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Builder picked for luxury resort as Egypt tourism rebounds

Egypt's Soul Luxury Beach Resort spans 20km of waterfront and the phase one construction time frame is three years Eagle Hills Properties
Egypt's Soul Luxury Beach Resort. The country is hoping for 15 million tourists this year
  • Deal for first phase of construction
  • Tourist numbers surge in 2023
  • UAE investing billions in Egypt

A construction contract has been awarded to build the first phase of the $1.7 billion Soul Luxury Beach Resort on Egypt’s north coast. 

Eagle Hills Properties, based in Abu Dhabi, has signed a $62 million contract with Egyptian company Orascom Construction.

It described the deal as a “significant milestone” in the development of the resort, which includes a five-star hotel, serviced villas and residences, shops and outdoor sports facilities. 

Eagle Hills Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar, who is also chairman of Dubai construction company Emaar Properties, said the company is eager to expand its investments in Egypt.

It is one of a growing number of UAE investments in Egypt – during 2021, the Emirates invested in 71 projects worth $5.6 billion.

Seven million tourists travelled to Egypt during the first half of 2023, including a record 1.35 million tourists in April. Last year 11.2 million people visited the country.

The latest figures from the Egyptian Central Bank show that tourism revenues totalled $10.3 billion in July 2022 to March 2023, an increase of 26 percent from the same period a year earlier.

According to tourism minister Ahmed Issa, Egypt is hoping for 15 million tourists this year, with Germans and Russians in particular flocking to the country during the first six months of 2023.

In March, Egypt launched a $700 five-year tourist visa as part of a national strategy to more than double tourist numbers over the next five years as it targets 30 million visits a year by 2028.

Egypt’s north coast is also popular as a second homes market, according to Knight Frank.

“The weakness of the Egyptian pound, the relatively affordable home values when compared to major cities in the Gulf and the pleasant summer climate on the Mediterranean coast are adding to the country’s attractiveness,” said Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank.