Red Sea governorate Major General Staff of War Ahmed Abdullah said that Hurghada is one of the most important sources of income for Egypt, considering that its tourism comes from its natural wonders. He added that the Red Sea includes other tourism cities, such Marsa Alam, Ras Ghareb, and El-Quseir, all of which make the governorate a place for investments across all fields, pointing out that it was the first to implement the one-stop shop project.
The Red Sea governorate is a fertile soil for investments. What sort of investments have there been recently?
We put forward an ad two months ago to allocate 13 projects, including seven that fit within the investors’ criteria. We are currently undergoing contracting with these projects, which are worth EGP 4.2bn. We also posed another ad to allocate 42 projects worth EGP 49bn. Investors have been asking for the pamphlet’s terms. In the coming period, we will launch a third and fourth ad.
What does the implementation of the one-stop shop for investors within the governorate mean?
We have implemented the one-stop shop project that allows investors to obtain all necessary permits and approvals. We complete all required paperwork before investors sign their contracts; so when they do come, they are granted the licenses easily.
What is the governorate’s current investment plan?
Previously, Hurghada and the Red Sea were only considered tourism destinations, but now investment in the desert around them is ongoing. All of our coming projects aim to benefit from the desert surrounding the province through tourism services, such as educational tourism. This is done by establishing two private universities, in addition to a sports tourism plan, which includes establishing a sports city. Furthermore, we also aim to unlock shopping tourism. Arabs and foreigners have a shopping culture, and we intend to capitalise on that. We also plan to establish cultural tourism by setting up a national museum in cooperation with the Ministry of Antiquities. In addition, there will also be poultry and shrimp farm projects. In Ras Ghareb, there is also a petroleum project. All of these projects will be posed in ads three and four, after receiving some approvals from the government, including approvals from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Environment, and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA).
What about youth projects?
We have set aside 50 feddans in Hurghada, 50 in Ras Ghareb, 50 in Safaga, and 50 in El-Quseir to start small and micro enterprises for the youth.
We are currently working on the creation of decent jobs for young people and providing trainings for them to pursuit suitable opportunities. The youth refuses to work for the private sector. Yet, I have offered 5,000 jobs for the youth from the Red Sea governorate and from outside of it. It is worth mentioning that over 80% of employees at the governorate are composed of the youth.
How much is the total value of projects in the governorate?
The proposed projects are worth EGP 50bn, in addition to the provisions of El Reef El Masry Company, which will pose 500 feddans of its lands to investors and 1,000 feddans to small-scale farmers to establish packaging and sorting factories.
Is the governorate in need for quarantines or licensed automated slaughterhouses?
We have some investors in Safaga and Hurghada in these sectors. We do not need more than that for now. Even better, we looked further and established an area for automated slaughterhouses equipped with freezing facilities.
What about water desalination projects?
We have the largest desalination plant in Egypt. As for the grey-water project, we are currently working with Al-Reef Al-Masry Company to make sure that plants cover the largest part of agriculture with a capacity of 80,000 tonnes at a cost of EGP 750,000. This plant will be inaugurated in two months. It operates through two phases to produce green water. We are also developing all plants to raise the capacity to 90,000 metres via triple cycles, which can allow for cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers, and some vegetables, but will not put out drinking water.
What is the governorate agenda for the completion of these projects?
As soon as we sign a contract with investors, they are granted three years to start establishing their project. To other investors, we grant them land without water or electricity at a cheaper price. In some cases, we provide lands equipped with facilities but at higher prices.
How did you help investors rid obstacles?
Thankfully, we do not have any major obstacles. I tried helping investors by postponing due dates for payment of water and electricity bills and ease procedures through the one-stop shop. Over the past two years, we implemented some projects at a cost of EGP 8.5bn, including roads, ports, and barricades. Next week, we are set to hold a conference to offer all the investment opportunities in the governorate.