt’s tourism industry after the downturn, hoteliers and analysts say. The hotel company Kempinski opened a boutique property in Cairo this month, while Ritz-Carlton and Rocco Forte are renovating and rebranding existing hotels. Other brands heading to the city include a St Regis, being developed by Qatari Diar, and MGM Grand. Ayman Sami, the head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Egypt advisory business indicated that Egypt had largely been positioned as a low-budget tourist destination. But some investors had identified a gap in the high-end segment, he said. The recently opened Kempinski Nile Hotel advertises itself as the first branded luxury boutique property in Cairo.

      Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel

      5-star deluxe hotel Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel becomes first wellness hotel in Egypt to be certified by TÜV Rheinland

      The deluxe Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel on the Red Sea is the first wellness hotel in Egypt and the first one outside of Europe to be awarded the Best Health International certificate for quality in spa and wellness tourism. This quality standard encompasses more than 130 inspection criteria covering a wide range of different areas that can be hard for guests themselves to ascertain or judge.
      The certification of the Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel on the Red Sea is part of a programme launched by the Egyptian tourism authorities to improve wellness facilities throughout the country. To help them achieve this, the Egyptian tourism authorities announced at the international tourism trade fair, the ITB Berlin in March 2010, their plans to cooperate with TÜV Rheinland to certify wellness hotels to the Best Health International standard. Over the next two years, at least 20 hotels in Egypt are to be inspected to international standards and certified by TÜV Rheinland as wellness hotels.

      Egypt Air Express Launches New Flight to Port Ghalib

      New Destination from Alexandria to Marsa Alam International Airport
      The M.A. Kharafi Group announced today that EgyptAir launched a new scheduled flight service from Alexandria to Marsa Alam International Airport, a key element in opening the area to wider domestic tourism. In addition, several new direct international routes will commence to Port Ghalib from Amman, Kuwait, and Jeddah. New flight routes will provide easier access to Port Ghalib, the perfect summer destination catered to individuals and families with activities such as safari dives, horseback riding, water sports, an arcade centre for kids and world renowned Six Senses Spas for adults.
      Vice President, Ibrahim Saleh noted that "EgyptAir is the first airlines to commence regular operation of domestic flight services to Marsa Alam from Alexandria, thereby further opening this maginificently diverse area to access by global tourism. EgyptAir's scheduled flight service to Marsa Alam is a key element in opening the area to wider access by international tourists and source markets, as well as providing easy and appealing access to the area by the domestic tourism market." Egypt’s tourism market, especially around the Red Sea Riviera, has enjoyed substantial growth over the past few years as increasing numbers of holidaymakers are attracted to the warm, comfortable climate, the vast array of activities and historic sites and the favourable exchange rate offered by the Egyptian Pound.
      Marsa Alam International Airport serves Egypt’s South Red Sea area including Port Ghalib which is just a few kilometres away from the airport. Comprising nine villages, a large conference centre, 160 retail and commercial outlets, 8200 apartments and villas, the international marina, four already operating hotels including The Palace by Intercontinental, The Oasis and The Sands by Crown Plaza and Marina Lodge, along with a substantial residential offering built, Port Ghalib is ready for occupation. In addition, a four lane ten-pin bowling alley, horse academy, children’s centre and all the water sports associated with such an international destination are all up and running. Once complete, the resort will include 19 additional hotels, a yacht club, an 18-hole golf course and further entertainment facilities and services.
      Backed by mountains, deserts and oasis containing Bedouin encampments, natural fauna and flora, and rare wildlife, Port Ghalib is located in the town of Marsa Alam in south-eastern Egypt where the Arabian Desert meets the Red Sea. Formerly a quiet fishing village, the area is now an exciting tourist destination, attracting visitors with its combination of diverse cultural, historical and natural influences.
      With three of the top ten dive sites in the world within easy reach from Port Ghalib – the Brothers Islands, Daedalus Reef, and Rocky Island – and some of best dolphin observing waters on earth, Port Ghalib is becoming the diving capital of the south Red Sea. Adding to this the proximity of Egypt's Nile Valley pharaonic monuments - only two hours away - and you have a wonderful unique area for tourism and tourism development.


      Two distinguished tombs discovered at Saqqara necropolis

      The tombs were found during a routine excavation carried out by an Egyptian mission at an area called “Gisr El-Mudir” located to the west of the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The team has been working in the area since 1968. The tombs belong to a father, Shendwa, and his son, Khonsu. The father’s tomb consists of a painted false door depicting scenes of the deceased seated before an offering table. The door also bears the different titles of the tomb’s owner who was a top governmental official during the Sixth Dynasty (2374-2191 BC). He was the head of the royal scribes and the supervisor of the missions as well as other honorary titles. The tomb’s burial shaft is located directly beneath the false door, 20 meters below the ground level. It was intact and had not previously been plundered by tomb robbers. Unfortunately Shendwas’s wooden sarcophagus had disintegrated due to humidity and erosion. Beside the sarcophagus, a collection of limestone jars was found including five offering vessels carved in the shape of a duck. Upon opening the vessels, the Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquates discovered that the bones of the ducks were still intact. Inside the burial shaft a painted relief and a 30 cm tall obelisk made of limestone were also discovered. This obelisk is a symbol of worshiping the sun god Re. Next to the father’s tomb, excavators discovered Shendwa’s son Khonsu. It is a beautifully painted tomb with a false door bearing Khonsu’s different titles. It appears that Khonsu inherited the same titles as his father. Excavators located an offering table just opposite to the false door as well as a stone lintel on the floor.

      Discovering the Secrets of the Tunnel of Seti I

      A tunnel in the tomb of King Seti I (1314-1304 BC) has been discovered by in theValley of the Kings.The Egyptian archeological mission has finally succeeded, after 20 years of searching, in completely excavating the 174m long tunnel. The tunnel was cut into the bedrock near the end of the beautifully decorated tomb of Seti I. In addition to excavating the tunnel, the team braced the walls and ceiling with metal supports. They also built a wooden walkway over the original stone staircase of the tunnel to preserve it and installed a mining car system to remove rubble from the team’s excavations. During their work, the mission uncovered pottery fragments that dates to the Eighteenth Dynasty (1569-1315 BC). Several limestone ostraca fragments, as well as a small boat model made of faience were also found. During their excavation of the staircase, the team found that three of the steps were decorated with red graffiti.
      The team also uncovered a descending 54-step staircase passage which measures 25.60m in length and 2.6m wide.
      The tunnel of King Seti I are well finished and remains of preliminary sketches of decoration are placed on the walls.
      It is believed that the workmen and artists first finished the original tomb of Seti I during his twelve-year reign and then began to construct the tunnel. It appears that Seti I was trying to construct a secret tomb inside a tomb. It is likely that when Seti I died his son, Ramesses II (1304-1237BC), had to stop the work and bury has father.
      The Egyptian mission is currently working in the tomb of Ramesses II to preserve the wall paintings and to look for a similar tunnel to the one in the tomb of Seti I.









      Dr. Zahi Hawass gives his first public lecture in Spain:
       My Discoveries” in Madrid.

      The Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities comes to Madrid. Lecture of “My Discoveries” on Friday, 24th of September 2010, in the Palacio de Congresos Madrid.
      Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, Egyptian Vice-Culture Minister and one of the most important Egyptologists of our time, will be holding a public lecture for the first time in Spain on 24th of September 2010. Semmel Concerts presents “My discoveries” in the Palacio de Congresos. Hawass, who gained his doctorate in Philadelphia, is highly regarded among experts for his extensive work. His commitment to drawing worldwide attention to Egypt’s history and treasures has made a decisive contribution to the lasting public popularity of Ancient Egypt and the far-reaching cultural significance of this era. Lecture: “My Discoveries” Over the course of the approximately 90-minute multimedia lecture, Dr. Zahi Hawass will, in addition to Tutankhamun, take as his subject matter the search for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, new insights on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the exciting research into the tombs of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. Biographical anecdotes and personal experiences from his many years of scientific activity will round off his presentation. There will be a simultaneous translation into Spanish of this English-language lecture. “A Secret Voyage” and “Inside the Egyptian Museum” During his stay in Madrid Dr. Hawass will introduce his new limited-edition art book “A Secret Voyage”, as well as the newly published museum guide “Inside the Egyptian Museum. At the same time, the lecture “My Discoveries” announces the start of the special exhibition “A Secret Voyage” - Love, Magic and Mysteries in the Realm of the Pharaohs” featuring 60 large-format photographs from the art book of the same name. The captivating shots of Egyptian monuments and landscapes by the Italian photographer Sandro Vannini can be seen soon in Madrid. The location will be announced shortly. Dr. Zahi Hawass: “My Discoveries” Friday 24th of September 2010, 08.00 pm / Palacio de Congresos Madrid Tickets: Tel: 902 585 125. Ticket price: EUR 12,50,- Available from all known advance sales outlets and online at:

  • 02/07/2010 - July 2010

    • Jaz Hotels, Resorts & Cruises Manages A New Property in Alexandria

      Jaz Hotels, Resorts & Cruises unveiled its first property in Alexandria. The 5-Star Iberotel Borg El Arab is scheduled to welcome its first guest in June 2010.

      Iberotel Borg El Arab is located at Km 52 on the Alexandria, Mersa Matruh Road which makes a great base for visiting the nearby city of Alexandria.

      The second largest city in Egypt, The hotel consists of 147 pleasantly furnished guest rooms and suites overlooking the stunning turquoise waters and are equipped with all modern-day amenities. Chalets will be available and located around the pool to have a direct access to the pool, gardens or the private beach. Iberotel Borg El Arab offers an array of restaurants and bars offering an exquisite culinary experience. To tone up body as well as mind, indulge in a massage or a workout at the hotel's Health club.

      While Iberotel Borg El Arab is ideal for families as well as for couples, it is also a perfect spot for businessmen as it encompasses fully equipped meeting rooms to host discrete private meetings or large conferences.

