El Gouna is an Egyptian tourist city owned by Samih Sawiris and developed by Orascom Hotels and Development, dating from 1989. It lies on the Red Sea in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Hurghada. It is part of the Red Sea Riviera and a host city of the El Gouna Film Festival.
Location of El Gouna City
El Gouna has 10 kilometres of coastline and 20 islands surrounded by lagoons. The town is 25 kilometres away from the Hurghada International Airport. However, the city also has a private airport. El Gouna is also famous for being Egypt’s greenest city and the most environmentally-friendly town in all of Egypt.
History of El Gouna
Orascom Hotels and Development has planned El Gouna resort city. Orascom Development Holding (ODH) is a Group holding company headquartered in Switzerland. It is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations, featuring hotels, private villas and apartment compounds, leisure facilities, outdoor offerings such as golf courses and marinas, and necessary infrastructures. Over several decades ODH has developed many global destinations. The company’s diversified portfolio of destinations spreads over seven jurisdictions; Egypt, Switzerland, Montenegro, Oman, UAE, United Kingdom and Morocco.
ODH owns a land bank of 100.2 million sqm and 32 hotels with 6,756 rooms. The Group operates presently nine destinations; four in Egypt (El Gouna, Taba Heights, Byoum and Makadi Heights), The Cove in the United Arab Emirates, Jebel Sifah and Hawana Salalah in Oman, Luštica Bay in Montenegro and Andermatt in Switzerland. Orascom Development is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Orascom Development Egypt (ODE), a subsidiary of ODH, is an integrated developer of resort towns in Egypt. ODE currently owns a land bank of 45.7 million sqm distributed over four Destinations; El Gouna on the Red Sea Coast, Taba Heights in the Sinai Peninsula, Makadi Heights in the Red Sea district, and Byoum in Al Fayoum.
Many influential European and American architects designed el Gouna buildings to resemble traditional Egyptian architecture, such as in the Egyptian countryside and Nubian villages. El Gouna specializes in water sports, including scuba diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing, parasailing and snorkelling. There are several beaches: including Zeytuna Beach (Arabic: شاطئ زيتونة) located on its island, Mangroovy Beach, Moods Beach and other hotel beaches. A network of canals allows many houses to have their strip of beach, even hundreds of meters inland. Most of these canals are crossed by small stone bridges.
There are three main areas in El Gouna, Downtown, Tamr Henna Square (Arabic: ميدان تمر حنة) and the Abu Tig Marina (Arabic: مارينا أبو تيج).
There are 18 hotels (some of which were designed by the American architect Michael Graves) with 2,895 rooms rated from three-star to five-star. In addition to a six-star hotel called La Maison Bleue located next to the Abu Tig Marina Extension.
El Gouna hosts a golf course designed by Gene Bates and Fred Couples. Ancient Sands Golf Resort’s second golf course real estate project, designed by acclaimed golf course architect Karl Litten, was opened in 2012.
School and Church
The town hosts the El Gouna International School, a campus of the TU Berlin, an Environmental Geographic Information System and a small private airport for charter aircraft. El Gouna has a fully equipped international hospital that can handle many medical treatments, including dentistry, plastic surgery, paediatrics, ophthalmology, and general surgery Divingng accident also features an intensive care unit and a decompression chamber. There are also three marinas: Abydos Marina, the Abu Tig Marina and the Abu Tig Marina Extension, currently in its last phase of construction, which can receive superyachts.
The town also housed a small museum with 90 exhibits (including statue replicas and an exhibition hall of contemporary Egyptian paintings by Hussein Bikar) in 1996.
Other attractions and activities around town include a small aquarium, a go-kart track, a paintball arena, tennis courts, horse stables and a football stadium. El Gouna FC’s local football team currently plays in the Egyptian premier league. It also has a mosque, a Coptic church, the Church of St. Mary, and the Archangels.
