Featured image via history.com
The Pyramids of Giza are one of the must-see touristic spots in the world. Every year, millions of tourists flock to Egypt to witness the glory of its nature and monuments, led by the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza.
Unfortunately, in recent times, the level of service at this site has been deteriorating. Parking, getting around the pyramids, even the employees and cafés have all been managed haphazardly and without any strict rules regulating such activities. This has led to a drop in the quality of experience when visiting the area, and may lead to critical consequences if not counteracted.
The Ministry of Antiquities, however, has announced that Orascom will be handling the day-to-day operations of the area, and will supervise the operation and provision of tourist services in the Pyramids of Giza site. While Orascom will be handling a lot of responsibilities, the Ministry has affirmed that the Supreme Council of Antiquities will remain the only entity managing the area as a whole.
Entrance & Visitors Area
In addition to overseeing the marketing and promotional activities, Orascom will also be handling the operation of the bus parking areas in front of the new entrance on Al-Fayoum road. When these changes come into effect, no vehicles will be allowed inside the touristic area. Instead, Orascom will provide transportation in the form of 30 buses and 20 other vehicles operated by electricity and other environmentally-friendly sources of energy.
Adding to Orascom’s responsibilities is the operation and maintenance of the new visitor’s area near the new Al-Fayoum Gate. This will include a number of gift shops and cafés, as well as a movie theatre. However, the content of this movie theatre will be supervised by the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
Amenities inside the Touristic Area
In addition to the visitor’s area, tourists will have access to food & beverages through different shops spread out across the area in designated spots. Orascom will also be providing the area with 20 portable toilets, in addition to a portable medical centre for emergencies. These services will be provided inside the touristic area, while other entertainment facilities are to be provided outside the area, next to the parking zone.
Addition of New Technologies
The Pyramids will be entering the 21st Century, as Orascom is tasked with providing WiFi connection, digital guides for visitors, as well as a smartphone application. This will be in addition to printed maps and guides, as well as photo booths and protrait services for visitors. Senior visitors will also be getting special services to accommodate their needs.
Cleanliness & Security
Orascom’s responsibilities extend to contracting a cleaning company, as well as the provision of security services for the visitor’s areas. The Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, will maintain responsibility for providing security services in touristic areas and throughout the whole area of the Pyramids.
Quality of Service
In order to ensure the high level of service throughout the whole area, Orascom will be training craftspeople, vendors, photographers, as well as those responsible for horse and camel rides. These service providers are already in the area, but the training is to ensure a consistent quality of service, and avoid any problems in pricing or visitor interactions. One of their new additions will be to provide uniforms for these workers, as well as purchasing new horse-drawn vehicles and kiosks for gift shops.
While Orascom will be handling most of the day-to-day operations, the Supreme Council of Antiquities will be taking half of the profits from all the facilities and shops in the area, according to the contract. The contract also specifies a minimum number that the Supreme Council is entitled to, regardless of the amount of profit gained.
In addition to half the profits, the Supreme Council will benefit from the total revenues of ticket sales, in addition to the fees of the new buses inside the touristic area (which will be part of the ticket itself). The Supreme Council will also be setting the prices, in accordance with the Antiquities Protection Act. As such, providing the required equipment for collecting ticket fees, in addition to any needed staff or supplies, will be the responsibility of the Supreme Council alone.
We’re glad to see such a step being taken by the Ministry of Antiquities and the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and are quite hopeful about the results. Such a huge operation requires provision from an experienced conglomerate such as Orascom, we are looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.