Issuu on Google+

O f

E G Y P T

Volume 1


REGIONAL HEAD OFFICES: Bangalore • Bangkok • Brussels • Cairo • Copenhagen • Dubai • Johannesburg • Washington DC• Singapore • Sydney


Foreword

International Group Publisher Sven Boermeester CEO & Publisher Khaled Eissa GM & Publisher Ehab Ali Toman Senior Editor Simon Ward Executive Editor Sherif el Malah Contributors Menna Toman Yasmin Selim Aya Essam Ingy Adly Marketing & Advertising Director Claude Ghannam

Best Destinations of Egypt team

Marketing & Advertising Manager Rana Shahin

Welcome to Global Village Publishing Our mission is to serve as the world’s premier platform for showcasing top brands and companies in business, tourism and lifestyle. We do this through the ‘Best of’ publishing series, the Global Village online information portal www.globalvillageproduct.com and the development of our ever expanding business network of international partners and clients. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our new annual publication ‘The Best Destinations of Egypt’ volume 1, and to welcome you indeed as a visitor to the rich and fabled land of Egypt itself. Egypt is steeped in history and is rich in places of outstanding natural beauty. The aim of this publication is to help you choose the best destinations, according to your tastes and interests. We have compiled this volume to provide you with a broad and sweeping vista of all there is to see and do in this legendary land and where the keynote is always excellence, as it must be the very best to find its way into our pages. We hope you will enjoy this publication and that it will inspire you wherever you decide to go, we trust that you will enjoy your trip … Whatever you see and do when you reach your chosen destination, we wish you the very best of times ... Bon Voyage ! “With regional head offices in every continent, the organisation currently boasts 20 territories where the 'Best of' series is published. We have a three-year growth plan to develop a further 120 territories organically through each continent’s regional head office, and through partnerships with companies as well as individuals that have the local know-how of their given region".

Marketing Executive Radwa Ahmed Production Manager Islam A. Awad Art Director Dr. Amir Ibrahim Ahmed Zaki Distribution Coordinator Hamed El Shetehy Domestic Distribution Al Ahram Distribution Company International Distribution Global Village Publishing LLC Photographers Dr. Amir Ibrahim Financial Advisor Moatz Mohamed Abd El Halim Amer Financial Control Mariam Ibrahim Colour Separation PhotoScreen International Printing International Printing House Free Zone Address 2, Saudi Co. Bldg, Nozha St., Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: 202 24181245 Email egypt@globalvillageproduct.com Website www.globalvillageproduct.com Best Destinations Of Egypt is registered under the ISBN # 04761267 – London – UK. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in the Best Destinations of Egypt vol. 1 publication. Neither Best Destinations of Egypt nor One 2 One Media FZLLC takes any responsibility or errors or omissions.

Sven Boermeester International Group Publisher

REGIONAL HEAD OFFICES: Bangalore • Bangkok • Brussels • Cairo • Copenhagen • Dubai • Johannesburg • Washington DC• Singapore • Sydney

All right reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted, or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

4


Best Destinations of Egypt

Heaven on Earth

Pearls of the Mediterranean

8 - 19

86 - 93

A Journey Through Time

Lands of Legacy

46 - 55

102 - 109

A Witness to the Ages

The Experience of a lifetime

56 - 61

152 - 161

into Egypt A JournyGateways Through Time

62 - 71

Stars of the Desert

168 - 175 6


Heaven on Earth


Modern Egyptian society has its roots in ancient Egyptian culture and in the land itself, which has always been regarded as a land of milk and honey, in contrast with the harsher terrain of neighboring lands.


Best Destinations of Egypt From the very dawn of history, Egypt has been seen as an Earthly Paradise, owing to its magnificent climate and the richly fertile soil deposited by the annual flooding of the Nile in the Valley and Delta. From the earliest times, the country has had many names in many different languages. Due to the color of its rich soil, it was alternately referred to by its own native inhabitants as "Kemet", meaning "Black Land", or as "Red Land" because of the redness of the desert which comprises most of the entire area of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians also referred to their country as “Hwtka-Ptah”, meaning ''House of Ka of Ptah", Ptah, being one of Egypt's earliest gods. When the ancient Greeks came to Egypt however, they were naturally influenced by the inflections of their own language. Hence, in saying “Hwt-ka-Ptah", the Greek version of the name came to be Aegyptus, from which the name "Egypt" is derived. Egypt occupies the extreme northeast corner of the African continent and a small part of Asia Minor, the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt can be said therefore to straddle both continents. As a result of its location, Egypt has always been a crossroads of civilisations and a place where east meets west. It is also the crossroads of three major religions, the intimately related Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. This has endowed it with an unusually rich heritage of sites of sacred 10


significance. There are innumerable historic churches, monasteries and mosques, and of course, Mount Sinai, where people still make pilgrimages to this day, to follow in the footsteps of Moses, who once ascended the holy mountain to speak with the Almighty. There is also the extraordinary heritage of more than 3,000 years of the history of Egypt throughout Pharaonic times, during which the inhabitants of this ancient land worshiped a multiplicity of gods and goddesses, building great temples in their name, and in commemoration of the reign of their illustrious kings, whose likenesses were graven in monolithic statues, and whose exploits were recorded on the extraordinary reliefs still visible upon the temple walls. The land of the Pharaohs has been blessed with close to 3,000 kilometers of beautiful coastline along the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, including the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba. Alexandria has long been known as the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’. It is still one of Egypt’s most popular seaside resorts, but in recent years, the resorts along the Red Sea coast have also become popular destinations, especially for those whose mission is to explore the coral reefs and lagoons of this Red Sea, to experience the extraordinarily rich variety of marine life to be found there. Besides diving and snorkeling, the visitor to Egypt’s seaside resorts can enjoy a variety of other watersports, including windsurfing and parasailing, as well as an an old favourite like water-skiing. Even non-swimmers don’t have to feel left out – at the Red Sea resorts in particular, they can still marvel at the beauty of the coral reefs from the safe haven of a submarine or a glass-bottomed boat! 11


Among its many blessings, is the most important gift of all. The ancient historian Herodotus put it perfectly, when he said that "Egypt is the gift of the Nile". The Nile waters a swathe of green land that bursts with life and cuts through the arid wilderness of the great Sahara desert - River that brings water and thus life, and in its periodic flooding, replenished the nutrient-rich silt which was the source of the great fertility of the Nile Valley and Delta. The River Nile is a giant lifeline flowing through an otherwise desolate landscape. Take a journey down the Nile from south to north, and just north of Cairo, you can see where it splits into its two main branches: the Rosetta Branch to the west and the Damietta to the east. The longest, and one of the mightiest rivers in the world, it is the very heart and soul of Egypt. It has often been said that "If once you drink from the waters of the Nile, you are bound to return again". Thousands of years ago, one of the greatest and most enduring human civilisations was established on the banks of the Nile. Ancient Egypt was at times the greatest power in the world, at other times in history, its people have suffered and fought against foreign invaders. The world still acknowledges the greatness of the civilisation that was built by the ancient Egyptians, yet nowadays, only the towering statues of the Pharaohs, and the stones of their temples and pyramids, stand as mute witnesses to over 5,000 years of history. Most of the known history of the Land of the Pharaohs begins with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under one king. Upper Egypt is all the land in the south, upstream, whereas the fertile land of the Delta, downstream, is known as Lower Egypt. The history of Egyptian kings begins with the Pharaoh Menes who united the two kingdoms around 3100 BC, and established a northern capital at Memphis and a southerly one in Abydos. He was the founder of the first dynasty of Egyptian kings and the Lord of the Two Lands, Upper and Lower Egypt. The symbol of this unification is the two crowns of Egypt, the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red crown of Lower Egypt. These crowns were long

ago combined to form the single crown of the Pharaoh of all Egypt. The unification of the two lands was the single most important event in Egyptian history. It allowed the institution of a state system and centralization of authority. In order to legitimize their authority, the early dynastic kings supported another major innovation. This was the transformation of the king into a divine being, a living god, who brought fertility and life to the people he ruled. At that time, Egypt became a theocratic state, governed by divine decree, where even the slightest challenge to the authority of the king was considered blasphemous. The institution of rule by divine right endured for almost 3000 years and gave the Egyptian state a stability unseen in virtually any other early civilisation. Some of the first of these divine kings built the greatest monuments ever seen to the glory of the Pharaoh. Egyptian rulers undertook large-scale development projects and the regulation of trade, which led to an exponential increase in Egypt's wealth. During this period, Egyptians greatly developed the concept and art of writing, motivated by their need for record-keeping. This early form of writing which took the form of symbolic pictures is known as hieroglyphics, a word from the Greek, which means "sacred writing of the gods”. Times have changed but the Nile rolls on, and is still as much the main artery of this rich and varied land as it was in ancient times. The banks of the Nile in Cairo are home to some of the city’s finest hotels, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of this endlessly fascinating river, either from the privacy of your own balcony or whilst being wined and dined in one of the variety of restaurants that are found in all the most select hotels. There are also numerous floating restaurants and other riverside locations along the banks of the Nile, many of which offer the finest in Middle Eastern cuisine, but if your taste runs to something more exotic, such as Sushi, or the typically spicy cuisine of India or Thailand, fish & seafood, TexMex – whatever takes your fancy – there is always someone, somewhere, waiting to serve you with whatever exotic cuisine suits your taste or mood. The Nile at night is a veritable fairyland of

12


twinkling lights, and there can be no finer way to enjoy it than to take a ride on one of the many Nile Cruisers – you can relax on deck with a drink and enjoy the night air, before tucking in to a splendid buffet dinner below decks, during which you will be treated to a floor show featuring such delights as a belly dancer and whirling dervishes. Alternatively you can opt for a ride on a felucca or sailboat – another way to take the night air and enjoy the pleasure of being away from terra firma for a while. Many of the top hotels have their own splendid malls, forming part of the concourse of the building, but in addition to these, a number of magnificent new malls have appeared in and around Cairo in recent years – one of the largest and best known, being ‘City Stars’ in Nasser City, where a huge range of internationally renowned companies have set up shop to offer you the latest in high fashion, the finest jewelry and fragrances, fabrics and furnishings, a veritable cornucopia of the highest quality goods of all kinds indeed, as well as the sort of services that you would expect to find if you prefer to pamper or indulge yourself in other ways rather than simply shop till you drop – hair and beauty salons, bustling food courts where you can stop for a snack or other refreshments, or if you prefer, more select restaurants tucked away in quieter parts of the concourse, serving the kind of fine cuisine that is usual in the finest hotels. Entertainment is not neglected either – if you are in the mood to take in a movie, you will be able to take your pick of all the latest releases at the multiplex. Alternatively, you may prefer to savor a sample of more traditional, folkloric entertainment – troupes of whirling dervish dancers often put on shows within the precincts of the historic Citadel, and there are also performances of traditional music staged inside the castle walls. Egypt is, perhaps, where tourism as we know it, really began. Archaeologists, naturally, have long been drawn here, indeed, it seems likely that their expeditions and exploration of the pyramids, temples, and tombs that are the legacy of those times, struck sparks in the minds of others who were not actually specialists in

13


the study of ancient history, but who then began to include Egypt in their itineraries for the ‘grand tours’ that became so popular during the 19th Century, for those who had sufficient means and leisure, at least. Not surprisingly, those who had long been voyaging to Greece or Rome, to marvel at the splendor of the ruins of these ancient civilizations, as well as the treasures of the Florentine Renaissance, felt that the pyramids, tombs, and temples of Ancient Egypt were far too fascinating to be missed. No doubt the mild winter in Egypt played a part as well - besides the archaeological treasures to be enjoyed in such southerly locations as Luxor and Aswan, warm sunshine is the norm during the daytime, even in December, January, and February, and so it became fashionable to winter in these delightful spots. Nowadays, although the heritage of ancient history is still a powerful magnet, or the delights of a leisurely cruise on the Nile lures many to this warm and ancient land, there is an even wider spectrum of options awaiting the visitor. Besides the pleasures of seaside holidays in Egypt’s many coastal resorts, with the host of watersports that can be enjoyed, many other sports and outdoor activities are on offer, for the benefit of the visitor who is not so interested in the ancient history of this land! You may like to ride out into the desert on horseback, for example, in the vicinity of the Pyramids of Giza. Numerous stables are equipped to provide you with a steed, whether you are a novice or more experienced rider. Desert safaris have become extremely popular in recent years, with many operators offering you the chance to enjoy a fascinating expedition out to the edge of the Black Desert, and from there, on to the amazing White Desert, stopping off at the oases en route, not only for a break on the way, but to enjoy a dip in one of the many pools, fed by natural springs, cool and refreshing on a hot day, or warm and health-enhancing from the mineral-rich thermals, if you make your trek during a cooler time of year. If golf is your bag, you will be in your element at the top hotels on the fringe of town, where the desert has been greened to provide

14


the keen golfer with the opportunity to play a few holes in a land where there is very little chance of rain blowing in putting you off your stroke, or spoiling the game although you still have to watch out for the bunkers! The Egyptian economy is one of the largest in the Arab world after Saudi Arabia. It is currently showing a very high rate of growth, as well as a stable balance of payments and healthy revenues, hence a stable foreign exchange market. Revenue is mainly from agriculture, the media, petroleum exports, and tourism. These are the main economic pillars, but in addition to these the development of an export market for Egyptian natural gas has illuminated bright prospects for future economic growth. Furthermore, to attract more local and foreign investment, measures are currently being taken by the government to relax investment taxation laws, lower customs duties and tariffs to help provide the best possible climate for foreign investment. This shift in policy is already bearing fruit. Huge amounts of capital, both domestic and from abroad, have financed the construction of such enormous new developments as San Stefano, in Alexandria, and nearer to Cairo, Madinaty and the Nile City Towers. These projects bring together the very best of residential accommodation, whether villas or apartments, and a wealth of beautifully designed commercial and functional real estate, to facilitate the provision of all the amenities and services that residents of these estates would naturally require, from malls equipped with the finest stores and restaurants, to a host of other essential services

15


and amenities – gyms and other sports facilities, hospitals, and clinics . . . all linked by the latest in modern telecommunications. Education is not being neglected – recent years have seen enormous expansion in the domain of private education, not only in the area of primary and secondary schooling, where the number of international schools, many of which offer either a British IGCSE or American syllabus curriculuma, but also in the sphere of higher studies. Besides the long-established American University in Cairo, or AUC, as it is known locally, Cairo nowadays boasts many new, beautifully designed modern institutes of higher learning. Britain, Germany, and Canada have all funded the construction of spacious campuses and beautifully designed facilities to provide for the

ongoing education of Egypt’s brightest scholars, as well as many who come from other countries to take advantage of the greater opportunities in higher education that can be found here. Egypt is a major player in the media, and is sometimes described as the cultural heartbeat of the Arab World. This pioneering country possesses huge cultural assets deriving from the accumulated history of the whole of Egyptian civilisation from ancient to modern times. Egypt is the main hub of Arab and Islamic culture and radiates every aspect of that culture in all directions – cinema and the dramatic arts, music, dance, the visual arts, literature, journalism, and all manner of publishing, to list but a few . . . .

16


The Egyptian press is one of the most widely read and influential in the region. The most popular Egyptian daily is Al-Ahram, the oldest newspaper in the Arab world. Other weekly and periodical publications include Al-Akhbar, as well as the opposition publications such as Al-Wafd. In addition to these there are English language publications such as the Middle East Observer and Al-Ahram Weekly. There is also a French language weekly Al-Ahram Hebdo, for Francophone readers. Recent years have seen the establishment of a huge new media enterprise, the Media Production City which is a powerful asset to the film and broadcasting industries. Egypt has an illustrious 17

cinematic history which dates back to the 1930, and can be considered the dominant and most influential motion picture industry in the whole Arab world. Egyptian cinema has had a profound influence on Arab culture, and has resulted in the Egyptian dialect of Arabic being the most familiar, and most widely understood among the Arabic speaking countries. Cairo is home to the only opera house in the Middle East, but it is not only highbrow culture that is catered for – Cairo FM is a lively local radio station which airs a wide variety of music and other programs, hosted by presenters with a fluent command of English for the benefit of listeners who might not have enough Arabic to tune into the other local channels. Nile TV likewise provides foreign residents and


locals alike, with a varied menu of news bulletins in English and French, programs of general interest, and films with subtitles in English for non-Arabic speaking viewers to be able to sample something of the local scene and culture. ‘El Sawy Culture Wheel’ in Zamalek, is a popular venue for all manner of events in the domains of music, drama, poetry, and the visual arts. The accent is very much on what might be considered traditionally Egyptian or Middle Eastern in character or style, but El Sawy attracts as many foreign residents and visitors as locals, such is the scope of its appeal. Even Cairo Opera House is not always a case of ‘black tie’ for performances in the grand operatic or classical tradition – the Opera gardens sometimes play host to colorful ultra-modern multi-media events, and musical performances of a very folkloric nature. The charm of Egypt is not just to be found in its myriad monuments and places of almost breathtaking natural beauty, but resides in the warmth and hospitality of its people. Seldom will you find a place where you are made to feel more welcome than you are in Egypt. Such a warm and friendly welcome enables you to enjoy the manifold delights of this land in a multitude of ways. It offers everything a visitor could wish to see or do. Although Egypt was ranked as one of the most competitively priced destinations by

18


the World Travel and Tourism Council in 2005, there are not many other holiday destinations that can offer the visitor such an extraordinary range of activities in one magnificent destination! Whether youÂ’re a culture vulture or an ancient history buff . . . whether you come for rest and recreation . . . whether you come by way of pilgrimage to the holiest shrines in this most ancient land . . . whether you come in search of fun and games . . . whether you are here on business, or for pleasure, we will highlight the best destinations in Egypt for you, along with the accommodation and amenities you require for your comfort, convenience and delight!

19


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T


Sonesta Cairo Hotel& Casino ‌ . A boutique 5-stars luxury Hotel, perfectly suitable forbusiness or leisure

www.sonesta.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sonesta Cairo Hotel & Casino, where service is with passion Tel.: +20 2 226 281 11 Fax: +20 2 226 287 65 E-mail: sonesta@sonestacairo.com www.sonesta.com

Destinations

Sonesta Cairo Hotel & Casino ‌. A boutique 5- stars luxury Hotel, perfectly suitable for business or leisure conveniently located in the heart of Heliopolis, 15 minutes away from both City Center & Cairo International airport, offering high quality service, trendy food & beverage outlets, superior accommodation and meeting facilities.

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

22


G uestR oom s 257 luxurious guestroom s and suites.Features include airconditioning,satellite television,radio,m inibar, hairdryer,and direct-dialtelephone/speed internet. R oyalC lub floors com prising 36 elegantly appointed guestroom s,2 Executive Suites,2 PresidentialSuites and 2 R oyalSuites w ith a dedicated private lounge offering com plim entary breakfastand afternoon-tea,daily H appy-H our,m agazines and new spaper.The hotelis fully equipped w ith a fire alarm system and sm oke detectors in every room . Facilities & Services 24 H ours room service and concierge,w ake-up and m essage service,lim ousine service available,fullservice business centre including Internetaccess,safety deposit boxes,baby sitting arrangem ents,doctoron calland bank located in the lobby. R estaurants & B ars "Food is Art" atSonesta C airo H otel& C asino offering a w ide range ofspecialties;"La G ondola" authentic Italian R estaurant,the Lebanese "Baalbak R estaurant" offering originalLebanese delicacies,"G reen H ouse" casual

Destinations Best

23

Of E

G

Y

P

T


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

24


restaurantw ith Internationalcuisine open buffetand à la carte , "Fauchon Salon de Thé," providing a contem porary French setting in w hich guests experience the authentic "Style de vie Parisien" and "SushiYa" offering a variety ofthe finestand m ostenticing Japanese varieties. Sw im m ing Pool,Spa and Sum m er A ctivities Enjoy the sum m erbreeze at"In n'In poollounge" open air venue offering à la carte m enu and various "shisha" flavours w ith daily live entertainm ent. Fitness & R ecreation O ur"Bien Vivre" fitness center& beauty Spa offers extensive exercise facilities,Jacuzzi,sauna and a fullrange ofSPA services and outdoorsw im m ing poolalso available. B usiness Travelers Services Forbusiness travelers,24 hours room service,w ireless Internetaccess,lim ousine service,a fullservice business centre and fully equipped m eeting and function space thatcan easily be tailored according to yourneeds.

15% discounton food atSushiYa Japanese R estaurant,10% discounton Laundry service and 10 % discounton business centre services,pay 1 m assage and getthe second free and 5% discounton high speed Internetaccess. Points ofInterest The Pyram ids ofG iza,M oham ed AliM osque,Sound & Light show and The M useum are justfew ofm any sights in and around C airo. C asino D on'tm iss the latestaddition to the Sonesta C airo H otel& C asino located on the ground floor;British Indian C olonial styled "R adjah G rand C asino" the idealplace forgam bling and som e excitem ent,O pen 24 hours daily.

w w w .sonesta.com

Specialadded values ofTea & C offee m aking facilities in-room , Free O ne bottle ofm ineralw ater,10% discounton food at Baalbak Lebanese restaurant,La G ondola Italian R estaurant,

Destinations Best

25

Of E

G

Y

P

T


It is not about how much you travel, it is about how much you enjoy it

www.zasjetclub.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Luxury has a different meaning with ZAS Head Office: 17 Mostafa Rifaat St. Sheraton Area, Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: (+202) 2268 79 14 / 15 Fax: (+202) 2266 54 11 www.zasjetclub.com

Today, ZAS Jet Club is the arm which brings together all these experiences into the various services provided to the corporate and VIP aviation market while honoring its commitment to safety, quality, efficiency and the attention to details.