      Excavations at the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor

      The remains of a fifth century AD church and a Nilometer have been uncovered this week during routine excavations carried out by an Egyptian mission at the Avenue of Sphinxes in Luxor.
      The remains of the church were found on the second section of the path, which is divided into five sections. Archaeological investigations revealed that the church was built with limestone blocks that originally belonged to Ptolemaic temples. The blocks are very well preserved and decorated with scenes depicting Ptolemaic and Roman kings offering sacrifices to ancient Egyptian deities.
      One of the church’s blocks contains information concerning the 26th dynasty mayor of the Luxor area, Muntomhat (664-525 BC).
      The mission has also discovered remains of cylindrical sandstone Nilometer with spiral steps. It is seven meters in diameter; inside, a collection of New Kingdom (1569-1081 BC) clay vessels have been unearthed. Also a collection of foundation stones used to install sphinx statues has also been discovered. Some of the stones are decorated with scenes depicting King Amenhotep III (1410-1372 BC), who began construction on the avenue of Sphinxes to connect Luxor temple to Karnak temple.
      A comprehensive restoration work at the Avenue of Sphinxes is being conducted in order to revive this 2700-meter-long path after clearing the path of encroachment. In the course of the excavation, the mission has unearthed 128 sphinxes statues, which will be put on display in their original positions on the path after restoration. A chapel of the 21st dynasty priest Min-Kheber-Re has been also found.
      Development work at the third section of the path located behind the Mubarak Public Library is at its final stages, and it should be opened to the public soon.

      Discovery of 14 New Graeco-Roman Tombs in Bahariya Oasis

      HE Farouk Hosny, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, recently announced the discovery of 14 tombs dating back to the third century BC, including one with a female mummy adorned with jewelry.

      The Greco-Roman tombs were found in the Bahariya Oasis at a site, which was initially intended for the construction of a youth center, but has now been turned over to Egypt’s antiquities authority.

      "Within the tombs we have uncovered four masks made of plaster, a gold chip with engravings of the four sons of Horus, a collection of metal coins, as well as clay and glass vessels," said Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA)

      Another discovery within the tombs was a 97 cm tall female mummy with jeweled eyes that was cast in colored plaster dressed in Roman attire and wearing jewelry.

      Bahariya Oasis is well known as home to Egypt's Valley of the Golden Mummies, where a collection of 17 tombs with about 254 mummies was discovered in 1996.


      Egypt finds evidence of unfinished ancient tomb

      CAIRO (AP) - Egyptian archaeologists who have completed excavations on an unfinished ancient tunnel believe it was meant to connect a 3,300-year-old pharaoh's tomb with a secret burial site, the antiquities department said Wednesday.

      Egyptian chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass said it has taken three years to excavate the 570-foot (174 meter) long tunnel in Pharaoh Seti I's ornate tomb in southern Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The pharaoh died before the project was finished. First discovered in 1960, the tunnel has only now been completely clearedand archaeologists discovered ancient figurines, shards of pottery and instructions left by the architect for the workmen. "Move the door jamb up and make the passage wider," read an inscription on a decorative false door in the passage. It was written in hieratic, a simplified cursive version of hieroglyphics. Elsewhere in the tunnel there were preliminary sketches of planned decorations, said Hawass. Pharaoh Seti I (1314-1304 B.C.) was one of the founders of the New Kingdom's 19th Dynasty known for its military exploits and considered the peak of ancient Egyptian power. His tomb is famous for its colorful wall paintings. Seti's son Ramses II built grandiose temples and statues of himself all over Egypt. Hawass speculated that the tunnel and the secret tomb were not finished because of the pharaoh's death, but may have inspired a similar structure in Ramses II's tomb.

      Planet named after Egyptian god

      The distant world, orbiting a bright star in the constellation of Pegasus 150 light years from Earth, is known officially as HD 209458b, but has been nicknamed Osiris, the god of the Egyptian underworld.
      Osiris races around its yellow, Sun-like star at a distance of around seven million kilometres (4.37 million miles) — less than a twentieth of the distance between Earth and the Sun — which means its “year” is just three and a half days.
      On one side its surface is heated to a scorching 1,100 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit), although the other side is far cooler.
      The planet’s atmosphere is laced with poisonous carbon monoxide and prey to storm winds that blow from 5,000 to 10,000 kph (3,100-6,200 mph), says the paper

  • 02/06/2010 - June 2010

    • Untitled Document

      Sound and light shows in Edfu temple – Aswan city

      Sound and light shows in Edfu temple – Aswan city Decides official
      opening of the sound and light shows Edfu Temple Aswan city, beginning
      on Tuesday, 06/01/2010 (one hundred pounds)
      according to the schedule of presentations annex
      The show will presents at 6 languages (English, French, German,
      Spanish, Italy, and Arabic).
      Please note that the translation units for free
      Allowed for tourists and guides to attend for free during the trial
      operation of the sound and light show until the end of May 2010.

      Luis Vuitton coming to Middle East, Egypt

      Luxury brand Luis Vuitton has chosen Oman and Egypt as the locations for its entry into the five-star hotel management business.
      LVMH (Luis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) has created a new hotel management division and has agreed a partnership with Egypt's Orascom Development Holdings, to build two resorts in Egypt and Oman for completion in 2012.

      The location of the Oman property has not yet been revealed.
      The hotels will be branded Cheval Blanc, after the Michelin-starred French ski resort opened in 2006 by Group Arnault, the family holding of Bernard Arnault, LVMH's executive chairman.

      The Oman hotel will be arranged as 32 private villas, of which the smallest will be 500 sq m, each with its own beach and swimming pool. In Egypt, the 40-suite hotel is being situated on an island in Aswan overlooking the Nile.

      The Allegria, Greg Norman Golf Cours Design, Egypt

      Greg Norman Golf Course Design was established in 1987 in Australia and is now one of the premier signature golf course design firms worldwide, with more than 90 completed or ongoing projects around the world. Greg Norman himself uses his experience playing on some of the world's most beautiful and exclusive golf courses in designing his own.

      The stunning 18-hole golf course 'The Allegria' is a Greg Norman signature course – the first of its kind in Egypt – designed by the legendary golfer, who spent 331 weeks as the world's no. 1 golfer in the 1980's and 1990's, earning himself the nickname of "The Great White Shark". Norman recently demonstrated his skill after finishing tied for third place at the 2008 British Open

      Palm Hills Golf Course, Egypt

      This opulent community is built across more than 3,272,295 square meters, offering a full-range of housing options; luxurious villas, town and twin houses, surrounded by beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens, impeccably turned-out tree lined streets, and plenty of green areas. Amenities in this high end compound include a sprawling 27-hole golf course designed by the internationally acclaimed Nicklaus Design, and a luxurious five star hotel managed by the world-renowned Ritz Carlton Hoteliers Company, in addition to hotel managed villas. The Palm Club, a state-of-the-art sports and recreational facility with a football club featuring FCBEscola and PATA; the Palm Aroussy Tennis Academy, is located in this community and also encompasses squash courts and other sporting facilities in addition to a plush clubhouse that holds a gentleman's cigar room, restaurants and meeting facilities. With plenty of activities to pick from and services to enjoy, Palm Hills October is home for an idyllic fusion of urban professionals, young and trendy couples, and families, all of which call this community home.

      Hilton signs new Nile property

      Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company for a new Hilton branded hotel on the famous Nile River in Egypt.
      Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo is scheduled to open in July 2010.
      The agreement was signed by Mishal Abdallah Almasad, chairman, Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company and Mahmoud Mokhtar, vice president operations, Hilton Worldwide, Egypt.
      The 88-room and 76-suite conversion property overlooking the Nile is expected to open its doors as a Hilton-branded hotel in July this year. In the heart of Cairo on picturesque Zamalek Island, Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo lies between downtown Cairo and Giza, and approximately 20 km from Cairo International Airport.
      Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo will further strengthen the Hilton portfolio in Egypt, becoming the 16th Hilton branded property and 17th Hilton Worldwide property in the country.
      "Egypt is a key development market for Hilton Worldwide and the Hilton brand in the Middle East. As an upscale residential area and diplomatic quarter, the Zamalek district is an ideal location to increase our presence in the capital and to support our position as the leading hotel brand in Egypt. Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo will benefit from a swift opening, with the full support of the Hilton sales and marketing engine," said Mokhtar.

      The residential hotel has undergone a $20-million renovation and facelift, and now features five restaurants ranging from an all-day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant, a coffee shop, a pastry shop and a pool café. In keeping with the renowned Hilton Meetings product, the hotel has three meeting rooms, as well as a business centre with three breakout rooms. Leisure facilities include a health club and spa with sauna, steam room, massage treatment room and gym.

       Rediscovering the true spirit of Egypt

      Sitting majestically at the crossroads between Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean, Egypt's breathtaking destinations, combining exquisite nature and luxurious resorts, tell the stories of 5,000 thousand years of tales about one of the world's most ancient civilisations.
      In addition to the captivating historical and cultural heritage, a warm welcome awaits visitors in this country where spirited people and a lively social and artistic agenda continue to inspire life-changing experiences and adventures all year round.
      It is the spirit of Egypt that keeps bringing people back time and again. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Egyptian Tourism Authority, and executed by AC Nielsen, revealed that about 90 per cent of Arab travellers have visited Egypt, 30 per cent of them during 2009 alone.
      The study reinforced the perception that Arabs have long had of Egypt as a vibrant country with fun-loving, friendly and warm people.
      The tourism authority is actively working to maintain and grow tourist traffic to reach 16 million visitors in 2014 and 25 million in 2020. With that in mind, it has developed a comprehensive marketing strategy that will be executed in 26 markets globally and in the Arab world.
      The main target of the new campaign is to invite visitors, mainly families and youngsters, to rediscover the true spirit of Egypt with its rich heritage, lively entertainment and its diverse and vibrant destinations. asd

      The campaign, to be launched in the Arab world during the Arabian Travel Market, is built on a heart and mind approach that aims to promote different tourism products. It includes above the line and below the line campaigns to showcase the various established and new destinations. At the same time, it will shed light on what these destinations have to offer in terms of city holidays, shopping, nightlife and others.
      With beach tourism representing a major part of the tourism revenues in Egypt (around 65 per cent in 2008), the plan for this year is to focus on the Mediterranean north coast where visitors are invited to discover new attractions such as Marina El Alamein, a tourist village with an 11-km-long beach and Porto Marina Resort, which features the first international yacht marina in the eastern part of North Africa. In addition the authority is promoting Marsa Matrouh, Al Alamein and the more traditional locations such as Alexandria, which was named this year's Capital for Arab Tourism and has a series of events planned to celebrate this special year.
      The Egyptian Tourism Authority is focusing too on the exclusive beach cities on the Red Sea such as Port Ghalib, Marsa Alam, El Gouna, Soma Bay and Sahl Hasheesh in addition to presenting the diverse set of activities that are on offer at Sharm El Sheikh, the well established destination.
      Internally, the Ministry of Tourism has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to improve the quality of services and develop better human resources. Various educational programmes have been conducted to enhance the skills of professionals in the tourism sector such as staff at hotels and resorts, drivers of tourist vehicles, representatives of the tour operators and tour guides among others. In 2009, a new protocol was established to equip all vehicles transporting tourists with GIS and GPS devices to identify irregularities and limit accidents. A number of infrastructural projects are also in progress including the development of Terminal 3 at Cairo airport last year and the expansion of Matrouh Airport, Taba Airport and Borj Al Arab Airport on the north coast.

