Saudi Investor eyes Egyptian tourism project

20 December 2015

The $4bn resort will be the biggest project in Sharm el-Sheikh region

A Saudi businessman is in talks with Egyptian authorities to invest in a tourism project in the country’s Sharm el-Sheikh region.

The $4bn resort project will be the biggest in Egypt’s popular Red Sea town, Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper cited the Egyptian tourism minister Hisham Zaazou as saying. The minister declined to say at what stage the negotiations are at, or who the potential investor for the mega project was.

On 14 December, MEED reported that Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail was due to meet investors in December to encourage further investment as the government looks to boost the economy. 

The tourism sector, a key contributor to revenues for Arab world’s most populous country, has suffered due to political instability since the popular uprising against Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It took a further hit after a Russian airliner flying out of Sharm al-Sheikh crashed on in October, killing all 224 people on board.

Russia, along with Britain and the US, suspect a bomb brought down the jet. However, Egypt said earlier this month it has found no evidence so far that the crash was a result of terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, along with Kuwait and the UAE have supported Egyptian government by investing billions of dollars to support economy and maintain stability since 2011. In early 2015, $6bn in long-term deposits from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait boosted Egypt’s net international reserves.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz al-Saud last week pledged $8bn worth of investments and aid to Egypt over a period of five years. Ships from Opec’s top oil exporter would continue to “support” traffic through the Suez Canal, according to a statement from Saudi Arabia’s defence minister Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) said in November it planned to increase the frequency of its flights from the kingdom to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh from February 2016. Kuwait Airways has also announced plans to launch direct flights to Sharm el-Sheikh.

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