28


Imagine being able to decide when you fly, your departure and arrival airports, the aircraft type for your journey, the food you enjoy on board and, potentially, even changing your destination en-route. Add the option of a chauffeured limousine to drive you to the airport (and to collect you on arrival), we will take care of the hotel reservations according to your demands and requirements, and a 24-hour Operations team caring for your every step of the way and we believe that it is the right time for you to get close to the uniquely personalized tailored level of service offered by ZAS Jet Club. The world is already adapting to this new revolution in air traveling, and Egypt is no exception; the accessibility and costs of new generation aircrafts mean that this kind of traveling is no longer restricted to certain geographical locations and the selective elite in those markets. Which give our clients the opportunity to follow up their business no matter where they are or where they are heading. The ZAS Jet Club concept revolves around promoting the endless possibilities that the private jet travel experience has to offer, and with over 35 years of experience in the aviation field, few such as the Zarkani Aviation Group are capable of providing such unique travel solutions for our clients. Sherif Zarkani, the founder and chairman of the Zarkani Aviation Group brought back his aviation experiences from working in the Danish Sterling Airlines during the early seventies, and in 1976 he

29


founded, Z-Aviation Services (ZAS) after realizing the need for alternative aviation solutions in Egypt. ZAS focused on providing a continuous flow of chartered cargo aircrafts to serve the growing agricultural exports, as well as acting as local representative and ground handling agent for foreign carriers operating into Egypt. Since then, the ZAS name has been a pioneer and a major contributor in the various fields of the aviation industry not only in Egypt, but on an international scale as well; by providing quality based aviation solutions through offspring companies such as ZAS Airline of Egypt, ZAS Emirates, ZAS Sudan, ZAS Delicatesse, ZAS air, and ZAS Jet Club. Today, ZAS Jet Club is the arm which brings together all these experiences into the various services provided to the corporate and VIP aviation market while honoring its commitment to safety, quality, efficiency and the attention to details. Charter Services The most common way of experiencing, for the first time, the true delights of this personalized way of travel. We have served businesses that use this service to reach their subsidiaries in difficult areas within Africa; others have used it to attend two different events in two different countries on the same day, and in both cases comfort was there to make the trip most enjoyable. The process of chartering is much easier than thought to be; just one phone call to provide us with the details of your itinerary and preferences and we will present you multiple different options, from the type of aircraft available to the airport nearest to your point of stay. Chartering is the best option when having to fly privately, it is on a “need to” basis only, the advantage here of course there are no worries about the ownership costs. By the hour program For the more frequent private jet travelers, purchasing hours in advance allows them to pay only for the actual hours flown, as well as guaranteeing the availability of an aircraft within a very short period, and like with 30


31


32


chartering, you are not burdened by the cost of ownership. ZAS Jet Club in collaboration with an extensive international network comprising of over 300 aircrafts, is ready to challenge the most demanding itineraries. Concierge services Here is where we like to show the true touch of the ZAS Jet Club; whether you are using one of our aircrafts or your own, a member of our team will be available to plan your trip down to the smallest detail. How about a limousine to pick you up while dedicated porters are there all the way to carry your luggage? We could also have available a selection of movies and music for your in-flight entertainment system. Choose your meal according to your own taste from our recommended menus and you can even add something from your favorite restaurant to go along if you wish. Let us book your hotels and 5 star sightseeing packages in your destination, and if you are visiting Egypt, we will arrange it so that you will get an interesting experience from its wonders. The concept is simple; whatever amenities that can be added to the comfort and enjoyment of your trip, we will gladly seek to fulfill them. Aircraft purchasing consultancy Taking the decision to purchase oneÂ’s own aircraft may be one of the most important financial decisions one can make; and once this decision is made, endless other decisions follow which could decide whether this aircraft will become a cumbersome financial burden or a smart purchase which might even make a profit. ZAS Jet Club will help you decide which aircraft best suits your type of travel? What purchase options best suits you? Our panel of experts will guide you all throughout the process up until delivery of the aircraft.

33


34


Aircraft management ZAS Jet Club offers aircraft owners a professional panel of experts such as pilots, engineers, dispatchers, as well as marketing, client relations and trip support personnel, all of whom are dedicated to managing aircrafts in the most professional and efficient way. Owners are released from all the headaches related to operating an aircraft, such as maintenance schedules, documentations, crew affairs, fuel arrangements, etcÂ… In addition, aircraft owners benefit from the price advantages and purchasing powers which the ZAS Jet Club enjoys when it comes to fuel, insurance, handling arrangements and other charges which aircrafts will incur. www.zasjetclub.com

35


Destinations B est

Of E

G

Y

P

T


The JW M arriottHotelCairo located in the prestigious Heliopolis district,justoutside the city,invites you to enjoy a m em orable experience atCairo's only Corporate Resort,faraway from the noise and pollution ofthe city

www.jwmarriottcairo.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

The JW M arriottHotelCairo located in the prestigious Heliopolis district,justoutside the city ofCairo,invites you to enjoy a m em orable experience atCairo's only Corporate Resort,faraway from allthe noise and pollution ofthe city. The H oteloffers a haven ofrecreationalfacilities set w ithin calm ing,relaxing surroundings.

The Ultimate Retreat Only At JW Marriott Cairo For a truly unique experience in one of the Middle East's most exciting cities, its time to check-in at the city's only Corporate Resort, the JW Marriott Hotel Cairo. Enjoy the stunning views of the World Class Golf Course or stimulate your eyes with a vista view of the Beach, seen from our elegantly appointed Rooms and Suites.

Destinations

Atthe JW M arriott,we offerthe only them ed W aterPark in Cairo "The Beach",where yourchildren willenjoy playing in a variety ofoutdoorpools including:the wave pool,water slides,kids'waterfun house,sandy shores and opening soon;The Kids Club. W hy nottreatyourselfto a m assage ora gam e oftennis? O rm aybe justrelaxing underthe palm tress,relieffrom stress is surely guaranteed. Every one ofour42 square-m etre room s which features a spacious bedroom equipped with a desk and a com fortable chair,two phone lines with high speed internetaccess,full tea and coffee m aking facilities.W ellappointed m arble bathroom s with a bath,a separate showerand ofcourse luxurious bathrobes. So whatare you waiting for,book now and allow us to spoil you with ourW orld Class hospitality.

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

38


W hen itcom es to m ixing business with pleasure,no hotel achieves this perfectcom bination betterthan the JW M arriottHotelCairo. Located only 15 m inutes away from Cairo International Airport,the Cairo InternationalConference Centre and the prestigious Heliopolis district,the hotelis perfectly geared up forbusiness m eetings and incentives,providing the ultim ate environm entforstrategic business. AtJW M arriottHotelCairo,you can stay connected whenever‌ wherever,we offeryou High Speed Internet Access in allbedroom s,and W ireless Internetaccess in the m eeting room s and public areas ofthe hotel. W ith m ore than 12 m eeting room s and a huge exhibition area thatis fully designed to supportyour business needs,your conferences and business functions w ill surely be m em orable ones.

The Ultimate Corporate Resort JW Marriott Cairo When it comes to mixing business with pleasure, no hotel achieves this perfect combination better than the JW Marriott Hotel Cairo.

Destinations

The 1734 square m etre,pillarfree,Tutankham un Ballroom seats 1800 guests fora G ala Dinnerand 2200 for conferences and can be divisible into 3 sections one of which with an open -airfoyer. W e also offerChephren and Cheops m eeting room s that can be divided into a totaloffive sm allerroom s,and three elegantJW 's Boardroom s. W ith ourEventM anagem entteam who prize theirfocus on every detailofyoureventto ensure thatyourbusiness goals are achieved,yourcorporate m eetings are a guaranteed success atourhotel.

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

0 4


275


Enjoy a stay you will never forget at the Sheraton Cairo Hotel.

www.sheraton.com/cairo


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sheraton Cairo Hotel Tel.: (+202) 3336 9700 / 800 Fax: (+202) 3336 4485 www.sheraton.com/cairo

Ideally located on the west bank of the River Nile within a walking distance from the Opera house, the Egyptian Museum and sophisticated shopping centers, 15 minutes from the railway station, 20 minutes from the Pyramids of Giza.

44


The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Cairo, it is only 15 minutes from the railway station and 30 minutes from Cairo International Airport . Whether you are in Egypt for business or pleasure, our friendly staff will greet you with a warm smile and help you make the most of your visit. Enjoy a stay you will never forget at the Sheraton Cairo Hotel. Features & Activities: The exclusive and luxurious atmosphere of our unique Tower's Lounge pampers our guests with snacks and refreshments all day in a cozy and elegant setting. Additional services include a fully equipped Business Center, 24-hour limo service, and a beauty salon. Our recreational facilities are endless; Xanadu, our health club is the best place to work out and enjoy our rejuvenating Spa facilities. Enjoy a dazzling day by "Le Mirage" our outdoor swimming pool. Have a delicious meal. Enjoy the warm sunny days. Pamper yourself. Relax. Dining: While spending a sunny day by the pool, you can also enjoy a refreshing drink and a mouth-watering snack from our Pool Bar. And when the night falls, you will find that your dining options are endles. Aladdin, our Lebanese restaurant serves delicious oriental dishes. Casablanca Restaurant, with its exquisite Moroccan Cuisine is oneof-a-kind. Sapporo our Japanese resturant, boasts the city's best

45

sushi and teppanyaki. La Mamma, the Italian Restaurant is a piece of Italy in the heart of Cairo. Guest Rooms: Our 650 deluxe rooms, including 113 suites and five nonsmoking floors, offer magnificent views of the city and the River Nile. Our amazingly spacious deluxe rooms are both comfortable and luxurious. All beds offer 100% Egyptian cotton linen for your added comfort. www.sheraton.com/cairo


A Journey Through Time


"Just as the Egyptians have a climate peculiar to themselves, and their river is different in its nature from all other rivers, so they have made themselves customs and laws of a kind contrary to those of all other men." Herodotus


Best Destinations of Egypt Pharaonic Era In 3000 BC, the known history of Ancient Egypt began when King Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt, originally two separate Kingdoms. Afterward, the pharaoh came to be known as ‘Lord of the Two Lands’. Pharaonic history comprises the 2700 years after this union and can be divided into the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Historians have disagreed about the length of each epoch, although they agree that there were several transitional periods between these epochs. During that time Egypt experienced a state of total chaos and disorder until a new pharaoh took control of the country.

The Uraeus, the serpent image of kingship protruded just above the forehead in most royal crowns and head-dresses.

The great white crown known as the ‘Hedjet’ represented the lotus flower, the symbol of Upper Egypt. Its patron goddess was the vulture goddess Nekhbet of Nekheb. Lower Egypt had the red crown known as the "Deshret" which symbolized the papyrus plant. Its patron goddess was the cobra goddess Wadjet of Buto. The union of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt were also represented by the ‘Nebty’, meaning ‘two ladies’; the cobra goddess Wadjet and the vulture goddess Nekhbet. Together they symbolised the unity and duality of the Egyptian world. Wadjet was usually portrayed as a rearing cobra.

48


was the first and most celebrated king of the 3rd Dynasty. The later pyramids of Giza: Khufu (Cheops), Khafre (Chephren) and Menkaura (Mycerinos) represented the peak of achievement in the architectural field. Egyptian civilisation flourished in this period; with crafts and skills of all kinds reaching a high level of sophistication. Hieroglyphics in particular reached a very high level of sophistication. Artists and craftsmen became increasingly adept at producing the most exquisite objects of art for the royal family and the members of the ruling elite. The intricate decoration of the private tombs next to the royal pyramids represents a rich source of information about daily life in the age of the pyramids. The last ruler of the 5th Dynasty, Unas introduced another innovation, his pyramid was the first to be decorated with texts, which is called ‘Pyramid Texts’. These texts depict the fate of the king in the afterlife, when he takes his place among the gods and among the stars. Towards the end of the period, centralized power disintegrated and the country fell into rapid decline. This marked the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Middle Kingdom or Feudal Age ( 2034-1783 BC) The Middle Kingdom endured for about 500 years until 1783 BC. As the kings of Egypt slowly reasserted the authority of the

Old Kingdom or Pyramid Era (2650-2150 BC) The Old Kingdom was an important phase in Egypt's political and cultural development; it lasted until approximately 2150 BC. Almost five centuries of continuous progress set the foundations of one of the most influential cultures of the ancient world. Egypt enjoyed stability, security, and peace. To secure the unity of Egypt, Menes established as capital the City of Memphis near the Delta, about 25 kilometres south of modern Cairo. This period was characterised by strong centralized government as well as a divine kingship. Most of the executive power was in the hands of the Pharaoh who oversaw the construction of all monuments and claimed divine rule over his people. During this era, the construction of pyramids became more ambitious to reflect the power of the Pharaoh himself which was the reason that it is known as the Pyramid Age. The most remarkable change is the transition from the step to the better known smooth-sided pyramid. This transition was not only the result of improved technical skills, but also because of religious beliefs and concepts which assigned primacy to the sun over other stars. The Step Pyramid symbolised a staircase to the stars but the smooth-faced pyramid was seen by contrast as a solar symbol. King Djoser built the step pyramid at Saqqara and

49


monarchy. Egypt grew again in wealth and population. A large part of the population consisted of non-Egyptians who had emigrated to the Nile Valley in order to enjoy greater prosperity. There was no such thing as naturalization in Ancient Egypt or the Middle East; no matter where one lived, one always belonged to the original tribe or nation. If one emigrated to Egypt, one wouldnÂ’t become an Egyptian but remain a "sojourner" or foreigner. The life of a foreigner in Egypt offered a range of possibilities, sometimes foreigners had fewer privileges and rights but more often they were allowed to form their own communities with their own leaders and laws. They were required only to pay taxes and tariffs. The non-naturalization of foreigners greatly influenced the course of Egyptian history in the Middle Kingdom. As their numbers increased, they settled in increasingly large communities and their leaders became kings in their own right. The power of these foreigners grew as rapidly as their numbers until the power of the Egyptian monarch fell into oblivion. Egyptian rule extended into Nubia and the Nubians became subjects of the Middle Kingdom later, a power struggle among the principalities undermined the rule of the Pharaohs and the civilization fell prey to invaders from Palestine ending what is known as the Middle Kingdom. New Kingdom or Golden Age (1550-945 BC) By 1550 BC, the New Kingdom had been established and the Egyptians managed to expel their foreign rulers. This was the Golden Age of the Pharaohs which saw the construction of the great majority of the monuments and temples which can still be seen today. Most buildings at Luxor which was still the capital and many structures in Memphis, later re-instated as a secondary capital and seat of administrative affairs, date from this age. The new Kingdom saw Egypt's greatest expansion. First, into Upper Nubia (now part of Sudan) initiated by

50


Tuthmosis I, then thirteen years later into Syria and Asia Minor under the rule of Tuthmosis III. A significant change during this period was that the final resting place of the PharaohÂ’s mummy was no longer deep within the core of a colossal pyramid but in a well hidden tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes ( Luxor ). Tuthmosis I was the first pharaoh to be buried there. The 19th Dynasty saw war raging on Egypt's borders and the Pharaohs Ramses I, Seti I, and Ramses II distinguished themselves on the battlefield at the head of their own armies, showing that they were superb generals as well as kings by divine right. Temples proliferated, but war with the Libyans and the Hittites tested Egyptian unity and stability. The Egyptian Empire had begun to shrink by the reign of Ramses III (1194-1163 BC). The Libyans seized control of the Delta and the Nubians managed to take control of Thebes. An invasion by the Assyrians in 671 BC was followed by another by the Persians in 525 BC. Persian rule lasted 190 years, until Alexander the Great arrived on the scene. Roman and Greek Era The Greeks recognized the uniqueness of Egypt. The historian Herodotus who visited the Nile valley in the 5th Century BC, was filled with astonishment with what he saw and wrote as follows: "Just as the Egyptians have a climate peculiar to themselves and their river is different in its nature from all other rivers, so they have made themselves customs and laws of a kind contrary to those of all other men." Of the native customs he describes, none were stranger in his eyes or more different from Greek religious practice than the cults of the various gods and goddesses and their animal counterparts. These rites and beliefs he found everywhere and concluded that the Egyptians were religious beyond measure more than any other nation.

51


of cultural and urban development, Egypt was regarded as the most precious property of the Roman Empire. During this period, agriculture and industry, particularly glass manufacturing flourished in Egypt. Egypt was especially known for the art of glass blowing, a virtual monopoly in paper production as well as for perfumes, cosmetics, and fine linen fabrics. As the new Egyptian capital, Alexandria became the largest trading and industrial centre in the eastern Mediterranean and second only to Rome itself in the Roman Empire, the University of Alexandria established itself as a centre of scientific research and a seat of learning for scholars from all parts of the world, during the Roman era in Egypt.

Alexander was greeted quite warmly by the Egyptians who felt oppressed under the Persians. He had the priests of Memphis declare him Pharaoh and he founded a new city on the north coast, Alexandria to facilitate sea trade with Greece. On his death, one of his generals, Ptolemy, assumed leadership and the dynasty of the Ptolemies lasted for 300 years. It ended with Cleopatra and the seizure of power by the Romans. In 30 BC, Egypt was conquered by the Romans and was therefore relegated to a mere a province in their empire. However, due to its advantageous geographical position, the fertility of its soil and high level

The country did not develop much under Roman rule; the Romans simply made access to the rest of their empire easier by constructing ports on the Red Sea and building a few fortresses with Alexandria as their base. They decided to outlaw the cults of the various gods and goddesses of the Pharaonic Era and during this time many Egyptians converted to Christianity which was introduced to Egypt in about 40 AD. The Arab Conquest In 642 AD the Arab conquest brought Islam to Egypt. The new invaders set up a base at Fustat, near the Roman fortress of Babylon (the remains of which now support Old Cairo's Hanging Church). The Umayyads, from Syria invaded in 661 AD and held power until 750 AD when the Abbasids came from Iraq and took control, ruling for over 200 years. Their legacy can be seen in the beautiful Ibn Tulun Mosque in Islamic Cairo, built in typically Iraqi style. The Fatimids swept to power in 969 AD having founded their capital to the north of Fustat; they set about building a wall around the medieval city. This was the beginning of what is now Cairo and has remained the Capital of Egypt ever since. Evidence of the wall is still visible today at Bab Zuweila, Bab Al-Nasr, and Bab Al-Fat'h. Al-Azhar University and its Mosque were also built during the Fatimid era. The Fatimids who were Shiite Muslims held themselves aloof from the predominantly Sunni local populace which meant that they were not well liked by most of the local inhabitants. This, together with the invasion of Crusaders from Europe advancing into the Delta resulted in the overthrow of the Fatimids. They had appealed for help from the Seljuks in Syria to fight off the advancing European armies. Once in Cairo the Seljuks captured the city as well as the whole country and restored Sunni rule in Egypt. Their champion and first leader was Salah El-Din who established the Ayubbid dynasty in Egypt. The greatest monument to Salah El-Din is the Citadel which was built in 1176 to fortify the city against further attacks by Crusaders. Ayyubid rule lasted only until 1250 AD when the Mamluks seized power. They were a formidable fighting force for 267 years and held Cairo in an iron grip. The Mamluk era saw Egypt seize control of Palestine and Syria. This period also saw the construction of some of Cairo's most beautiful Islamic buildings such as the mosques of Sultan Hassan, Mu'ayyad, and Al-Ghouri. Cairo's northern cemetery also hosts some fine examples of Mamluk architecture. The

52


Fortress of Qaitbay, built on the ruins of the Pharos of Alexandria, and which is featured on the back of Egypt's one-pound note is another example of the Mamluk style. In the early 16th Century, the Turks who had grown very powerful had ambitions to unify the Muslim world. In 1516, the Mamluks faced the Turkish armies in Syria where their last general Al Ghouri and his troops were defeated. Selim I, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, thus became ruler of Egypt. Egypt declined as the great financial and cultural centre it had been under the Mamluks and Constantinople became the new centre of power. The Ottoman Empire held Egypt for a good 280 years until Napoleon and his army came in 1798. French Occupation Napoleon was keen to strike a blow at the British by controlling land and sea routes to India. Whilst in Egypt, he radically overhauled bureaucratic procedures and changed the system of taxation. At the same time, his scientists and artists were put to work studying Egyptian flora, fauna, crops, arts, and crafts. This resulted in the famous "Description de l'Egypte" which was 24 volumes of pictures and analysis of their findings. In 1801, Napoleon was forced to leave Egypt; the French fleet had been destroyed and the British Navy under Admiral Nelson and the British and Turkish armies were fighting as allies. After Turkish rule had been restored, Mohamed Ali became the "Pasha" of Egypt. The title meant he should have been merely a governor

53


under the Sultan of Constantinople, but he was an extremely able and forceful personality and the Turkish Sultanate was too weak to challenge him. Mohamed Ali oversaw victorious battles which put Egypt firmly in control of the majority of the Ottoman Empire. He also pushed Egypt forward by instituting radical reforms of bureaucracy and initiated the cultivation of cotton for its value as a cash crop which Egypt still exports in huge quantities today. Foreigners poured into the country in this rich new Egypt and the country prospered and developed rapidly. Mohamed Ali left behind an enduring legacy of laws and a more developed country. Cairo's skyline is still dominated in the East by the huge Turkish-style mosque at the Citadel which is named after him. British Occupation In 1882, the British entered Egypt primarily to secure the Suez Canal for British use. The descendants of Mohamed Ali were allowed symbolic power, but all real power belonged to the British. Lord Cromer was the man responsible for the consolidation of British rule in Cairo. He became the principal agent of British power in Egypt in 1883 and ruled Egypt for 24 years. Before this, he had been in control of the Public Debt in Cairo as British Commissioner. He was responsible for keeping the French, Belgians, and Italians away from the Nile. Under Cromer, Cairo was a city filled with political and social intrigue. After World War I, the U.S. President, Woodrow Wilson encouraged Egyptian hopes of independence. Saad Zaghloul went to the British Residency and demanded that Egypt be

given the right to self-determination. He was allowed to say his piece and leave, but was arrested a month later and banished to Malta. Egypt revolted at this news, and overnight, Cairo erupted with revolutionary fervor as every town and city was seized by Egyptians. Everything ground to a halt. Trains and trams stopped, no one went to work and strikes began. Eight British soldiers were killed on 18th March 1919 while on their way to Cairo. Trenches were dug and the city was barricaded. Many people were killed either in the fighting or executed for killing British officers. The resident minister was replaced by General Allenby who immediately had Zaghloul released from Malta. Allenby was criticized for this as being too conciliatory but this probably saved Egypt from Britain more than anything else. He declared martial law and stopped the strikes one by one. Zaghloul had been released from Malta, but was not allowed to retun to Egypt immediately. He journeyed to Paris seeking help from France in the struggle for Egypt's independence. On 20th April 1919, the United States acknowledged Britain’s mandate to govern Egypt.This all but ended Egyptian hopes of ever being free. The British still occupied Egypt by the end of World War II, even though a symbolic kind of sovereignty with King Farouq as Head of State had been granted. On 26thJanuary 1952 was “Black Saturday”. It saw a huge revolt in Cairo which resulted in the destruction and burning of foreign-owned shops. The days of British control in Egypt were numbered and on 26th July 1952, King Farouq abdicated and General Mohamed Naguib took up the reins of government. Egyptian Revolution Mohamed Naguib became the first president and started a period of nationalisation during which all foreign-owned shops were returned

54


to Egyptian hands. Gamal Abdel Nasser succeeded Naguib as president in 1954 and under his leadership, In July 1952 Revolution brought about a host of achievements including the enactment of the first agrarian law reform and the first five years plan for socioeconomic development in the history of Egypt (1960). Industry and production were rapidly developed. The Aswan High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970. Outstanding progress was also made in the fields of education, health, agriculture, and construction. In the domain of foreign policy, Egypt adopted a policy of positive neutrality and encouraged national liberation movements. It was seen as a new golden age in Egyptian history. Cognizant from the beginning of Egypt's leading role in the Arab world, its growing military power and untiring defence of the Palestinian case in world forums, Israel launched a treacherous assault on 5th June 1967 against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, resulting in the Israeli occupation of Sinai, the Golan Heights and the West Bank of Jordan. The Egyptian army valiantly stood its ground in what eventually became a long war of attrition, as Israeli forces continued to pound the cities of Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez. It

55

was at this time, on 28th September 1970 , that the leader of July Revolution, Gamal Abdel Nasser passed away. Anwar El-Sadat who succeeded Nasser pressed on with the task of mobilizing all national resources for the liberation of the occupied territory. On 6th October 1973, both Egyptian and Syrian armies simultaneously launched a battle to liberate these Arab lands from Israeli occupation. A few hours after launching their attack, the Egyptian army victoriously crossed to the east bank of the Suez Canal where the Egyptian banner was proudly raised aloft. In the October War, Egyptian forces won a resounding victory. This prompted President Anwar El-Sadat to contemplate a radical settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. There then ensued the challenging task of negotiating terms with Israel, but agreement was finally reached and a peace treaty signed in 1979. It was perhaps because some viewed this as a betrayal that Sadat was assassinated in 1981. The country has been governed since then by his successor, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak.


