Saudi Arabia's billionaire prince to invest $800M in Egypt's hotel projects

As part of the investment deal, Kingdom Holding and TMG will expand Sinai's Sharm el-Sheikh Four Seasons resort on the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Egyptian developer Talaat Moustafa Group have agreed to invest $800 million in hotel developments throughout Egypt—one of the largest planned investments from foreign investors since Egypt's major economic reform program began. 

Talal's Kingdom Holding and TMG will expand the Sharm el-Sheikh Four Seasons resort on the Red Sea while they build two new hotels at El Alamein on Egypt's north coast and at Madinaty in Cairo, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation told Bloomberg. Talaat Moustafa has reported that he is currently studying the projects. “This is a global investor and he compares between places to decide where to invest. He sees that the business environment is now attractive and he is committed to investing in Egypt,” Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.

After taking steps to restore investor confidence, Egypt is looking to exceed its $10 billion target for foreign direct investment this year. This includes reducing restrictions on currency and subsidies in a bid to win a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. 

Increasing traveler numbers is a major focus of Egypt's economic recovery program. The industry took a harsh blow following the bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015, which killed all 224 people on board, and by other militant attacks on security forces and civilian targets.

However, tourist numbers have been rising in Egypt despite these attacks. In March, numbers reached 654,900, compared to 440,700 in March 2016, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. In response, the country has continued to develop and currently out-spaces Africa in new hotel projects. HotStats reported that Germany topped the list of visitors while Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, China and the UK followed behind. Cairo's hotels reported one of highest profit increases in country with a 130-percent YOY boost in RevPAR in January.