      Steigenberger Middle East awards its best partners for 2009

      Steigenberger Middle East is well represented in Egypt with four luxury hotels in key destinations of the country: The Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel and the Steigenberger Al Dau Club in Hurghada, the Steigenberger Golf Resort in El Gouna and the Steigenberger Nile Palace in Luxor.
      Steigenberger Middle East recently celebrated its second award ceremony at which the Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel, the Steigenberger Al Dau Club and this year, for the first time, the Steigenberger Nile Palace, awarded their top tour operators and business partners who contributed to the great success of the three hotels in 2009 and the fast-growing awareness of the brand in the area.
      This year, Best Partner Awards were given to the best-performing tour operators of each property and the best performing online tour operators of Steigenberger Middle East.
      Best Tour Operator Partners for the Steigenberger Al Dau Beach Hotel were Odeon Tours, TUI Deutschland, Thomas Cook,  Rewe Touristik and Aurinkomatkat Group Finland.
      The awards handed out by the Steigenberger Al Dau Club went to Anex Tour, Thomas Cook,  Schauinsland Reisen,  FTI Touristik and L'TUR Tourismus.
      The Steigenberger Nile Palace Luxor gave its awards to TUI Travel, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland,  Cosmos Holidays, Kuoni Travel Limited, Longwood Holidays, Voyages Jules Verne, Studiosus Reisen München and Grand Circle Travel.
      And the Steigenberger Middle East Best Online Partners were, Expedia and HRS (Hotel Reservation Service).

      Katameya Dunes Golf Course, Egypt

      Located 30 min from the Cairo International Airport and 15 min. distance from Katameya Hights.  Once completed, this 27 hole facility will go on to be recognised as one of the very finest in the region. Design: Nick Faldo / Schmidt-Curley. A truly beautiful design, with quite the experienced and professional management. This course will be ready for usage in the month of January 2011. The Clubhouse will include all the useful facilities,and a top end luxury spa.



      World Travel Awards African and Indian Ocean Ceremony Coincides with World Cup Semi-Final Africa tourism's greatest golden goals

      The Cheval Blanc resor

      Twelve hundred of Africa's key movers and shakers will attend the most important event of the year for the travel and tourism industry on Wednesday, July 7 at the Sandton Conventon Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
      The gathering for the Africa and Indian Ocean Ceremony will include CEO's and directors of some of the region's leading travel companies, government ministers, and heads of tourism departments and destinations, as well as industry association leaders.
      They will be gathering – many with fingers crossed – hoping they are among the elite to sweep off one of the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA), described as the "Oscars" of travel and tourism.
      "It's a once-a-year opportunity to recognize the exceptional quality, creativity, and leading-edge performance of Africa's top operators."
      During the past few months, industry professionals have been voting worldwide for the African companies and brands that they believe deserve the honors. Voting closes on June 7.
      African nominees are among 5,000 nominated companies, spread across more than a 1,000 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, resorts, and hotels in 162 countries.
      Presentation of the awards takes place at 5:00 pm – but guests will not miss out on the crucial match! A giant screen will show the FIFA World Cup Semi-Final immediately after the ceremony.
      African nominations include the crème de la crème of the region's travel and tourism sector. South Africa Airways, Air Namibia, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Royal Air Maroc are fighting it out to take the title of Africa's Leading Airline. In the running for Africa's Leading Beach Hotel are Camps Bay Retreat; Diaz 15, South Africa; La Gemma Dell'Est Zanzibar, Tanzania; Lagoon Beach Hotel, South Africa; Peponi Hotel Lamu Island, Kenya; The Bay Hotel, South Africa; and The Z Hotel Zanzibar, Tanzania.
      The fight for Africa's Leading Business Hotel title is also going to be a knuckle-biting affair. Nominations are: Alexandria Four Seasons, Conrad Cairo, Egypt; Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, Egypt; Hilton, Durban, Mena House Oberoi, Egypt; and Sandton Sun and The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays.
      As the fastest-growing industry sector, there's also keen interest in cruising and the Africa's Leading Cruise Line category: African Safari Club, Discover Egypt Nile Cruises, Sakkara Travel Group, Silverseas Cruises, Sonesta Nile Cruises, and Travel Dynamics International.
      The biggest struggle though will be among the 12 leading hotels anxious to win the coveted title of Africa's Leading Hotel. Nominees for this much sought after category are: Camps Bay Retreat, South Africa; Cape Grace, South Africa; Four Seasons Hotel at the First Residence, Egypt; Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the Nile Plaza, Egypt; Grand Hyatt Cairo, Egypt; Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech, Morocco; Mena House Oberoi Hotel & Casino, Egypt; Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa; Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa; The Palace of the Lost City, South Africa; and The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, South Africa.
      In addition to overall Africa categories, there are awards for Botswana, Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
      World Travel Awards, established 17 years ago, is the only global organization encouraging improvement and development of travel and tourism.
      Because consumers use the awards as a benchmark of quality, winners receive significant commercial benefits from the honor.
      To vote online, log on to: Voting closes on June 6, 2010.
      Click here for the complete list of World Travel Awards 2010 African nominees
      The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 17th anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive. Votes are cast by 183,000 travel professionals, which include travel agencies, tour and transport companies, and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe. Votes are cast globally by fellow industry professionals in over 1,000 different categories. Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators, and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top-level networking opportunities, regionally and globally. The World Travel Award's official list of worldwide media partners includes: BBC World News, eTurboNews, Breaking Travel News, CNBC Arabiya, Khaleej Times, Trav Talk, Trade Arabia, TTN, Travel Daily News International, Focus on Travel News, New Focus Travel Magazine, Tourism Review, JAX FAX, Travel & Leisure, Travel & Leisure Golf, Xenios, & Xenios World.

  • 10/05/2010 - May 2010

    • Untitled Document
      Precious ancient coins found in Egyptian village of Fayoum

      Egyptian archaeologists from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) dug out 383 coins dating to the reigns of King Ptolemy III (222-246 BC) during routine excavation work north of Lake Qarun in the Fayum. These antique coins appear to be in good condition and well preserved.Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the SCA, said that the newly-discovered coins weigh 32 gm and are made of bronze. They are decorated on one side with a scene depicting the god Amun-Zeus with two horns and a cobra. The flipside pictures a falcon standing on a wooden branch with the name of King Ptolemy written in Greek underneath.Dr. Sabri Abdel Aziz, head of the Ancient Egyptian Department, said that the mission is working in an area 7 x 1 KM upon request from the Egyptian Tourism development authorities. The Egyptian mission also uncovered antiquities that can be dated to several historical periods from prehistoric era through the Ottoman period. From the prehistoric time, the mission found three necklaces made of ostrich eggs, and from the Ottoman period the mission uncovered a Kohl container and two decorated rings.Khaled Saad, director of the Prehistoric Department of the SCA, said that the ostrich egg necklaces are unique samples, one of a kind, as it is the first time this technique was used on necklaces dating to the prehistoric period. He said that the skeleton of a 42 million year old whale has also been found. These prehistoric items will be displayed at the planned site museum in Fayoum.

      New hotel for Hilton

      Hilton Worldwide has signed a management agreement with High for Touristic Projects for the new-build Hilton Heliopolis in Egypt's capital Cairo, scheduled to open in 2014.
      The 485-room and 150-apartment low-rise property located in Heliopolis suburb adjoins an integrated shopping complex and is next to Cairo International Airport.
      "We are very happy to have signed this agreement for this landmark hotel in Cairo - an important development market for us. Hilton Heliopolis will truly complement our existing portfolio. Thanks to Cairo's bustling new international airport, which aims to handle 20 million passengers per year, we see increasing demand for accommodation in the affluent Heliopolis quarter," said Jean-Paul Herzog, president, Hilton Worldwide, Mena.

      Take to the seas at Soma Bay

      The Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge is Egypt's first watersports lifestyle hotel based on the shores of the Red Sea and offering ideal conditions for diving, windsurfing and kite surfing.
      Located in the exclusive Soma Bay resort, the laid-back, four-star property is directly opposite the bay's magnificent house reef and adjacent to the well-equipped Orca Dive Club.
      There are 173 comfortable, modern guest rooms, most of which have sea views, and a range of facilities from a restaurant right on the seashore to a roof garden, sauna and gym.
      But the real draw here is the watersports with options on offer to please veteran adventure seekers and first timers alike.
      Some of the best diving in the Red Sea is found in Soma Bay and the surrounding area. The hotel's purpose-built diving centre is situated on a 1-km stretch of house reef that is packed with diverse marine life and a fleet of dive boats accesses the many beautiful dive sites in the Soma Bay and Safaga region.
      The Breakers is also a good choice for those wanting to take advantage of Soma Bay's perfect windsurfing and sailing conditions.
      And for speed and thrill-seekers, the lodge is the perfect base to try kite surfing being just a few minutes from what is recognised as one of the best spots in the world for kite surfing.
      Soma Bay's spectacular bay offers fantastic flat water conditions, coupled with perfect side shore winds that range from four to eight BFT all year round.
      The wind is accelerated by the close proximity of the mountains to the sea. This also makes for one of the most beautiful spots for kite surfing in the whole of Egypt

      Soma Bay's 7BFT Kite House is a complete purpose-built kite surf teaching and testing centre with state-of-the-art equipment for teaching and hire and professionals and beginners are both catered for with video and headset training aids which make learning to kite surf and improving your technique easier and safer.
      Kite surfer, diver and all-round water man Stefan Reichl is the general manager of The Breakers Diving and Surfing Lodge, Soma Bay.