A Witness to the Ages


Since the earliest times Egypt has been a crossroads of three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It once gave sanctuary to a great number of Jews who came south and settled in this rich and fertile land to escape strife and hardship in their native land. It has also long been home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, whose members still live side by side with their Muslim brethren to this day.


Best Destinations of Egypt Egypt A land of civilization since the most ancient times, with a long illustrious history that has been an eyewitness to epoch-making events down the ages. A land that has influenced and been influenced by many different cultures but has never been conquered. The ancient Egyptians worshipped a large pantheon of gods during the Old, Middle, and New kingdoms. Among these were Anubis, the jackal-headed ancient god of the dead, and Isis, which meant "the Queen" in the ancient language. She was seen as the Great Protector, and was the wife of the great god Osiris, who later succeeded Anubis as the god of the dead. Osiris was killed by his brother Set, who then tore his body apart and scattered the pieces all over Egypt. Isis retrieved every part of her husband's body put them all back together and brought Osiris back to life. Then she gave birth to their child Horus (the god Horus) and when Horus reached manhood, he fought Set for the throne of Egypt with the aid of his mother's magic spells. The ancient Egyptians sacrificed animals and birds to the gods that they worshipped. They would also mount processions in which they carried the effigy of the gods from one sacred spot

58


to another. They believed that Egypt belonged to the gods and that their representative on Earth was the Pharaoh, who was himself regarded as divine, so everything in Egypt rightfully belonged to him. Among their beliefs was the idea that when a person died, Anubis would weigh his heart against a feather and if the heart was heavier than the feather, ie, heavy with bad deeds, then this person would be punished. They also believed in life after death, one moved on to the world to come, or an afterlife, as we might call it. To be equipped for this, the deceased would be entombed along with all that he would need on reaching the other side, food, clothing and a multitude of his personal effects. During the New Kingdom, The Pharaoh Akhenaton initiated a new cult: the worship of the sun god Aton. Akhenaton seemed to want his people to believe that Aton was the only god who deserved to be worshipped, so the cult of Aton might be said to have been the first sign of a shift from polytheism to monotheism. Nevertheless, after his death, statues and other images of Akhenaton were destroyed or defaced, and the priests soon had the people worshipping all the old gods as they had before. The Persian invasion in 539 BC did not have a great influence on Egyptian religious customs; the Egyptians kept on worshipping their traditional deities. However, when Ptolemy, Alexander the Great's

59


Greek general, who assumed control of Egypt in 323 BC after the death of Alexander, Egyptians began to worship some of the Greek gods besides their own. For their part the Greeks began to venerate the Egyptian goddess Isis. The Romans conquered Egypt in 30 BC, and the Egyptians continued to worship their own and Greek gods, but also began to make offerings to some of the Roman gods. Christianity was first introduced in Egypt by St. Marc and was spread more widely during the 2nd Century by the Saints Clement and Originus. The growth of the Christian community saw the foundation of the Christian School in Alexandria which was to develop into an important center for the study of scripture and Christian doctrine. The Roman emperor however, ordered the closure of the church and Dean Clement was expelled. In the fullness of time though, it was to re-open and reestablish itself as a seat of Christian learning. Christianity was bitterly opposed in its early days and its followers were brutally persecuted and many Christians were martyred. Despite this, the number of converts to Christianity in Egypt increased gradually and when the Roman Emperor himself embraced Christianity, persecution came to an end and many more began to follow the Christian faith. It was around this time that some pious converts adopted a monastic or even hermetic way of life, leaving their homes and families to join monasteries or convents, or taking up the solitary life of a hermit in the desert beyond the Nile, so as to devote themselves to a life of prayer and contemplation. Christianity was officially recognized as the main religion by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in 395 AD. The period from then until the Arab conquest in 639 AD can be considered the link between the Greco-Roman and the Islamic eras.

60


The Arab conquest began in 639 AD under the leadership of Amr Ibn Al Aas with an army of 4000 men. After capturing smaller fortified towns he made his way to Cairo and the Fortress of Babylon in Cairo and there were a number of skirmishes before he arrived at Heliopolis, where reinforcements from Syria against the Byzantine forces in Egypt finally reached him. The victory won by Amr in this battle put most of Egypt under his control. After a long and difficult siege followed by negotiations, the Byzantine capital of Alexandria finally surrendered and a treaty was signed in late 641 AD. In 645 AD, Byzantine forces attempted a re-conquest but were defeated at the battle of Nikiou and Egypt came from then on under the full dominion of the Arabs. Amr garrisoned his army in the newly established stronghold of Misr Al Fustat, which means "encampment of tents".This is the origin of the Arabic name for Egypt "Misr". The first mosque in Egypt was named in honor of Amr Ibn Al Aas and still stands in a southern district of Cairo. Modern Egypt is a republic in which about 85 % of its citizens are of the Sunni Muslim faith. Most of the rest are Christian, of whom the majority belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church though there are also some of Catholic or Protestant persuasion. There is still also a small remnant of the old Jewish Egyptian community. Since the earliest times, Egypt has been a crossroads of three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It once gave sanctuary to a great number of Jews who came south and settled in this rich and fertile land to escape strife and hardship in their native land. It has also long been home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, whose members still live side by side with their Muslim brethren to this day.

61


Gateways into Egypt


“From the heights of these Pyramids, we look down on forty centuries.” Napoleon Bonaparte


Best Destinations of Egypt There are many portals through which you can step into the extraordinary kaleidoscope of Egyptian history. There are the pyramids, temples and other sacred sites and places of worship, to name but a few… Egypt is a land so steeped in history that you must not miss the chance to visit and see for yourself. The Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza Napoleon Bonaparte said: "From the heights of these Pyramids, we look down on forty centuries". On the West bank of the Nile, the three pyramids stand atop the Giza plateau facing Cairo. Built as immortal monuments to the Kings, Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, they stand tall and proud to this day. The great pyramid of Khufu and the Great Sphinx are the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World which have survived to this day. In fact, the whole complex is surrounded by many smaller pyramids, hundreds of mastabas or tombs for those of noble birth. These architectural works represented the cult of the Pharaoh and include a solar-boat, a palace, harbour workshops, and a funerary temple connected by a causeway to a valley temple. The earliest monument at Giza is ‘mastaba V’ which probably dates from the reign of the 1st Dynasty ruler ‘Djet’. While the decoration of pyramids with inscriptions and various

64


slightly smaller pyramid of the Pharaoh Khafre, one of Khufu's successors. He is also believed to have built the Great Sphinx. This celebrated colossal sculpture consists of a lion’s body with human head wearing the Nemes head-dress of the pharaohs. It is believed to be a likeness of Khafre as the god Horus. The Sphinx has lain guard at the gateway of the Giza plateau, facing the east and the rising sun, the focus of worship in the Old Kingdom for many thousands of years. This great monument is commonly known in Egypt by its Arabic name, which means "Father of Terror". As for the pyramid of Menkaure, it is the smallest of the three pyramids and about half the height of Khafre's pyramid. The entire complex is believed to have been constructed over the reign of five pharaohs and in less than a hundred years. The Citadel of Salah El Din One of Cairo’s most interesting destinations is the Citadel, built by the illustrious Salah El Din. The Citadel houses a number of museums, historic mosques, and other features of great interest, including Al-Gawhara Palace, the National Military Museum, and the Police Museum, besides the famous Mohamed Ali Mosque. The Citadel is a major landmark in Cairo. This area had been always known for its natural cool breezes and its grand vista of the city below. The story of the Citadel began some time between 1176 and 1183 when Salah El Din (Saladin), who was the first ruler of the Ayubbid dynasty fortified the area to protect it against Crusader attacks. It served as both a fortress and a royal court. Due to its elevation, it was a natural choice as the ideal location for a fortress stronghold to defend the city. Salah El Din had come from Syria where every city had no long been protected by a fortress built on high ground.

scenes was first discovered when Gaston Maspero was first working on the Pyramid of Teti. The ruined ‘Pyramid of Unas’ at Saqqara was the first known pyramid to be inscribed with the 128 magical spells of the Pyramids Text. The Pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid over a twenty-year period, to represent the concept of Khufu, the one belonging to the horizon. The construction of subsidiary pyramids was intended for other members of his royal household. Three small pyramids to the East of Khufu's pyramid belong to two of his wives and the third has been identified with Khufu's mother Hetepheres I. The mysterious Sun Boat, which is housed in its own special museum, was only discovered in 1954, in a deep pit on the south side of the pyramid. The story of the "solar barque" and its exact purpose is not precisely known, although it is believed to have been used as a ritual boat to carry Khufu with the sun god "Ra" across the heavens, according to ancient Egyptian beliefs. However, it bears some signs of having been used in water and it is possible that the vessel was either a funerary "barge" used to carry the king's body from Memphis to Giza, or used by Khufu as "pilgrimage ship" to visit holy places and it was then buried for him to use in the afterlife. New discoveries are constantly being made by The Giza Mapping Project which is engaged in the seemingly endless task of excavating this extraordinary complex. A few hundred metres south-west of the Great Pyramid sits the only

65


the embrace of a dramatic renovation of the whole district of Mar Girgis constituting a veritable matrix of the three religions. Within the scope of this project shopping centres are to be built to provide visitors with all their needs, but in strict keeping with the architectural styles and historical atmosphere of the area. The surrounding walls are being renovated and church wall coatings restored. These enhancements have attracted large numbers of visitors to this unique enclave which comprises the historic Hanging Church, the Synagogue of Ben Ezra, and the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al ‘Aas.

In 1218, Sultan Al-Kamel, who came to power after the death of Salah El Din built his palace in the southern enclosure of the Citadel, and this became the seat of Egyptian government until the construction of Abdeen Palace in the mid 19th Century. He also added two large towers: Burg Al-Haddad (Blacksmith's Tower) and Burg Al-Ramla (Sand Tower) to control the narrow pass between the Citadel and Muqattam hills. The Ottomans also left their mark on the region by building Burg Al-Muqattam, the largest tower at the entrance to the Citadel. Mar Girgis With the dawn of the 3rd Millennium enormous efforts and huge resources are being channeled into a major urban and cultural project, set to benefit a multitude of the local inhabitants. The aim is to include diverse religious monuments and institutions belonging to the three great faiths of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, within

Synagogue of Ben Ezra The Synagogue of Ben Ezra was established in Old Cairo between the 6th and the 9th Centuries AD. Originally, the site of the basilicastyle synagogue was owned by the church but the Jews bought it in exchange for "kantars of gold". The story of the Jewish heritage can be found in the library which was inaugurated in 1997. In 1896, a sealed cache of documents known as the "Geniza" was discovered, which provides insights into the political, economic, and social conditions of Jews in Egypt under the dominion of the Arabs. These documents date from the Fatimid Era and were mostly in Arabic written in Hebrew script. The Geniza also contained a number of rare manuscripts of interpretations of the Old Testament and how Jews dealt with the Muslim Arab authorities. There is a very deep will behind the temple, where the mother of the Prophet Moses is said to have left him as a baby. The Mosque of Amr Ibn Al ‘Aas In 642 AD (21 AH), Amr Ibn Al ‘Aas, the commander of the Muslim army that conquered Egypt built the first mosque in the country. For this reason, this mosque has been known by many names such as, Taj Al Jawamie (Crown of Mosques), Al Jamie'Al Ateeq (the Ancient Mosque), and Masjid Ahl Al Raya (Mosque of Banner Holders). It may have been built on the site of Amr Ibn Al ‘Aas's own tent at Fustat, which would make it the oldest surviving mosque in the entire African Continent. It became a centre for Islamic

66


studies as many as 5,000 students long before the founding of Al Azhar. The Mosque was not only a place of worship but also served as a court for the settling of religious and civil disputes. Moreover, teaching circles were organised either for general religious preaching or the study of Quranic sciences, jurisprudence, and the Prophet Mohamed's ‘Hadith’ (teachings and traditions). This mosque was built just north of the Roman Fortress of Babylon overlooking the Nile. The initial structure was quite simple without a Mihrab (niche), minaret or paved floor. It had two doors on the North side and two others facing Ibn Al Aas‘s house. In 672 AD, Musallama Al-Ansari, Egypt's ruler, enlarged the structure and oversaw many substantial renovations. He had the walls and ceilings decorated and four partitions were added for "Muezzins" (callers to prayer) at the corners together with a minaret while the floor was covered with mats. Many later rulers made further improvements to Ibn Al Aas‘s Mosque. The last structural changes were made during the rule of Murad Bey in the Ottoman Era; Because of the collapse of some columns, the interior of the mosque was demolished and completely rebuilt. The mosque incorporates elements of Greek and Roman design and has 150 white marble columns and three minarets. Simple in design its present plan consists of an open sahn (court) surrounded by four riwaqs the largest being the Qiblah riwaq. There are a number of wooden plaques bearing Byzantine foliate carvings and a partially enclosed column is said to have been miraculously transported from Mecca on the orders of the Prophet Mohamed himself. The Mosque of Al Azhar Constructed in 972 AD, Al Azhar was the fourth in Egypt. It was named after Fatma Al Zahraa (the daughter of the Prophet Mohamed) and was located in Al Hussein Square. The main purpose behind its construction was to disseminate Shiite doctrine

67

in Egypt. A few years after its establishment, Al Azhar became a centre of learning as well as a place of worship. Al Azhar is thought to be perhaps the oldest university in the world and the first lecture is reputed to have been given in 975 AD. The great historical importance of this mosque is enhanced by the presence of the tomb of Jawhar El-Sequili, the Fatimid general who is considered to be the founder of the city of Cairo. According to Napoleon Bonaparte Al Azhar was rightfully the most famous university and pillar of learning in the Islamic world. He stated in his memoirs that "Al Azhar matches the University of the Sorbonne in Paris." Since its foundation, Al Azhar has been seen as the leading centre of intellectual and doctrinal studies in Egypt and the wider Islamic world. Scholars flow in from all over the world seeking education in this most prestigious of Islamic schools and its graduates are highly regarded in the Muslim world. When the centres of Islamic culture in Baghdad or Andalusia were falling, Al Azhar continued to thrive as the focus of intellectual activity in the region. In addition to the study circles organised in the mosque as the core of Arabic and Islamic studies. The importance of the role of women was not neglected as there were also "wisdom sessions for women". By the beginning of the 19th Century, Al Azhar had become a beacon of knowledge and learning for the Islamic world. In 1805, when Mohamed Ali began to rule Egypt and laid the foundations of a new golden age he relied heavily on the resources of Al Azhar. He organised scientific missions to Europe which consolidated the dynamic role of this remarkable institution. Not surprisingly, many of the most influential intellectual and political leaders of Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th Century were educated at Al Azhar, such as Mohamed Abdou and Saad Zaghloul, to name but two. Al Azhar Park “It is my wish that the new park of Al Azhar will become a major


new attraction for residents and visitors to Cairo, opening up whole new vistas on the surrounding historic monuments of a unique area of a unique city,” said the Aga Khan. In 1984, the Aga Khan resolved to endow the citizens of Cairo with a park. His wish arose out of the Islamic belief that we are all trustees of God’s creation and therefore must seek to leave the world a better place than it was before us. The project started when the Aga Khan’s Trust for Culture undertook the restoration of Ayyubid Wall,the renovation of important monuments and landmarks in this historic part of the city of the 12th Century. The Ayubbid wall was originally constructed by Salah El Din, more than 800 years ago, but had been hidden for centuries until its recent excavation and partial restoration. It is a major archeological discovery, which makes it a landmark and a fascinating feature of the park. The wall, gates, towers, and interior chamber all testify to an enlightened period of Islamic history.

The park is the largest green space created in Cairo in over a Century as it covers a 74 acres. It offers splendid panoramic views of the city below the wide green expanse of the park itself and represents a delightful break from the city’s bustling streets. The Park has been expertly designed to include shaded pathways, a children’s play area, a museum, a spectacular hilltop restaurant, and lakeside cafe. The Hilltop Restaurant is built around a courtyard with a delightful fountain at its centre. A shaded walkway leads to a terrace which offers a magnificent view of the Citadel and then slopes down towards a formal garden with a multitude of authentic marble columns. The gardens display a wide range of species of native Egyptian flora. There is also a pathway flanked by royal palms where you can enjoy a long relaxing stroll and sniff the tantalizing scent of the surrounding citrus groves on the breeze. All these features of this magnificent park conspire to produce a feeling of serenity and a joyous lightness of being. 68


The Mosque of Al Hussein The Mosque of Al Hussein was built in the Fatimid period in 1154 and is considered to be one of the most important mosques in Cairo. It is named after Al Hussein whose mortal remains still lie in his mausoleum within. Al Hussein was the son of Ali Ibn Abo Taleb and grandchild of the Prophet Mohamed. The mosque was constructed over the cemetery of the Fatimid caliphs, the remains of the cemetery were uncovered during the laying of the foundations of the mosque. The whole complex was extensively renovated during the reign of the Khedive Ismail, at the beginning of the 20th Century. Its gorgeous gilded ornamentation and striking use of classical Arabic motifs throughout the interior decor make it one of the most aesthetically pleasing mosques to visit. The wooden ceiling is supported by forty-four white marble columns and there is a striking gilded dome above the mausoleum of Al Hussein. There are two minarets at the complex: one to the south-west which dates from the same period as the main structure of the mosque, and another of a later style like the mausoleum. During the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, the month of Ramadan, the entire area teems with a multitude of people who come to enjoy the extraordinary charm of this vicinity, which is so steeped in history and the atmosphere of the Middle East. The Khan El Khalili The Khan Al-Khalili is a place that every visitor to Cairo really mustn’t miss. It is by far the most historic market in the world, found in 1382 by the great prince Djaharks El Khalili, it is an ancient bazaar which is bursting with quaint little shops and workshops. The Khan has long been the main hub of all the commercial activity in the surrounding neighborhood and became a popular stop-off point for traders long ago. The Khan El-Khalili Bazaar is famous for a host of artifacts and commodities. The shops here will sell you anything from perfume oils or spices, to gifts and souvenirs, such as statuettes or a gilded papyrus. You can buy a Pharaonic-style costume or the archetypal Egyptian Galabeya. Beautiful accessories and traditional Egyptian musical instruments like the Oud and Tabla are also readily available. If your idea of the perfect souvenir, or gift for someone back home, is the famous tasselled Fez, known as ‘tarboosh’ in Egypt, then this is the place to find it! Sitting at one of the many cafés or restaurants in the Khan El Khalili besides your refreshments, you can drink in the archetypal Middle Eastern ambience the sights, sounds, and scents of the present and the past. Dining at Hussein is an experience that is not to be missed. The square is the perfect place for all kinds of Middle Eastern food and drink. The wide range of popular drinks includes the sweet drink ‘Sahlab’ or ‘Homos El Sham’, a zesty concoction made from chickpeas. As for the most popular dishes, shank of lamb or ‘Fata Bel Moza’, combining meat marinated in vinegar with rice, will be a delight for meat eaters. Vegetarians can go for Koshari, Foul and Ta’ameya, which are among many tasty local favorites. Smokers can enjoy a ‘Shisha’, the local term for a waterpipe, and savor exotic flavors such as apple, peach or cantaloupe. Although the Khan El khalili is a wonderful experience at any time, Ramadan is a time when the lanes and alleyways of this ancient bazaar take on a whole new charm. The Baron Palace The Baron palace is an intriguing Hindu style structure which has been the subject of urban myths and legends since it was first built. It was built by a Belgian baron, General Edward Louis Joseph Empain (1852-1929), son of one of the greatest European colonialist entrepreneurs of the 20th Century. In January 1904, Empain arrived in Egypt with a mission to rescue his company’s project to construct a railway line connecting Matariya to Port Said. Although he lost the contract to the British, he became a well known amateur Egyptologist and decided to stay in Egypt. Some say that the Baron had been captivated by the beauty

69


of the Arabian Desert. Others murmured that it might have had more to do with the charms of a certain Yvette Baghdadi. In 1907, he established the Heliopolis Oasis Company to develop a whole new residential area "Heliopolis". He then commissioned the French architect Alexander Marcel and his partner GeorgesLouis Claude to build him a palace in mock-Hindu style. It was intended to echo the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the fabulous Hindu temple of Orissa. The garden contains a multiplicity of statues and carvings of all kinds: effigies of Buddha, Shiva and Krishna abound, as well as elephants and snakes and other exotic beasts. The palace was surrounded by terraces each with its own array of erotic marble statues and exotic vegetation. When guests were entering this palace, they must have felt as if some mythical entity were watching their approach from the inside. Baron Jean Empain, Edward’s playboy son, who was the product of a long-standing affair in Belgium, was the second to occupy the palace. He entertained his guests either at the Heliopolis races or at the numerous balls that he threw at the palace. The last known residents of the family Empain were Janine and Huguette Empain, who actually preferred the cool lounges of the Heliopolis Sporting Club or the roof garden of the old Semiramis Hotel to the somewhat gloomy halls of their grandfather’s palace. In 1957 it was finally sold to a family of Saudi origin. The Egyptian government has recently undertaken the task of restoring the fabled palace and is still considering whether to convert it into a museum of the desert or a Pantheon of Illustrious Egyptians. Nowadays, the palace still stands tall in a chic neighborhood of Heliopolis and is visited by many who come to feast their eyes on its extraordinary exotic features. Through the sponsorship of Mrs Suzanne Mubarak and under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, much work has been completed to restore it to its former splendor. The Cairo Opera House The Opera House complex is a stunning jewel of postmodernist architecture incorporating both Islamic and Pharaonic motifs. It is a unique landmark which celebrates the rich and diverse cultural life of Egypt. President Mubarak inaugurated the new Cairo Opera House on 10th October 1988, after the burning down of Cairo's celebrated first Royal Opera House in 1971. Egypt is the only state in the region which has built two opera houses within a little more than a century. There are two halls, one of which is strictly black tie, while the other is a little more informal. The complex also boasts an open air theatre and amphitheatre for summer performances. Internationally renowned orchestras, as well as ballet and opera companies from all over the world perform here throughout the year.

