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.” For this reason, 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. The nature of land in this governorate appears to be a bare desert. It encompasses about one-fifth of the total area of Egypt.
Location of Al Bahr Al Ahmar Governorate
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 south of the Suez governorate. The next group south is the Al-Jalalah al-Qibliyyah Uplands, which rise to 1,475 meters. Just west-northwest of the mountain is the Christian monastery; 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, the government began to exploit mineral deposits in Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar Governorate. Eventually, oil companies found both offshore and onshore oil fields. These fields have produced most of Egypt’s petroleum since the 1970s. Recently, additional fields in the Gulf of Suez have started production. The largest of them is the Al-Morgan field which locates approximately 200 km south of Suez.
The Eastern Desert also yields asbestos, manganese, phosphates, uranium, and gold. Al-Quṣeir, the principal Egyptian port in the Red Sea, has large phosphate deposits. Also, it has a processing plant that mines phosphates for freight. Besides, it serves as a tourist resort. Hereabouts, tourists can find excellent hotels and beautiful 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.
Generally, the Egyptian government mines the alabaster, porphyry, granite, and sandstone from the mountains of the Eastern Desert. Other industrial sites are Bur Safajah, Ḥamrawayn and Ayn Sukhnah. The latter serves 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.
A highway extending along with the Red Sea coast links Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar to Suez and farther to the Capital of Egypt in the north. Also, it goes straightly south to the Sudanese frontier. Thus, it connects all the cities located 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 road connects Marsa Alam to Edfu, Luxor and Aswan. Other routes 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
- Marsa Alam.
- Ras Gharib.
- Also, Safaga.
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 from the nearest governorate (Qena) in the Nile Valley and 500 kilometres to the south of Cairo. It borders 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 lies 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.
Ras Gharib City
Ras Ghareb is the second-largest city in the Red Sea Governorate and the most important Egyptian city in oil production. It is the northernmost of the Markaz (municipality) in the Red Sea Governorate. For a time, Ras Gharib city was the capital of the Red Sea Governorate.