Hurghada is one of the few places in the world that truly has something for everyone, or certainly comes as close to it as any global tourism destination does, and it is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Hurghada is a relaxed holiday destination, an international business hub, a bustling port city, and a tranquil nature reserve with modern amenities, where crystal azure waters and people of diverse origin join together with one friendly face. Those are the words of Al-Ahram weekly, but very contritely put indeed.
At best Hurghada has only ever made fringe market status, gaining popularity for its cheap property as much if not more than its investment potential or other strengths. But no more, in a recent article the Independent laid out why Hurghada has every chance of taking over Sharm el-Sheikh, especially with the latter having become embroiled in Egypt's recent political turmoil.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak took refuge in his holiday villa in Sharm before heart problems lead to his hospitalisation. However, this brought security forces into the town, and these are hardly conducive to an enjoyable holiday, or a holiday atmosphere.
Apart from that the Independent drew attention to the fact that both Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are great tourism destinations in their very different ways; calling attention to the fact that Sharm el-Sheikh was very much a high end destination, while Hurghada offered a more authentic Egyptian holiday, with bazaars and souks.
The Independent article, if it doesn't tell us that Hurghada will take over Sharm el-Sheikh soon, it does paint a picture of a resort area capable of becoming one of the biggest and best, not only in Egypt but in the world, thanks to what it called Satellite resorts.
El Gouna is known as the Venice of Europe, thanks to its manmade lagoons that would seem to be more at home in a crazy Dubai development, than one of the top luxury resorts in Egypt. El Gouna is already operational and is surely one of the drivers of tourism growth to Hurghada.
But it is in Sahl Hasheesh that real potential to become a world beating destination lies. Sahl Hasheesh is not a resort, but a resort town on the fringes of a resort town. Sahl Hasheesh is 400 square meters of land which was formerly protected by the military but is now being sold off as a self contained resort village. Some of the resorts currently under construction on Sahl Hasheesh will make Sahl Hasheesh a cross between Dubai and Monte Carlo by the time the land is completely developed, which is estimated to be sometime between 2020-2030.