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Egyption History and the emergence of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Brief History of Egypt
Egypt was formerly under the Ottoman Empire in Turkey and in the first half of the nineteenth century, Muhammad Ali, an Albanian attempted to create an Egyptian Empire and remove Egypt from the control of the Turks; he was however unsuccessful.
The desire of the British to maintain control of the Suez Canal coupled with foreign investment (including British investment) in Egypt led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882.
In 1922 Egypt was granted nominal independence with Britain still in charge; it was not until between the 1952 Revolution and the 1956 war that Egypt gained independence in the real sense of the word.
It was in 1952 that Lieutenant Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser led the Free Officers to remove King Faruk from power and in 1956 President Nasser nationalized Suez Canal.
This led to Israel, Britain and France invading Egypt; Egypt prevailed and Britain withdrew her troops later that year.
The conflict between Israel and Egypt was brought to an end in 1979 with the signing of the peace treaty called Camp David Accords between the two countries.
This treaty has not affected the conflict between Israel and Palestine and Egypt is very much involved in attempts to resolve the conflict, though on a diplomatic level as they are all neighboring countries.
Creation of Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh was a small fishing village, called Sharm us Seyh (‘Beard of Sheikh’) while under the Ottoman Empire and later became a seaport and naval base; it was later called Ofira when it was captured by Israel.
It was first captured by Israel in 1956, returned to Egypt in 1957, captured again by Israel in 1967. However under the Camp David Accords it was returned to Egypt along with the Sinai Peninsula.
Commercial development of Sharm as a tourist city began while it was under Israel but it lacked the publicity to make it popular until it was returned to Egypt.
In 1982 the Aquamarine Hotel was built and the Cliff Tops. In a bid to develop the diving industry, Alain Sobol was brought in to manage the Aquamarine and Rolf Schmidt, both professional divers.
Egypt started to advertise Sharm to the world. By the beginning of the millennium, the number of hotels had risen to 91 as against 3 in 1982.
Major chains and cheap hotels in sharm have established their presence in Sharm- Le Meridien, Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton among others.
In 2007 the first aqua park resort was opened in Sharm, the Aqua Blu Sharm Resort. International fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s are also in Sharm.
The marina in Sharm has been redeveloped for use by cruise ships, sailboats and yachts.
The warm and dry climate all year round, proximity to Europe, and obtaining a cheap flight to uk as well as clean and golden beaches, great diving sites, assorted aquatic life and other tourist attractions in addition to its being family friendly has boosted tourism in Sharm.
This has led to the development of tourist related businesses like advanced hospitals, shops selling Bedouin handcraft, bars, casinos and diving schools.
09072011—The emergence of Sharm El Sheikh by Tom Branston of Glasgow
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