Minister of Antiquities Khaled Anany held a meeting with South Sinai’s governor, Khaled Fouda, in the attendance of important figures from the Ministries of Interior and Defence in order to discuss the details of finalising the file for Egypt to apply to list “Jazīrat Fir’awn” (Pharaoh’s Island) on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2018.
Unlike most visited touristic destinations in Egypt, Pharaoh’s Island in east Sinai hasn’t had a fair share of popularity over the years, despite its historical importance—something that might change after listing it on the world’s most important heritage index.
“The main aim of this meeting is to ease the obstacles the Ministry of Antiquities met while preparing the file’s first version, which was submitted to the World Heritage Committee last October, and to apply the committee’s recommendations,” said Ahmed Obeid, general supervisor of the Ministry of Antiquities’ technical office.
The island was conquered at the end of the 12th century by Saladin and is considered one of the most important Islamic relics in Sinai. It was mainly built to protect the nearby city of Aqaba.
Obeid assured that all of the ministries have shown interest in cooperating with the Ministry of Antiquities to list the island on the index—something Egypt hasn’t achieved since 2002 when Abu Mena City near Alexandria was listed as a monastery complex and Christian pilgrimage centre.
The meeting included discussions on the requirements needed in order to facilitate joining the list, including renovating the island’s touristic spots, as well as providing tourists’ easy, safe, and fast transportation to and from the island.
The ministry has put a renovation strategy in place because of the fact that it is one of the sites of historical value and archaeological and natural importance.