When looking for an example of how Egypt is growing as an event destination, Somabay is a clear example of integrating the hospitality and major events industries to create an end-to-end solution
As tourism continues to recover at a steady pace, Egypt’s event industry and itinerary expands with local and global entries in our annual calendars. From regional superstars to international comedians and concerts, Egypt’s attractiveness as a regional entertainment hub has accelerated as lockdowns and travel restrictions wane.
When looking for an example of how Egypt is growing as an event destination, Somabay is a clear example of integrating the hospitality and major events industries to create an end-to-end solution.
For the past few years, the location has become the backdrop to Egypt's biggest multi-sport event the Tri-Factory Endurance Festival, as well as one of the largest global open-water swimming competition Oceanman.
On the heels of hosting one of famed Croatian cellist duo 2Cellos’ farewell concerts, we sat down with Ibrahim El Missiri, CEO of Abu Soma Development Company (ASDC) - the master developers of Somabay – to discuss their upcoming events, Somabay’s growing portfolio and expansions.
“Somabay was honored to collaborate with such leading companies like RMC & MBC that are always keen to present exceptional insights aiming to impress different audience categories, El Missiri told us, adding that the “historic concert is proof of Somabay’s strategy to host various activities that promote tourism revitalization and attract tourists all over the world to enjoy the beauty and charm of our beloved Egypt.
“We pride ourselves on immersing our guests in amazing moments that get rid of their daily stress and lift their spirits. That weekend came to build on our previous laudable endeavors to bring mega international events all the way to Egypt, which aligns with Egypt’s 2030 Vision to promote our country as one of the best touristic destinations all over the world,” he explained.
In early December, Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa revealed that Egypt plans to stimulate inbound tourism and increase foreign tourist arrivals by 25-30% annually, with the aim to hit a revenue mark of $30 billion by 2025.
Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in September that international tourists who visited Egypt during the first half of 2022 reached 4.9 million, compared with the H1 of 2021’s recorded 2.6 million tourists.
When asked about what decision-making factors come into play when prospecting and selecting events, El Missiri told us that as part of the approach to establish Somabay as an “all-time favorite destination for each and every member in our community,” the activities provided reflected “a growing trend among our generation here in Egypt”.
“In the past [year], Somabay was keen on bringing international events like Oceanman, and Miss Elite to [Egypt to] cater to different target audiences. That’s why it was essential for us to be part of 2Cellos’ final world tour as part of our strategy to become an all-round player among real estate developers within the luxury and lifestyle [segment],” he said.
As the year closes, we asked the CEO about Sombay’s upcoming events; he stated that “Somabay is very keen on creating a series of diversified events and celebrations to make its residents and visitors experiences one of a kind across all the holidays every year, that’s why once again, we are ending 2022 with our mega New Years’ Eve party partnering with the renowned byGanz to give us a top-notch event”.
Somabay was the first development project in the Red Sea Governorate and the first among the only six integrated development projects in Egypt, El Missiri explained, adding that the Egyptian government has put significant effort into developing the infrastructure of this area and facilitating the development of roads and airports to make it easier to reach the Red Sea Governorate.
“[By] cooperating with the Red Sea Governorate, the destination becomes a potential economic and touristic opportunity. I’m proud to say that Somabay shows that there could be an established community where people can come and settle,” he told us when asked about his previous comments on transforming Somabay from a holiday getaway to a first-home destination.
Somabay’s strategy is to create a fully integrated community for residents offering diversified facilities that cater to everyone’s needs and more, he clarified.
El Missiri added that “it’s worth mentioning that after COVID-19 remote working and connectivity have been more common and applied in many businesses and corporates. [In that regard] I believe that living in Somabay is the optimum choice and opportunity for any type of business that is based on connectivity creating a structured productive working atmosphere”.
Moving into 2023, El Missiri discussed the ASDC’s success in 2022, stating that “Somabay is currently moving faster than we thought we’d ever be. We’ve launched three projects in a year, which is mind-blowing. Blanca, a prime beachside residence project, The Coves, an amazing place with insane topography and landscape, and finally, Bay Central, an expansion to the Marina, the most luxurious side of Somabay. Last year we launched Mesca Cabanas, which was a great success, people just loved it!”
According to the ASDC CEO, visitors will no longer need a “fancy big home” to enjoy all that Somabay has to offer, highlighting that the area also provides smaller places to stay while still allowing access to the beach.
“We also launched our new brands Somabay holidays and StayR. StayR is a luxury vacation rental and top-class concierge services apartments in Somabay, expertly combining personalized hospitality with a refined local touch to transform your vacation into an exceptional experience of a lifetime,” El Missiri explained.
*This article was published in our December 2022 - January 2023 issue. You can find our latest issue here