Once the centre of high society in the late 1800s, Downtown Cairo's iconic Grand Continental Hotel will be revived as a fabulous five-star hotel.
Overlooking Downtown Cairo’s Opera Square and the Azbakeya Gardens, the Grand Continental Hotel was built in the 1860s as part of Egypt’s modernisation projects, which included the construction of the Suez Canal. And just like the Suez Canal, the Grand Continental was dramatic and glorious - it was a social hub for high society, a centre for arts and culture throughout the capital, and a witness to historic change such as the independence of Egypt from Britain in March 1922.
But as the decades passed, its decline became increasingly apparent. Its shops were scorched during the Cairo fire in 1952, and it was finally put out of service in 1990, after it was converted into an administrative headquarters for the Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH).
In August 2016, government orders necessitated that the heritage building be demolished due to its withering ceilings and walls, which experts said posed a serious, life-threatening danger to the area’s residents. But its story would not end with its destruction.
Demolition began in February 2018, and with them came plans to rebuild the iconic hotel from the ground-up. The Grand Continental Hotel will be revived as a five-star hotel with 250 rooms alongside sprawling halls, cultured restaurants, a soothing health club and spa, a gym, and three underground parking floors that can hold 691 vehicles.
Now, the demolition work is nearly complete. EGOTH is scheduled to receive the land on May 14th, and the final drawings for the new development will finally be implemented.
The state aims to finance about 40% of the project - which costs about EGP 1.5 billion 0 through a loan from the National Bank of Egypt. 25% of the stakes are being offered to private investors, with EGOTH owning the remaining 75%.