Egypt to open Suez Canal expansion

2015-08-06 07:56

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo (dpa) - Egypt is to inaugurate on Thursday a major expansion of the Suez Canal, with the government hoping the project will boost the country's flagging economy.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi will be joined by foreign dignitaries at a grand opening ceremony for the new shipping route in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya.

French President Francois Hollande has confirmed his attendance at the gala alongside other political leaders from Cyprus, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and Sudan, according to local media.

The government has declared Thursday a public holiday. Train journeys will also be free on the day to give people the chance to celebrate what pro-government media have dubbed "Egypt's gift to the world".

The nation is preparing for street celebrations to mark the event and main squares have been colourfully decorated with lights and the national flag.

Militant attacks

Last year, al-Sisi announced the construction of the 72km-long lane, which has been funded solely by Egyptian investors.

He demanded that the route be completed within a single year, tightening the original three-year deadline for the project. Egypt's struggling economy could not afford to wait longer, Sisi said.

The eight-billion-dollar waterway is the first major project completed since Sisi, an ex-army general, took office last year.

The expansion will allow two-way traffic along the Suez Canal, the shortest shipping route between Asia and Europe which dates back 146 years.

The Suez Canal provides one of Egypt's main sources of income alongside tourism and remittances from expatriates.

Egyptian authorities forecast that the new route will increase the Suez Canal's annual revenue from 5 billion dollars at present to $13.2bn by 2023.

Security has been enhanced nationwide for Thursday's celebrations, following an increase in militant attacks in recent months. These have been particularly frequent on the Sinai Peninsula which borders the Suez Canal.

Read more on:    abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.