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 it is bounded by a plain desert. 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 the Jalalah al-Bahriyyah Uplands, which rise to 1,275 meters in southern Suez governorate. The next group south are 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 are located in a city which is called Zaafarana.
History of Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar Governorate
In the 1960s mineral deposits began to be exploited in Al-Bahr al-Ahmar Governorate. Eventually, Offshore and onshore oil fields were found. 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 and a plant that processes the mined phosphates for shipment. It services as a tourist resort, as well. Here, tourists can find very fine hotels and wonderful beaches.
Hurghada is the capital of the Red Sea Governorate, in Arabic, Al-Ghardaqah, a major oil center and site of oil fields. Nowadays, Hurghada is the most famous resort in this vast governorate. Other industrial sites are Bur Safajah, Ḥamrawayn, and Ayn Sukhnah, as well. The later is the Gulf of Suez terminal of an oil pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea and the site of a deep-water cargo port. The Egyptian government mines alabaster, porphyry, granite, and sandstone from the mountains of the Eastern Desert.
A highway along the Red Sea coast links Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar to Suez and further to the Capital of Egypt, in the north. This highway goes straightly south to the Sudanese frontier. Thus, it serves connecting all the cities locating on the coast in this large governorate. In addition, 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. and highways lead across the desert to the Nile valley.
- Hurghada, or Al-Ghardaqah in Arabic: capital of the governorate
- Marsa Alam
- Ras Gharib
- Also, Safaga