Saudi, Egypt agree to develop lands in southern Sinai for mega-city project

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Saudi Arabia and Egypt signed an investment agreement to develop more than 1,000 square kilometers of Egyptian lands South of Sinai to be within the planned mega-city of Neom.

For this purpose, they will establish a joint fund with equal shares and that’s worth more than $10 billion of which the Egyptian shares are the lands leased for long periods of time. This agreement has branched from the joint Egyptian-Saudi investment fund agreement.

The two countries also signed an environmental protocol to protect marine environment, prevent pollution to maintain coral reefs and beaches and to prevent “visual pollution”. This is all part of the Saudi strategy before it begins working on the Red Sea projects.

READ ALSO: All you need you know about Egypt’s plans for new Saudi mega-city NEOM

Given the significance of tourism, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will work on developing the area. Saudi Arabia, for instance, plans to establish seven maritime tourist attractions, which include cities and tourist projects, in Neom. It’s also working on establishing 50 resorts on the Red Sea and four small cities as part of the Red Sea Project.

It’s also working on developing areas between Neom and the Red Sea Project and creating three other tourist destinations, 15 maritime destinations and hundreds of resorts.

Meanwhile, Egypt will focus on two tourist attractions, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, and Jordan will focus on developing Aqaba within the framework of Saudi-Jordanian investments.

Saudi Arabia will work in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan to attract European navigation and tourism companies that work in the Mediterranean Sea in the summer to get them to work in the Red Sea after the summer season. Saudi Arabia is thus currently negotiating with more than seven tourist companies to improve marine navigation in the region.

According to several studies, demand on trips via navigation and tourism companies that work in the Mediterranean Sea decrease after the summer season so some of these companies close until the next summer or operate in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. However, there is a lot of competition in the Indian Ocean and tourist sites are also very far from each other.

In the Red Sea, however, the distance between the tourist attractions will be no more than 3 hours-apart. Of course this is in addition to a great weather during the winter season. Some of the plans will also focus on attracting the yacht industry and establishing specialized marinas in the new resorts in the Red Sea.