      European Aviation Vs Ash Cloud - Round 2

      Déjà vu - ash clouds menacing European air travel again

      DUBLIN – Iceland's clouds of volcanic ash are menacing European air traffic again, but transport chiefs insisted Tuesday they are learning from last month's crisis and won't let the hard-to-measure emissions ground their continent again.
      Rising volcanic activity spurred aviation authorities in Ireland, northwest Scotland and the Faeroe Islands to shut down services Tuesday after a two-week hiatus. Their airports reopened several hours later, once the densest ash clouds had passed over their airports and back over the Atlantic.
      But soon a new wave of engine-damaging ash was approaching British airspace, forcing Britain's Civil Aviation Authority to announce that airports in Scotland and Northern Ireland had to cancel all services indefinitely, beginning at 7 a.m. (0600GMT) Wednesday.
      The British authority said its forecasters had determined that ash in United Kingdom airspace "has increased in density." It said the prevailing winds would probably continue to push the threat southward, "potentially affecting airports in the northwest of England and North Wales tomorrow" — but missing the key European air hubs in London.
      Earlier, travelers and transport chiefs alike said Europe was learning to pinpoint the true nature of the threat versus last month's better-safe-than-sorry shutdown of air services for nearly a week in several countries. Airline and airport authorities branded that response overkill; it grounded 100,000 flights and 10 million passengers and cost the industry billions.
      European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas emphasized that, had last month's sweeping safeguards been imposed Tuesday, "a very large part" of Europe would have lost its air links again — and for days, not hours.
      Kallas and transport ministers from across the 27-nation European Union agreed Tuesday at an emergency meeting in Brussels to press ahead on plans to unify their divided air-traffic-control networks, research new ways to identify and measure radar-invisible ash clouds, and legally define safety standards for specific makes of jet engines and the airline industry as a whole.
      "We want to give top priority to those measures which will accelerate the setting up of the single European sky," Kallas said.
      But government and aviation officials from Ireland couldn't attend in person because their airports were shut. They warned that Iceland, some 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) to the northwest, could keep spewing untold tons of engine-destroying ash into air space indefinitely and could keep disrupting in Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia this summer.
      "There's no doubt about it, we're probably facing a summer of uncertainty due to this ash cloud," said Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority, who foresaw the potential for sporadic shutdowns dependent on the whims of prevailing winds.
      Too often so far, the ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano has ended up traveling with unseasonal winds straight east or southeast into Europe rather than northeast to the uninhabited Arctic, the typical path in springtime.
      Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said Tuesday's closure of Irish airspace "emphasizes the need for a strong European response and action plan to deal with this situation as it continues to evolve."
      Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences said Eyjafjallajokul — which erupted April 13 after a 177-year slumber — has experienced increased seismic activity since Sunday and its ash plume has risen to nearly 5.5 kilometers (18,000 feet) in altitude. The last time it erupted, in 1821, its emissions ebbed and flowed for two years.
      At Dublin Airport, passengers said they doubted whether aviation chieftains could effectively cork the Iceland ash threat soon. Some turned their anger on Irish airlines for allegedly taking advantage of their misfortunes to gouge them on emergency-rebooked flights.
      But most passengers camped out Tuesday during the shutdown appeared resigned to a dawning reality of uncertain air bookings. Many applauded the authorities' more selective shutdown Tuesday as a sign of improving systems — and literally applauded as the Dublin departures terminals began listing takeoff times again.
      Weather forecasters and geologists agreed that the prognosis for Europe's harried air travelers should improve starting Thursday.
      Irish meteorologist Evelyn Cusack said winds were expected to resume their typical northeasterly direction, pushing ash into the Arctic and away from Europe's airports.
      And Brian Flynn, deputy director of operations at the Brussels air safety agency Eurocontrol, said the ash was not reaching altitudes that could threaten aircraft in mid-flight, only those that were climbing after takeoff or descending to land. This greatly limits the actual air corridors at risk, he said.
      "This time the volcano is much less active" than during the April 14-20 shutdowns, Flynn said.
      The Irish Aviation Authority said the risk of further shutdowns in the Republic of Ireland before midday Wednesday was "minimal."

  • 03/03/2010 - April 2010

      The Easter Story
      as told in the Gospels 

      King James Version
      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.(John 3:16-17)
      The Last Supper
      And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he said unto them: and they

      made ready for the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. (Mark 14:16-17)
      And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you. I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:22-25)
      Jesus is Crucified
      Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
      And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying Hail King of the Jews! And they spit on him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him and led him away to crucify him. (Matthew 27:27-31)
      And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people and women, which also bewailed and lamented him. (Luke 23:26-27).
      And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:33-34)
      Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These
      things therefore the soldiers did. (John 19:23-24)
      Jesus Dies and Is Buried
      And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, he said, Father into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. (Luke 23:44-47)
      When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. (Matthew 27:57-60)
      And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. (Mark 15:47)
      Jesus is Risen! 
      And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. (Mark 16:2-7)
      So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:19-20)

      New Hilton property in Cairo
      Hilton Worldwide has signed a Management Agreement with High for Touristic Projects for the new-build Hilton Heliopolis in Egypt’s capital Cairo, scheduled to open in 2014.
      The 485-room and 150-apartment low-rise property located in Cairo’s upmarket Heliopolis suburb adjoins an integrated shopping complex and is next to the Cairo International Airport.

      Hilton Heliopolis will feature five restaurants and bars ranging from an all-day dining restaurant and two speciality restaurants, to a sports bar and lobby lounge bar. In keeping with Hilton’s renowned Hilton Meetings product, the hotel will have a 960 sq. m. ballroom, nine meeting rooms of various sizes and one boardroom. Further on-site facilities are planned to include a lounge dedicated to airline crews, fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool and two tennis courts.

      Hilton Worldwide signs new Hilton Hotels property on the Nile
      164-room and suite Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo to open in July 2010
      Tuesday, March 30, 2010
      Hilton Worldwide has signed a Management Agreement with Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company for a new Hilton branded hotel on the famous Nile River in Egypt. Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo is scheduled to open in July 2010.
      The Management Agreement was signed by Mishal Abdallah Almasad, Chairman, Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company SAE and Mahmoud Mokhtar, Vice President Operations, Hilton Worldwide, Egypt in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Rashid Al Hamad, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Egypt, Sharifa Baqer, General Manager, Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company and Carlos Khneisser, Director of Development, Hilton Worldwide, Middle East.

      The 88-room and 76-suite conversion property overlooking the Nile is expected to open its doors as a Hilton branded hotel in July this year. In the heart of Cairo on picturesque Zamalek Island, Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo lies between Downtown Cairo and Giza, and approximately 20 km from Cairo International Airport.
      Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo will further strengthen the Hilton portfolio in Egypt, becoming the sixteenth Hilton branded property and seventeenth Hilton Worldwide property in the country. It will join Ramses Hilton, Hilton Cairo World Trade Centre Residence and Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort as the fourth Hilton property in Cairo.
      “Egypt is a key development market for Hilton Worldwide and the Hilton brand in the Middle East. As an upscale residential area and diplomatic quarter, the Zamalek district is an ideal location to increase our presence in the capital and to support our position as the leading hotel brand in Egypt (ref. Business Development Research Consultants – BDRC 2009). Hilton Zamalek Residence Cairo will benefit from a swift opening, with the full support of the Hilton sales and marketing engine,” said Mahmoud Mokhtar, Vice President Operations, Hilton Worldwide, Egypt.
      The residential hotel has undergone a US$20 million renovation and facelift, and now features five restaurants ranging from an all-day dining restaurant, a speciality restaurant, a coffee shop, a pastry shop and a pool cafe. In keeping with the renowned Hilton Meetings product, the hotel has three meeting rooms, as well as a business centre with three breakout rooms. Leisure facilities include a health club and spa with sauna, steam room, massage treatment room and gym.
      “Hilton is the leading global hospitality brand and offers guests more than 530 hotels and resorts in 76 countries around the world. We are excited to bring our style, world class service and forward thinking approach to this spectacular property with beautiful views of the Nile,” said Dave Horton, Global Head – Hilton Hotels brand. 

      “As we face a surge in domestic and business travel across Egypt, Hilton’s established credentials and well positioned brands will help us manage demand and meet travellers’ high expectations for this new conversion,” said Mishal Abdallah Almasad, Chairman, Safir El Zamalek Hotel Company SAE.
      Hilton Worldwide has an impressive brand footprint in the Middle East & Africa with 44 hotels across 14 countries, and another 21 properties in the pipeline. The Hilton brand is the largest hotel brand in Egypt by number of hotels (16) and room count (6,280 rooms), spread across Cairo and all the major coastal resorts (Source: Lodging Econometrics Q1 2009).

      Nile Hotel closes for major revamp
      n what was a watershed moment in the luxury hospitality industry in the city of Cairo, The Nile Hotel bade farewell to its guests and closed its doors on the first day of 2010.

      For the next 30 months, this celebrated hotel is undergoing an extensive physical makeover to emerge in 2012 newly re-branded as The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo.

      Owned by Misr Hotels, a subsidiary of The Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels and Cinema, plans are in place to convert the property, strategically located along the famous river in the heart of bustling downtown Cairo, to reflect its former glory as an iconic landmark in this ancient city.
      “We are set to raise the bar of excellence and define the service standards with the values inherent in The Ritz-Carlton culture,” said Simon Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
      “Our goal is to transform this property to be the destination of choice for luxury travellers and establish the hotel as one of the best in the world.”
      When it re-opens, the new hotel will feature a contemporary design by architect Frank Nicholson.
      The Nile Ritz-Carlton will comprise 327 luxurious guest rooms, including 52 suites, offering magnificent views of the city. There will be two 432-sq-m royal suites, each featuring a magnificent grand entrance with floor-to-ceiling windows, two bedrooms, a living room and dining area.
      Four specialty restaurants, two lounges and a bar will offer a multitude of dining options from classic Italian cuisine to a contemporary steakhouse.
      As a key destination for business in the city due to its facilities and its central location, The Nile Ritz-Carlton will offer a variety of fully-featured meetings and function spaces.
      “We are delighted to announce that we are progressing on schedule with this major project and that we are totally committed to our plans,” said Aly Abdel Aziz, CEO and chairman of The Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels and Cinema. “This project will retain the historic sentiments of this iconic hotel and is essentially an evolution of adding to what it once represented. Although it is a considerable investment on our part, we strongly believe that it is one which will yield great rewards.”

      Sharm El Sheikh resort exceeds expectations

      King room at Le Royale Sonesta Sharm El Sheikh

      Le Royale Sonesta Sharm El Sheikh Resort is a five-star, luxury boutique property on the Red Sea in Egypt.

      The hotel offers 164 guest rooms and suites, with upscale amenities and luxurious finishes, four spectacular swimming pools including one swim-up pool and a children’s pool all of which are heated in the winter season. Rooms and suites feature 42-inch LCD television with international channels, DVD and CD player, alarm clock, iPod docking station, minibar, electronic safe large enough to hold a laptop, Wi-Fi in all the rooms and public areas, hair dryer, coffee and tea facilities and a cosy seating corner.

      The resort offers a fine- dining restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as Arabesque pool bar, The Terrace, offering light snacks and cocktails and an exquisite Piano Bar.

