Planned tourist city in Fayoum to include observatory
A waterfall at Wadi el-Rayan in Fayoum - Reuters

CAIRO: A tourist city in Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, has been approved to be built over 400 feddans at a cost of 2 billion EGP ($25.5 million,) tourism advisor of Fayoum Governor Yasser Mahfouz told Youm7 Friday.

The city will be established north of Qaroun Lake to attract an estimated of 600,000 visitors, including from Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates. It is planned to hire around 3,500 people from Fayoum, a mainly agricultural governorate.

It will include hotels, movie theaters and parks, “open forests,” museums of migratory and local birds, screens to observe the birds, an astronomical observatory and exhibition for locally specialties including pottery.

Fayoum is famous among young people in Egypt as a destination to observe stars and planets, especially deep into its western desert for its clear sky.

The governorate also includes the protectorate of Whales Valley, also known as Wadi al-Hitan, an area that was once under water and exhibits large fossils of ancient whales including one with hind feet, and the world’s largest skeleton of a whale.

There are two other protectorates in Fayoum; Qaroun Lake protectorate and Rayan Lake protectorate, which both contain rare plants, fossils and birds.

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