The GRAND Museum In Egypt Is Opening Its Doors Soon
By: Anthony Bayyouk / Arab America Contributing Writer
The long-awaited Grand Egyptian museum is soon to open. Egypt has anticipated opening a new museum for over two decades. The current well-known and respected Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, located in Tahrir Square in the center of Cairo, has been welcoming visitors for over a century. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is beautiful and has lines wrapped around the building every day by locals and tourists. For the past couple of decades, Egyptian architects have been making discoveries every year and the museum simply can’t house them all. Sadly many artifacts are left in storage because of the lack of space.
Plans to open the Grand Museum in Giza have been pushed back due to the Arab Spring and most recently COVID-19. In 2002, Egypt allowed architect firms from around the world to enter a competition to see who will design the new museum. Over 1,550 architectural firms from around the world participated. In 2003, Berlin Germany based architectural firm Heneghan Peng won. Since then Japan has offered to fund 70% of the project with the remainder being paid for by the Egyptian government. The total cost of the museum is projected to be around 1 billion dollars.
The new Museum is located among the Pyramids in the heart of Giza. Many have wondered why the museum will not be located in Cairo. Cairo is overpopulated with locals and tourists, and the museum outside of the city will spread out the influx of tourists who will travel to Egypt just for this museum. Locating the new museum next to the pyramids is a very strategic idea. Not only does the museum need acres of land that Cario can’t offer, but tourists who visit the pyramids can visit the museum right after and see all the historic artifacts that were found in the pyramids they just visited.
The 5.2 million square feet museum will house 200,000 artifacts dating back 3,000 years. The biggest attraction will be the King Tut exhibit. Current King tut exhibit being held at The Museum of Egyptian Artifacts. The new exhibit will not only feature King Tut himself but will take visitors through the Egyptian Pharaohs’ life. Visitors will get to experience every aspect of Pharaoh Tut’s life from the way he ate and dressed to the way he ruled Egypt.
The museum started a program that allowed anyone to buy a $250 ticket just to see the construction. The program was so big that construction was halted. The excitement around the museums has been building for over two decades so is expected to be a success. The museum estimates 5 million visitors a year. Ticket admission to the museum will only be $25. It will be the biggest archeological museum in the world. If for some reason you’re not interested in the 200,000 artifacts on display, there will also be 24hr restaurants, 3D cinema, and the pyramids right down the street. Without a doubt, many investors are preparing to open resorts and numerous other attractions for tourists.
The Grand Egyptian Museum says it expects to see at least a 30% increase in tourism after it opens. This will lead to a demand of around 40 new hotels and generate approximately 60,000 job opportunities in the tourism industry
Egypt’s tourism industry accounts for 20% of its economy which accounts for 20 billion dollars annually. Like many other countries around the world, tourism came down significantly during the pandemic. The new museum will help bring back visitors to the country and will speed up their recovery. Last April Egypt put on a multi-million dollar parade that transported the dozens of ancient kings and queens through the streets of Cairo to the new museum. Just for the parade, the streets that were used to transport the mummies were newly paved. To safely transport all the mummies without risking any damage, the mummies were transported in oxygen-free nitrogen capsules in shock-resistant vehicles.
Anyone who visits Egypt and doesn’t visit the new museum will truly miss out as it will be one of the greatest museums in the world. The museum’s goal is to take you back in time to ancient Egypt to experience life among the pharaohs.
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