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Saudi billionaire to invest $800m in Egypt tourism

By AFP - Aug 07,2017 - Last updated at Aug 07,2017

Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, to attend a meeting with French president on September 8 , 2016 (Reuters photo)

CAIRO — Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is to invest more than $800 million in hotels in Egypt, the investment ministry in Cairo said on Monday.

The announcement came after parliament in May adopted a new law aimed at attracting foreign investment as the authorities seek to reinvigorate the North African country's struggling economy.

The ministry said in a statement that Bin Talal told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh that he would invest in hotels in several locations.

Tourism in the Arab world's most populous nation has yet to bounce back from before the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

The fall in tourist arrivals worsened after the terror group Daesh said it bombed a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from Sharm El Sheikh in 2015 in a crash that killed all 224 people on board.

The Saudi investment would include expanding the Four Seasons resort in Sharm El Sheikh in the southern Sinai, transforming it into "the biggest resort in the world", the ministry said.

New hotels would also be built in the Mediterranean town of El Alamein and in Madinaty east of Cairo.

The ministry said the amount of Saudi investment was "expected to surpass about $800 million", and the projects would be carried out with Egyptian real estate developer Talaat Moustafa Group.

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Why wasn't Jordan able to attract such an investor? I am sure Egypt was able to provide certain assurances, financial incentives, and protection for investing within their borders. The business climate in Jordan is still set up for failure and every smart investor knows this.

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