30 years for El Gouna

30 years for El Gouna

Press Release

The lifestyle destination on the Red Sea is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019.


MUNICH / CAIRO (w&p) – “Life as it should be”: The perfect motto for the unique Egyptian town that has emerged over the past 30 years. What was once an untouched sandy strip of land has turned into a lively and popular Red Sea destination. In 2019, Orascom’s flagship celebrates its 30th anniversary.


In 1989, the Egyptian entrepreneur and engineer Samih Sawiris decided to build some nice beach houses with a private marina for himself and some close friends. Since shops, petrol stations and a hospital were to be found 25 kilometres away in Hurghada, the idea of adding a small town of his own was born. Today, more than 12 000 people live in El Gouna. The town has its own airport, 18 hotels and resorts from international chains, over one hundred restaurants and bars, two championship golf courses, three marinas, one of the best hospitals in the country and even its own award-winning winery.


“If someone had predicted to me how big El Gouna would be, I would not have dared to approach the project,” Samih Sawiris says. “What has emerged here over the past 30 years is unique. Essentially, El Gouna gets its special charm from the way it brings together people from all social classes.


El Gouna’s culture also offers numerous events that attract people from all over the world each year and illustrate the town’s success story. The Beach Polo tournament, the El Gouna Squash Open and the El Gouna Rally have firmly established themselves among sports enthusiasts. Since 2017, the El Gouna Film Festival has been taking place, too. After the successful premiere, more than 20,000 international guests came to the dream destination on the Red Sea for the second Film Festival in September 2018. The festival has also become well-known among stars. Silvester Stallone, Patrick Dempsey, Owen Wilson, Clive Owen and others were among the more than 600 representatives of the international film industry presenting their films at the festival. The festival organisers aspire to make El Gouna a cinema hotspot in the Middle East.


The feeling that awaits guests at the Orascom Group’s Egyptian holiday destination can best be summarised with the town’s motto “Life as it should be”: Dream beaches, a casual urban lifestyle, great hotels and culinary highlights, a lively nightlife as well as lots of sports, leisure and shopping opportunities. With its cosmopolitan flair, El Gouna is increasingly becoming a hotspot for artists, creative people and young entrepreneurs. Participants in conferences, congresses and cultural events are totally enthused about the sunny city on the Red Sea. An environmentally friendly destination with its own seawater desalination plant and state-of-the-art waste separation, El Gouna was also awarded the Green Star Hotel Initiative’s eco-certificate.


The 30th anniversary is being celebrated in 2019 with numerous events and special features. And there are further building and development projects in store. El Gouna’s success story is far from over.