In an effort to bring tourism back into the country, Egypt's working towards the development of several projects.
Egypt, which ranked as 75th on the list of world’s best country for tourism in 2011 fell to 85th in 2013. Between 2011 and 2017, Egypt saw a steady decrease in the number of tourists which went from 14.7 million in 2011 to 5.4 million in 2016. Over the past year or so however, Om El Donya has been pooling all of its efforts in an attempt to reclaim its spot in the tourism sector. Having developed several plans to promote tourism and win back its once sizable pool of international visitors, Egypt is pulling out all the stops; everything from augmented reality to the restoration of palaces from foregone eras. Here’s a list of the improvements Egypt is making in ways of its tourist attractions.
Augmented reality at the Pyramids
Having previously dabbled in a Mixed Reality (MR) experience, which saw the Egyptian Museum resurrect a virtual Tutankhamun as a tour guide, Egypt is now working towards adding new augmented reality screens by the pyramids. The screens which will enable visitors to experience the interior of the pyramids with state-of-the-art technology comes as part of a comprehensive plan for the Giza Plateau. Having in 2010, the first phase of the project saw EGP 52 million worth of improvements which included sprucing up the roads around the pyramids and installing surveillance cameras. While the project was halted due to a lack of funds, the government provided the necessary funds by 2016 and as such the developments have resumed. Mohamed Ismail, Director-general of the project added that at the completion of the project also includes a pedestrian zone which will be made up of an area around the plateau with access to the plateau itself being through a golf cart. The project is set to be open in 2018.
The Baron palace which was built in the 20th century has been the subject of many rumors in the years following the desertion of it tenants, is set to be re-opened as part of Egypt's tourism development plans. The architectural beauty which is said to have a revolving base allowing for a 360 degree view, had been opened for the public for a brief period of 2 months when it was reclaimed by the government back in 2005. However, it was then closed without further explanation.
Mohammed Ali Palace
The 20th century palace of Mohammed Ali had been closed for 10 years as it underwent restoration. The project which cost EGP 61 million according to Ahmed Sharaf, Head of the Museums Department at the ministry, included improvements made on the main building of the palace, the gardens, the mosque and the clock tower. New ventilation and lighting systems were also installed in both the palace and the gardens.
National Museum and visitor center in Sohag
The National Museum in Sohag which includes artifacts pertaining to Ancient Egyptian's religious beliefs in ways of resurrection and immortality along with Islamic, Coptic and Pharaonic pilgrimage memorabilia is set to open in April. The museum will also display antiquities said to have been imported from Tahrir's Egyptian museum. Said to reflect the history of the governorate, the museum will also see a collection of artifacts from the Museum of Islamic Art moved to it. A visitor center at the archeologic site of Abydos - which resides along the Nile - is also set to open.
New Grand Egyptian Museum
Located near Cairo, the new Grand Egyptian Museum set to open in late 2018. The museum boasts of numerous ancient artifacts, according to Tourism authorities and is believed the largest archeological museum in the world, exhibiting ancient Egyptian artifacts. The structure is located on 120 acres at two kilometers from the Giza pyramids. Tarek Tawfik, General of the Grand Egyptian Museum project infers that around 42,000 artifacts - 30,000 pieces of which will reside there permanently - have been moved to the museum.
Main photo taken from Egypt Day Tour.