Heritage in Historic Cairo
The head of the Civilization Development Fund (صندوق التنمية الحضارية) announced that 100 billion EGP would be invested in renovating historic Cairo.
The Information Committee on the situation of Cairo’s historic cemeteries has yet to present its findings. Meanwhile, demolition work continues. A MP also expressed concern about the transformation of the Sultan Qaibtay mausoleum into a landfill site.
Giza Zoo closed for 18 months from Eid al-Adha on. Measures are taken to protect animals. Some of them will be relocated for the duration of the work. The government denies having razed ancient trees in the zoo as part of the renovation work. Once the work is completed, the price of the entrance ticket is expected to rise to 25 or 30 EGP.
New Administrative Capital
Al Manassa questions the feasibility of the New Administrative Capital. The government denied rumors that it lacked the financial resources to transfer all its employees to the New Administrative Capital. The president’s spokesman announced that 100 government agencies and 40,000 employees were already relocated.
Electricity Power Cuts
July was marked by power cuts across the country. The Minister of Electricity was reassuring, claiming that this was a temporary problem. He asked citizens to reduce their consumption, notably by cutting down on the use of air conditioning and fans in spite of the heat wave. He also urged people not to take elevators at the beginning and end of each hour. The reduction in electricity production is said to be linked to a drop in natural gas production. The government, however, denied any technical issues at the Zohr gas field, blaming inadequate infrastructure for the heat wave. Some blamed the switch to daylight saving time (see April 2023 Press Review), which may have saved electricity but caused overconsumption due to air conditioners. The argument was rejected by the Chairman of the Board of the Central Delta Electricity Production Company. To ease energy pressure, among a series of measures, the government announced that government employees would work from home throughout August.
After the collapse of a new building in Alexandria’s Sidi Bishr district, which left 10 people dead and 4 injured, a MP asked for more information on the situation in the city. Collapses are commonplace in Alexandria, where a building collapsed in the Gomrok district early July, killing one person, and another on July 15, leaving two dead and three injured. Alexandria is not the only city to be concerned: 13 people died in Cairo when a building collapsed in Hadaeq El-Qubbah district. An investigation was launched and the Minister of Social Solidarity announced a compensation of EGP 60,000 for all families who lost a loved one. A building also collapsed in Rosetta this month. A MP from Beheira demanded that removal and demolition orders for buildings deemed unsafe be applied more systematically.
19 people were acquitted in the Warraq Island case. They had been arrested after protests against eviction campaigns carried out on the island to make way for development projects (see Summer 2022 press review).
The Bashtil station in Giza is due to open in the next couple months (see November 2022 Press Review). The Minister of Transport explained that the station was needed because of population growth, which is saturating the Ramses station.
Ticket prices for first- and second-class air-conditioned trains rose by 12.5%, but the Minister of Transport guaranteed that there would be no further price increases.
A butcher installed a hook on one of the pillars of the monorail in Medinat Nasr to hang meat; photos of the informal shop spread on social media, after which the butcher was arrested and his business closed.
The Hilton Group and Egypt’s City Edge Developments signed an agreement to manage hotels in Cairo’s Maspero Triangle and Magra el-Uyun. The first is due to open in Magra el-Uyun in 2026 with 28 rooms, while the second in Maspero will offer 260 rooms and is slated to open in 2028. Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly sees this as a sign of the state’s success in renovating informal areas. This is part of the government’s plan to cede some of its prerogatives to the private sector.
Work is underway to expand St. Catherine’s airport to increase the site’s tourist capacity.
The New Al-Alamein City Festival takes place from July 13 to August 26. The event is expected to attract nearly a million people. Pop stars such as Tamer Hosni, Nancy Agram, Cairokee, and Wegz are scheduled to perform.