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EGYPT


PART 3 OF OUR NEW


EGYPT SERIES! Next issue: Luxor


Sharm el Sheikh


Sharm el Sheikh, on Egypt’s Red Sea


SHARM THE CHARM OF


It attracts 60 per cent of Egypt’s holidaymakers and is the resort that put the country on the world tourism map. We look at property on offer in Sharm el Sheikh, and why, given recent events, it could be the time to pick up a deal there


WORDS LIZ ROWLINSON IMAGES THINKSTOCK W


hen President Mubarak fl ed Cairo at the start of February it was rather appropriately to the


“City of peace” or Sharm el Sheikh on the Red Sea Riviera that he chose to take refuge. Like many other Egyptians, the deposed leader has a residence there, because the purpose-built tourist resort is a million miles away from Cairo in every sense. In fact, apart from a few shortages in supplies and package tours and fl ights temporarily suspended, it’s been business as usual – boosted by Egyptians from Cairo and Alexandria buying investment properties in the “safe havens” of the Red Sea. “Now Mubarak’s reign is over,


there’s a great sense of optimism amongst the Egyptian people and a feeling that the future will be rosy,” says Peter Mitry of Egypt Real (www.egypt-real.com). “Since the


crisis started on 25th January we’ve been selling a property a day.” Plus the related fall in the Egyptian


Pound against Sterling means it’s the best time to buy, currency-wise, in fi ve years. But of course, Sharm, as it is known locally, has weathered the storm before – remember the 2005 terrorist attack that killed 86 and the shark attacks just last December. Tourist fi gures are still strong.


With an average of 77,421 arrivals each month, Sharm is responsible for 60 per cent of the whole of Egypt’s tourist numbers – the resort has been growing steadily since the Israelis opened its fi rst hotels in 1967. Its long natural beaches and diving are amongst the best in the world. Under Egyptian control again from 1982, it continued to grow and development has been carefully planned, with a policy for low-rise (three-storey limit) and low-density (25 per cent of land is built on).


APRIL 2011 A PLACE IN THE SUN 61


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