Egypt - The Fascinating Destination in North Africa
Egypt, also known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, is situated in the northeastern part of Africa and includes the Sinai Peninsula in Asia. It shares borders with Libya to the west, Palestine to the northeast, Sudan to the south, and Saudi Arabia to the east. Additionally, its northern coast faces Cyprus and Greece. Covering an area of 1,002,000 square kilometers, Egypt's inhabited region represents less than 10% of its total area, accounting for only 78,990 square kilometers. The country's population has surpassed 104 million people, with a population density of 103 individuals per square kilometer. Most of the population resides in the Nile Valley, which constitutes less than 4% of Egypt's area. The largest concentration of people is in Greater Cairo, while others reside along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, in the Delta region, and in cities along the Suez Canal. Presently, Egypt is divided into 27 administrative governorates, each with its own administrative centers.
In terms of population and population density, Egypt ranks thirteenth globally and first in the Arab world. It boasts extensive coastlines along the Red Sea and is renowned for being home to one of the oldest civilizations known to humanity. The Nile River played a vital role in the development of ancient Egyptian civilization, as people settled along its banks, engaging in agriculture and raising animals. The era of the Pharaohs, marked by their rule over the country, witnessed the invention of writing, the solar calendar, and the construction of iconic wonders such as the pyramids - a cornerstone of Egypt's tourism allure.
Historical Background of Ancient Egypt
Egypt's name has been attributed to various origins, with one likely origin tracing back to Misraim, the son of Ham, who was the son of Noah, in line with the view of most scholars. Another historical name for Egypt is "the land of Kinana" or "the black land," a term used by the Pharaohs. The ancient Egyptians referred to their land as "Egyptus," which is equivalent to the Latin term "Aegyptus" and the Greek word "Αίγυπτος."
Egypt is one of the world's oldest countries, dating back to around 110,000 years BC when humans settled in the region and developed agricultural practices, irrigation techniques, and animal husbandry. With the emergence of unified rule between north and south Egypt, around 3150 BC, the era of the Pharaohs began. During this period, the majestic pyramids were built, including the Pyramid of Saqqara, the Pyramid of Khufu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and others. The Pharaohs continued to reign until 346 BC, after which Egypt experienced the rule of the Persians and later fell under the rule of Alexander the Great in 332 BC. The Ptolemaic era, initiated by Ptolemy I, followed with Alexandria becoming a prominent city. Subsequently, Egypt was under Roman and Byzantine rule until the Islamic conquest in 641 AD, led by Amr ibn al-Aas, and the capital was moved from Alexandria to Fustat, now part of Cairo.
Climate in Egypt
Egypt experiences diverse climatic regions. Most of the country lies in the dry tropical region, with the north enjoying a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and moderate winters with minimal rainfall. Humidity levels vary across different regions, with the northern parts having an average humidity of 80%, dropping to 60-70% along the Red Sea coast, and declining to 40% in the far south.
The Importance of Tourism in Egypt
Egypt's tourism industry has played a vital role for many decades, especially after the discovery of Pharaonic royal tombs and the magnificent pyramids. The presence of the Suez Canal, one of the world's most critical waterways, further enhances the country's significance in the global tourism landscape.
Types of Tourism in Egypt:
Historical tourism, also known as cultural tourism, thrives in Egypt, placing it at the forefront of tourist destinations. This form of tourism is economically significant. Among the most prominent historical tourist attractions in Egypt are:
- Temple of Hatshepsut (Luxor): The temple's history dates back over three millennia and is said to have been built under the order of Queen Hatshepsut. What sets this temple apart is its unique construction... Read more
- Temple of Ramesses III: At the entrance of the Temple of Ramesses III, two colossal towers stand adorned with captivating inscriptions, many of which depict the royal family and Ramesses himself... Read more
- Tutankhamun's Tomb: The significance of Tutankhamun's tomb, known as "Tomb 62," lies in its valuable artifacts and distinctive design, setting it apart from other tombs. It is said to... Read more
- King Tut Museum: The King Tut Museum houses a vast collection from the pharaonic tomb of King Tutankhamun, featuring his golden sarcophagus and many other precious... Read more
- Temple of Edfu: Like other pharaonic temples, the Temple of Edfu is replete with captivating and fascinating pharaonic stories. Its walls are said to narrate one of the greatest battles in their history... Read more
- Greek-Roman Museum: One of Egypt's oldest museums, the Greek-Roman Museum, was established in the 19th century. It houses... Read more
Recreational tourism is widespread in coastal areas, beaches, and rural regions like Upper Egypt. It also encompasses the Mediterranean coast, Nile beaches, Cairo, and other popular destinations. Among the significant recreational tourist attractions in Egypt are:
- Grand Aquarium Hurghada: The Grand Aquarium Hurghada stands out for its collection of rare animals and birds, offering visitors the chance to experience aquatic life simulations... Read more
- Old Vic Beach: Old Vic Beach provides all the necessary facilities for visitors, including baths, diving and swimming gear, water skiing, and sand-play areas for children... Read more
- Ras Mohammed Reserve: The Ras Mohammed area is renowned for its coral reefs, making it a prime destination for tourists visiting the Arab Republic of Egypt. Visitors can swim and relax on its beautiful beaches... Read more
- Naama Bay: Naama Bay is one of the world's most attractive tourist destinations, offering tourists a variety of resorts, markets, and beaches that surround the area. Millions of tourists visit Naama Bay annually... Read more
- Alexandria Corniche: Alexandria's Corniche symbolizes the city's coastal charm, often referred to as the bride of the Mediterranean Sea. Along its shoreline, numerous urban landmarks abound... Read more
- Siwa Oasis: Siwa Oasis is a highly appealing tourist destination worldwide, combining history, ancient relics, and breathtaking natural beauty. It features large lakes and hot springs... Read more
Official Language: Arabic
Currency: Egyptian Pound
Area: 1 million km²
Population: 104 million
Population Density: 103 persons/km²
Establishment Date: 3150 BC
International Calling Code: +20
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