In recognition of the Cairo Opera House, the prestigious London chose it as the venue for its very first performance in the Middle East and Africa in January 2007. The Egyptian Museum The Egyptian Museum was built in 1897 during the reign of Khedive Abas Helmi II by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon who adopted a neo-classical style. It first opened its doors to visitors on 15th November 1902, it contains the greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world ranging from Pharaonic times to the GrecoRoman era. The Museum contains over 120,000 artifacts displayed throughout 107 halls. It is a treasure trail of discovery for anyone who wishes to learn more about Egyptian history. In the entrance hall just in front of you, you will find an “Object of the Month” display. Behind this, are some of the most important items from the time of the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt some 5,000 years ago, including the famous slate palette of king Narmer which is one of the earliest examples of the documentation of Egyptian history. Also in this area are numerous sculptural masterpieces which date back some 50 centuries. This is an area that is not to be missed. Turning left from the entrance itself, you will find an amazing diversity of small statues from the Old Kingdom. They depict individuals and families, and people performing all sorts of everyday tasks. Continuing around the building in a clockwise direction takes you forward in time as you step into each successive room. On the far side of the building from the entrance you will encounter exhibits from the reign of the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaton.

70


and landowners surveying their livestock shouldn't be missed. The figures almost seem alive! Also upstairs is the Mummy Room where you can come face to face with some of the great rulers of ancient Egypt. The museum can be seen as the equivalent in Egypt of the celebrated Louvre in Paris. A decision has been taken jointly by both the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism to construct a new home for this extraordinary collection to be located near the pyramids of Giza. A huge statue of the Pharaoh Ramses II, which had stood near Cairo’s main railway station for many years has already been relocated to its new home at what will be the entrance to the new museum to welcome Egypt's guests. Keep going and you eventually reach the Greco-Roman period, having walked through more than 3000 of years of history to come back to where you came in near the entrance. Upstairs on the first floor, are literally thousands of smaller artifacts from the whole span of Egyptian history. Of course, everybody wants especially to see the treasures from the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun. These occupy a large area along almost two sides of the upper floor. The amazing items from his tomb include: chariots, jewelry, ornaments and furniture, and, naturally the exquisitely beautiful gold mask inlaid with lapis lazuli and other exotic stones, as well as the golden coffins in which the boy-king’s mummy was first enclosed before being laid to rest in the sarcophagus in the burial chamber in his tomb deep within the Valley of the Kings. Tutankhamun's tomb contained four gilded shrines nestling one inside the other. All four of these shrines are on display in the museum. They are lined up in order of decreasing size. The innermost of these covered the stone sarcophagus which remains in the tomb. Inside the stone sarcophagus were three coffins. The innermost was made from 110 kilograms of solid gold. Inside that lay the Pharaoh himself behind the famous golden mask. Apart from the Tutankhamun exhibits, the first floor also houses countless coffins, amulets, ushabtis, and items too numerous to be listed here. Some of the Middle Kingdom tomb model armies, boats,

71

Cairo International Stadium Cairo International Stadium is the largest Olympic Stadium in the Middle East and Africa with a total capacity of 74,100 seats. This sporting edifice reinforces Egypt as the centre of sporting events in the region. On 23rd July, President Gamal Abd El Nasser inaugurated the stadium during festivities for the National Day. The multi-purpose stadium is situated in an enormous park which has state of the art floodlights similar to those in the nearby national hockey, tennis, and swimming stadiums. Cairo Stadium is a powerful symbol of Egyptian national pride in football, which is the most popular sport in the country. The stadium has been host to many memorable matches that still linger in the memories of the Egyptian people. In 2006, Cairo International Stadium hosted the final of the African Cup of Nations where Egypt won the cup for the 3rd time in their football history. Rumour has it that the stadium’s absolute maximum capacity was achieved during a derby match between Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek where 120,000 fans filled the terraces. However, the stadium is now facing competition from the newly completed Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria which will be able to hold an official maximum of 80,000 spectators making it larger than the Cairo International Stadium.


The fresh, delicate fragrance of the ancient Lotus flower conquered the hearts of our renowned ancestors, the Pharaohs. They revered the beautiful Lotus, recognizing that it symbolized the essence of our remarkable land. The experience that awaits you aboard LOTUS AIR embodies that eternal spirit of Egypt.

www.lotus-air.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Fabulous holidays in LOTUSÂ’s heaven !! Contact information: Tel.: +20 2 2266 1662/+20 2 2266 6701 Fax: +20 2 2267 4774 E-mail: info@lotus-air.com www.lotus-air.com

Lotus Air has become the carrier of choice for some of the most demanding tour operators. They choose Lotus Air because they appreciate reliability, safety, comfort, flexibility and value for money. These core values have made Lotus the First Call for charter flights! 74


LOTUS was chosen because the fresh, delicate fragrance of the lotus flower conquered the hearts of EgyptÂ’s renowned ancestors, the Pharaohs. It symbolises the essence of the remarkable country and the experience that awaits a passenger aboard LOTUS AIR embodies that eternal Spirit of Egypt. Since the establishment in 1997, LOTUS AIR became the carrier of choice for some of the most demanding tour operators. They appreciate the reliability, safety, comfort, flexibility and value for money, which have made LOTUS AIR the first call for charter flights. LOTUS AIR operates three Airbus 320-200 with a maximum of 180 seats in a one class configuration. On request a two class configuration is being offered e.g. 12 business class seats and 126 economy class seats. Lotus Air provides to its clients subject to availability, professional and trouble-free wet lease charter flights. The aircraft's performance during seasonal deployments for some of Europe's leading tour operators has received a wide range of recommendations which made the staff feel justifiably proud. LOTUS AIR will also respond to requests for private charter flights including VIP flights. Such flights have been performed successfully for many distinguished guests.

75


76


The successful performance and growth of the airline is due to the Maintenance Departments’ efficiency. Maintenance performance has reached high international standards and LOTUS AIR was awarded the EASA certification. This certificate was received by achieving an enviable record for technical dispatch reliability; Airbus places LOTUS AIR in their first division of “Airbus single-aisle operators” worldwide. Regular on the spot checks by foreign Civil Aviation Authorities have all passed without serious complaints. Foreign companies technically handled by LOTUS AIR include among others Thomas Cook, Qatar Airways and Air Arabia.

Pilots and in-flight service crew is another valuable asset for the company. The mission of the flight crew is to provide a top quality and enjoyable service. Therefore, all the flying crew attends regular and intensive training courses which consist not only of theoretical and practical lessons but also include medical check-ups. LOTUS AIR soon will be the first Egyptian carrier to recieve the IOSA certificate. This certificate is being issued for strict adherence to international rules and regulations in terms of organization, security and other airline specific issues. The carrier is inspected in regular intervals by an international team. LOTUS AIR operates from all major Egyptian airports including Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Taba. Own ground handling services are provided with the exception of Taba and Aswan at all Egyptian stations. LOTUS AIR operates regularly to places in Europe including Eastern Europe, the Middle East and destinations in Africa. LOTUS AIR looks with confidence into the future. Egypt being a popular tourist destination for vacation and culture has a steady yearly increase of arrivals which gives the carrier opportunities for further expansion. There are firm plans to further increase the fleet in the coming years. www.lotus-air.com

77


"What makes us the leader in the industry is our experience and devotion to what we do. Our duty is to make a difference and create entirely private and classy areas to complement your requirements and comforts"

www.travcogroup.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

“Middle East’s Leading Leisure Group, Travco, sets Industry Standards” Head Office: 110B, 26th July St., Zamalek. P.O. Box 2247, Cairo, Egypt. Tel.: (+202) 1616 Fax: (+202) 738 0400 www.travcogroup.com

From five-star resorts to luxury cruise ships, Travco has permeated every facet of the tourism sector and continues to grow.

80


Over the past decade, Travco, a name synonymous with quality, has become a regional leader in the travel leisure industry. Travco Group has proven itself a strong presence in the travel market in Egypt for the last 28 years. Travco holds all effective success factors to be the most qualified Tourism facilitator in the Egyptian travel market. The company employs more than 13,000 professionals worldwide and through its expansion agenda. Travco Group has been providing a very strong presence in the travel market through its integrated privately owned companies covering all sectors of the inbound and outbound tourism trade. Its 66 companies provide a host of services including hotel and resort developments and operations, Nile cruises, travel related services, restaurants, transportation, aviation, and even retail outlets. The company is set to operate a total of 42 hotels by the end of 2008 to complement its 19 Nile cruise ships, and fleet of more than 850 vehicles. Travco’s network operates through the head office in Egypt, eight service offices, five retail branches and ten international offices in Dubai, Oman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, three in Japan, three in China, and further expansion planned in Jordan. Additionally, Travco is managing and operating the largest fleet of 19 Nile cruises featuring more than 1060 beds, 33 hotels and resorts in the best tourist spots in Egypt, and soon in the U.A.E with total bed capacity exceeding 21,000 beds, Tourist transport vehicles, car rental, and stretch limousines; in addition to charter jets, airline representations, ticketing, and ground handling services. With agencies throughout Egypt and abroad including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar, China, and Japan, Travco caters to a range of domestic and international clientele - emphasizing quality service, and capitalizing on Egypt’s reputation as a first-class destination. Having multiple companies, all in the travel services field, Travco never fails to seize the opportunity to provide all its existing and potential clients with all the necessary services required to complete a full-fledged holiday. Travco Travel Company of Egypt is a destination management company that offers complete solutions for the widest array of travel services including cultural, recreational, adventure, corporate, conferences and special group arrangements as well as the most exacting incentive travel packages with a wealthy portfolio consisting of a host of the world’s most renowned organizations. Alpitour Group Egypt, a subsidiary and joint venture incoming agency between Alpitour Group Italy and Travco, commenced its operations in November of 2003. At present, Travco Group is exclusively handling all operations of Alpitour, Bravo Club, Francorosso, Kingalfa, Karambola, and Volando in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Sinai and the Red Sea region, with a professional staff.

81

In a major effort to instigate a sense of competition, Touring International, a sister company of Travco Travel, was created to organize luxury tailored programs or adventure economy tours for young individuals. With its wide price range and suitability to different markets, a consistent increase in demand and a consistent increase in repeated visits have been witnessed. Top Aviation is a service company founded to provide a full range of solutions for ground handling. Its scope of services includes representation before civil aviation authority, obtaining traffic rights and over flight & landing clearances. Top Aviation strives for the most stringent safety standards of the Aviation Industry. Travco Air provides business charter jets offering personalized flight schedule that is much needed for businessmen with high mobility and busy schedules. At Travco Air our primary concern is to safely manage our clients’ flight operations while providing the highest levels of personalized service using the industry’s most stringent safety standards. Travia is the Aviation Agencies company of Travco Group, acting as the General Sales Agent for International reputable airlines, hotels and cruise companies including; Royal Brunei, Oman Airways, Pakistan International Airways and British Midland (BMI) in addition to the latest additions, TUIfly, Jetairfly.com, Aegean Airline, Jordan Aviation, Kingfisher Airlines and Louloat Al Mansour. Additional representations include Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in America, Canada and the Caribbean in addition to Silversea Cruises. Limo 1 was established to suit individual and corporate transportation requirements all over the country. The company owns a young and growing fleet exceeding 180 modern vehicles as they are regularly updated to meet the needs of our clientele for optimum security and impeccable service. Prestige Cars luxury chauffeured-vehicles cover all market demands for both leisure and business activities. The fleet offers fully equipped top of the range models of comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles that guarantee a safe and reliable transfer. The fleet includes top of the line Stretch limousines, E-Class Mercedes and Van Town and Country Chryslers. Prestige Cars ensures ease of planning, efficient execution and above all, a successful outcome. Travco Transport owns and operates a luxury bus fleet exceeding 650 deluxe coaches with a wide range of sizes and features, allowing maximum comfort and safety on exclusive group excursions and other corporate requirements all over Egypt.


Your Stay made Memorable at One of Egyptotel’s Luxurious Hotels and Resorts Egyptotel Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary company of Travco, is created to oversee the JAZ Resorts, Sol Y Mar and Iberotel brands for the Travco Group. The company owns and operates 31 hotels and resorts, featuring over 7,000 guest rooms. JAZ Resorts was created to reflect a growing demand for high-quality holidays at five- star properties. JAZ Resorts add elegance and exceptional personality to the renowned qualities of Travco brands, and offer guests a unique blend of luxury and leisure. Carefully crafted to appeal to discerning, well-traveled guests, the JAZ brand was developed by a team of hospitality experts. Guests can experience an upscale atmosphere in contemporary and elegant architecture which is designed to impress. Each JAZ property will offer luxury accommodations with a true sense of discovery, and designs to showcase its distinct surroundings. Iberotel Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary company of Travco, in Egypt are part of the well reputed hotel brand operating internationally under the umbrella of TUI, the largest integrated travel group in Europe. At Iberotel, going beyond customers’ expectations is what makes our hotels the place for outstanding holidays – like no where else. The successful blend of traditional hospitality featuring a high degree of comfort, hygiene and safety, together with well-trained employees, gives our hotel brands a distinctive character. Iberotel now owns and operates more than 15 hotels and resorts all over Sinai and the Red Sea and the North Coast areas and 2 Nile Cruises. Expansions do not stop at the Egyptian boundaries, Iberotel chose Al Aqaba in Jordan for its luxury resort and will soon add two properties in Fujairah, U.A.E. with further plans underway to add another. Sol Y Mar Resorts has completed coverage of 15 hotels in Egypt since its establishment, with further expansions to follow for a total of 22 properties by the end of 2009. Sol Y Mar Resorts are designed and operated to provide customers with first class beach vacations in Egypt, offering a host of recreation, leisure, entertainment, wellness and sports facilities. Focusing on distinction and guest satisfaction, Sol Y Mar Resorts offers the latest in modern day amenities throughout its network exceeding 4,000 rooms. All hotels enjoy prime locations at budding tourist destinations, mostly overlooking the Red Sea or the Mediterranean. It has also branched out into virgin territories such as Safaga, Marsa Alam, the Western Desert and Marsa Matrouh Traditionally, Travco Group has had the vision to explore and develop new touristic locations, virtually untouched by tourism, and turn them into major destination resorts. Egyptotel Hotels & Resorts have been found at the leading edge of Egypt’s exciting new resort destinations, including Madinat Makadi, Madinat Coraya in Marsa Alam, Almaza Bay in Marsa Matrouh, the leading therapeutic tourism destination Safaga the Western Desert. Almaza Bay Resort is a five million square-meter project located 38 km East of Marsa Matrouh and 25 minute drive from the airport; ideally located on one of the most extravagant Mediterranean beaches in

82


existence. Its most pictorial sea front with white soft shell-beach sand is complemented by the clear turquoise water, providing a total tranquility, only it's more than real. With the completion of six hotels and resorts, the total capacity of the bay will reach 2,300 guestrooms and 3,500 residential units, all designed by the internationally acclaimed Tom Krause. Over and above, it offers a wide array of recreational facilities such as Golf courses, a vast Marina, a water park, a tennis academy, a shopping mall, a world-class Spa, wellness center, horse back-riding areas, and a movie theater. Madinat Makadi Resort is just as beautiful with its sublime beaches and spectacular reefs, all spread on three and a half million square meters. It is fused so romantically with tasteful Arabian opulence and a styled elegance that best symbolizes Egypt. The resort features eight hotels, with more than 1,910 contemporary designed rooms and suites, and a full range of sporting facilities. Offering 2500 residential units, from extravagant villas to spacious apartments, Madinat Makadi has not obliterated a single detail. Having a gigantic 18-hole Championship Golf Course with a layout that works its way through existing sand dunes and offers superb views of the hotels, the Red Sea and the mountains on the other side, a shopping village, Serena Spa and several entertainment facilities at close proximity to all, the resort is considered to be a completely entrenched destination. Makadi comprises a city center ‘Souk Makadi’, offering a wide variety of shops, dine-around specialty restaurants, wellness center, Makadi’s Serena Spa, which stands as one of the most comprehensive Spas in Egypt, with 23 treatment rooms and professional health care experts; other sports and leisure facilities such as its golf course underway in addition to various entertainment outlets to suit all needs. Madinat Coraya, 73 km from Marsa Alam and five km from the Marsa Alam International Airport, provides a large unspoiled reef and rich marine life on its doorstep, making this a valued destination for divers and other water sports enthusiasts. Madinat Coraya offers five hotels with 1,232 guest rooms in addition to a sixth property underway. Coraya comprises a ‘Souk’, a village center, offering 60 shops and specialty restaurants to fulfill all its guests’ needs offering all recreational facilities and services at their door step. Building upon the knowledge and know-how in constructing the company’s hotel properties, Travco chose to penetrate into property development with its new company Travco Properties. Travco invested its 28 years of experience, in the tourism and hospitality industry, in developing new properties in Egypt’s prime destinations in order to provide its guests with the utmost in leisure, recreation, entertainment and sports-facilities in addition to the variety of real-estate options all assuring the utmost in standards. With the new freehold real estate policy, Travco Properties will lead the wave of property development in the region with mega inauguration projects in Egypt’s North Coast and the Red Sea. These projects are cultivated by the same group that brought together Iberotel Hotels & Resorts, Sol Y Mar Resorts, and its five star luxury brand Jaz Resorts.

83


Cruise in Style and Comfort Travcotels, Egypt's leading and most prestigious River Nile cruise company, owns and operates a fleet of 19 Nile cruise ships, with more underway. As the largest Nile River cruise line, Travcotels' fleet of modern ships of all categories and sizes meets the requirements and needs of the international holiday maker; whether for an individual traveler, an exclusive special interest group or a tour operator. Our commitment to our guests, added to the scale and variety provided by the fleet, guarantees our undisputed position at the head of the Egyptian Nile cruises excursion market. The magnificent vessels featured by the company’s grand fleet are Crown Jewel, Crown Prince, Iberotel Crown Emperor, Iberotel Crown Empress, Helio, Imperial, M/S Nile Monarch, M/S Nile Sovereign, M/S Nile Rhapsody, M/S Nile Pearl, M/S Nile Empress, M/S Nile Fantasy, M/S Regent, M/S Regina, M/S Regency, M/S Royale, M/S Senator, M/S Tania, and its latest addition M/S Omar El-Khayyam, with plans underway for several more. Travcotels’ luxurious ships are all fully air conditioned, with sumptuous restaurants capable of accommodating all guests at once, comfortable lounges where guests can have a drink or participate in a variety of activities and swimming pools on spacious sun decks where guests can relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun. All cabins have a Nile view and are fully-equipped with a WC/shower or bath, a TV and all necessary amenities to make our guests’ stay as comfortable as possible. A cruise along the River Nile is undoubtedly the most enjoyable and relaxing way to experience the sights and wonders of ancient Egypt. The land stretching from Luxor to Aswan, in the south of Egypt, is home to many of the world's most impressive monuments of the

84


famed pharaonic civilization. As you cruise on the magical waters of the Egyptian River Nile, you can look around you and see lush greenery along the river Nile banks. Suddenly, an ancient pharaonic temple comes into view and takes you back in time! Journey with us and you will be awed by sights you have only been able to imagine before - The majestic pharaonic Temple of Queen Hatchepsut, the vast splendor of the Valley of the Kings, where the most famous Pharaoh of all, King Tutankhamen, was buried. At night, you can attend a Sound and Light Show at the pharaonic Temple of Karnak. Many Fabulous Dining Options on-and off-Shore Furthermore, Travcotels overseas the management of the company’s thriving restaurants, Imperial Boat and Al-Fustat. Being one of Cairo’s trendiest destinations with its unique setting on the Nile, the Imperial boat boasts a large variety of indoors and outdoor outlets, which offer an eclectic dining and entertainment experience including Lebanese, Thai, Mediterranean, and Japanese cuisines; as well as 2 state-of-the-art ballrooms that could accommodate up to 1000 guests for large business conferences and special events. Uniquely located between Amr Ibn El-Aas Mosque and the ancient Churches of Old Cairo, Al-Fustat Restaurant provides an unparalleled dining experience with breathtaking scenery of the ancient city. With its combination of both local and international cuisines, it caters to all different tastes. The 750 m² restaurant, seating up to 250 guests at any given time, has already become a favorite stop-over for tourists seeking a refreshing place after an amusing site-seeing day. www.travcogroup.com

85


Pearls of the Mediterranean


Today this coast which stretches from Morocco in the west, to Syria in the east, offers something for everyone from upscale resorts with all modern amenities to tiny villages with miles of unspoiled beaches and coves close by.


