Egypt has long been a popular tourist destination for British holidaymakers, but it has steadfastly remained below the radar for property investors - possibly because of its perceived instability. This could soon change: in an attempt to boost demand from British buyers, some Egyptian developers are offering credit-crunched UK investors extra incentives to part with their cash. For example, Orascom, the developer behind the El Gouna resort on the Red Sea Riviera, will pay buyers a return of 3.25 per cent - more than they might get if they left their money in a savings account - if they are prepared to pay for their property upfront rather than in stages.
El Gouna is a short drive north of Hurghada, one of Egypt's property hotspots, which teems with high-rise apartment blocks. El Gouna is much more attractive, with plenty of open spaces and miles of beaches. The 9,000-acre purpose-built resort has been developed by Orascom, which is controlled by the billionaire Sawiris family. Building started in 1990: there are now 14 hotels and more than 2,000 villas and apartments, as well as an 18-hole golf course, a yacht marina and dozens of shops, bars and restaurants. The next phase of development is Ancient Sands Golf Resort, a 650-acre site whose focus will be a Karl Litten-designed golf course.
Source - Times online Property
British champion freediver Sara Campbell joined a team of 22 scuba divers on a Red Sea liveaboard to help clean up Egypt's reefs. The week was part of a month of subsidised clean-up safaris that tour operator blue o two has been running throughout 2009 to support the HEPCA's (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) Hayah campaign.
Hayah (meaning life in Arabic) is a broad initiative aimed at educating the tourists and people working within the diving industry to protect the marine environment while supporting sustainable income for the local communities.
'I've always had a close connection with the environment, and am delighted that I can use my diving to reach a wider audience to help protect not only the Red Sea, but all water environments,' said Campbell. 'I was on the fourth Hayah/blue o two clean-up week and we brought up around 30kg of rubbish, mainly glass, cans, plastic wrapper and fishing lines. The amount of waste that ends up in the sea is shocking - it not only looks horrible, but it destroys the reefs and particularly in the case of fishing lines and nets, can create the most awful devastation to the wildlife.'
Guests on board the liveaboard the following week, picked up more than 100kg of rubbish including used oil and diesel filters, according to blue o two.
HEPCA project manager Natalie Tyler said: 'Simply by seeing that divers are prepared to spend time and money on holiday to clean up the reefs makes a big impact on the boat crew and encourages them to adopt more environmentally friendly ways of living at sea, from waste disposal to cleaning materials they use. We can't pinpoint the waste problem at one group - everyone is responsible for looking after the future of the sea.'
For more information about the Hayah project see www.hepca.com or for details about the subsidised clean up trips see www.blueotwo.com.
Source - Dive Magazine
Soma Bay’s stunning Cascades Championship Golf Course has been ranked the number one golf course in the world outside of Europe for the second year running. This award is given by the readers of one of Germany’s leading golf magazines, Golf Journal, and is considered to be one of the highest accolades in the golfing press world.
The 18 hole par 72 Cascades is the first in many ways in Egypt and was the first golf course open for play on the western Red Sea coast when launched in 1999. Designed by Gary Player, The Cascades is also the first Championship course in the Middle East designed by one of the "Big Three" (Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer). At the inaugural tournament, Gary Player described the course as "the next Pebble Beach."
The desert and oceanfront links design of The Cascades makes the most of its spectacular setting directly on the beautiful Red Sea coast. Nine of the holes feature the added excitement of water hazards and the whole course offers memorable views of the lush green fairways contrasting dramatically with the rugged desert and the clear blue sea.
The Cascades is the highlight of the extensive golf facilities at Soma Bay’s renowned Cascades Golf and Country Club. Adjacent to the Championship course, is the 9 hole, Par 3 Challenge Course, also designed by Gary Player, that offers both the beginner and the more advanced golfer the opportunity to practice a variety of shots with emphasis on the short game.
Source - Soma Bay - PR & Marketing Dept
Overseas property specialists Azure Overseas have highlighted Egypt as a country ripe for property investment. Azure director Frank Crowley made the following statement about Egypt:
"We are currently recommending Egypt to our investors, especially those on a very tight budget looking to make immediate gains. We have resort properties in Hurghada, one of the most popular areas with tourists [Egypt being a popular destination as a whole] from just £17,000. These can easily fetch rental yields upwards of 8%, and our analysts predict they will make at least a 15% immediate capital gain when the development is completed. We are also recommending Egypt because of its favourable tax regime, i.e. no capital gains or inheritance tax, and rental income taxed at standard income rates."
Frank Crowley's statements follow another recommendation for Egypt property investment, US property billionaire Sam Zell recently recommended the country because of an "enormous shortage of housing".
Source - Write about property