Al Bahr Al Ahmar Governorate is the biggest governorate in Egypt. It extends along the coast of the Red Sea and comprises much of the Eastern Desert. Its name means “Red Sea.” This is why you may find it under the name “Red Sea Governorate, or Red Sea City.” It extends from approximately 29° N latitude southward to the frontier of Sudan. On the west, a plain desert bounds it. Actually, the nature of land in this governorate appears to a plain desert. It encompasses about one-fifth of the total area of Egypt.
The northern boundary of Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar is near the southern extreme of Jalalah al-Bahriyyah Uplands. These uplands rise to 1,275 meters in the southern Suez governorate. The next group south is the Al-Jalalah al-Qibliyyah Uplands, which rise to a peak of 1,475 meters. Just west-northwest of the peak is the Christian monastery of St. Anthony; across the crest of the range to the southeast is the monastery of St. Paul. These two famous Christian monasteries exist in the city of Zaafarana.
History of Al Bahr Al Ahmar Governorate
In the 1960s mineral deposits began to be exploited in Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar Governorate. Eventually, oil companies found both offshore and onshore oil fields. The largest of them is the Al-Morgan field which locates approximately 200 km south of Suez. These fields have produced most of Egypt’s petroleum since the 1970s. Recently, additional fields in the Gulf of Suez have started production.
The Eastern Desert also yields asbestos, manganese, phosphates, uranium, and gold. Al-Quṣeir, the main Egyptian port in the Red Sea, has large phosphate deposits. Also, it has a plant that processes the mined phosphates for shipment. Moreover, it serves as a tourist resort, as well. Hereabouts, tourists can find very fine hotels and wonderful beaches.
Importance and Economy
Hurghada “Al-Ghardaqah” is the capital of the Red Sea Governorate, a major oil centre and site of oil fields. Also, it is the most famous resort in this vast governorate.
Other industrial sites are Bur Safajah, Ḥamrawayn and Ayn Sukhnah, as well. The latter services as the Gulf of Suez terminal of an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea. Also, it is a site of a deep-water cargo port. Generally, the Egyptian government mines alabaster, porphyry, granite, and sandstone from the mountains of the Eastern Desert.
A highway extends along with the Red Sea coast links Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar to Suez farther to the Capital of Egypt, in the north. Also, it goes straightly south to the Sudanese frontier. Thus, it serves to connect all the cities locating on the coast in this large governorate. Besides, the Egyptian government added more highways to connect this governorate to the Nile Valley. For example, there is a highway from Safaga to Qena, Luxor, Sohag and Asyut. Also, another highway connects Marsa Alam to Edu, Luxor and Aswan. Other highways lead across the desert to the Nile Valley.
Administrative Divisions of Al Bahr Al Ahmer Governorate
Hurghada or Al-Ghardaqah in Arabic: capital of Al Bahr Al Ahmar Governorate
Hurghada City stretches for about 40 kilometres along the shoreline of the Red Sea, Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar governorate. It lies 225 kilometres far from the nearest governorate (Qena) in the Nile Valley, and 446 kilometres to the south of Cairo. Ras Garib borders it in the north, Safaga tourist city in the south, the Red Sea coast in the east and the Assiut governorate in the west.
The Safaga City stretches for about 70 kilometres along the shoreline of the Red Sea, Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar governorate. Safaga is located 180 kilometres far from the nearest governorate (Qena) in the Nile Valley and 500 kilometres to the south of Cairo. It is bordering Hurghada City in the north, Al-Quseir city in the south, the Red Sea coast in the east and the Qena governorate in the west.
Marsa Alam City
Marsa Alam City stretches for about 540 kilometres along the shoreline of the Red Sea, Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar governorate, Egypt. Also, it is located 325 km far from the nearest governorate (Aswan) in the Nile Valley and 365 km to Luxor. Meanwhile, Al-Quseir borders it in the north, Sudanese borders in the south, the Red Sea coast in the east and the Aswan governorate in the west.