Best Destinations of Egypt For the ancient Egyptians, the Mediterranean coast marked the edge of the world as they saw it, a distant horizon that they did not care greatly to explore. Life and civilization to them, meant the Nile Valley and Delta the 'sea of green' that supported their lives and culture. This was an outlook that still seems to linger in the country's subconscious. Despite the white beaches, craggy headlands and turquoise sea that stretch for more than five hundred kilometers, much of the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast seems relatively under-populated and along some stretches, almost deserted. Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Seljuk, and Ottoman Turks, and many others have come and gone from this region. Today, this coastline which stretches from Morocco in the west, to Syria in the east, offers something for everyone, from upscale resorts with all modern amenities to tiny villages with miles of unspoiled beaches and coves close by. Egypt's share of the Mediterranean coast boasts such spectacular beaches as El Agami, at the western end of Alexandria and further west, Sidi Abdel Rahman and Marsa Matrouh. Alexandria Alexandria is Egypt's second city, an extraordinary blend of ancient and modern.

88


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina The Royal Library of Alexandria was the greatest library in the ancient world. It was established during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt in doing so, he made Alexandria the intellectual capital of the world. By the 3rd century BC, the Library had become a major centre for research and learning and was visited by some of the most illustrious scholars of those times, such as, Euclid, Heron and Archimedes. As a wedding gift, Mark Anthony had presented to Cleopatra over 200,000 scrolls, taken from the Library of Pergamon, for the Alexandria library. Tragically, these and most of the rest of its collection were destroyed by fire. Finally however, in 2003, the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated on the same site as the ancient Library. The resurrection of this great institution, was the result of an initiative from the Egyptian government, with co-operation and support from UNESCO. The Pharos The Alexandria Lighthouse was considered by Herodotus to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was perhaps the only one that had been designed for some practical purpose, besides as an exercise in architectural elegance. It comforted sailors, for whom it was a beacon that ensured a safe return to the great harbor. Architects admired it for being the tallest building on Earth at that time. For scientists, it was the huge and mysterious mirror that fascinated them 89


the most, a mirror whose reflection could be seen more than 50 km (35 miles) offshore. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was destroyed in an earthquake in fairly ancient times, yet its influence has endured to this day. From an architectural standpoint, the structure has been the prototype for lighthouses all around the Mediterranean and ultimately in the world beyond. From a linguistic point of view, its name "Pharos" is the origin of the words for 'lighthouse' in Italian, French and Spanish. The Fortress of Qaitbey In 1480 AD the Egyptian Mamluk leader, Sultan Qaitbey resolved to strengthen the north of Egypt against attack from the Ottoman Empire. The fortress he built represented an important defensive stronghold on the Mediterranean coast. He had it constructed on

the ruins of the Pharos, using the fallen stone and marble. There is a mosque inside the castle which is said to be the oldest mosque in Alexandria. The original fort was badly damaged by cannon-fire when Napoleon's army laid siege and again when the British invaded Egypt. However, in 1940, most of the fortress was restored by King Farouq and further renovations were carried out in 1982 and 2000. Nowadays there are gardens facing the central tower and the Egyptian Opera has established a stage there for their night time performances. The Greco-Roman Museum The Greco-Roman Museum of Alexandria was established in 1892 through endowments from wealthy, prominent Alexandrians. It consists of 27 halls and a beautiful garden, full of magnificent statues

90


which offer an excellent introduction to the Greek and Roman art of Egypt. The museum contains hundreds of priceless antiquities including statuary, jewelry, textiles and mummy cases. One particularly striking piece, made of black granite and dating from the 3rd Century BC, is a statue of Apis, the sacred bull of the ancient Egyptians. The museum's collection is a fascinating compendium of the Greek and Roman periods in Egyptian history. The Mosque of Abu Al Abbas The largest and most important historic mosque in Alexandria, it was constructed in 1775, over the tomb of Ahmed Abu Al-Abbas Al-Mursi who was born in Andalusia in 1219 AD. He was a scholar who was very well versed in the Quran and was also a devoted member of a Sufi order, the 'Shadhali' brotherhood. He grew up helping his father in his trading business, but he also found time to help the poor, so he soon developed a reputation for his kindness and honesty. He and his family left Spain in 1243 due to the

91

Christian re-conquest. In Tunisia, he met Sheikh Abu El Hassan El Shazly and accompanied him to Alexandria. He was one of the Sheikh's brightest pupils and ultimately married his master's daughter. He lived on in Alexandria for another 43 years until his death in 1287. El Mursi was regarded by many as an almost saintly man, so in veneration of his memory, a succession of rulers have undertaken renovations of the mosque, or even had their own mortal remains interred in tombs nearby. In 1863, it underwent a major renovation and an annual festival was inaugurated to celebrate the birth of Al-Mursi Abu Al-Abbas. The mosque was again redecorated in 1943 in King Farouq's time which also saw the construction of the Midan El Masged or "Mosque Square." The mosque has long been a popular stopping off point for Muslims passing through Alexandria on their way home from their pilgrimages to Mecca, so it could be said that for some, a visit to this mosque has become


a small pilgrimage in its own right, in order to pay their respects to this extraordinary man. San Stefano The history of San Stefano history dates back to 1854, but is now the centre of an awe-inspiring project which includes every conceivable modern luxury, from the fabulous five-star Four Seasons Hotel and shopping mall to luxury residential units and other commercial facilities. Set on the Alexandrian Riviera and in the best tradition of Grand Hotels, the San Stefano is one of Egypt's oldest centers of hospitality and recreation. Al Montazah First known as Salamlek, this palace was constructed in 1892 by King Abbas II and from that time it was the summer residence of the Egyptian royal family. In 1932, it was greatly enlarged and renamed Haramlek by King Fouad. His son, heir, and eventual successor to the throne of Egypt, Farouq, enlarged it still more and built a Victorian style bridge to link a small island to the bay. 1952 was a momentous year in Egyptian history, because it was here in Alexandria, at Al Montazah Palace that the last king of Egypt, King Farouq abdicated the throne, thus bringing the institution of the monarchy to an end and sailed off into exile in Italy. The palace was later renovated by President Anwar Sadat and is now used as an official presidential residence. It is not open to the public but the surrounding gardens can be entered through the gates opposite the Montazah Sheraton. The palace overlooks a bay with a beautiful beach surrounded by well-tended gardens containing majestic palms

and many other kinds of ornamental shrubs and trees and flowerbeds rioting with color. The area also includes a museum, restaurants a children's zoo, and a play area. The sheltered area around the Belvedere Hotel provides a great spot for fishing, windsurfing or snorkeling in summer. Not surprisingly, the park has become a popular place for young lovers who can often be seen here strolling hand in hand. Sidi Abdel Rahman The beach at Sidi Abdel Rahman is 23km west of EI Alamein; it is

92


by Alexander the Great when he was on his way to Siwa. It was here that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony sent the Egyptian fleet out to sea for its final unsuccessful naval battle with Rome. Following the coast a little west of Marsa Matrouh, just offshore, stands a rock around which swirl the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean where Cleopatra and Marc Anthony are said to have bathed. You can wade out to this rock from the shore where the innumerable tides of century upon century have worn ledges in the cliffs. These days the breathtaking white sands and turquoise sea make Marsa Matrouh another popular resort for Egyptians keen to escape the summer heat of Cairo.

the perfect place for visitors to get a glimpse of Bedouin life. There are about five Bedouin tribes who live in a small village about 3km from the beach. Ten kilometers into the desert, those who have an interest in the history of World War II, can visit a cemetery of tanks left over from the the clash between the Panzer divisions of Rommel's Afrika Korps and the British 8th Army, at the historic Battle of El Alamein. Sidi Abdel Rahman beach is well known for its fine sugarwhite sand, beautiful weather and crystal blue sea. The tranquillity and serenity of the place makes it perfect for longer vacations or short weekend breaks, especially for the residents of Alex, but anyone can come here to enjoy a relaxing break from the stress of modern city life, even if they come from much further afield than Egypt's second city. Marsa Matrouh Marsa Matruh has a long history. Like Alexandria itself, it was found

93

To the east of the town, diehard war history buffs can find Rommel's beach and a small museum dedicated to the Desert Fox, in a cave hollowed out of the rock which had originally served as Rommel's personal quarters and command centre. Diving expeditions can also be arranged to underwater sites nearby to view sunken submarines. In Marsa Matruh, as well as in all the other coastal towns, if the seafood was any fresher it would still be swimming around, so be sure to have a meal in one of the local seafood restaurants. Agiba beach Agiba, meaning 'wonder' or 'miraculous' in Arabic, fully lives up to its name, 24 km west of Marsa Matrouh. It is one of the most outstanding of all the beaches on the North Coast. It nestles in a secluded cove which is accessible via a path leading from the top of the cliff. Surrounded by dramatic rock formations, the adventurous traveller can dive into the crystal waters from rock ledges around the cove. A little further out to sea, divers may like to explore the sunken wrecks of an ancient Roman galley and a German submarine.


Whether you're traveling on business or on a holiday, Sheraton Montazah will help you to stay in touch with the things that matter most to you, so you can indulge in the relaxation that you desire, and truly be yourself.

www.sheraton.com/montazah


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sheraton Montazah... The philosophy of true hospitality

Tel.: +20 3 548 0550 Fax: +20 3 540 1331 E-mail: alexandria.smontazah@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/montazah www.sheraton.com/egypt

Choosing the right hotel is an important part of your experience in Alexandria. No other property can compete with Sheraton Montazah, either in its superb location overlooking the Mediterranean shoreline and Montazah gardens or in the facilities the hotel offers to its esteemed guests. 96


Alexandria … Your Escape on the Mediterranean Alexandria…a true Mediterranean jewel. A city that hovers between illusion and reality, between substance and poetic images... Alexandria, a capital that developed from a mere anchorage to a city that has come to be called "The Bride of the Mediterranean". Hotel attractions and services 289 brightly decorated guest rooms and suites, most of them are overlooking the magnificent Mediterranean and the lush, green Montazah Gardens. Club floor offers a variety of services for those who seek tranquility and special treatment. We offer a variety of restaurants, bars and cafés including Coquillage Café, La Mamma Restaurant, Caesar Bar and Aquarius Discothèque in addition to 24 hrs. room service, swimming pool, private beach and fitness facilities. With four elegantly furnished meeting rooms, each equipped with high-speed wireless Internet access and A/V equipment, we’ll ensure your business meeting or conference runs smoothly and professionally. The world is yours with “Starwood Preferred Guest” We invite you to be a part of our Starwood Preferred Guest community; you can earn Starpoints for all of your eligible stays at participating

97

Starwood Hotels & Resorts and get colser to your dream vacation with free nights and flights at more than 850 hotels and resorts in 95 countries. With more award-winning hotels, outstanding customer service and no blackout dates or availability restrictions on standard rooms, there's simply no better way to travel. Find out more by visiting SPG.com today. www.sheraton.com/montazah


This Mediterranean diamond has taken Egypt and the region by storm in just a few short years. It is the super successful prototype of the Amer GroupÂ’s new-style tourism and leisure complexes.

www.porto-marina.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

EgyptÂ’s Mediterranean Golden Gateway Contact Us: Cairo Office: Tel.: +2 (02) 24143725 - 24153471 - 26903018 Fax: +2 (02) 26902940 E-mail: reservations@porto-marina.com www.porto-marina.com

Porto Marina was designed to enhance the nature and perception of the North Coast, and is considered the Mediterranean Gateway to Egypt. Whether our guests arrive by yacht, charter flights, car, or even by helicopter they will always find Porto Marina a Golden gateway into the wonders of Egypt. 100


Porto Marina Resort is the first project on the Egyptian North Coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, where sand, sea, and clear blue skies conspire to produce an unparalleled soothing panorama. Perfect for water sports, alfresco dining or simply lazing on the beach, the five-star resort has become a fashionable home from home for Egypt’s captains of industry, celebrities of stage and screen and families seeking to spend quality time together. Porto Marina was designed to enhance the nature and perception of the North Coast, and is considered the Mediterranean Gateway to Egypt. Whether our guests arrive by yacht, charter flights, car, or even by helicopter they will always find Porto Marina a Golden gateway into the wonders of Egypt. Porto Marina offers an extensive range of state-of-the-art facilities to suit the demanding requirements of yacht owners, crews and passengers. The 1200-berth yacht marina at Porto Marina is designed to accept craft of up-to 100-meter drafts and is operated under the supervision of Camper & Nicholson’s Marina Limited, an experienced and reputable British company. This Mediterranean diamond has taken Egypt and the region by storm in just a few short years. It is the super successful prototype of the Amer Group’s new-style tourism and leisure complexes. It is special because it is courageously different.

101

Unlike so many new resorts mushrooming in the vicinity and along the Mediterranean Sea it isn’t a poor copy of a foreign vacation center. It was never designed to be second best relying on fancy name while ignoring the aim. Porto Marina has instead taken the best aspects from numerous Mediterranean traditional holiday hotspots and melded these seamlessly together around our nation’s traditional values. The result is an eye-catching fusion of architectural styles echoing the flavor Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, and, of course, Egypt. Its quality of uniqueness is important to us because it offers the first glimpse of Egypt to visitors coming in by yacht and, as such, it is the architectural equivalent of an ambassador for the entire country. Once they parked their car or have berthed their craft, first time visitors are invariably amazed at the wealth of facilities on offer beginning with two private beaches, sweet and salt-water swimming pools, cinemas, 15 restaurants, fully serviced luxury apartments and villas, and a plush mall housing 165 shops reached by gondola. The description of Porto Marina would not be complete without stressing the high standards of accommodation offered to guests. At the very top of the range are the villas, each spanning three floors, and serviced by their own helipad. Set atop high buildings, these 30 villas benefit from premium panoramic views and have been interior designed to suit a jet-set lifestyle. There are attractive 80 square-meter apartments, which not only make delightful second homes but are also excellent investments, consistently increasing their re-sale values and with great letting potential. Porto Marina has luxurious restaurants: - Mediterrane Restaurant - South Beach Bar - Fun Beach Restaurant & Bar It also has 15 International restaurants including Chilis, Alain Le Notre, Johnny Carinos, Studio Misr, and Halaket El Samak (Fish Market). Golf Porto Marina with its world-class 18-hole golf course is just a short car ride away. Al-Alamein is literally on the doorstep, while Egypt’s second largest city Alexandria is within easy reach. The weather is another important consideration when selecting your holiday destination or vacation home. Golf Porto Marina enjoys an average of 300 dry days and an average of 12 hours sunshine per day throughout the year. www.porto-marina.com


Lands of Legacy


The Red Sea is an endlessly fascinating submarine tapestry of vibrant corals and exotic marine life, where you'll also find ancient monasteries, beautiful National Parks, and plenty of seaside leisure activities.


Best Destinations of Egypt Sinai Sinai was once known as 'Ard El Fayrouz' which means ‘Land of Turquoise’. It is a region of extraordinary contrasts. A desert interior steeped in history, where the Pharaohs mined copper and gold, and where nowadays the Bedouin camp beside the ruins of Crusader forts. In Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, Sinai has long been seen as hallowed ground and prophets, saints, and pilgrims have all crossed this vast wilderness since time immemorial. It was on Mount Sinai that God spoke to Moses from the midst of the miraculous “Burning Bush” and commanded him to return to Egypt to bring the Children of Israel to the foot of Mount Horeb. The mountain itself and St Catherine’s Monastery which nestles in the foothills of the holy mountain, attract a constant stream of visitors and latter day pilgrims. The desert comes to an abrupt end at the shores of the Red Sea, where exquisite coral reefs provide an underwater playground for divers and snorkelers from all around the world. The reefs along the Sinai coast are among the finest in the world, so diving holidays are now one of the main attractions of the peninsula. The Red Sea has the richest variety of marine life of all tropical seas. Visitors come from far and wide to enjoy the delights of sun, sea, and sand, also to marvel at the spectacular mountains at the same time as enjoying a glimpse of Bedouin life and culture.

104


variety of marine life. Corals, sea anemones, sponges, and spiny urchins are among its less mobile inhabitants, while dolphins, marine-turtles, and manta rays are just a few of the larger denizens of its crystal-blue lagoons. Nowadays, the ancient ports have become some of the most famed diving and fishing resorts in the world. While sunbathers relax on the white sand beaches, find shade under palms or in the mangrove lagoons that line the south coast, divers and snorkelers explore the reefs. The Red Sea is an endlessly fascinating submarine tapestry of vibrant corals and exotic fish. Ras Mohamed, at the most southerly tip of the peninsula is a National Park and therefore a protected area nevertheless, you may dive here down into some of the most breathtakingly beautiful reefs on Earth. If camping is your bag, you can do that too, though in Spartan style as befits a spot where every care is being taken that such beauty must be conserved. Resorts Besides Ras Mohamed National Park, the shores of the Red Sea boast a variety of beautiful resorts such as, Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba, in Sinai, as well as El Gouna and Hurghada on the eastern mainland coast. Depending

Geological overview The formation of the Sinai peninsula took place 20 million years ago. With cataclysmic force, Africa and Asia were rent asunder splitting into two continents. Between them however, remained a 60,000square-meter wedge of land. The dominant scenery of South Sinai is the spectacular mountain walls and canyons which glitter with a myriad different colors at each passing hour of the day. A Historical Flashback At the head of this sacred part of their land the Pharaohs appointed the goddess Hathor. The northern Sinai desert was crossed by Egypt's King Thutmose III on his way to battle Palestine and Syria in the 15th century BC. Alexander the Great marched through Sinai in 332 BC to effect his conquest of Egypt, as did Amr Ibn El Aas in 639 to bring Islam to Africa. The Turkish Sultan Selim I passed through in 1517 AD to make Egypt a part of the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon also marched through Sinai in 1799 during his adventure in the Middle East. The Glory of Nature Egypt's Red Sea coast extends from the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba as far as the borders of Sudan. To this day, the crags and limestone wadis of the Eastern Desert remain relatively unexplored and home to ibex and gazelle. The Red Sea itself is dotted with ancient ports and fringed with coral reefs which are teeming with a bewildering

105


Nightlife Sharm buzzes with a vibrant nightlife that includes casinos, discos, and nightclubs, as well as live music and dance performances so that no one could never complain of boredom. For party animals who are keen to trip the light fanatastic, the entertainment includes such local favorites as the Pirates Bar, Zabadi, and The Tavern Pub. Sharm’s hot entertainment venues constantly host prominent entertainers and international DJs have put Sharm El Sheikh firmly on the world map as a leading entertainment destination. Other Activities Many other leisure activities are options besides diving and water-sports, horse or camel rides, golf, desert safaris, and health treatments are among the many options. If the spirit moves you, you can take a trip into the interior to visit Mt Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery. Dahab About one hour drive north of Sharm El Sheikh is the bustling resort of Dahab. Among its many attractions are its famous deep dive sites, windsurfing, the Bedouin camps, and the restaurant promenade. In addition to all this for windsurfing buffs, Dahab is far and away the best surf destination in Sinai with windsurfing schools where skilled instructors can be found to help beginners learn the ropes. With more of a Bohemian feel and funky, laid back atmosphere than Sharm, Dahab offers great budget accommodation but is not short of excellent hotels catering for the more comfortloving guest. The submarine landscape is truly dramatic with steep drops, valleys, and undersea canyons. Among worldrenowned dive and snorkeling sites nearby are the famous Blue Hole one of the best in Sinai and the Canyon. Only TEC-divers are allowed to dive the deeper sections of such formations however.

on the time of year, all these locations can be very warm or quite hot during the day but can be much cooler after dark, so one should always take a few warm clothes for night-time. Sharm El Sheikh Perhaps the best known of these, “A world-acclaimed dive centre and the most developed of the Red Sea resorts” Sharm El-Sheikh offers luxurious accommodation, fabulous restaurants, and a bewildering variety of activities to make your holiday a memorable experience. It has all the atmosphere of an exciting cosmopolitan resort, with plenty of shopping facilities, late night entertainment, and is nowadays a world-acclaimed dive center with some of the most breathtaking dive sites in the world to be found within easy reach of the town. These include the spectacular drop-offs at Ras Mohammed in the extreme southern part of the peninsula, the straits of Tiran, numerous famous wrecks, and a host of other amazing sites along the nearby coastline. Diving and snorkeling are perhaps the most popular activities but you can also have fun with a range of other water-sports like parasailing or waterskiing. Shopping Visitors can find a huge variety of goods in the old market and Sharm El-Sheikh mall where shops sell both imported and local products, including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, pottery, and books. Restaurants Between Old Sharm and Naama Bay there is a bewildering variety of dining options, from hotel restaurants and international fast food chains to local eateries and fresh fish. Anything from Mexican to Japanese is served in town.

