While driving on the Hurghada-Safaga road, about 20 km south of the airport, one can admire the pristine waters and sandy beaches of Sahl Hashish. Now fast-forward three years down the line, and passersby will not be able to see the strip from the highway. Instead, they will be admiring exquisite architecture and longing to be part of the picture perfect community that would be spending its weekends relaxing on that very same spot.
This is the vision of Saleh Hamdy, renowned architect and project developer, who is not only chairman but also the chief executive officer of Veranda, one of Egypt’s latest real-estate projects.
“Veranda is a village, Hamdy explains to Daily News Egypt, “we wanted to keep it small, sweet and comprehensive with only 669 units to ensure the quality of services.
Instead of building rows of houses, the project is designed on four levels, with narrow streets and roundabouts to complement the village flair.
The architecture follows a Spanish theme with a modern twist, without too many decorative features. The colors are shades of off-whites and beiges.
The complex is designed to house a few thousand people, and offer all kinds of services so they wouldn’t have to leave the grounds of the gated community. All the basics would be available, including a pharmacy and a food court.
So far, the people that have bought in Veranda are part of the same niche that already own houses in Hacienda on the North Coast and neighboring project El Gouna, explains Hamdy.
“Sahl Hashish is not Hurghada, stresses Hamdy, “It is a new town. On its completion it is expected to be 40 million square meters which is larger than Hurghada.
The whole Sahl Hashish project is being developed by New Egypt Tourism headed by Richard Turner, who is turning the area into a high-end resort.
But Hamdy isn’t afraid of competition.
“The stretch of beach we have is an unrivalled beach, and we have the proper infrastructure from state of the art desalination plants, sewage, electricity, he says.
In Veranda, which will be completed in March 2011, the houses are woven within water cascades, lagoons and an 18-hole golf course, providing each house with a view.
“We have a range of accommodations so that young and old, those who cherish privacy and those who don’t, can mix within the development, he says.
For a young couple, 67 meter-square one-bedroom flats are available in the Julietta and Margherita design line, located in the town’s hub. For a small family, the Alexandra is slightly bigger with two bedrooms (110 meters square). An older crowd may be more interested in a three-floor townhouse (Isabella) or a 270 square meter villa (Sophia).
After working in the United Kingdom for 16 years, Hamdy is used to fulfilling high-maintenance demands. “They want no faults and this is where I can bring in the English experience into the Egyptian market, he says.
The houses are handed over to owners fully finished, including the fitted kitchen and air-conditioning. Veranda will also be providing maintenance services whenever something goes wrong, and housekeeping services so the house is fully equiped upon arrival. For all the different clientele, there are things to do for every taste.
For the sports-oriented, a package of a fully equiped gym, tennis courts, golf course and lap pool are being developed. An unexpected addition for the active is the croquet courts; Veranda will feature two courts just in case one is over crowded. As for those who enjoy nightlife, bars, alfresco dinning and cocktail lounges are part of the plan. For relaxation and rejuvenation, a full fledge spa is part of the luxurious Veranda package.