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Sunday, 7 March 2021

Meet the folks who’ll tuck King Tut in at night

A consortium of local and foreign companies led by Hassan Allam Holding has been awarded management rights for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in a tender that finally wrapped up last week following over two years of negotiations, cabinet said on Thursday. The statement didn’t disclose which companies would work alongside HAH, but said that the group is made up of several Egyptian, British, French, and Emirati firms. Maj.Gen. Atef Moftah, who is supervising the project, declined to disclose the names of the companies when approached by Enterprise.

Al Kharafi came close to landing the job: The consortium was one of five that had been competing in the later stage of the tender, which was then whittled down to three, the other two being a consortium of Orascom Construction and an unnamed French company, and another led by Kuwait’s Al Kharafi, Moftah told us. This was then narrowed down to Hassan Allam and Al Kharafi, he added.

A final contract is expected to be signed in the next 45 days, by which time the government hopes to wrap up the final negotiations and legal procedures, Motfah said. The contract will bring the companies on board to run services at the soon-to-be inaugurated GEM, which Moftah said will include a pre-arrival booking platform for tourists, on-site tours, programs both in GEM and the nearby Pyramids Plateau area, and developing and executing a full-fledged promotion scheme for GEM and ancient Egyptian civilization.

So, when can we go to the GEM? Provided covid is brought under control and vaccination programs run successfully, it should be open to the public in 2H2021, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El Anany said recently. Construction is already at least 98% complete, but an official opening will still need to wait due to the pandemic.

DIVE DEEPER: Check out our two-part Hardhat series on the Giza Pyramids development project: Part I | Part II.

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