      Baron Resort gets upgrade

      Baron Hotels & Resorts Egypt, the leading Egyptian hotel management group, has announced the completion of most of its soft renovations at its five-star Sharm el Sheikh property. 
      Work began early in 2009 and company vice president Sherif Shahein said the €2 million ($2.7 million) investment would cover the lobby, the Italian restaurant ‘Bella Vista’, the bar and cigar lounge ‘The Niche Bar’, the main restaurant ‘Sinai’, the fine-dining Indian restaurant ‘Taj Mahal’ and the beach restaurant and lounge ‘Palm’.

      The 100,000 sq m Baron Resort Sharm El Sheikh sits on a 600-m private sandy beach and is set amidst 80,000 sq m of colourful vegetation facing the exotic Tiran Island and the glistening Red Sea.

      It comprises 360 rooms and suites, including royal suites with private swimming pools and butler service.

      As a market leader anticipating and fulfilling guests needs, Baron Resort has introduced a one-of-a-kind VIP exclusive concept for royal suite guests including express check-in, a wide choice of drinks and snacks in the mini bar, a basket of exotic fruits, 24-hour room service, unlimited visits to all a la carte restaurants, local and imported alcoholic drinks, top VIP bathrooms and room accessories, turn-down service and an invitation to the general manager’s evening.

      In addition, Baron Resort has added a number of privileges to its premium all- inclusive formula.

      Kempinski to open its Nile-front premier boutique hotel in Cairo

      During a recent trip to Egypt, Reto Wittwer, CEO and president of Kempinski Hotels, announced the mid-2010 opening of the group’s newest boutique offering in Cairo.

      The Kempinski Nile Hotel, which replaces an old property, is located in the prestigious Garden City district, on the Nile front. Owned by Talaat Mostafa Group (TMG) it is the first important and influential property for Kempinski in the Egyptian capital.

      While holding onto its precious location in the lively heart of Cairo, the hotel was revamped in a record 30 months during which the décor and character have been changed, evolving into a more contemporary set-up which captures the essence of style and relaxed elegance, the warm and refined atmosphere combined with the state-of-the-art technology which will be the masterpiece of the hotel offerings that will create signature moments for its clients.

      Interior design of the 191-room boutique-style hotel was carried out by the world-renowned French architect Pierre Yves Rochon who created a business entity which evokes luxury and a lively mood while resonating with the opulence of Egypt’s time-honoured culture depicted in his choice of the murals adorning the walls of the lobby

      The hotel boasts a rich array of culinary delights in the new dining venues alongside the bar and lounges that will open for leisure and night-time entertainment all under the supervision of an internationally-seasoned executive chef with Michelin-star restaurant experience.

      The outlets include a rooftop pool bar, shisha lounge, an Ottoman restaurant, a jazz bar and a chic dining restaurant. The hotel will provide a spa and outdoor rooftop swimming pool, as well as state-of-the-art business and meeting facilities.

      Wittwer said: “Cairo is a city where we have long been interested to establish a Kempinski presence, so we are particularly delighted to enter Cairo with such a great property on the banks of the Nile. TMG is a strong partner which shares our vision of strong positioning and market leadership to redefine authentic European hospitality traditions which Cairo, at present, longs for.”

      Axel Ludwig, general manager, Kempinski Nile Hotel added: “The prime location of the property, combined with its superlative facilities, gives Kempinski a great opportunity to positively establish our brand in Cairo. Kempinski Nile Hotel is set to offer the key values of city boutique hotels. The contemporary elegant design combined with the warm charming atmosphere and the tailored service reflect the European tradition of luxury and life-style blended with Egyptian culture and authenticity.”

      “We strongly believe that Kempinski Nile Hotel will be a great addition to Kempinski’s collection of individuals located in many of the world’s most well-known cities and resorts, which includes hotels in the grand manner, pace-setting modern establishments and older hotels and palaces of distinguished heritage and individual charm.” Wittwer concluded.

      Meroe: Ancient conquerors of Egypt

      At the end of March, the Louvre will host its first


      exhibitionon the Meroe dynasty, the last in a line of ‘black pharaohs’ that ruled Kush for more than 1,000 years until the kingdom’s demise in 350 AD.

      Meroe lies around 200 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of Sudan’s capital Khartoum and was the last capital of Kush, also called Nubia, an ancient kingdom centered on the confluence of the Blue Nile, the White Nile and the River Atbara.
      Kush was one of the earliest civilizations in the Nile valley and, at first, was dominated by Egypt. The Nubians eventually gained their independence and, at the height of their power, they turned the table on Egypt and conquered it in the 8th century BC.
      They occupied the entire Nile valley for a century before being forced back into what is now Sudan.
      Meroe had three cemeteries containing more than 100 pyramids that are smaller than their Egyptian counterparts. The largest are 30 metres (98 feet) high and the angles are steep, some close to 70 degrees.
      Although the pyramids have been thoroughly excavated, yielding a treasure trove of knowledge about Kushite culture, many aspects of Kushite civilization remain shrouded in mystery for archaeologists.
      Archaeologists have also discovered numerous stelae, or inscribed stone pillars. However, they cannot read the inscriptions. While the hieroglyphics have been deciphered, the language of the ancient Nubians remains a mystery.

      New discovery in sakkara

      The French mission working at Saqqara has found the burial chamber of Queen Behenu. As of yet, it is unclear if this queen was the wife of Pepi I or Pepi II, who ruled during the 6th Dynasty. The burial chamber was revealed while the team was cleaning the sand from Behenu's pyramid in the area of el-Shawaf in South Saqqara, west of the pyramid of King Pepi I.

      The burial chamber is badly destroyed with the exception of two inner walls on which were found engraved Pyramid Texts that were widely in use in royal tombs during the 5th and 6th Dynasties (circa. 2465-2150 BC). 
      Pyramid Texts are religious texts composed of spells primarily concerned with protecting the king's remains, reanimating his body after death, and helping him ascend to the heavens. The spells delineate all of the ways the king could travel through the afterlife, including ramps, stairs, ladders, and most importantly flight. The spells could also be used to call on the gods for help, even threatening them if they did not comply.
      Further excavation inside the burial chamber led the team to the queen's well-preserved granite sarcophagus.
      The French mission have located a total of seven queen pyramids dating to the reigns of Pepi I and Pepi II since the beginning of their project in 1989. The pyramids have been attributed to Queens Inenek, Nubunet, Meretites II, Ankhespepy III, Miha, and a yet unidentified queen.

      Free Diving World Record
      Christian Redl, representative of the Egyptian diving segment, creates awareness for the fascinating diving locations of Egypt through unconventional performances. 

      Breathless and totally cool: Austrian-born Redl, now 7-times world record holder in free diving under ice, sets all records straight. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records and has global media coverage for world record projects.

      On February 6th at 12.42 pm, the visionary extreme diver set his world record in 100 meters dynamic

      freediving under ice in 1.12 minutes,
      after months of intensive preparation. With only one breath, he dove in the icy water underneath the massively frozen surface of Lake Weissensee in Carinthia, Austria.

      Hundreds of fans and international press watched on-site this very special moment of making freediving history in water temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius. 

      With a 10 minute mental meditation phase and supported by his psychological coach, the living free diving legend Christian Redl pushed his concentration level for his defined target into a new dimension. Five security divers were under water securing this dangerous stunt, whose biggest threat lies in the danger of a blackout. Further diving doctors and emergency staff were on-call at the world record location.

      Redl’s new sponsoring partner, sun destination Egypt, set a strong contrast with branding the whole Lake Weissensee world record location. 

      “Egypt – where it all begins“ and Christian Redl, “the feeling I get after a new freediving record cannot be described. The world needs heroes; I want to be one of them. I am proud to get support in my sportive creativity from Egypt. Egypt, for me, is the best diving destination in the world. Since thousands of years, Egypt tells great stories and I feel honored that Egypt tells my own story today.

      Egypt – where it all begins“is the new slogan of the country’s advertising campaign that deals with Egypt being the muse for civilizations, cultures, great people, and great stories, as such suitable for the extreme sport freediving. Egypt branded Christian Redl’s diving suit and the location Lake Weissensee with beachflags and with a spectacular 100-meter banner covering the whole world record distance, showing new branding images of the campaign to the public and the media.

      U.S. Returns Missing Sarcophagus to Egypt
      After a two-year international investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) returned a 3,000-year-old ornately painted sarcophagus to the Arab Republic of Egypt and its Embassy.
      CBP officers intercepted the empty Egyptian sarcophagus at Miami International Airport in 2008 and examined it for agricultural concerns.
      The two-piece wooden and plastered sarcophagus from Egypt’s 21st Dynasty (ca. 1070-945 B.C.) was created for an elite male named Imesy.
      Upon its return home, the coffin will be the centerpiece of a new special exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo opening April 7, 2010. The installation features artifacts and other treasures that were repatriated to Egypt in the last eight years. It will later become part of the permanent collection of a museum in Sharm el-Sheikh.

      Egypt pledges to become carbon neutral in 10 years

      Image via WikipediaEgypt recently announced its plan to become completely carbon neutral by 2020. The $238 million project hopes to accomplish this through the introduction of renewable energy, reduction of water use, improvement of waste management, and, in the future, the use of electric boats and hybrid buses.
      The green initiatives are planned to start this month and be completed by the end of 2010. These early initiatives include new diving restrictions to help preserve already damaged reefs at Sharm el-Sheikh, and the powering of street lights with solar energy.

  • 01/02/2010 - March 2010

    • IWHTA is Supporting 'International Medical Tourism and Travel 2010' to be Held on 1 - 2 March 2010, Marriott Hotel, Singapore

      International Wellness and Healthcare Travel Association (IWHTA) president Mr. Naresh Jadeja, an expert on medical tourism trends and patient's perspective is to address at a Singapore Health Ministry supported "International Medical Tourism and Travel 2010" conference.
      Edison, NJ, February 18, 2010 --( International Wellness and Healthcare Travel Association (IWHTA) president Mr. Naresh Jadeja, an expert on medical tourism trends and patient's perspective is to address at a Singapore Health Ministry supported "International Medical Tourism and Travel 2010' conference.

