CAIRO - Egypt launches its first touristic restaurant at the Giza Pyramids plateau late on Tuesday.
"Today, we announce the opening of the first tourist restaurant in the Panorama area of the Pyramids Plateau," Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany said at the opening ceremony.
Dubbed "9 Pyramids Lounge," the restaurant is the fruit of joint cooperation between the Supreme Council and Antiquities and Egypt's Orascom Pyramids Entrainment (OPT), which is a subsidiary of the Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) group.
The restaurant is built in a subtle wooden setting, with pillows scattered on the ground to emulate the Bedouin style.
"The restaurant's unique location offers a view of all pyramids in Giza," al-Anany said, stressing that Egypt is keen to establish a tourist and archaeological infrastructure as it will have a positive impact on the tourism sector in the monument-rich country.
For his part, Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO of OIH, said his group's main objective is upgrading services provided to the visitors of the pyramids while preserving the area from all forms of pollution as well as creating a fascinating experience for its visitors.
He revealed that two more restaurants and a cafe will be launched in early 2021 in an old building located on the northwestern side overlooking the three pyramids.
"We will also convert the entire visit to the pyramids area to eco-friendly electric buses," Sawiris said.
Egypt, which has so far registered over 100,000 COVID-19 infections, is working to attract tourists amid the coronavirus pandemic. It resumed international flights in early July after it lifted a months-long partial curfew and reopened restaurants, cafes, theaters, and cinemas, as well as hotels, museums, and archeological sites, all with limited capacity.
The tourism industry, a key pillar of Egypt's economic revenues and hard currency, had started to show signs of recovery after years of political turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled late president Hosni Mubarak. However, it has suffered a heavy blow with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019, Egypt registered a record 13 billion U.S. dollars in tourism revenues.