Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has announced that it has signed a contract with Orascom Investment Holdings to manage and service the area surrounding the Pyramids of Giza. The contract retains the council’s authority over the area, with Orascom’s role being to provide high-quality services.
Mustafa Waziri, SCA president, said that Orascom will build a new parking lot for tourist buses off Fayoum Road and provide a non-polluting internal transport network for tourists within the site. It will mobilise, according to a SCA statement, 30 buses and 30 eco-friendly vehicles to carry tourists in, out, and around the Pyramids plateau. It will also set up 20 mobile toilet units, a mobile medical centre, as well as fast-food and snack trucks.
Orascom will also provide high-speed WiFi services and lay the groundwork for a comprehensive digital guide to the site.
As for horse and camel riding, the company will invest in training stable owners to adequately deal with tourists, and work on providing them with stable incomes and uniforms to wear on site so they would be easily recognisable by tourists.
Negotiations between the SCA and Orascom lasted about a year, Dr Waziri said, with the final agreement guaranteeing the SCA half the revenue generated by Orascom services, as well as maintain its right to end the contract at anytime should any commitments go unmet by the company.
Mr Naguib Sawiris, chairman Orascom Investment Holding told the Egyptian media that the main objective of the company was has not profit, since the revenue of the tickets and internal transport goes to the SCA. The real objective, he said, was to enhance the services provided to fit the grandeur of Egypt’s ancient civilisation and the greatness; protect the area it from all pollution; maintain the cleanliness of the place; and improve the manner of dealing with clients and tourists.
“It is an opportunity to pay back to this country for all it gives us” he said.
18 December 2