Nuweiba Nuweiba is noticeably more tranquil than Sharm and Dahab, so if it’s peace and quiet that you’re seeking, you may feel that you’ve stumbled on a little piece of paradise itself. The town and resort has grown around one of the biggest oases in Sinai and is noticeably spread out along a considerable stretch of the local coastline. Tarabin at the most northerly end is well known for its laidback, folksy charm. The beach has a long stretch of Bedouinstyle restaurants where you can lounge around on rugs and cushions while enjoying a bite to eat and other refreshments, while you lie back, relax, and let time slide by. The Town and the Port Nuweiba town and the port are quite widely separated. Between them is a large assortment of camps, as well as more upscale accommodation in the form of various hotels and self-catering chalets in the area known as Duna, which is roughly between the town and the port. If you fancy a trip to legendary Petra in Jordan it is worth bearing in mind that you can catch the ferry from Nuweiba to Aqaba and go on to Petra from there. Nuweiba is about two hours north of Sharm El Sheikh with a trip down the coast road being a delight in itself. One of the most striking features of Nuweiba is the spectacular landscape with the mountains reaching down almost to the shoreline forming a dramatic backdrop to this idyllic resort. You can also visit the biggest oasis in South Sinai at Ain Um Ahmed or you can take tours to the Colored Canyon and Oasis Ain Hudra (biblical Hazeroth) where you can see palm groves cultivated by Bedouin, growing fruits such as oranges, almonds, peaches, figs, and dates, along with some corn, wheat, and vegetables. 106


Trips to Ras Abu Gallum, a protected nature reserve are also available and very popular. Other excursions might include a three-day tour to Serabit El Khadem where the turquoise mines and ruins of the temple of the goddess Hathor are located. Taba Ringed by crimson mountains and looking out on azure seas lies the exotic resort of Taba Heights. It is situated in one of the most breathtaking spots in Sinai on the border between Israel and Egypt. It has rapidly become one of the most popular destinations on the Red Sea Riviera. It offers a relaxed yet luxurious retreat. There are remarkable sea views as well as of the surrounding mountains and from here one can also see Jordan and Saudi Arabia across the Gulf of Aqaba. There is a rich variety of cuisine ranging from Tuscan to Middle Eastern and Oriental with a special accent on seafood as you can imagine. There are also bars, special grills, a splash-bar, a swim-up bar, and a 24-hour casino, as well as nightly programs featuring local talents and performances by Nubian and Bedouin troupes. ItÂ’s rare to find a golf course that boasts a view of three different countries especially in a desert location, but Taba Heights Golf Resort does just that. The marina also offers boat trips across the Gulf to neighboring Jordan and Israel. Water sports include windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, canoeing, and sailing. The GulfÂ’s extravagantly beautiful marine life naturally makes Taba also a great place for divers or a ride in a glass-bottomed boat.

107


Hurghada The capital of the Red Sea and known locally as 'Ghardaka',it has grown from a small fishing village to an internationally famous resort town on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, famous for its underwater life, diving, and snorkeling opportunities. Popular as a European package holiday destination the town boasts first class hotels and all-inclusive resorts, as well as a much vaunted nightlife. South of Hurghada is the resort strip with hotels packed along a 12 mile (20 km) stretch of beach. Within the town there are many bars, restaurants, shops, and a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets. HurghadaÂ’s central location on Egypt's coast provides a gateway to prime diving sites throughout the Red Sea. Whatever your preference in aquatic activities, you will find it here: windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, kite surfing and of course, above all, snorkeling and diving. Offshore, underwater gardens and coral reefs make this an internationally recognized location among divers and snorkelers and for the less active, many hotels offer glassbottomed boat excursions to observe the corals and marine life. Hotels and resorts also offer water activities such as banana boat rides, pedal boats, and canoeing, as well as trips to the Giftun Island Marine Park. The water is always warm and crystal clear, ideal for observing the many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs. Whether snorkeling, diving, or just gazing through the clear panel of a glass bottomed boat, the sights never cease to amaze. If you'd rather not venture into the water you can check out the local aquarium which houses the most wonderful marine species including the dugong which gave rise to the legend

108


of the mermaid. The museum also features complete collections of all the local Red Sea flora and fauna. National and international fishing contests are held in Hurghada. On land there are beautiful beaches, golf courses, horse riding, and desert excursions which include camel rides, hiking, and 4x4 or quad safaris. A huge range of comfortable accommodation is available all with efficient and personal service. El Dahar This is the old part of town, with a traditional Egyptian bazaar which includes shops and stalls selling a wide variety of gifts and souvenirs. Hurghada has a huge variety of restaurants, serving dishes from all around the world, from Indian or French, to Thai, Mexican or Japanese. With its growing reputation as a party town 'par excellence', Hurghada boasts a lively nightlife with clubs, discos, bars, trendy lounges, and a range of entertainment that includes beach barbecues, karaoke evenings, foam parties, and diver's parties. The most popular are PapaÂ’s Beach Club and Calypso, while Alf Leila wa Leila is famous for belly dancing and Arabic folklore. The locals will confirm that life really begins after dark in Hurghada. Young people are the most obvious aficionados of the many clubs to be found there but whatever your age there is plenty of entertainment available. Generally speaking this area is one of the liveliest in the Red Sea region. Safaga is just to the south of Hurghada and Soma Bay is even closer to the south. To the north is El Gouna, another highly organized and beautiful resort community. Combined these resorts and communities offer virtually everything a visitor could want from swinging parties to scuba diving with the options of a round of golf, bowling, or fishing in between. Another option is to take a day trip to the mountains by jeep or camel whichever you prefer. When you're not in or on the sea, you can shop the boutiques, relax in the luxury holiday villages, or visit the ruins of the Roman Mons Porphyries (mountain of porphyry) at nearby Gebel Abu Dukhan.

El Gouna The elite resort of El Gouna, known as the 'Venice of the Red Sea' is 14 miles (23 km) north of Hurghada's International Airport and is located between the mountains and the shores of the Red Sea.The resort stretches along six miles (10 km) of coastline and spreads onto several small nearby islands. Linked by lagoons, this luxurious resort has an air of fantasy about it. El Gouna is not only an exquisite holiday resort but also a residential area with an amazing range of villas designed by world-famous architects, all boasting magnificent views of the sea and the surrounding mountains. Its infrastructure caters to an active, yet relaxed and friendly lifestyle. El Gouna offers a wide variety of shopping ranging from typical Egyptian souvenirs, antiques, and art to exotic Middle Eastern furniture and hand-made Turkish lamps. El Gouna has two tourist districts namely Kafr El Gouna and Abu Tig Marina, as well as many prominent hotel chains all offering a wide variety of some of the world's finest cuisines from Indian to French, Belgian to Chinese, German to Italian, and much more. El Gouna's nightlife is pulsing with variety and entertainment. 109


Life as it should be


www.elgouna.com

www.orascomhd.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

The Red SeaÂ’s Premier Leisure Destination Marketing Office: Tel.: (+20 65) 3549 702 Fax: (+20 65) 3549 065 E-mail: marketing@elgouna.com www.elgouna.com

El Gouna is widely known for its unique, eclectic and sophisticated international flavour with over 10,000 permanent residents from all over the world.

112


The Destination Nestled between sienna mountains and azure waters, El Gouna is one of the Red Sea's most sought after destinations. The town is also internationally recognised as Egypt's most environmentally friendly destination. El Gouna is the only fully integrated resort town on the Red Sea Riviera coast. What makes the town truly unique is its eclectic and sophisticated international flavour. With over 10,000 permanent residents from all over the world, El Gouna is home to an exceptionally multi-cultural international community. The Town Created in partnership with world-renowned architects, hoteliers, businesses and service providers, El Gouna has evolved as a breathtaking holiday paradise with superlative accommodation and leisure features, facilities and amenities. Carefully designed along 10 kilometers of beach front and spreading across a myriad of islands interlinked by beautiful lagoons, the resort is marked by its distinctive architectural charm. Accommodation El Gouna is home to 14 hotels ranging from comfortable, intimate inns to lavish 5-star beachfront resorts. Each hotel is uniquely designed and created to offer exceptional service and cater to all tastes, needs and budgets.

113

Meetings & Conferences El Gouna has several hotels with the internal capacity to provide excellent conferences and catering services that meet the highest international standards of quality and convenience. Add El Gouna's beautiful location and it instantly becomes the perfect choice for business meetings and motivational events. Golf Year-round sunshine means year-round golf, making El Gouna an ideal golfing destination. The 18-hole USPGA golf course rated by the German Golf Federation offers tees ranging from 4,344 metres to 6,269 metres with 3 different tees on every hole. Diving With 9 certified diving centres, El Gouna is a real divers' destination offering easy access to the finest walls, reefs and wrecks in the Red Sea. The resortÂ’s heated pools and calm local reefs are perfect for beginners as well. Sports The resort offers some of the worldÂ’s best marine-based activities including snorkeling, deep sea fishing, paragliding, and kite surfing. Land sports include tennis, beach volleyball, horseback riding, desert safaris, and access to a range of hotel


gymnasiums and fitness centres. The area’s desert islands and secluded sandy beaches are a true paradise. You can spend your entire holiday in El Gouna and never stay at the same beach twice! Have refreshments delivered directly to your sun lounger, or pack provisions and head for your own private party at one of the many deserted islands. Wellness Peace, relaxation and leisure are at the core of the El Gouna experience. The Banyan Tree Group offers two Angsana Spa outlets in El Gouna with exclusive facilities; massage and wellness treatments that help vacationers harmonise body and mind. The local El Gouna Hospital offers health services galore, including plastic surgery by qualified surgeons and the serene setting of El Gouna is ideal for recovery and rejuvenation. Dining Out El Gouna provides a medley of exotic cuisine and entertainment options in and around the town and marina. Choose from superb a la carte restaurants and stylish cafes in the marina or beach BBQ’s and seaside bars. Dine Around Program This one-of-a-kind program gives guests an optimum opportunity to taste the resort’s fabulous food. The Dine Around program allows guests on half board, full board, and all-inclusive basis at participating hotels to dine at a selection of 20 restaurants. After Hours After sunset, life in El Gouna continues to pulse and thrive. El Gouna has dozens of nightspots and a variety of settings to enjoy your nights out with a truly cosmopolitan crowd. International musicians, DJs and local artists offer nightly performances while trendy bars and an open-air discotheque provide alternative fun.

114


Environment Having received numerous environmental awards, El Gouna works to maintain, preserve and protect its unique environment in cooperation with local hotels, businesses, residents and visitors. Children Kids are highly cherished and valued members of the El Gouna community and the hotels and local service providers have taken care to create special activities aimed to give the youngest visitors an unforgettable vacation. Activities include an international nursery program, summer camp and daily kids’ clubs, tailored diving courses, a local aquarium and museum, go karting and mini-golf. In short, El Gouna is the perfect setting for lasting family memories. Services As a complete community, El Gouna ensures that every possible convenience is readily on hand for a completely hassle-free vacation. Local services include a private airport, fully equipped hospital, banking facilities, TV and radio stations, visitor information center, high speed and wireless internet, limousine rental, and shuttle boat and bus transport. Access Conveniently located 22 kilometres from Hurghada International Airport, El Gouna is easily accessible by air and only a short flight away from most European capitals. • 14 hotels • 2,622 guestrooms • 10 km of beachfront • 90 sea-water lagoons • Built over 20 islands • 100 restaurants and bars • 9 diving centres • Award-winning architecture • 5 kite surfing centres • Sailing marina • Angsana Spa • Hospital and schools • 18-hole USPGA golf course • Central local reservations 16444 www.elgouna.com 115


Natural Luxury


www.tabaheights.com

www.orascomhd.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Natural Luxury Taba Heights Contact Info: E-mail: info@tabaheights.com www.tabaheights.com

Designed and managed by an international team of specialists, Taba Heights is a world-class destination with a cohesive aesthetic and unlimited opportunities for adventure.

118


Natural Luxury At Taba Heights a fully integrated resort town on the Gulf of Aqaba, nature lovers and relaxation seekers benefit from full leisure facilities, adventure options, and entertainment programs. Set against a backdrop of cinnamon-colored mountains that stretch to embrace the Red Sea shores, Taba Heights overlooks one of the most beautiful spots on the Sinai Peninsula. The resort boasts 5 kilometres of secluded, unspoiled beaches and a choice of luxury accommodations. Regardless of rapid growth, the resort retains its harmony with the beautiful natural environment. Designed and managed by an international team of renowned specialists, Taba Heights is a world-class destination offering a new concept in holiday making: a unique and cohesive leisure community. Accommodation Taba HeightsÂ’ hotels and resorts provide the ultimate mixture of luxury and style. The hotels have firmly established themselves to be among the best on the Red Sea. Taba Heights offers four 5-star beachfront hotels and a charming boutique 4-star hotel. Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Intercontinental, Sofitel, and The Three Corners offer their high-class brands and state-of-the art amenities to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Downtown Village The downtown area is a small and enchanting setting, boasting unique

119


Adventure: Those wishing to explore beyond the immediate village can, in just a matter of hours, stand before the great Pyramid of Giza, visit the haunting canyon treasures of Petra, the Solemn Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem or sacred Mount Sinai. Services The free local transportation network brings the full array of activities even closer. Regular routes and schedules allow guests to move freely from one place to another. The Dine Around program, unique to OHD destinations, enables guests on half and full-board accommodation to sample a variety of diverse cuisines at all participating restaurants throughout the resort, regardless of the hotel of residence. International Marina In close proximity to three countries, Taba HeightsÂ’ marina is an exclusive international port of entry. The marina is the first legitimate port of entry in this region. From here guests may enjoy day trips to Petra via Aqaba. Currently, small boats with a maximum capacity of 50 people, operate between Taba Heights and Royal Yacht Club in Aqaba, Jordan.

architecture and a variety of activities going on throughout the day and night. A number of shopping outlets offer souvenirs, jewelry, hand-made ornaments, carpets, antiques and perfumes. The downtown village also boasts several bars, nightspots, restaurants, casino, supermarkets and a pharmacy. Leisure The emphasis at Taba Heights is on pampering and relaxation and the beaches certainly encourage it. The sea is crystal clear, and the calm waters are ideal for children. On land, indulge at our state-of-the-art health centres and rejuvenation spas. Experience the international selection of massage and therapeutic techniques. Activities Geographically located at one of the worldÂ’s most popular diving spots and only a short distance from an abundance of cultural treasures and religious sites, the possibilities for leisure and rewarding adventures are endless. Land Sports: Several options for fun, fitness and fresh air are scattered through out the resort that cater to all age groups and inclinations. Among them are: quads, tennis, hiking, desert safari, camel riding and more. Golf Course: In addition to the myriad of leisure and sports activities offered, Taba Heights is home to a fantastic 18-hole championship golf course that has been described as the most beautiful in the region. With complimentary golf carts offered to all players, you can enjoy arguably the most stunning views on a truly sublime layout while driving the fairways. Water Sports: Water World, a 5-star water sports and diving center, provides internationally certified professionals as well as the latest international standard equipment and instruction. Windsurfing, sailing, diving, big game fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, parasailing, and more are available.

120


Conferences & Incentives With fully equipped conference rooms of the highest standards, it’s no wonder that international companies continue to choose Taba Heights as the ideal location for business meetings, conferences, and incentive events. In addition to hosting meetings, workshops and seminar events, your business partners and guests will enjoy the additional benefits offered by the resort town. Access Taba Heights is located on Sinai's Eastern Red Sea shoreline, a short drive from the Taba Airport. • Luxury hotels • Conference facilities • 18-hole championship golf course • International sailing marina • Resort-wide free transportation • Innovative Dine Around program • Spas and casino • Windsurfing and diving • Quad-runners and desert safaris • Access to Jordan, Israel and all of Egypt • Central local reservations 16444 www.tabaheights.com

121


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T


"La Siesta"offers the benefits ofboth sea and m ountain airalong with the peacefulness of this Red Sea village,m aking ita perfect resortforhealth and relaxation.

www.lasiestaegypt.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Fancy comfort in La Siesta Seize pleasure at our full evening entertainment programme provided every night at our exotice restaurant. Tel.: +20 2 392 5437 Fax: +20 2 393 7502 Email: ruaguizy@rusys.eg.net www.lasiestaegypt.com

Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

124


In an exquisite,beautiful,naturalclean environm entlays the m agnificentresortof"La Siesta",overlooking the G ulfofSuez,protected by the north G alala M ountains.It is 25 Km south ofAin AlSukhna in the red sea atAl G alala plateau,it's less than one and a halfhour drive (140Km ) from C airo.The radiantG ulfofSuez is know n for its rich m arine life w hich offers w onderfuldolphin show s. "La Siesta" is the perfectplace w here w e deliver our guests the contentm entand satisfaction they seek. W hen it's noisy and chilly,you startto search for places thatprovide w arm th and relaxation.It's one ofthose places w here you could enjoy the superb clim ate around the year and lay back w ithoutcaring aboutany ofthe w ork stresses.It's a fantastic destination for w eekends and vacations.It's a top choice for Egyptians and Foreigners. "La Siesta" is located on a 420,000 m 2 property;itis a selfcontained com m unity w ith its ow n life facilities, security,m aintenance and other luxurious services. The large gardens under developm entprovide a pleasantrelaxing area,a kidney shaped sw im m ing pool,

sunbathing areas and secluded terraces for the w arm barm y evenings;it's the perfectplace to spend your holidays. This gorgeous getaw ay is carved into the m ountains facing the Ain Sokhna w aterfront.Splendid view s and w ell-m aintained roads w ind up the m ountain and take residents to their respective properties, w hich are builton differentlevels,each w ith a unique view.A footbridge passes over the m ain highw ay for easy beach access. W ork is alm ostfinished on the resorthoteland furniched villas can be rented per one w eek as m inim um stay . A ccom m odation A residentialarea consisting ofprivate villas w ith gardens, private and com m on sw im m ing pools and access to private beaches.O ur various hotelareas include:sea view hotelroom s,fresh w ater sw im m ing pools,a terrace bar,a sm allgym nasium w ithin the resort and a spa.There is a pow er generation unit,a w ater system ,a sew age treatm entplantand a satellite connection.Security and m aintenance are accurate. Enjoy the un-interrupted sea and m ountains view for allthe buildings.You w illfind the respectofthe individualprivacy.There is a solid infrastructure,a telecom m unication lines,a free internet access,a cellular telephone coverage,a digitalsatellite TV and a

Destinations Best

125

Of E

G

Y

P

T


centralair conditioning.You w illfind also thateach house has a unique sea view and is constructed to European standards. The service is excellentand the prices are very reasonable. "La Siesta" offers the benefits ofboth sea and m ountain air along w ith the peacefulness ofthis north C ypriotvillage, m aking ita perfectresortfor health and relaxation.It's a C aribbean - style villa com bining both com fortand elegance. The centralfeature ofthis villa is a large poolw ith beach w hich is surrounded by an extensive terrace w ith intim ate seating areas and a glass. The super m arkets are localand inexpensive.W e keep stock on a site ofm ostbasic food requirem ents like bread,m ilk and butter. There is a large entrance drive w ith plenty ofparking space. The property is com prised of52 luxury villas situated on m ountain platform s and hills and inter-connected w ith beautifully landscaped roads and pathw ays.Each villa has its ow n garden and either a private indoor or outdoor sw im m ing poolor shares w ith a m axim um of4 other villas in a com m on large outdoor sw im m ing pool.O utside /inside car parking is provided.Each villa has spectacular sea view s and benefits from a fully detached structure insuring privacy.

C om e and enjoy lunch or dinner in a relaxed and cosy atm osphere or justhave som e refreshm ents or a coffee from a busy day ofactivities atLa Siesta."La Fiesta" offers a com bination ofInternationaland M iddle Eastern specialties and is open usually from 9 AM to 2 AM .Selectfrom a fixed a la carte m enu or the C hef's specialofthe day.The BBQ chicken "rotisserie style" is alw ays good and the local"m azah" and "salads" are a m ustfor an orientaltouch. Seize pleasure atour fullevening entertainm entprogram m e provided w eekly including the opportunity to visita piece of Italy atthe Italian nightor you could enjoy the hotatm osphere atthe M exican and Spanish them e nights,also you could try the C anadian them e night. You can take pleasure in a com fortable lounge and bar.You w illdine,dance,m ake new friends and you w illrelax w ith a softdrink. The property includes "La Fiesta" restaurantw here you w ill find breakfastand dinner buffet.G uests have a fullboard lunch atpoolsnack bar or restaurant( atm anager's direction).There is a w eekly barbecue and a tropicalparty (supplem entfor drink) and Italian and C anadian evenings.

O n selective days and by reservation,freshly baked "Bedouin" bread is m ade righton the prem ises in a w ooden oven.Itis D ining and Entertainm ent your callto enjoy a form alsitdow n dinner inside the new ly You w illlike the w alled dinning area.O ur guests w illlike our constructed dinning room or on one ofthe outside tables al dining varieties,from coffee-shops to classic restaurants.O ur fresco under the stars.You can also sitatthe bar or resortincludes "La Fiesta" restaurantw here you'llfind experience the inform alsitting on an Egyptian "H assira" and breakfastand dinner buffets.O ur fullboard guests w illbenefit fam ous "decaks" w hile enjoying a "Shisha" justprepared for from a lunch atthe poolsnack bar or restaurant(at you and your guests. m anager's discretion).And ifyou w ould like to change the boring daily routine,you should try our w eekly barbecue and D o notdelay your visitto "La Fiesta"."La Siesta" residents and tropicalparties. their guests are notthe only patrons;visitors are alw ays

Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

126


Destinations Best

127

Of E

G

Y

P

T


w elcom e and the experience is w orth a little detour ifyou are from outoftow n. O ur one side restaurantoffers a m enu ofboth fine w ines. Breakfast,lunch or dinner is available individually for half board or fullboard residents atexcellentprices.

our spa and w ellness centre w ith its plunge pools and sauna w here you could indulge yourselfw ith beauty treatm ents. Everything is aboutthe look so you could justrelax and letour hairdresser and beautician give you a new looking everyday of your stay.And for our guests w ho love to w ork outw e provide them w ith our highly equipped gym ,w hich w illbe free for tw o hours everyday for superior room guests.

