CAIRO – Egypt has opened up revamped tourist facilities outside Cairo that make Egypt’s greatest architectural wonders more attractive and accessible to prospective tourists.
Developers opened the doors to a new open-air restaurant Tuesday night in a plateau overlooking the Giza pyramids, from where a fleet of new environmentally-friendly buses will provide guided tours.
The “9 Pyramids Lounge” restaurant, which offers a dazzling panoramic view of the world’s only standing ancient wonder of the world, is expected to draw in more tourists to the heritage sites as Egypt seeks to revive its crucial tourism industry.
Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, praised the redesigned plateau and said it will serve as a needed draw for tourists.
“One of the problems always faced is that people say there are no special services for tourists, that there is no cafeteria, no restaurant, nothing that can be offered to visitors,” said Waziri, adding that the restaurant offers “a panorama view that cannot be matched anywhere in the world.”
Egypt has also sought to develop other parts of the tourism industry, which accounts for 15% of its national output, as it seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Next year the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to be the world’s largest archaeological museum, is due to open just beyond the Giza Pyramids.
To create buzz around the museum, which hosts an extensive collection of hieroglyphics, ancient statues, mummies and other antiquities, Cairo has been playing up new archaeological discoveries that will be housed there.
Last month, Egyptian archaeologists discovered 27 sarcophagi coffins in the town of Saqqara full of colourful, detailed hieroglyphics, adding to the country’s vast collection of prehistoric artefacts.
In October 2019, archaeologists unearthed 30 ancient wooden coffins with inscriptions and paintings in the southern city of Luxor.
Archaeologists also discovered a cache at Saqqara last year that included hundreds of mummified animals, birds and crocodiles, as well as two mummified lion cubs.
For the new plateau near the ancient pyramids, Cairo is relying largely on Egyptian billionaire business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, the project’s main developer.
“We will organise the salespeople,” Sawiris said of the project. “We will not deprive them of their income but we will put them into suitable, nice places.”