4,500 years after being built by the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, the Great Pyramids of Giza are getting a revamp. The 17 million euro renovation aims to boost tourism to the country’s most popular heritage site, and make it more accessible to tourists.
The refurbishment is focused on the Giza Plateau, which contains the Sphinx and three pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu the oldest and tallest structure. The renovations include a brand new visitor centre, an environmentally-friendly electric bus, and a new restaurant, the first ever on the site.
1. Great Pyramids of Giza revamp
The Pyramid’s first ever on-site restaurant, the 9 Pyramid Lounge, opened in late October and covers 1,341 square metres, designed in the form of a traditional Bedouin camp in the desert. Diners at the restaurant can choose between eating al fresco on the Bedouin-style cushions, or under the canopy where chairs and tables are available.
In order to demonstrate the project’s commitment to sustainable tourism in the area, the restaurant was built using all natural materials, and blends in with its surroundings. A fleet of electric busses and golf-carts have also been trialled in the hopes to becoming the only modes of transport on the site.
The namesake of the restaurant, the incredible view of 9 Pyramids, is an attraction in itself, and there are plans to add two fine dining restaurants and a café, to be launched in early 2021. Other planned amenities include a new visitors centre, cinema, public toilets, site-wide signage, food trucks, photo booths, free Wi-Fi, tickets that can be purchased through an app and a hop-on-hop-off electric bus route that will circle the area and drop travellers off at designated stops.
A new souk located at the Pyramids site, which will be regulated by permit holders, will also be launched early next year. This is in an effort to make the wonder of the ancient world a calmer place to visit, as opposed to bustling with locals selling souvenirs and camel rides as has been the case in past years.
2. Boosting tourism
The revamping of the Giza plateau is part of a wider effort to develop key tourist sites around the country. One of these developments is The Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be the world’s largest archaeological museum and is set to open next year.
Last year, 13.6 million people visited Egypt and before the Covid-19 pandemic 2020 was expected to exceed 15 million. It is hoped that with these new plans and renovations, the country can reach its tourism potential.