Egyptian Tourist Authority Press Release - The Great Pyramid is Open

Press Release
Egyptian Tourist Authority

June 30, 1999

The Great Pyramid is Open...Chephren is Closed

The Great Pyramid of Cheops at the Giza Plateau is now open to the public after being closed for one year for restoration purposes. Visitors are limited to 300 per day. The Pyramid of Mycerinus, the smallest of the three pyramids, is also open.

The Pyramid of Chephren, southwest of the Great Pyramid, will be temporarily closed for one year of restoration effective July 1, 1999.

This procedure is done on a regular basis as part of Egypt's plan to preserve archaeological sites from deterioration.

Fees to Visit Archaeological Sites

The Supreme Council of Antiquities approved one unified ticket to visit the following:

Bahariya Oasis at the Western Desert about 330 km southwest of Cairo. This ticket includes visits to some newly-opened archaeological sites such as The Tomb of Alexander the Great, Tomb of Amenhotep Howi, and Tomb of Paninteo.

Adult Price: LE 30 ($8.80)
Student Price: LE 15 ($4.40)

Prices are effective January 1, 2000

Tomb of Roi and Tomb of Shiroi, both located at El-Korna Area in Luxor.

Adult Price: LE 12 ($3.50)

Student Price: LE 6 ($1.75)

Prices are effective January 1, 2000

Tomb and Site Update

Reports indicate that the newly opened tombs of Amenhotep II and Tworse in Luxor have been drawing thousands of tourists. The Ministry of Culture announed the implementation of a new restoration project for a number of tombs and temples in Luxor including the temple of King Seti I, father of King Ramses II, Queen Hatshepsut's temple, the tomb of King Mempetah, and the tomb of Tuthmosis I. The restoration project will cost $4 million and will be completed before the end of the current year.

Beautification of the City of Luxor

A plan of action has already been implemented so as to add to the lure of the ancient historic city of Luxor. The plan involves an overall improvement of infrastructure as well as a major progress at tourist sites. A number of new roads was added to the city's street map, while other vendors will gather in a specially-built market to sell their produce. Furthermore, 15,000 trees have been planted all over the ancient city.

Environmental Agreement for the Red Sea Region

The general framework of a tourism development strategy based on the preservation of the environment at the Red Sea region was approved and signed by the Tourism Ministry, Ministry of Environmental Affairs, and the Red Sea Governorate.

South Sinai Camel Festival

Two hundred fifty camels representing seventeen different tribes in Egypt took part in a new sports event which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in May. The new festival is planned to constitute part in Egypt's annual tourism agenda, in addition to an Arabian Horse dance spectacle that will also be taking place in Sinai.

Mediterranean Travel Fair

The first press conference on the upcoming Mediterranean Travel Fair on March 1-3, 2000 was held last week in Cairo. The Egyptian Minister of Tourism emphasized the significance of establishing a worldwide tourism trade market as such, to gear to the Mediterranean market. The fair will serve as a promotional tool for Egypt.

The fair will be organized by the internationally recognized "Reed Exhibitions" which descri bed the event as exciting and indispensible for the region. At such an early stage, at least 40 countries have signed up for participation.

Aida Opera Performance

Aida '99 is coming back to the Giza pyramids plateau from October 12-17, 1999. Several renowned opera singers will participate in this year's opera.

New Golf Courses

After an emerging interest of golf enthusiasts in Egypt, several golf courses have been planned to open soon in Egypt.

Royal Valley Golf Club:

Located close to the Karnak Temple
6,000 sq. m.; has 18 golf holes
Will open soon

Cascades Golf Resort and Country Club:

Located at Soma Bay
48 kms south of Hurghada
Nine holes are currently operational; extra holes will be open in a few months

Golf Hotel and Resort: Managed by Movenpick
Has 6,012 sq. m.
Fees range from $25 - $75 depending on season

Katameya Heights:

20 min. drive from Heliopolis
27 holes are already open

Dreamland Golf & Tennis Resort:

Has 18 holes

Aswan - Abu Simbel Road

Aswan - Abu Simbel Road is still closed until further notice. Only air transportation is available. EgyptAir continues to provide 50% discount on airfare for that route.

German Orchestra at the Giza Plateau

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana will be presented by several German composers at the Giza Plateau on June 20, 1999.

Four Seasons Hotel in Egypt

The Four Seasons hotel chain is to debut in Egypt next December with its first residence in Giza.

Another hotel will open in Sharm El-Sheikh next year to be followed by a third one in Cairo in 2002.

Shopping Festival

The annual tourism and shopping festival will take place from July 20 - August 20, 1999. All participating stores will offer big discounts and so will airline companies restaurants, theaters, and hotels. An information center will be available on a 24-hour basis, and will be equipped with multiple telephone lines.

During the festival, custom procedures will be facilitated, sales taxes will be refunded to shoppers and some prizes will also be raffled. On this occasion, Egyptian jewelers will collaborate to produce the longest pure gold chain which they will call "Cleopatra Cobra." It will weigh 562.5 pounds at a height of 14,764 ft and will be registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Increase in the Number of Tourists in Egypt

Statistics reports an increase of 20% in the number of US tourists during the first quarter of 1999, and an overall incrase of 85% compared to last year.

Discovery of Roman Mummies in Egypt

Archaeologists announced that they have excavated more than 100 mummies dating back to the Roma Period in the Western desert.

Dr. Zahi Hawass stated that these mummies were buried more than 2000 years ago and were discovered in the town of Bawiti in Bahariya Oasis, 250 miles southwest of Cairo.

Sound and Light Show

Tourists to Abu Simbel will enjoy the Sound & Light Show starting this October. The show will be narrated in seven different languages.

Egyptian Museum News

Dr. Mohamed El Shimi was appointed as the new director of the Egyptian Museum to succeed his predecessor Dr. Mohamed Saleh who retired last month.

French Team Salvages Remaining Artifacts from Napoleon's Fleet

Divers were able to remove a 46-calibre bronze cannon in Abu Qir, Alexandria, last week. The relics found belonged to the French ship L'Orient which sank during the battle with the British in 1798. Among the artifacts were the 1,300-lb weapon, gold coins, silverware, cooking pots, clothes, and a gold buckle.

The artifacts will be displayed in a museum and will be lent to collections around the world.

Esna Lock News

Esna Lock will be closed from December 1-16, 1999, and from June 1-16, 2000.

Roger Moore Visits Egypt

Roger Moore arrived in Egypt on June 29, 1999. In his capacity as an Ambassador for UNICEF, he visited Alexandria to celebrate this year's children's camp for the Convention of the Rights of Children (CRC). Mr. Moore's visit to the CRC camp in Alexandria will help to spotlight the significance of the CRC in Egypt, and the government's implementation of its policies through the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). H.E. Dr. Mamdouh El-Beltagui, Minister of Tourism, hosted a reception and a press conference for Mr. Moore at the premises of Cairo International Conference Center.

Mr. Moore also worked alongside film crews from Associated Television International who is producing a show at the pyramids site to be broadcasted by Fox Channel, as well as several other cable and satellite channels. He also flew to Aswan and took a Nile cruise, afterwhich he left Egypt to go back home.