A cafĂŠ ,a sm allshopping plaza,a recreation and sport facilities have access to m any services such as m arina,safari You w illfeelan intense pleasure and contentm entand you w ill tours,fishing,scuba diving,snorkeling and its ow n private benefitfrom a naturaland ecologically clean environm ent beach. overlooking the G ulfofSuez and protected by the N orth G alala M ountains.You w illexperience the M ild w eather You w illfind an intense am usem entin the environm entaland through the year and you w illbe glad by its proxim ity to C airo, eco-friendly tourism m eeting the Blue Flag requirem ents. its econom ic zones and other touristdestinations through a developed netw ork ofhighw ays and public transport. Leisure O ur m edicaland relaxation centre w illkeep-on your fitness Further m ore,"La Siesta's" location is chosen as w ellbased and spoilyou w ith specialtreatm ents,or you could try a visit on the outcom e ofm any researches and studies including

Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

128


satellite surveying archeological,topographical,w eather, historical,zoologicaland botanicalaspects.You w illalso be pleased by the variety ofspecialinterestactivities w hich are com fortable and they are presented for your happiness and your com plete relaxation. A ctivities and sports "La Siesta" is the only property in Egyptthatcom bines R ed Sea activities because ithas a private beach and a m ountain resortpanoram a (G alala M ountains) in one location. O ur resortincludes a variety ofinteresting sports like volley ball,w ater polo and billiards.And for our m ore active guests, w e presentthem a tennis court,and table tennis. You can benefitfrom w ellness centre w ith plunge pools, saunas and treatm ents,hairdresser,beautician and gym (free for tw o hours every day for superior room guests).You can

practice w ater polo,volleyball,billiards,darts.Thatw illinclude a dualuse basketball,a sm allsoccer field and a lighted, fenced and floodlittennis courts.Itincludes also sm all shopping center housing and convenience store. Enjoy a gam e oftennis or volleyballw ith friends and fam ily m em bers.Visitthe gym for som e serious action or justtake it easy for the day by visiting the library. Ifyou don'tlike going fishing or ifyou have been unsuccessful atfishing (w hich is very difficult),you can alw ays find fresh fishes only 4 Km s north of"La Siesta".The fishes can also be prepared for you ifyou order ita day or tw o in advance. Also,m ountain biking or trekking is a very good idea to deal w ith nature m ore closely.For or guests w ho seek adventures from their vacation,w e offer them visits to naturaloases.Also you can benefitfrom an exciting adventure in the deserts,

Destinations Best

129

Of E

G

Y

P

T


safaris and expeditions.There is a table tennis w here you can enjoy playing tennis. W ater Sports "La Siesta" is m oreover an excellentplace for w ater sports like w indsurfing,scuba diving,w ater skiing,deep sea fishing, diving,and sailing.You can have a license in Am phora diving w here they can offer you a w ide range ofcourses to suityour levelofexpertise. For our guests w ho prove a specialadm iration ofthe sea and its secrets,w e presentyou a specialopportunity to explore the sea in m any w ays,through snorkeling,sea cruises,private m otor yachts and sailing,or you can justpam per yourselfby sunbath or beach tourism .W e organize Scuba diving for experienced divers and beginners.You can getpleasure from heated saltw ater sw im m ing pool,sun terraces,sunbeds, um brellas and poolside snack bar. C ulture IfH istory and R eligion are an interest,then you w illbe fascinated by a visitto our nearby early C hristian m onasteries

Destinations

like St.Pauland St.Anthony.You w illfeelan intense joy w hile visiting C airo,the pyram ids and the sphinx and standing betw een the hands ofhistory and civilization. You could also visitthe Egyptian m useum ,the Islam ic and C optic m onum ents,and allthis w illonly take a tw o hours driving. O therw ise,ifyou don'tprefer distantplaces justtry to visitthe regionalm useum . H obbies O ur resortprovides allthe requirem ents for our guests to practice their favorite hobbies,from cam ping in the heartof nature to artand painting in our diversified artand handicraft centre.Also,Astronom y fans w illhave their chance to observe the stars and planets due to the clear and clean sky and the ship traffic to and from the canalofSuez.You w illfeelan extrem e delightin eco tours and during the barbecues parties. And lastbutnotleast,to m ake your vacation safe for you and your fam ily,an em ergency clinic w ith a professionalm edical staffw illbe available in cooperation w ith ElSalam InternationalH ospitalin C airo,and a fully equipped m odern am bulance.the new em ergency m edicalcentre at "La

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

130


Siesta" provides 24 hours a day, seven days a w eek m edicalem ergency services through a perm anently resident doctor and his team supported by a fullset of m edicalequipm ent and a fully equipped am bulance.And now that you have com pleted your dream vacation it's tim e to bring it to reality through giving us the honor of your hospitality and service. "La Siesta" is idealfor those seeking an inform al"G et aw ay from it all" holiday.The best tim e to visit for tem perate w eather is from M arch to M ay and from about m id-Septem ber to m id-O ctober.At the earlier tim e, fine w eather is com plem ented by carpets of spring flow ers and greenery.

lovely Bay R ouge beach.A spacious open-plan living area attractively furnished in brightC aribbean colours gives the w hole interior an established air oftropicalgood taste. O pening onto the poolterrace are 3 pleasantly furnished bedroom s w ith adjoining M exican tiled colourfulbathroom s. Tw o m ore bedroom s are to be found on the low er level enjoying view s outonto the lush tropicalgardens.

w w w .lasiestaegypt.com

Ifyou're looking for a greatselection ofsum m er getaw ays, w hether it's a budgetbeach break,a relaxing retreatand a fullon luxury spa holiday w ith allthe 5-star trim m ings,then look no further than our fabulous "La Siesta" resort. "La Siesta ",as its nam e suggests,is the idealsetting to relax and unw ind in C aribbean style.J usta few m inutes w alk to

Destinations Best

131

Of E

G

Y

P

T


Sheraton Sharm Hotel, Resort & Villas is located between the rocky edifice of mountains and the sweeping azure of the Red Sea. It is only 10 minutes from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport and 10 minutes from the City Center.

www.sheraton.com/sharm


Best Destinations of Egypt

See Egypt from a new perspective at the Sheraton Sharm Hotel For more information please Contact: Al Pasha Coast. P.O. Box 59.Sharm El Sheikh, South Sinai Tel.: (20) (69) 3 602070 Fax: (20) (69) 3 602099 E-mail: ReservationsSharmEgypt@sheraton.com Visit our website: www.sheraton.com/sharm

Inspired by the blue and green hues that surround the hotel, the expansive interior of Sheraton Sharm offers a haven of serenity and relaxation, from the lobby's waterfalls to the 835 spacious rooms and suites.

134


All rooms have sea, pool, and garden views with spacious balconies and terraces. Each room is individually equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV channels, direct dial telephones, and bathroom phones. Each extension is suited to make the guests feel pampered and special. Guests can choose from a variety of water sports activities such as snorkeling, diving, and Para sailing. While you are enjoying the warm breeze, don't miss the hotel's 800 meters of long stretched private beach oasis. There are also eleven swimming pools, in addition to a daily animation program. Sheraton Sharm Thalasso Therapy Spa overlooks the serene Red Sea on the shores of the southern tip of the Sinai. Sheraton Sharm Thalasso Spa has become a member of the Starwood Spa collection; which is one of the world's largest collections of premier Spas. The Starwood Spa collection is comprised of more than 50 hotels and resorts from all corners of the globe. Each one is renowned for its incomparable service, luxurious treatments, and unwavering standards of excellence. Sheraton Sharm Thalasso Therapy Spa is one of the 17 spas to join the Starwood Spa collection this year. Offering more lavish treatment for the guests, the panoramic sea view of the Thalasso Therapy Spa is established on 1600 square meters enclosed to the hotel's main entrance. The Spa is designed to be a first class Thalasso Therapy center where people can escape in to a world that grants them a peaceful state of mind and soul. It includes an indoor aqua medic pool for self- hydro massage, an indoor aqua gym therapy pool, 2 saunas, diabetics' food restaurant, and cosmetic

135

shops. The Thalasso Therapy Center also includes 16 massage and marine treatment cabins, and a Hammam. The hotel offers a choice of International, Mediterranean, Italian, and Oriental cuisines in the main restaurants. There are also numerous bars and cafes scattered throughout the hotel both indoors and outdoors. A large variety of cuisines are available whether in the "White Cruiser" restaurant with a ship theme, to "Portofino" the wonderful Italian restaurant, or in the Moroccan Sea Village "Dar El Qamar". Kids have their share of fun too. There are daily supervised recreational activities, which include a videos and games room, children's pool, and children's playground. www.sheraton.com/sharm


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T


St4 e 5 m K so th u fH o d a g r u sS i a m o Ba , n a y ex si u l c eh v y a d i l o esti ti a n n o t' p y g E sR ed ea S st. a o c eS h T er h to a n a m S Ba y sa i sp ec ta r l u c eso r tb r to l i u n a en p su i a l su ed d n u o r y b sp g n i l k r a tu sew i o q r ter a s, so ftw tesa i h y d n ea b esa h c d n fi i n g a m en c tr eefs.

s . wh er to a so / m c . n eso r y b a m t r


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sheraton Soma Bay Resort An Oasis of Serenity and Beauty Tel.: +20 65 354 5915 +20 65 354 5845 Fax: +20 65 354 5885 Email: reservationssomabayegypt@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/somabayresort

Destinations

Sheraton Soma Bay provides the ideal get-away far from the crowds where time and luxury are a prerequisite. It is your ultimate escape to a world of dreams where you can taste the true meaning of privacy combined with the great feeling of luxury and the splendor of its magic.

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

138


Set45 Km south ofH urgada is Som a Bay,an exclusive holiday destination on Egypt's R ed Sea coast.The Sheraton Som a Bay is a spectacular resortbuilton a peninsula surrounded by sparkling turquoise w aters,soft w hite sandy beaches and m agnificentreefs. Its spacious guestroom s & suites are carefully designed for a refreshing,relaxing yetelegantdĂŠcor featuring m odern oak furnishings decorated in soothing pastel tones w ith large picture w indow s creating a brightand festive atm osphere. W hen itcom es to diving,Som a Bay has itall.C oral reefs extend severalkilom etres dow n to the southern tip ofthe peninsula.In addition,justa few m inutes from the shore,seven pillars ofcoralrise nearly 20 m etres from the sandy bottom ,providing a unique diving and snorkeling experience. The w orld-class C ascades golfcourse is easily accessed by Sheraton Som a Bay's guests.Atthe C ascades the playing environm entis superb w ith the course lying betw een the R ed Sea coastline and the desert landscape.An 18-hole par 72 and the 6,864 yard cham pionship course designed by G ary Player,and is

ranked in 2006 as the 7th internationally in a large survey by the "G olfJournal" Les Therm es M arins des C ascades is the region's largestand m ost com prehensive facility for thalasso-therapy.Sheraton Som a Bay's guests have im m ediate access to the nearby centre w hich features an 800 m 2 Aquatonic Pool,fitness and nutrition program s,a variety ofhydrotherapy treatm ents,in addition to seaw eed w raps, underw ater m assages,"sea m ist" room ,beauty care and post-natal recuperation program s. The resort's guests experience a fullvariety ofdifferentcuisines sure to please any taste.R anging from International,Italian,and O riental cuisines,alltaste buds are gastronom ically taken care of. Sheraton Som a Bay provides the idealget-aw ay far from the crow ds w here tim e and luxury are a prerequisite.Itis your ultim ate escape to a w orld ofdream s w here you can taste the true m eaning of privacy com bined w ith the greatfeeling ofluxury and the splendor of its m agic.

w w w .sheraton.com /som abayresort

Destinations Best

139

Of E

G

Y

P

T


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T


er h S to a n m a r i M so w l g n l E a u G ed R ea S su ed d n u o r y b tu se i o q r s. n o g a l

s . wh er to a el / m c . n a n u o g


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sheraton Miramar Resort A Paradise on the Red Sea

Tel.: +20 65 354 5606/7 Fax: +20 65 354 5608 Email: sheraton.miramar@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/elgouna

Destinations

Sheraton Miramar Resort is a uniquely designed hotel with each room boasting a view of the crystalline lagoons, so if you are looking for the height of luxury and the ultimate in a Red Sea experience the Sheraton Miramar is the place to be.

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

142


O utstanding features and facilities are available as the resort includes private beaches,outdoor heated pools,w ater sports, endless options for fun,fitness and fresh air activities.The 122 sq m eter health club is fitted w ith the latestand com plete Techno G ym Excite Line equipm entthatallow s enough space to allkinds of w orkouts.Itincludes 8 cardio-vascular units situated w ith built-in The five star resortis an enchanting blend ofArabic and Egypt's N ubian style,designed by w orld fam ous architect LC D TVs,5 strength units,free w eights and am ple space for stretching and floor exercises.In addition an 18-hole U SPG A golf M ichaelG raves. Its'338 room s are true retreats, course is easily accessed by the resort's guests. created in a delightfuland relaxed atm osphere w ith secluded terraces and balconies overlooking the Sheraton M iram ar is a uniquely designed resortoffering a dazzling view ofthe lagoons,pools,or private beaches. m em orable vacation w ith its'superior location,design,facilities and D ining is an exceptionalexperience atSheraton M iram ar services,so ifyou are looking for the heightofluxury and the R esort's restaurants and bars.M outhw atering dishes are ultim ate in a R ed Sea experience the Sheraton M iram ar is the place to be. served varying from regionalto Italian in a fantastic atm osphere w ith am azing view s ofthe sea or the pool. M iram ar R estaurantserves delicious international buffets,w hile O rient1001 offers authentic Arabic dishes and the finestItalian delicacies are presented in La Piscina restaurant.The am biance is com pleted w ith live entertainm entthrough outthe resort. w w w.sheraton.com /elgouna Sheraton M iram ar R esortan oasis oftranquility and beauty is builton nine islands surrounded by stunning gardens,in ElG ouna village,20 kilom eters north ofthe tow n ofH urghada.

Destinations Best

143

Of E

G

Y

P

T


Hailed as EgyptÂ’s Leading Resort in the 2007 World Travel Awards, the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh is going from strength to strength.

www.savoy-sharm.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

SAVOY, The Red Sea Paradise SAVOY SHARM EL SHEIKH P.O Box 169, White Knight Beach, Sharm El Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt Tel.: ( +20-69 ) 360 2500 / 2 Fax: ( +20-69 ) 360 2777 email: mail@savoy-sharm.com

Seemingly not content with being one of the world’s leading hotel brands, the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh battled it out for the title of ‘Egypt’s Leading Resort’ at the World Travel Awards. and they won, for the third time in a row!

146


Nominated by top travel agents from over 200 countries, the Savoy went on to win the award for ‘Africa’s Leading Villas 2007’. Launched March 2002, the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh spreads over 200,000 sq m of lush tropical foliage, waterfalls and serene surroundings and lies at the heart of the spectacular White Knight Beach, South Sinai, Egypt. Stunning in architectural design, the hotel itself boasts impeccable style: From its marble floors to high ceilings, decadent interiors through to simplistic colour themes, the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh is all about sophistication. Combining luxury in a superb location with an air of relaxation and ‘at-home’ experience, the hotel is unrivalled in the services it provides. With a grand total of 406 superiorly designed rooms, ranging from single, double and triple rooms to the lavish Royal Suite, the guest’s every need is catered for. Exquisite bars & lounges as well as excellent eateries, amazing pools, a dive centre, tennis courts and Arabian spa dotted around the grounds add to make the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh one of Egypt’s leading resorts to date. www.savoy-sharm.com

147


The Crowne Plaza Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a luxurious and exciting resort with breathtaking views over El Pasha Bay.

www.crowneplazasharm.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

"Crowne Plaza is where hospitality is an art and service is a pleasure." El Pasha Bay, South Sinai- Egypt Tel.: +20 (69) 3603090 Fax: +20 (69) 3603099 E-mail: info@crowneplazasharm.com www.crowneplazasharm.com

The artistic taste, the unique hospitality and the first class service, all in one place, the Crowne Plaza Resort Sharm El Sheikh.

150


Nestled on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, one of Egypt’s most beautiful stretches of coastline, the Crowne Plaza Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a luxurious and exciting resort with breathtaking views over El Pasha Bay. With its distinctive Moorish design, the resort enables guests to relax comfortably while enjoying the wide array of facilities and services available. The resort offers 400 beautifully decorated rooms and suites with magnificent sea, pool, or garden views. Amenities include individually controlled air-conditioning, satellite television, high speed internet access, a safety deposit box as well as a mini bar included in every room. Non smoking as well as accessible rooms are also available on request. The exciting and diverse range of restaurants and bars to keep you content include La Veranda offering informal dining with a sumptuous international buffet, Via Veneto serving rustic Italian cuisine, Seville’s Bar, a Spanish style bar offering delicacies from the region, C-View Barbeque serving freshly caught seafood and local Lebanese delicacies are available in Al Hawara restaurant. After enjoying an evening of live entertainment provided by our in-house bands at many of our restaurants, head over to the NoWhere Discotheque and dance the night away. The Crowne Plaza Resort is located on one of the most prized locations in all of Sharm El Sheikh directly facing the Far Garden Coral Reef,

151

one of the most impressive diving and snorkeling spots in the region. For those who want to stay active we offer five swimming pools, squash and tennis courts, a state of the art gymnasium as well as a kid’s club. For those wishing to relax, take a moment to enjoy the Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna. In addition, a full range of beauty, massage and back therapy treatments are also available. Two versatile, fully equipped exhibition rooms and first-class catering for up to two hundred guests are available complete with adjoining terraces overlooking El Pasha Bay and the Red Sea. With three breakout rooms, the resort has everything to ensure that your next meeting, conference, banquet, or wedding is a success. www.crowneplazasharm.com


The Experience of a lifetime


Every night Nubian dancers and musicians perform in the Cultural Center just off the Corniche. Folklore troupes recreate scenes from village life and perform the famous Nubian mock stick-fight dance.


Best Destinations of Egypt Luxor and Aswan, Egypt's sunniest southern cities and ancient frontier towns, have a distinctively African atmosphere. Small enough to walk around, graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the place of life is slow and relaxing. Days can be spent in Aswan by strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in a floating restaurant listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish. The Nile is at its most entrancingly beautiful here, flowing through amber desert and granite rocks, around emerald islands lush with palm groves and exotic plants. Drink in the glorious sunsets while sipping tea or an aperitif before dinner. Known for its eternal sunshine, Aswan has been a favorite winter resort since the beginning of the nineteenth century and it's still the perfect place to get away from it all.The weather is warm in the morning but can be much cooler by evening, so itÂ’s advisable to take one or two warmer garments in case. A cruise on the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back, is one of the most delightful ways to enjoy the magnificent treasures to be seen in this most southerly fringe of the land of the pharaohs. Watch the banks of the river slip by as you yourself slip back in time and history into the distant past.

154


It consists of an east and west valley with most of the important tombs in the east valley. The west valley has only one tomb open to the public: the tomb of Ay, Tutankhamun's successor, though there are numerous other important tombs there, including that of Amenhotep III. The Valley of the Kings also contains the tombs of the favourite nobles and the wives and children of both the nobles and pharaohs. It contains about 60 tombs, starting with Thutmose I and ending with Ramses X and XI. The tombs of Merneptah, Seti I, Amenhotep II, and Horemheb can also be found here. Decorations in the tombs vary greatly usually the walls and

Luxor Luxor is absolutely steeped in history. Known to the Greeks as Thebes, meaning “City of a Hundred Gates”. It came to be known in Arabic as the “City of Palaces” which is the derivation of its present name. Luxor has been drawing visitors since the late Pharaonic dynasties during the Greek and Roman periods. The number of well preserved temples, tombs, and other monuments in the Luxor area is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Luxor is divided into three distinct areas; the city of Luxor on the east side of the Nile, the town of Karnak to the north of Luxor, and Thebes on the west bank of the Nile across from Luxor. There are innumerable shops selling a huge selection of figurines as gifts or souvenirs. Luxor is very much geared to tourists; the town is brimming with good hotels, restaurants, and night spots. In Luxor, tourism accounts for 85% of the economy so always be ready to haggle for a bargain. The Valley of the Kings The Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt or ‘Wadi el-Muluk’ in Arabic, is a valley where tombs were built for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom, including Tutankhamun and Ramesses the Great.

155


ceiling, as well as the sarcophagus are decorated with the sacred texts, collectively known as the 'Books of the Dead'. Valley of the Queens The Valley of the Queens is also located on the west bank of Luxor. There are between 75 and 80 tombs in the Valley of the Queens, or “Biban Al-Harim”. These belong to Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th Dynasties, including the tombs of Khaemwese, Queen Titi, Amenhikhopeshef, and Nefertari. The Temple of Karnak Karnak is the largest temple complex ever built by man and represents the accumulated efforts of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples,

smaller enclosed temples and several outer temples. Karnak is actually the more modern name of the site. Its ancient name was “Ipet-isut” meaning "The Most Sacred of Places". This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred years period. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are enclosed by enormous stone walls. Numerous smaller temples and chapels are spread around Karnak, such as the Temple of Osiris “Hek-Djet” (Heqadjet) which is actually within the enclosing walls of the Temple of Amun. You may like to attend the spectacular Sound and Light show at Karnak which starts with a historical introduction, covering the birth of the great city of Thebes and construction of the temple. The

156


show also narrates the glorious achievements of some of the most illustrious Pharaohs The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut This remarkable temple gives us a great deal of insight into the bitter enmity that existed between Hatshepsut, the only woman ever to become Pharaoh and her nephew and son-in-law, since many of her statues were vandalized and the followers of Tuthmosis III defaced most of her cartouches, after the death of the queen in somewhat mysterious circumstances. The royal architect Senmut designed the temple with an impressive colonnaded entrance that dramatically mirrors the backdrop of the almost sheer cliffs. The temple is thus a very successful example of architectural harmony between man and nature. The temple is dedicated to Amun and Hathor, Hatshepsut's claimed parents, although there are chapels dedicated to other gods including

157

Anubis, the god of embalming. At ground level were sphinxes and fragrant trees from Punt. The sphinxes had the heads of Hatshepsut and she is also represented as a lion in some of the interior reliefs. Although she has no specific enemies, she is represented clawing at adversaries and capturing "birds of evil" with a clapnet. Furthermore, the temple walls document Hatshepsut's divine conception, the seal of approval given by her father, her efforts to repair the damage inflicted by the Hyksos invaders, the expeditions to Punt and the erection of the colossal obelisks at the temple of Karnak. The walls were like the blank pages of a journal filled in gradually as her reign progressed. The Museum of Mummification The word "mummification" derives from the Persian word "mummya" meaning bitumen or pitch. The Museum of Mummification in Luxor


is the best place to learn about this and one of the great secrets of the pharaohs. From the earliest times, they sought to ensure their immortality in the afterlife by mummification and votive offerings, as well as by invoking the name of the deceased in spoken incantations or in hieroglyphic script.

