The Egyptian government is now paying due attention to the Sinai Peninsula region, as it has given the go-ahead for major projects like the Great Transfiguration project, which aims to upgrade St Catherine’s into a leading destination for religious, environmental, and therapeutic tourism.
The project tacks place in the archaeological site of Mount Sinai behind the St Catherine’s Monastery, where God appeared to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments according to the Old Testament of the Bible.
The project has long been demanded by investors and Sinai residents with the aim of achieving the optimum use of St Catherine’s natural resources and the legacy of an area full of religious sites but that has been in desperate need of infrastructure and utility networks.
Additionally, the government targets to attract over 1 million tourists to Sinai Peninsula, which cited as the meeting point of the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The Great Transfiguration is carried out by the Central Agency for Urbanisation, an affiliate of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, with the joint cooperation of the ministries of tourism and environment.
It includes plans to reuse underground water and establish a road network linking the touristic destinations of South Sinai, such as Dahab and Sharm El-Sheikh.
According to Assem Al-Gazzar, the minister of housing, the project is funded by the New Urban Communities Authority based on the directives of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to develop the area of St Catherine’s that enjoys a high historical and spiritual value.
The Great Transfiguration project includes upgrading the existing ecolodge and constructing a new one, establishing a Peace Park, building a hotel on the mountain, opening a new visitors’ centre and administrative complex, and developing the touristic area and the heritage centre in the city, Al-Gazzar announced.
It will also focus on upgrading the residential area of the local Bedouin and building a new residential compound, developing the Valley of the Monastery, and constructing a new road and utilities network with safety measures against floods.