The Marsa Alam International Airport (MAIA), Egypt’s first airport to be built and run by the private sector, will become operational on October 2, 2001, following the completion of the first stage of its construction, which has reached costs of 160 million Egyptian pounds ($47 millions).
MAIA, also the world’s first complete greenfield site airport to be built on the BOT (build-operate-transfer) system, is located 200 kilometers from the tourist city of Hurghada and 60 kilometers from the city of Marsa Alam.
The new airport was designed to serve international tourism in the Red Sea area, and is expected to receive four million passengers annually. The airport can accommodate modern middle-sized airplanes and set to receive up to 600 passengers per hour. The terminal is expected to undergo expansion in the future, to absorb up to 2000 passengers per hour, reported Al-Bayan daily.
The airport’s runway is three kilometers long, meaning that it is can handle all large commercial passenger aircrafts. The apron is designed to accommodate up to 16 aircrafts at a time.
The Kuwaiti-based international conglomerate Mohamed Abdulmuhsin Al-Kharafi Group won the BOT concession in 1997, and holds the right to run the project for 40 years through the newly-established Imac Marsa Alam company, which was formed in cooperation with two companies from the Netherlands and England.
The Kuwaiti Khorafi Group recently stated that it is willing to invest $1.2 billion to construct 11 new hotels in the Marsa Alam region by 2008, according to Al-Hayat daily
Last year, the Kharafi group announced it will be opening a multi-billion dollar resort—the Port Ghalib—in the Marsa Alam region. The Marsa Alam Tourism Development Company (MATD) is the primary development company for this resort, 48 percent of which owned by the Kharafi Group.
Sources at Al-Khorafi estimate the group’s current investments in Egypt at $700 million. The Group's annual turnover reportedly exceeds $2.6 billion with operations in engineering and construction, food industries, manufacturing, banking and investment, real estate and infrastructure development, tourism and leisure, and aviation. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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