CAIRO: The Ministry of Antiquities announced the establishment of a new museum in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said in a press conference Sunday.
The museum is scheduled to open early 2016 and will house over 22,000 artifacts from prehistoric to modern times, Damaty said and that the artifacts will be taken from the ministry’s antiquities warehouse in Luxor.
“The new museum in Hurghada is within the framework of the ministry’s plan to build new museums in several Egyptian touristic destinations to create new tourist attractions, preserve the Egyptian heritage, boost the tourism industry, and create new job opportunities,” Damaty said.
Earlier this month, Damaty inaugurated the second phase of the Sharm el-Sheikh Museum construction work which will open mid-2015, Youm7 reported.
In order to help funding construction of the Hurghada Museum, Damaty announced a temporary archaeological exhibition at Hurghada’s international conference hall.
The exhibition will include a collection of 200 carefully-selected artifacts, covering all the periods of Egyptian history, Damaty said.
Chairman of a leading Egyptian travel agency Amr Badr praised the notion of building a museum in Hurghada. “The museum represents a quantum leap in Egypt’s beach tourism,” he told The Cairo Post Monday.
He said due to the absence of cultural tourism features in Hurghada, tourists usually manage to book an overnight or a day trip to Cairo or Luxor to see museums, temples, and other attractions.
“The museum will decrease the number of trips to Cairo and Luxor and will also accordingly decrease the road accidents,” he added.
Egypt’s political turmoil since the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and its consequent violent clashes have kept tourists from visiting Egypt and some European countries, including Germany, China, and Russia, have even announced travel bans. Many countries lifted their travel bans in January and Egyptian tour operators are optimistic for a better high season starting in October.
Tourism is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, alongside revenues from the Suez Canal and remittances of Egyptians living abroad, according to the Central Bank of Egypt.
According to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, tourist activity comprises 11.3 percent of Egypt’s GDP.