      Experiencing the remarkable growth in Singapore Medical Travel industry, Marcus Evans is organizing a global conference International Medical Tourism and Travel 2010 to be held on 1 - 2 March 2010, Marriott Hotel, Singapore.
      The conference will feature every detail necessary to better serve international patient's pool.
      International Medical Tourism & Travel 2010 will experience health care industry leaders & experts addressing the important core issues for growth in medical travel industry. Supported by Ministry of Health Singapore, big hospitals institutions, various medical association and medical tourism facilitators the event will focus on:
      1. Technology superiority advantage for medical tourism
      2. Exposure to new emerging destinations for medical tourism
      3. Collaborations and strategic partnerships with various parties
      IWHTA is a supporting organization as well as the official media partner for this event. Mr. Naresh Jadeja, President of IWHTA will be addressing at the event on revising long term strategies to develop the medical tourism sector in Asia.
      Asian countries are increasing their market share and finding new markets for medical travel Industry. With proper tools and branding it can truly become leader in this industry, said Mr. Naresh Jadeja. He added, networking opportunities like this can expand the opportunities for entire global health care travel industry and help the patients. If someone wants to enter Asian health care market then this is the event for them. Asian destinations and medical facilities have evolved as key players in the fast growing market for global health care service with their post surgery outcomes being at par with USA.
      IWHTA looks forward to strengthen ties and intensify collaborative efforts with other health care related organizations to undertake a major industry renovation and ultimately advance the health care travel industry.  This is the reason IWHTA is supporting this event and we believe that an international organization like ours along with the experienced professional and global presence can assist medical facilities, medical travel facilitators, tourism & health care department, employers and health care clusters develop an international presence to attract patients and to better serve them, said Mr. Naresh Jadeja. International Wellness and Healthcare Travel Association is a USA based international non profit association promoting Medical Travel industry and offering great networking opportunity among industry leaders.
      IWHTA is promoting independent regional chapters and healthcare clusters and distributes a newsletter educating its members, subscribers and international patients about affordable yet quality health care treatment available at Accredited/ certified international medical facilities.

      CIF is one the most important events in the Middle East region , that will be held on EECA exhibitions ground from 11 to 22 March 2010 

      The Cairo International Fair CIF  is an annual event organized by the Egypt Expo & Convention Authority EECA; under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Its aim is to create favorable conditions for local and foreign enterprises and trade organizations to
      search for business partners; expand markets; develop production, business and import export activities; as well as showcasing new products and services
      Under the theme "EGYPT: ENHANCING INTEGRATION FOR DEVELOPMENT" which will be held here in Cairo ;the 43rd CIF will be one of the most important trade promotion events in Egypt in 2010 This event will effectively contribute to strengthening Egypt's exports, investment and economic cooperation; especially in the context of our ongoing efforts to greatly intensify our integration into the global economy.
      On behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all local and foreign enterprises and trade organizations who have actively participated in this fair. Cairo International Fair (CIF) is the most important trade fairs that are held in Egypt in terms of participating countries, number of exhibitors and visitors and volume of trade transactions are made during CIF activities.
      EECA gives exhibitors the opportunity to promote products and services directly to end consumers and traders at the same time. Cairo International Fair helps in positioning Egypt as the leading center for international trade fairs in the Middle East and North Africa. The 43rd Cairo int'l fair will begin this year at the time in which the Egyptian economy witnesses many changes caused the refreshment of the Egyptian market and many steps are taken towards more integration into the global economy.
      Cairo International Fair is the event you can never miss because it is the golden gate to the Egyptian market, wishing you a fruitful participation. 

      The Monastery of Saint Antony to be renovated

      An extensive renovation of the world's oldest monastery was unveiled in Egypt. The restoration and conservation of the 1600 year-old Monastery of Saint Antony,situated in the rugged desert mountains near Egypt's Red Sea coast, cost US$14.5 million. The project took eight years to complete. It is said that in this remote spot, at the end of the 3rd century, Saint Anthony took up a residence in a cave, with little more than a spring and some palm trees to sustain him.Upon his death in AD 356, his followers built cells and created the world's first Christian monastery, which now houses 120 monks, is the burial place of four saints,   and holds ancient church paintings dating to the Middle Ages.


      In the government-sponsored project, workers renovated the monasteries two main churches - the 15th century Church of the Apostles and the 4th century Church of Saint Anthony, the fortress-like ancient wall surrounding the monastery, and several outbuildings.A modern sewage system was also installed for the monastery, which receives a million visitors every year.Monks say the restoration and discovery of the cells of the monks sheds important light on the early years of monasticism and bolsters the country's long monastic tradition.

      Luxor Avenue of Sphinxes will open in March

      An ancient passageway flanked by sphinxes and used for one the most important religious events in ancient Egypt will open to the public next March. Known as the Avenue of the Sphinxes, the 2.7 kilometre (1.7 mile) road was originally built by 18th dynasty Amenhotep III (1387-1349 BC) to connect the temples of Karnak and Luxor. The pharaoh and priests promenaded along this road each year during the Opet festival, carrying the bark and shrine of Amen from the inner sanctum at Karnak to meet his consort Mut at the Temple of Luxor.

      This religious ceremony, a symbolic re-enactment of the deities marriage, was the closest approach the common folk had to the image of the god, even though he always remained shrouded.
      The road was subsequently rebuilt by succeeding pharaohs all the way to King Nectanebo of the 30th dynasty (380-362 BC). Archaeologists has so far unearthed 650 of the 1350 sphinxes believed to have once lined the entire path. Broken remnants of the statues will be restored and relocated to recreate the splendor of the ancient Egyptian civilization when it was the superpower of its day.
      Jane Akshar reports on the progress of Sphinx Avenue in Luxor

      The area is almost empty now. Seven hundred families were paid LE13 million to move and their houses destroyed. They had no other choice since they built on archaeological land. Excavators have found that material from the sphinxes were reused as foundation for houses and walls during Roman times and Medieval Luxor. There was also an industrial area of pottery kilns and some sphinxes were leveled in order to provide a flat space in this area. The various 700 houses had septic tanks and sphinxes were used as walls in these so they are in poor condition. They have just reached a school which will have to be partially moved and they are hoping any sphinxes under this might be in good condition. Not all sphinxes will be restored as this destruction is now part of history. Original pedestals with no sphinx will be left, the others will be restored to [rovide a safer support

      Tut Pharaoh death revealed

      New explanations show what killed the boy Pharaoh King New explanations show what killed the boy Pharaoh KingTutankhamun. A study being announced today exposes an analysis supposedly revealing how the boy king died. Egypt's Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni broke the news at the Cairo Museum including new discoveries about the family of Tut and the cause of death. Research on the family of Tut done through the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP) revealed the king died at the age of 19; contrary to earlier stories, he was murdered by a blow to the back of the head. Egyptian scientists found out that the hole on the skull was traditionally done in 18th Dynasty when filling the skull with mummification liquid. Scientists also noted that the young king suffered a fracture to his left leg a day or so before his death.According to newswires, results emerge from what the researchers call molecular Egyptology, in this case an analysis of DNA extracted from the bones of 11 royal mummies of the New Kingdom.
      The scientists took two to four DNA samples from each mummy, including Tut, who died sometime 1324 BC, the 10th year of his reign.comparing the genetic fingerprints allowed them to identify one previously unknown mummy as Queen Tiye, mother of the pharaoh Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun, another as Akhenaten (Tut's father) himself, and a third as Tutankhamun's mother.
      Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, heads the EMP team composed of Egyptian scientists from the National Research Center, members of the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University, and two German DNA specialists.The study was performed inside two DNA laboratories working under the supervision of the SCA. One is located in the basement of the Cairo Museum, the other, at the Faculty of Medicine in Cairo University. These are the only two DNA laboratories used exclusively to study ancient mummies.In the past, the EMP has conducted two other studies on ancient Egyptian mummies. The first project done in 2005 performed a CT-Scan on the mummy of Tutankhamun.The EMP's second project succeeded in identifying the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut from among remains found in KV 60 in the Valley of the Kings. These findings have been published in scientific articles around the world. Hawass and the scientists in this project sent an article to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who approved of the study's scientific method. The article findings will be released today, February 17.Archaeologists moved Tutankhamun's body from his tomb - discovered packed with treasure in 1922 - to the museum a couple of years back for tests, which should resolve the mystery over whether he died naturally or was murdered. The mummy moved end of November with the CT scan that produced a three-dimensional X-ray of his remains. Tutankhamun's treasures, including a stunning gold mask which covered the head of his mummy, were removed from the tomb in Luxor's Valley of the Kings by British archaeologist Howard Carter. They are usually on show, too, at the Cairo Museum.
      Tut's mummified remains were left in the tomb in a stone coffin for years. Archaeologists last opened the coffin in 1968, when an X-ray revealed a chip of bone in his skull. The mummy was smashed to pieces by Carter's expedition, when tools were used to remove the king's gold mask from his body. The mask was firmly attached to the mummy by resin.Nothing hindered the research. Hawass ordered for the mummy to be returned back to its tomb after the completion of the research. Mystery has surrounded Tutankhamun since the discovery of his tomb. Lord Carnarvon, Carter's sponsor and among the first to enter the tomb, died shortly afterward from an infected mosquito bite. Discovery C
      hannel airs King Tut Unwrapped this Sunday, February 21, and Monday, February 22.

      Tutankhamun's DNA test results unveiled

      Modern genetic testing and computer technology have revealed King Tut's parental lineage and the cause of his death, experts said.
      Scientists spent the last two years scrutinizing the mummified remains of the 19-year old pharaoh to extract his blood and DNA.
      They found traces of the malaria parasite in his blood.
      Not long before his death, Tutankhamun fractured his leg. The bone did not heal properly and began to die. This would have left the young king frail and susceptible to malaria infection, which finished him off.
      There is no compelling evidence to suggest King Tut or indeed any of his royal ancestors had Marfan's - a disease some scholars have mentioned to explain a somewhat female appearance in Tutankhamun's male relatives.
      But they did confirm that the king may have had some form of inherited disease, a rare bone disorder affecting the foot called Kohler disease II, as well as a club foot and a curvature of the spine.
      Using partial Y-chromosome information, the researchers also determined that Akhenaten, the controversial pharaoh who ruled from around 1351-1334 BC and tried to radically transform religion in ancient Egypt, was Tut's father, and that Tutankhamun's mother was Akhenaten's sister.
      Tutankhamun also sired two children, both girls, but they died in the womb, the study found.

