Sun International is to open a property on Egypt’s Red Sea coast that will challenge its flagship Palace Hotel in Sun City, South Africa. The destination is Port Ghalib, a five-star tourist town that has been described as “St Tropez on the Red Sea.” The luxury African hotel group will manage three luxury hotels here as part of a multi-billion-pound development, that will include a conference centre and health spa.
The first five-star deluxe Sahara Sun Resort with 309 rooms is due to open in November, it is Sun International’s first development outside of southern Africa.
“This is a hugely exciting development for the travel industry and we expect European holidaymakers to make up a large percentage of visitors to the destination,” says Ian Anderson, Sun International’s Marketing Director for Europe and US.
“Port Ghalib is set to become the ‘must visit’ destination for holidaymakers seeking a stylish resort offering sun, culture, history and adventure, as well as the stunning backdrops of the desert and the Red Sea.”
Two others less formal resorts, including the Desert Oasis with 300 rooms and the Desert Sands with 347 are also planned. They are part of the $1.2 billion development of Port Ghalib by Kuwaiti developers MA Kharafi. Port Ghalib lies 210 kilometres south of Hurghada on the Eastern Desert coast.
All three resorts will back onto the International Convention Centre with a capacity of 1,500 seats and 20 breakaway rooms, all equipped with state-of-the-art technology, as well as a luxurious health spa and gym. A marina big enough for 1,000 luxury yachts is also planned.
Port Ghalib is being developed along 18 kilometres of coast, a few minutes’ drive from the private Marsa Alam airport. The area of Marsa Alam was first recognised for its excellent diving. However, it is now making a debut in the mainstream tourism scene in a similar way to Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.
Charter flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Marsa Alam International Airport are currently operating once a week by Thomas Cook Airlines and from Manchester by thomsonfly. Egypt Air also provides a scheduled service from Cairo.