Aswan and the surrounding area were known in ancient times as Nubia. The exotic African atmosphere is particularly noticeable in the souk. The scent of spices and perfumes, the brilliant colors of fabrics and silky scarves and the displays of Nubian Art reflect the blending of Egyptian and Sudanese culture.

The museum displays a vertical section of a mummified body to show the result of this process. Also on display are the instruments used in the process. Many of the substances traditionally used in mummification are displayed at the Mummification Museum, including natron which is still mined in the area of Wadi Natron.

One of the most relaxing and enjoyable ways to enjoy Aswan and its surroundings is to take an afternoon trip on a felucca to sail around the islands and see the sights at leisure. One of the most unmissable parts of Aswan is Elephantine Island.

One of the most interesting displays is the mummy of Masasharta, the son of King Panedjem from the 21st Dynasty. His funerary boat can also be seen here.

Elephantine Island Elephantine Island is one of the most ancient sites in Egypt, dating back to the pre-dynastic period. It was known as Elephant Island (or Abu or Yabu) probably because it was a trading post for ivory.

Aswan There is a book called “A Thousand Places to See Before You Die” and Aswan is among them. The Agha Khan is considered to be the most beautiful place on earth and Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” is set in Aswan.

Here you can visit the ruined temple of Khnum which was the main center of the cult of the ram-headed god of the cataracts, Khnum who was one of the creator gods and part of a triad which included the goddesses Satet and Anuket.

158


Other attractions on the island include an ancient Nilometer, the museum and the colourful Nubian village. Elephantine Island can be reached by felucca or motor boat. Just beyond Elephantine, is KitchenerÂ’s Island, named for the British Lord Kitchener. The island is renowned for its botanical gardens, bursting with exotic plants, many of which were planted by Kitchener and yet still flourish to this day. Just a little upstream from here can be seen. The mausoleum of the Imam Mohamed Shah Aga Khan who on his diamond jubilee was given his weight in jewels. Because of its wonderfully salubrious climate the Aga Khan used to winter here in his own villa, and on his death in 1957 his widow had a beautiful white marble mausoleum built near the villa, overlooking the Nile. The Temple of Philae On a small island in the Nile very near to Aswan, stands the amazing Temple of Isis at Philae. Before the construction of the High Dam which was built to control the annual flooding of the Nile Valley and Delta and to provide hydro-electric power. The temple of Philae used to become half submerged during the period of the annual inundation. It was transplanted to another island so as to save it from being everlastingly submerged under the waters of Lake Nasser which formed with the damming of the Nile at Aswan. Visitors to the temple after dark can enjoy an impressive sound and light show. In addition to the Temple of Isis there are other interesting monuments here, such as TrajanÂ’s Kiosk, the Chapel of Osiris, the Temple of Horus, and the Temple of Hathor. Edfu Temple Between Aswan and Luxor, can be found the Temple of Edfuthe best preserved Ptolomaic temple in Egypt. The temple is dedicated to the falcon god Horus and was built over a 180 year period from 237 BC to 57 BC.

159


Features of this temple include a chamber which was dedicated to the goddess Nut, the goddess of the night sky and the walls carry reliefs of battle scenes, as well as the famous depiction of the ritual of the foundation of the temple.

The entrance to the Great Temple is dominated by four enormous seated statues of The Pharaoh. A second smaller temple which was probably originally completed ahead of the construction of the Great Temple itself, is dedicated to RamsesÂ’ favorite wife, Queen Nefertari.

The northern wall of the court shows the divine marriage of Hathor and Horus of Behdet which was celebrated twice every year, once at the Temple of Dendera and later at Edfu. The Journey of Hathor from Dendera to Edfu and vice versa is also depicted here.

Abu Simbel can be reached by air, road or river. Like the other major temples in the region, there is an impressive sound and light show for the enjoyment of visitors to the site after night has fallen.

Abu Simbel A little further upstream from Aswan, close to the border with Sudan, is the magnificent Temple of Abu Simbel which was originally constructed in honor of the great Pharaoh Ramses II who reigned for 67 years during the 19th Dynasty.

The Nubian Museum The Nubian Museum in Aswan houses some interesting and impressive artifacts, among which are a statue of Ramses II, a statue of Amenras, of Nubian origin who was the spiritual bride of Amun Ra and a beautiful rose-pink granite bust of Shpatka, also of Nubian origin. There is also a bust of Tahraqa, a Nubian King whose reign during the 7th century BC is said to have been a period of

160


particular abundance and great prosperity. The museum also displays a replica of a traditional Nubian style house to convey something of the nature and flavor of everyday life in ancient Nubia. Collectively, the exhibits in this museum illustrate the character of Nubia throughout its history and show how it merged with Islamic culture on the one hand and with the civilization of Mother Egypt on the other.

161


Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T


Sonesta Nile Cruises ‌is sim ilarto an im aginary world ofcom fortand luxury thatguides it's guests through a unique experience m aking itan "experience to treasure"

www.sonesta.com


Best Destinations of Egypt

Sonesta Nile Cruises, where service is with passion Tel.: +20 2 226 411 51/2/3 Fax: +20 2 226 411 55 E-mail: reservations@sonestacruises.com www.sonesta.com

Destinations

Known by its exquisite facilities and personalised services provided by a dedicated crew, "Sonesta Nile Cruises" guides its guests through a unique Nile cruise experience aboard its four luxurious cruise ships: "Sonesta Star Goddess", "Sonesta Moon Goddess", "Sonesta Sun Goddess" and "Sonesta Nile Goddess".

Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

164


DESTINATIO N "Sonesta Nile Cruises"are sim ply quite a few notches above allthe rest,true vessels ofluxury and class.For either 3,4,6,or7 nights,you can em bark on an unforgettable journey through tim e and space between Luxorand Aswan,as you gently cruise along Egypt's form idable Nile,em ancipated with thought,and nothing but ancientbeauty,legendary tem ples,sights and allthe ancientm ysteries thatEgypthas to offer. ACCO M M O DATIO N AllFourcruise-ships com prise spacious fully equipped guestcabins and suites,each featuring wide panoram ic views ofthe Nile,direct-dialphones,safety depositboxes, m inibars,individualclim ate control,internetservice, televisions and bathroom s equipped with full-size bathtubs. Fitted with allthe m odern 5 staram enities thatone can think of,"Sonesta Nile Cruises"leave nothing to be desired. Treasure ofthe Nile … The Sonesta Nile G oddess "Sonesta Nile G oddess"was builtin Cairo by Belgian interiordesignerJose Vanden Bossche in 1989.Totally renovated in 2007,the Nile G oddess 49 standard cabins,4 extravagaza suites and 4 deluxe suites allfeature broad

panoram ic windows,safety depositboxes,m inibars,plasm a televisions, panoram ic elevators and wireless internetaccess.The five deck ship awarded the Certificate ofExcellence from the Am erican Bureau of Shipping (A.B.S.)and classified as A 1 riverservice. Tem ple ofthe Sun … The Sonesta Sun G oddess "Sonesta Sun G oddess"a true vesselofluxury and class.Builtby Belgian interiordesignerJose Vanden Bossche,the Sun G oddess has been crossing this legendary path oftim e,since 1993.W ith 58 standard cabins,2 SenatorSuites,1 PresidentialSuite and a RoyalSuite with a private lounge,the Sun G oddess is the epitom e oflavish,luxurious travel. A FullM oon … The Sonesta M oon G oddess Also designed by Bossche,the M oon G oddess saw the lightwith the turn ofthe century in the year2000.W ith 48 standard yethighly spacious cabins,and 2 Presidentialsuites,yourspace and luxury is all the M oon G oddess is about.W ith a bathtubs and private balconies in each and every cabin,the M oon G oddess is an above ideal5 star luxury Nile Cruise vessel. A Sparkling Star … The Sonesta Star G oddess The luxurious Sonesta StarG oddess represents the latestaddition to the High-scale brand's portfolio ofDeluxe-service Nile cruisers.O n

Destinations Best

165

Of E

G

Y

P

T


board this fabulous four-deck "ALL SU ITES"cruise ship,sailing the riverNile has anotherm eaning ofultim ate luxury.To com plete this harm ony,allsuites on board are nam ed by the nam es ofthe m ostfam ous m usic com posers;Beethoven (each 40m 2),M ozart (each 35m 2)and Chopin (each 52m 2)allfeaturing private elegantbalconies and private lounges designed to offer m axim um com fortand space. EXCURSIO NS Touch the localculture ofEgypt's Nile banks through the daily guided excursion witnessing historic sites ofm ysterious ancient Egyptas you visitTem ple ofPhilae,tem ple shared by 2 gods Sobek and Haroeies in Kom O m bo,tem ple ofHatshepsutatEl DeirElBahari,ColossiofM em non,Karnak and LuxorTem ples. In Aswan enjoy a Felucca journey around Kitchener's Island and the Aga Khan M ausoleum . RESTAURANTS & BARS O n-board activities are endless with severaloutlets to choose from : Main Dining Room Serving breakfast,lunch buffetand Ă  la carte dinners. Sun Deck Bar O verlooking the Nile,and offering refreshing Cocktails allday untilsunset. Lounge Serving lightm eals forlunches and dinners,also a wide range ofCocktails and Beverages FACILITIES & SERVICES Facilities & services on board are bound to leave you w ith nothing butthe m ostfabulous m em ories.Varying from in-room dining w hich is available untilm idnight,fully purified w ater, filtered and softened before distribution,on-deck barbeque area to tease your palate w ith an aw esom e array oforiental barbeque specialties,Internationaltelephone line and Internet access.O ther recreationalfacilities include billiards,tennis table and on board deck jogging track. Sonesta N ile C ruises provide a highly personalised service on board both the "Sonesta Star G oddess" & "Sonesta Sun

Destinations Best Of E

G

Y

P

T

166


G oddess" cruise ship through a spa and m assage treatm ent provided by a m ostprofessionalM asseuse,in a m ostrelaxing atm osphere,w here guestcan sense the true m eaning of feeling w ell,relaxation and rejuvenation for m ind,body and soulin addition to a fully equipped gym w ith a N ile panoram ic view on board the "Sonesta M oon G oddess". BUSINESS TRAVELERS SERVICES Yourbusiness can also be attended in ourwell-appointed m eeting room and conference facility thatcan take up to 16 people,preceded by a lounge thatcan easily be converted into a theatre style m eeting space,taking up to 100 guests.The "Sonesta Sun G oddess"thus becom es the idealvenue where one can m ix business with pleasure am idstthe surreal surroundings thatare the Nile and Egypt's ancientlandm arks. ENTERTAINM ENT O uron-deck activities on both cruise vessels are bound to leave you with nothing butthe m ostfabulous m em ories ofthis ancient land and culture.Starting with the Captain's W elcom e Cocktail party,there is a differentthem e and activity each day and night, as we are sure to keep allourguests wellentertained.

A variety ofnightly entertainm ent,including a captain's welcom e cocktailreception,orientalfancy dress "G alabeya"party,Nubian folkloric show and them ed nights. SO NESTA… A Cruise ofLegends The Sonesta Nile Cruises have been awarded severalhonors and accolades based on theirhigh levelofsafety and hygiene,in addition to the im peccable levelofservice provided on-board. Am ong these accolades are the "Certificate ofExcellence"from the ABS (Am erican Bureau ofShipping)and "PO LSKI" Certification,whereby both vessels were declared as an "A1 RiverService". A DRIFT O N THE NILE… Itrem ains virtually im possible to putthe Sonesta Nile Cruises experience into m ere words.Forthe journey here is truly m ore valuable than the destination.Envision Egyptas itwas 7 thousand years ago,while you enjoy the m ostfabulous 5 star luxury available today… that's why itis considered "an experience to treasure"! w w w .sonesta.com

Destinations Best

167

Of E

G

Y

P

T


Stars of the Desert


Those who seek adventure can choose from a host of exciting activities. To enjoy the scenic delights, you can zoom off on a quad-bike, race in a go-kart zone, or ride out by camel or on horseback into the splendor of a desert sunset.


Best Destinations of Egypt Siwa Siwa has been known by various different names down the millennia. It was called ‘Santariya’ by the Arabs, ‘the Oasis of Jupiter-Amun’ during the Roman era and was also known as ‘Marmaricus Hammon’ meaning ‘Grove of Palms’. In character, Siwa sometimes seems more north-African than Egyptian and the local language, traditions, rites, costume, and styles of decoration differ from those of the other western oases. Local people speak ‘Amazigh’, a form of Berber though Arabic is also spoken. Many women still wear traditional costume and silver jewelry like the examples displayed in the Traditional Siwan House Museum in the town centre. Alexander the Great made his way to the oasis of Siwa to consult the famous Oracle of Amun. Upon his arrival accompanied by a number of his close companions, he was soon pronounced by the Oracle to be a god, an endorsement that was necessary to legitimize his dominion over the land. The most ancient known settlement “Aghurmi” was superseded by Shali which was founded in 1203. Set among lush palm groves, walled gardens and olive orchards with numerous freshwater springs and salt lakes. Modern Siwa has its foundations within the ruins of ancient Shali.

170


Modern Siwa To experience the delights that Siwa has to offer, you can explore the fascinating ruins of the old city for magnificent views of the whole oasis or you can walk, hire a bicycle, or take a ride in a caretta (donkey cart) to the outlying sights and pools where you can bathe in the waters of one of the many cool and refreshing springs and afterwards savor some delicious traditional Siwan food. A unique and unforgettable experience. Gabal Al Mawta, the name means simply ‘Mountain of the Dead’. There are a couple of fascinating tombs to be seen here whose wall paintings rival those of the tombs of the nobles in Luxor or Aswan. Juba Bath or Cleopatra’s Bath, a natural hot spring feeds this rock pool which is a popular swimming hole for locals and visitors alike. Al Dakhla This oasis has a striking location surrounded by pink cliffs, fields, and gardens filled with date palms and mulberry trees, in addition to fig and citrus groves. The main town “Mut” named after one of the ancient goddesses of the Theban Triad, houses the Museum of Heritage, a traditional house with a fascinating intricate wooden combination lock. The village of Al-Qasr, about 35km from “Mut” contains the ruins of an Ayubbid mosque and the tombs of Balat which date back to the 6th Dynasty of the Pharaonic era. On your way back to “Mut” stop off at Bir Al Gabal, a palm-fringed salt lake, a delightful spot for camping or picnicking. 171


Other daytrips from “Mut” could include the 1st century tombs at Al Mozawaka and Deir Al-Hagar, a temple which was originally dedicated to the Theban Triad. After exploring the temple you can bathe in the hot sulfur spring nearby. In Bashendi there are Roman tombs and a factory where carpets are still woven with scenes of everyday life in Dakhla. Nearby, lies the village of Balaat once a trading post with ancient Nubia. The oasis abounds with springs and wells of which the most famous are those of “Mut”. The weather can be a bit hot for comfort, but for your comfort and convenience you can stay in an air-conditioned and fully equipped chalet. Al Kharga This is the biggest oasis in the New Valley. Just on the edge of the oasis can be found the Temple of Hibis which was a settlement in Ptolemaic times. It is one of the few temples in Egypt that stand as monuments to the Persian era. The temple is still well-preserved and decorated with vultures and huge reliefs

of Darius greeting the Egyptian gods on the outer walls. Ten kilometers away, the Necropolis of Al-Bagawat houses a host of mud brick tombs with Coptic murals including the remains of one of the oldest churches in Egypt. Other interesting sites in Al Kharga include Al-Ghuwayta Temple which dates from 522 BC, the Fortress of Nadoura, the Palace of El Zayyan which dates from the Ptolemaic era, and the Museum of Antiquities. The thermal springs of Bulaq and Nasser to the south are visited by those who seek relief from rheumatism or assorted allergies. Camping facilities are available here. Further south in Baris, the second largest settlement in Al Kharga, can be seen the Roman Temple of Dush which is dedicated to Isis and Serapis. Farafra Farafra known as Ta-iht meaning “Land of the Cow” in Pharaonic times is a single village, nowadays inhabited mostly by Bedouin. Many of Farafra's houses are painted blue and

some are also adorned with country scenes or pictures of animals and birds. Palm groves climb the hillside which rises from the heart of the old village and only a short ride away there are hot sulfur springs at Bir Setta or one can go swimming at El-Mufid Lake. The ruins of buildings from Roman times can also be found here at Qasr Al-Farafra and Qasr Abu Minqar. Besides all these, there is an art gallery and studio which exhibits paintings and ceramics by a local artist. Beautiful handknitted camel-hair sweaters, socks, and scarves are other local products which make ideal gifts or souvenirs. Bahariya Bahariya Oasis is ringed with black hills composed of iron quartzite and dolorite. There are a number of thermal springs in the area some very hot such as Bir Al-Ramla, but the best is Bir Al-Ghaba, about 10 miles northeast of Bawiti. There is also Bir Al-Mattar, a cool spring which pours into a stone pool beside the ruins of a 17th Dynasty temple and

172


173


settlement and nearby tombs where mummified birds were buried in those far days. The Desert Those who seek adventure in the desert can choose from a host of exciting activities. To enjoy the scenic delights, you can zoom off on a quad-bike, race in the go kart zone, or ride out by camel or on horseback into the splendor of a desert sunset. At a Bedouin village you can learn about the nomadic way of life and traditions of the Bedouin, followed by a delicious campfire dinner under the star-lit sky. Whilst you savor your dinner, you can also relish the slinky moves of sizzling belly dancers and thrill to Sufi dervish dancers who will make your head spin as they whirl like rainbow-colored spinning tops.

The Western Desert The Western Desert of Egypt covers 600.000 km². It stretches from the Nile to the Libyan border and from the Mediterranean coast to the borders of Sudan. Its magnificent desolation represents a dramatic and remarkable contrast to the lushness of the Delta and the Nile Valley. This vast wilderness consists of five main geographical divisions. Three of which, the Libyan Plateau, the Great Sand Sea, and the eastern and southern areas are relatively flat but undulate and ripple with evershifting dunes. In altitude they range from 100 to 500 meters above sea level. There are also a number of large depressions, the most famous being the Qattara which at its lowest point sinks to134 m below sea level. It sweeps in an arc from approximately 50 km south of El

174


Alamein on the Mediterranean coast to the oasis of Siwa, just south of the Libyan Plateau and extends further westwards into Libya. The White Desert A trip to the White Desert is something that no visitor to the New Valley should miss. Travellers coming from Bahariya across the Black Desert pass the tiny oasis of El Heez en route. Nearby Bahariya and Farafra are separated by huge golden dunes which make for stunning photos on the way. Once you enter the White Desert through Al-Sillim pass, you are confronted with a surreal landscape of sand-blown mushroom-like rock formations which are particularly fascinating at sunrise and sunset. Camel and jeep safaris including a hot meal and fresh bread baked in the sand, Bedouin style can easily be arranged from Farafra. The climate of the oases, as well as the more open expanses of the desert results in a big differential between the daytime high and the night time low. It can be warm or very hot during the morning and the early after noon when the sun is high, but the temperature drops dramatically after nightfall, so you should be sure to take warm garments for the hours after dark. Whatever time of year, any of these enchanting desert spots you choose to visit.

175


INDEX Crowne Plaza

Tel.: +20 (69) 3603090 Fax: +20 (69) 3603099

E-mail: info@crowneplazasharm.com www.crowneplazasharm.com

El Gouna

Tel.: +20 (65) 3549 702 Fax: +20 (65) 3549 065

E-mail: marketing@elgouna.com www.elgouna.com

Tel./Fax: +2 (02) 2690 4727 (02) 2690 8199 (02) 2290 9212

E-mail: ask-us@intoegypt.com www.intoegypt.com

JW Marriott

Tel.: +2 (02) 2411 5588 Fax: +2 (02) 2411 2266

Email:jwmarriott.cairo@marriotthotels.com www.jwmarriottcairo.com

La Siesta

Tel.: +2 (02) 392 5437 Fax: +2 (02) 393 7502

Email: ruaguizy@rusys.eg.net www.lasiestaegypt.com

Lotus Air

Tel.: +2 (02) 2266 1662 +2 (02) 2266 6701 Fax: +2 (02) 2267 4774

E-mail: info@lotus-air.com www.lotus-air.com

Porto Marina

Tel.: +2 (02) 24143725 +2 (02) 24153471 Fax: +2 (02) 26902940

E-mail: reservations@porto-marina.com www.porto-marina.com

Savoy

Tel.: +20 (69) 360 2500 / 2 Fax: +20 (69) 360 2777

email: mail@savoy-sharm.com www.savoy-sharm.com

Sheraton Cairo

Tel.: +2 (02) 3336 9700 / 800 Fax: +2 (02) 3336 4485

www.sheraton.com/cairo

Sheraton Montazah

Tel.: +2 (03) 548 0550 Fax: +2 (03) 540 1331

E-mail: alexandria.smontazah@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/montazah

Sheraton Miramar

Tel.: +20 (65) 354 5606/7 Fax: +20 (65) 354 5608

Email: sheraton.miramar@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/elgouna

Sheraton Sharm

Tel.: +20 (69) 3 602070 Fax: +20 (69) 3 602099

E-mail: ReservationsSharmEgypt@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/sharm

Tel.: +20 (65) 354 5915 +20 (65) 354 5845 Fax: +20 (65) 354 5885

Email: reservationssomabayegypt@sheraton.com www.sheraton.com/somabayresort

Tel.: +2 (02) 226 281 11 Fax: +2 (02) 226 287 65

E-mail: sonesta@sonestacairo.com www.sonesta.com

Tel.: +2 (02) 226 411 51/2/3

E-mail: reservations@sonestacruises.com www.sonesta.com

Tel.: +2 (02) 1616 Fax: +2 (02) 738 0400

www.travcogroup.com

Into Egypt

Sheraton Soma Bay Sonesta Cairo

Sonesta Nile Cruises Fax: +2 (02) 226 411 55 Travco Group

E-mail: info@tabaheights.com www.tabaheights.com

Taba Heights Tel.: +2 (02) 2268 79 14 / 15 Fax: +2 (02) 2266 54 11

www.zasjetclub.com

176


www.globalvillageproduct.com


BEST DESTINATIONS OF Egypt - Volume 1