      Egypt woos eco tourists



      The Egyptian holiday resort of Sharm el-Sheikh intends to slash its carbon emissions in the next decade to woo a growing class of eco-tourists, a senior government official who heads the $335 million project says. Experts welcome the plan but believe the government should also be enforcing existing environmental rules in the Red Sea resort of 62,000 hotel rooms, where dust from frantic coastal construction has been blamed for damaging prize coral reefs. Tourism is a crucial source of foreign currency and jobs in Egypt, accounting for about 11% of GDP. "Tourists will pick places that are environmentally friendly and taking positive steps to reduce their carbon emissions," said Hisham Zaazou, a top official at the Tourism Ministry. The resort's aim is to be carbon neutral by 2020, though Zaazou said in an interview: "We will not reach the zero stage by 2020, but we will be almost there." The plan is to introduce renewable energy schemes, cut water use and improve waste management to boost the environmental credentials of a resort where sprawling concrete hotel complexes have sprung up in recent decades. Beaches and dive sites around Sharm el-Sheikh attracted 3-4 million of the roughly 12 million tourists who visited Egypt last year, Zaazou said.
      "Sharm is a lab (laboratory) ... and once it succeeds, we will replicate the project elsewhere."
      First steps . Work on the green initiative starts this month and six small projects should be completed by the end of 2010.  Among these early programmes will be new diving restrictions to help preserve damaged reefs and the powering of some street lights with solar energy. Longer term, the aim is to use wind and solar energy to power more of the resort. Other plans, still being drawn up, include using electric boats and hybrid buses. "What gives this immediate urgency is ... the buzz word, climate change," Zaazou said. A 2008 UN report said travel and tourism contributed about five percent to global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of the blame has been put on air travel, the way most tourists reach Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula's tip. Egypt could itself be one of the countries worst hit by climate change.  Most of its 77 million people are crammed into the low-lying Nile Valley and Delta, the country's agricultural heartland. Zaazou said the project would cost about three percent of the resort's annual revenues and the aim was for private investors to meet 48% of this. "We are trying to entice the private sector to move in this direction," he said.                              He said several banks had indicated they would help with finance and some hotels were looking at putting in place energy saving schemes in their complexes.  Some people feel the project is a good idea, but say the government could increase its impact by enforcing existing environmental protection rules.Sherif El-Ghamrawy, owner of an ecological tourist lodge north of Sharm el-Sheikh, said the government needed to convince private firms that protecting the environment was good business and should enforce environmental codes more firmly.
      Hesham Gabr, head of the Diving and Maritime Activities Chamber, echoed those comments, saying: "Today, the simplest of problems go unsolved ... Any agency in a position to enforce regulations is either absent or overloaded."  Zaazou said the environment had been damaged by the rush to develop the resort, but the ministry was taking firmer action, including a decision in 2009 to halt new construction.

      Egypt amends Antiquities law

      The People's Assembly amended Egypt's antiquities law to bring in stiffer punishments for the theft and smuggling of relics while granting patent rights to the country antiquities council. The sale of antiquities is still banned and Egyptians who have antiquities must report their possessions to the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
      Relics can in the future only be given as a gift with the council's authorization. They may also be passed on as part of an inheritance.
      The new law increases prison sentences for smuggling artifacts out of Egypt to 15 years and a fine of LE 1 million. The penalty for stealing artifacts has been doubled to 10 years. It also increases the punishment for tampering with antiquity sites to five years in jail, while a new provision gives patent rights to the antiquities council on precise replicas of antiquities that are certified by the council.

      Award winning year for Yemen

      YEMEN'S Minister of Tourism has been presented with the illustrious Golden Rudder Award as the country's leaders and partners prepare to implement its tourism strategy for 2010.
      The second half of 2009 saw an outstanding promotional campaign in Europe, which included road shows in the UK, France, Germany and Italy, as well as hugely successful participation at the annual World Travel Market in London.
      On his return Tourism Minister Nabil Hassan al-Fakih was invited to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to receive the Golden Rudder Award from the International Tourism Award Board of the Arab Tourism Organisation (ATO) in recognition of his "unfettered efforts to promote tourism to Yemen and his continuous and loyal cooperation with the ATO.
      He said: 'We recognise the importance of tourism to Yemen's economy and its role in presenting Yemen's true identity to the world. Through co-operation with our friends in other countries, we can ensure that sustainable tourism contributes to enduring social and economic development in Yemen.
      Acknowledging that the past year had been difficult for tourism everywhere, he added that co-operation, security and sustainability will continue to be central to our tourism strategy.
      The focus is now on implementing the country's strategic plans for 2010 in conjunction with Yemen's global partners at an international conference in the ancient capital Sana'a exploring how responsible tourism can bring economic benefits to Yemen.
      The Bibliotheca Alexandrina

      The New Library of Alexandria, the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is much more than a library. It contains:
      - A Library that can hold millions of books.
      - An Internet Archive.- Six specialized libraries for (i) Arts, multimedia and audio-visual materials, (ii) the visually impaired, (iii) children, (iv) the young, (v) microforms, and (vi) rare books and special collections
      - Four Museums for (i) Antiquities, (ii) Manuscripts, (iii) Sadat and (iv) the History of Science
      - A Planetarium
      - An Exploratorium for children's exposure to science (ALEX ploratorium)
      - Culturama: a cultural panorama over nine screens, the first ever patented 9-projector interactive system. Winner of many awards, the Culturama, developed by CULTNAT, allows the presentation of a wealth of data layers, where the presenter can click on an item and go to a new level of detail. It is a remarkably informative and attractive multi-media presentation of Egypt's heritage across 5000 years of history to these modern times, with highlights and examples of Ancient Egyptian and Coptic/Muslim heritage.

      - VISTA (The Virtual Immersive Science and Technology Applications system) is an interactive Virtual Reality environment, allowing researchers to transform two-dimensional data sets into 3-D simulations, and to step inside them. A practical tool of visualization during research, VISTA helps researchers to simulate the behavior of natural or human-engineered systems, instead of merely observing a system or building a physical model.- Eight academic research centers: (i) Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex-Med), (ii) Arts Center, (iii) Calligraphy Center, (iv) Center for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP), (v) International School of Information Studies (ISIS), (vi) Manuscript Center, (vii) Center for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CultNat, located in Cairo), and (viii) Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies.
      - Nine permanent exhibitions covering. (i) Impressions of Alexandria: The Awad Collection, (ii) The World of Shadi Abdel Salam, (iii) Arabic Calligraphy, (iv) The History of Printing, (v) The Artists Book, (vi) Arab-Muslim Medieval Instruments of Astronomy and Science, (vii) Mohie El Din Hussein: A Creative Journey, (viii) Abdel Salam Eid, and (ix) Raaya El-Nimr and Abdel-Ghani Abou El-Enein.
      - Four art galleries for temporary exhibitions.
      - A Conference Center for thousands of persons.
      - A Dialogue Forum which provides opportunities for the meeting of, and discussions with thinkers, authors and writers to discuss various salient issues affecting modern societies.
      The Arab Reform Forum was the product of the first Arab Reform Conference organized in 2004.
      The New Library of Alexandria also hosts a number of institutions:
      -The Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrinae (ABA).
      -Arabic Society for Ethics in Science & Technology (ASEST).
      -The Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures, the first Euro Med foundation based outside Europe.
      -The Institute for Peace Studies (IPS) of the Suzanne Mubarak Women for Peace Movement.
      -The HCM Medical Research project (located in Shallalat premises).
      -The Jean-Rene Dupuy Center for Law and Development.
      -The Arab Regional Office of the Academy of Science for the Developing World (ARO-TWAS).
      -The International Federation for Library Associations (IFLA) Regional Office.
      -The Secretariat of the Arab National Commissions of UNESCO.-The Middle Eastern and North African Network for Environmental Economics (MENANEE). The number is growing and the Library of Alexandria is becoming the nerve center of many international and regional networks.

      Today, this vast complex is a reality
      receiving more than 800,000 visitors a year.

      BioVisionAlexandria Conference 2010, 11 to 15 April 2010

      The Fifth International Biennial Conference, BioVisionAlexandria 2010, is held as a continuation of the tradition that started in BioVision 1999 in Lyon, France.  The BA holds the BioVisionAlexandria every even year, alternating with the World Life Science Forum held in Lyon every other odd year. The theme of BioVision Alexandria 2010 is New Life Sciences: Future Prospects. It aims to identify the new frontiers in life sciences that will vastly serve humanity.The Conference will focus on three major themes: Health, Food and Agriculture, and Environment. Each of these themes will be addressed by representatives of the greatest minds in industry, science, policy-makers and civil society fields.

  • 04/01/2010 - Jan 2010

    • Even places one would not expect to celebrate this holiday are surprisingly eagerly waiting this special day. Christmas in Egypt is a joyful time. Forty three days before Christmas Egyptians’ have been fasting. Their decorations are hung and the children are restless for the festivities to begin. This is an important day for the Egyptians because of the time Joseph, Mary and the son of God spent in Egypt. Their celebrations start as soon as church service is finished and marks the end of the fast.

      Like the west, the Egyptians build the anticipation weeks before the actual day. They hang lights on their homes and decorate Christmas trees. When the day finally arrives they start early in the morning with a feast of biscuits and pancakes called, Kahk el aid and some milk.
      The small children are given money for treats and toys and new clothes. It is tradition that the money is given to them from their elders like, parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles. The celebrations continue outdoors. The entire community both adults and children are decked out in their new outfits. They gather in public parks playing with toys, fireworks and enjoying all sorts of games.
      In the evening, Nile picnics are an important part of their festivities. They pack huge feasts of meat, vegetables, fruit and non-alcoholic drinks. The day is focused on camaraderie. Families and friends enjoy the company of each other and travel from near and far to ensure the families are together.
      Even though Egypt is largely an Islamic country you can find Christmas novelty stores this time of the year. But Christmas is not as commercial here as in the west. In fact it seems as if they go out of their way to make sure it remains that way. There are certain bazaars that open only this time of year and this is where all the Egyptians go and shop for their gifts. The money that is given to the shops is sent to charity after the celebrations have been completed.

      The Egyptian Christians have their own Pope who is the head of the Coptic Churches in Egypt and Sudan. St. Mark is believed to be their first Pope. He introduced Christianity to Egypt. For hundreds of years, Alexandria was the home to the Pope. But today he lives in Cairo where the services are held in the ancient Coptic language.

      The Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on January 7th. Although most people celebrate this significant birth on December 25th, the Copts are not the only ones who celebrate Christmas on this day. For example, the Russian Orthodox also celebrates the birth of Jesus on January 7th. The differences of the dates come from the differences of the Coptic and Gregorian calendars. The date in accordance to the western calendars advances over a long period time. So eventually, their celebration s will occur on January 8th.

      The nativity scene is celebrated by a special midnight service which is followed by the ringing of the church bells. Some people travel to specific churches they believed are situated on the route of the Holy Family as they traveled through Egypt. But whether Egyptians are Christian or Muslim the traditions are celebrated in the same way.

