Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reviews developments of the Greatest Transfiguration Project in South Sinai. Egyptian Presidency
The Great Transfiguration project seeks to turn the sacred mountainous area into a spiritual shrine and a destination for mountain, medical and environmental tourism, Housing Minister Assem El-Gazzar said in December.
The first phase of the project, worth EGP 4 billion (around $255 million), is scheduled to be inaugurated in April, according to El-Gazzar.
The project was first announced by the state in 2020 and is funded by the New Urban Communities Authority based on the directives of El-Sisi to develop the area.
The St Catherine area has significant historical and religious value, serving as a sacred site for the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
In Saturday’s meeting, El-Sisi ordered the attending officials pay thorough attention to all the project’s details, making sure they are consistent with the status of such a sacred spot, a presidential statement read.
El-Sisi also ordered that this area be introduced to the world in a manner befitting its unique spiritual value as an incubator of the three monotheistic religions.
The project should be integrated with the ongoing efforts to develop the city of St Catherine, El-Sisi ordered, urging maximum use of the city’s tourist, archaeological, environmental, religious and medical potential.
The president said that services should be made available to visitors from across the world, while preserving the area’s environmental and visual character.
He also ordered the officials to pursue sustainable development by relying on clean and renewable energy and caring for green areas.
The meeting reviewed the components of the project, including establishing an ecolodge, an inclusive mountain hotel, and a new administrative complex, the statement said.
The project also includes the development of the city’s Bedouin area, housing units, and pedestrian paths, and raising the efficiency of infrastructure and facilities as well as flood prevention work.
Development work also includes the establishment of the the “Peace Square” to host various celebrations, activities and performances.
According to El-Gazzar in December, the projects to develop the city of St Catherine include the establishment of the “Darb Musa” pathway that simulates the historical route Prophet Moses took to reach the mountain, where he is believed to have witnessed God’s transfiguration.