      Christmas off the beaten track is spending your Holiday in an environment outside your comfort zone. It is experiencing how the other half live. The spirit of Christmas is one of giving and sharing and the Egyptians seem to have the right idea. They set commercialism aside. The day is long and focused on thanks and the day ends with a prayer for peace.

      Egypt: The Summit Road

      The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism in association with the Egyptian Tennis Federation and the Score Sports Consultant (SSC) will be hosting a tennis match for former tennis
      world champion, the Belgian Justine Henin, the Athens Gold Olympic Medalist, who has made a strong come-back after defeating Kim Clijsters.

      Henin will be playing against Russian tennis icon Nadia Petrova, who reached the
      third place ranking in the Roland Garros Girls Competition when she was only 15 years old and is now entering her first Women Tennis grand Slam in the Australian Open in January 2010.

      Henin won 41 WTA singles titles. Seven of those titles were Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open, one Australian Open and two US Open titles. She also won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championship and the singles gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

      Petrova, has won 27 WTA Titles, nine in singles and eighteen in doubles. She has reached a career high ranking of World No.3 in May 2006 and the semi-finals of the French Open in 2003 and 2005 and in doubles won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in 2004. She is ranked World No.17 in singles and No.14 in doubles.

      Though Petrova was born in Moscow, she eventually settled in Egypt, where she trained with an Egyptian coach and her parents, who are both athletics.

      The Summit Road match will take place at Gezira Sporting Club on December 12th, 2009 at 2 pm, Cairo local time, or 11 am GMT.

      The match will be grabbing the attention of the whole world when it will be aired live, on the screens of international sports TV channels. The Gezira Sports Club in Egypt has been the venue for Tennis Open Championships in Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles and Mixed Doubles since 1904 where many tennis legends participated and find their way to the top

      Nefertiti bust - Meeting with Berlin Museum Director

      A meeting was held on the 23rd of December 2009 at the offices of the Supreme Council of Antiquities between Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Dr. Friederike Seyfried, Director of the Aegyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung in Berlin, to discuss the Bust of Nefertiti.

      Dr. Seyfried presented Dr. Hawass with copies of all of the key documentation held by the Berlin Museum concerning this iconic piece. This includes the protocol of January 20, 1913, written by Gustave Lefevre, the official who signed the division of finds on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, as well as excerpts from the diary of Ludwig Borchardt, the excavator of the piece. These materials confirm Egypt’s contention that Borchardt did act unethically, with intent to deceive: the limestone head of the queen is listed on the protocol as a painted plaster bust of a princess. Borchardt knew, as his diary shows, that this was the queen herself; he also knew that the head was of limestone covered with plaster and painted, not simply of plaster, as this was clearly visible through inspection of the piece itself. It seems that there was an agreement between Borchardt and Lefevre that all the plaster pieces (which included an important group of plaster masks of the royal family at Amarna) would go to Berlin, and this appears to have been one way that Borchardt misled Lefevre to ensure that the bust would also go to Berlin.

      As director of the Berlin Musem, Dr. Seyfried does not have the authority to approve the return of the head to Egypt, but will act as liaison between Dr. Hawass and the relevant German officials, Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and Dr. Bernd Neumann, Minister of State for Culture.

      Based on the information currently in the possession of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Dr. Hawass will call a meeting of the National Committee for the Return of Stolen Artifacts this week, which will then make a formal request for the return of the Bust of Nefertiti.

      Tetiky Paintings Return From the Louvre

      I am pleased that the five paintings from the tomb of Tetiky have been returned to Egypt from the Louvre Museum.

      One of the returned pieces. (Photo: SCA)It was very interesting that when our President Hosni Mubarak visited Paris last week, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France placed one of the paintings in the hall for President Mubarak when he arrived, so that he could symbolically receive it. This gesture shows that France is willing to return stolen artefacts to Egypt.

      I sent four crates from the Cairo Museum with Sayed Hassan, the assistant director of the Museum to receive the artefacts. They were well protected and travelled back to Egypt on EgyptAir to Cairo. Representatives of the SCA met them at the airport and transported them to the Cairo Museum, where they are now.

      We are now looking into the possibility of replacing the five paintings in the tomb, TT 15. I think it would be very difficult to put them back in the tomb, because it was severely damaged when thieves stole the artefacts. I believe returning these artefacts to Egypt is a good example to show that any museum that buys stolen artefacts will have an immediate reaction against them. However, because of the return of these artefacts, the Louvre expedition at Saqqara will be allowed to resume.

      New discovery will be top highlight at underwater museum

      On December 17, Egypt’s Culture Minister, Farouk Hosni, and the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), Dr. Zahi Hawass, unveil yet again an important find in Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
      The precious artifact is to be the centerpiece in the future Underwater Museum to be constructed in the Stanley area of Alexandria. The museum is set to display over 200 objects excavated from the Mediterranean over the past several years.
      Media attending an international press conference at the Qait Bey Citadel on the eastern harbor in Alexandria - Egypt’s historic city on the Med will be given the first view of the relic. Both Hosni and Hawass will unveil a unique, sunken artifact from the Mediterranean’s seabed. This piece is said to be a granite pylon tower of Isis temple found beside the Cleopatra Mausoleum off the royal quarter at the eastern harbor.
      The precious artifact is to be the centerpiece in the future Underwater Museum to be constructed in the Stanley area of Alexandria. The museum is set to display over 200 objects excavated from the Mediterranean over the past several years.
      The SCA had long supported a mission from the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology, which carried out the feasibility study on a construction of the first underwater museum for Egyptian antiquities on the Mediterranean coast of Alexandria.
      The SCA chief said that the study was done under the supervision by UNESCO, which chose a design proposed by French architect Jacques Rougerie for the planned museum building.
      Through the years, colossal statues, sunken ships, gold coins and jewelry have been discovered in Alexandria. Among the treasures also uncovered by a French marine archaeologist Frank Goddio in the submerged ancient city of Heracleion off the Egyptian coast. Goddio announced the discovery of the city itself a year ago. The archaeologist believes Heracleion, recorded as a key port at the mouth of the Nile in ancient times, was destroyed by an earthquake or similar, sudden catastrophic event. The Frenchman has been documenting and mapping the antiquities discovered by his team of divers at the site four miles from the shores of Aboukir Bay with the help of advanced electronic technology.

      New Museum for Egyptian Revolution

      Culture Minister Farouk Hosni approved the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ (SCA) request to establish a museum for the revolution of July 1953 in Egypt. This will be the first ever museum for the revolution, and will be installed in the building used by the revolution’s leadership in Al-Gezirah on Zamalek Island.

      Zamalek Island at night, showing the Al-Gezireh area. (Photo: Ken Garrett)This decision came after the SCA’s Permanent Committee listed the site of the revolution’s leadership on Egypt’s Islamic and Coptic heritage list. This building was the location of several meetings of the revolution leaders where they made critical decisions.

      The building was built in 1949 by the late King Farouk on the bank of the Nile in order to be a dock for his royal yacht, and consists of three floors with 40 rooms.

      Today Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, will meet architect Ahmed Mito to discuss plans to turn the building into a museum.

      Hawass calls all historians, artists, intellectuals and anyone interested in this subject to share in developing the museum by introducing thoughts and artistic touches to spruce up the building with the aim of turning it into a museum.

      “It is a complementary step to what was started in 1996 by the Fine Art department, following President Mubarak’s decision to convert the building into a museum relating the history of this great revolution that changed Egypt’s history,” said Hawass.

      Dr. Mohamed Ismail, General Supervisor of the Permanent Committees, said that the decision to place the building on Egypt’s Islamic and Coptic heritage list underlines its architectural and historical importance. The building’s architectural condition, continued Ismail, was inspected by SCA experts as a first step toward its development.

      Discoveries at Naqlun

      A mission from the Polish Center of the Mediterranean Archaeology of Warsaw University unearthed a decorated clay vessel from a room in the Deir Malak Gubrail monastery in Naqlun, a site in Fayoum. The pot had been handmade in Aswan and contained coins, Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s Minister of Culture, announced today.
      Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the collection of 18 gold coins and 62 fragments of coins, dates back to the Abbasid period (AD 750-1258). Underneath remains of a charred, collapsed wall, archaeologists also uncovered a chandelier and a well-preserved oil lamp, both made of bronze.
      Wlodzimierz Godlewski, the head of the Polish mission, said that the monastic complex of Naqlun was built in the early 6th century AD. The area excavated this season, date to the 7th century AD, and was destroyed by a massive fire around the end of the 8th or the beginning of the 9th century AD.
      To the north of Lake Qarun in Faiyum region, a site rich in archaeological and paleontology remains, about 10-kilometer-wide, has revealed several million years of history. Fayoum, though being continually excavated, tried to prevent valuable information from being lost to planned tourism developments in the area. Such are massive tourist attractions such as Egypt’s Grand Museum which had already arrived there. The biggest museum in the world houses outdoor and indoor sections, the largest Ramses II statue which was moved from its famous location on Ramses Square in Cairo to the museum entrance. It hosts 80,000artifacts.
      Full-scale excavations have taken place in Fayoum since March 10, 2009. The SCA archaeologists have found many valuable pieces of history in the area dating to the prehistoric period, including arrowheads and other finely crafted stone artifacts of Mousterian, Levallois, and Aterian type. The SCA has also uncovered pottery and stone beads dating to the same era, along with the remains of shelters used by prehistoric hunters. Archaeological remains from later periods are also present in the area. A cemetery that most probably dates to the Greco-Roman period has yielded coins and other small artifacts. The team also explored a tomb in this cemetery consisting of a deep shaft ending in two chambers, but further excavation is hampered by constantly shifting sands. In addition to the prehistoric and Greco-Roman remains found in the area, the archaeologists have revealed pottery, pipes, coins, and glassware traced to the Fatimid and Mamluk periods. Other finds include medical and cosmetic tools, as well as stone shot used in hunting animals during the Islamic era. Fossils of whales and other marine life dating back to around 40 million years ago have been uncovered in the area. In addition to cetaceans like those unearthed in the famous Valley of the Whales to the west of Faiyum, the SCA team found remains of sea cows and sawfish. These fossils are the remnants of a time when much of northern Egypt was submerged under an ancient sea.
      Previous excavations were initiated in response to a plan by the Egyptian ministry of tourism to build hotels and resorts on the northern shore of Lake Qarun. The ongoing SCA excavations will ensure that valuable archaeological evidence is not lost to development, while reinforcing the need to protect all of Egypt’s ancient monuments for the future.

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