In 2017 an annual film festival was established, the El Gouna Film Festival.
GLOBAL GREEN TOWN AWARD
El Gouna is honoured to be the first destination in Africa and the Arab Region to receive the Global Green Award in August 2014. Sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program, this award is handed to cities displaying substantial measures and efforts in progress within environmental sustainability.
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP or LE). All El Gouna banks offer official currency exchange services, but it is advisable to arrive with either US$, UK£, Euros, or travellers’ checks to simplify money transactions. Most banks have ATMs, and stand-alone ATMs are also available in some hotels and the Downtown and Marina areas.
Stay connected while in El Gouna. All hotels are equipped with wireless internet in the guestrooms or hotel grounds. The Abu Tig Marina and several favoured spots Downtown are also equipped with WiFi.
THINGS TO DO
BEACHES AND POOLS
Whether you are curious to try out a pool or beach different from your hotel’s or are renting an apartment and want to know where to go for a swim. El Gouna’s beaches and pools are not just swimming destinations but are complete with music, food and an overall idyllic beach ambience.
Bellevue Beach Hotel
This 350 M long sandy beach overlooking the excellent multi-colours of open seawater invites you for a remarkable relaxing experience with high-quality loungers and soft mattresses that will give a whole new definition for serenity and a peaceful mind. Over and above, you can enjoy our heated 140-depth CM swimming pool with its in-pool bar, or you can join your kids in their 80CM swimming pool from sunrise till sunset with a unique 40CM depth pool for babies and toddlers.
Club88 enjoys a luxurious beachfront pool bar & restaurant with stunning marina views and sleek docked yachts. The beachfront space is adorned with an intimate, gorgeous sun deck swimming pool. The pool also has a curved bar overlooking plush double sunbeds and relaxing sofa areas.
Club 88 El Gouna offers freshly prepared dishes using only the finest and freshest ingredients. A team of highly-skilled, professional chefs is brought together, bringing a cosmopolitan and international culinary feel to all the dishes.
Element Watersports is home to one of the most beautiful shallow water lagoons in El Gouna. They have a wide range of activities and facilities to accommodate riders and non-riders, from easy, shallow water conditions to Sliders and Kickers to get that adrenaline pumping through your veins. With courses and private lessons running daily and wind up 80% of the time, we are positive you will have an unforgettable experience.
La Maison Bleue
Experience a personalized ensemble of luxury excellence at La Maison Bleue, The Luxury Hideaway of El Gouna. Located directly on Mangroovy Beach, this small boutique hotel gives you access to the pool and private beach in absolute privacy.
Marina Hotels Beach Club
The Marina Beach lies between Club 88 and Moods Beach club, just a few steps away from the hotels. The Marina Beach is equipped with windshields, loungers and umbrellas. Your hotel provides beach towels. Marina hotels’ guests and Ancient Sands Resort guests have free access to Marina Beach. The new Marina Beach is also available for other guests and residents.
Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna
The beach has it all: directly on the open sea, presenting the most spectacular colours of turquoise water. You will find plenty of space for relaxation and pure bliss. At the Kitebeach, with our unique lagoon, beginners and experienced riders will find an ideal condition for their favourite sport right within the resort. If you are looking for a quiet spot for swimming, the other lagoon beach is just where to spend your day.
Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna
One of the most exciting experiences is your stay on the beach during your vacation. You spend almost half of the day enjoying the beach facilities.
Sheraton Miramar realized this long ago, and our team has worked hard to enhance this experience and make it memorable.
Now you can choose between theme beaches available within their premises, each offering a variety of selections fulfilling all desires. The “Family Beach” is dedicated to families accompanied by our beloved angels, for whom you will find an ideal, sandy playground, built along with the opening of the Oriental restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious lunch.
The “Miramar Beach” is another addition providing a nice beach bar with soft and hard drinks.
The “Relaxation beach” is now better than ever with a new beach bar serving soft & hard drinks.
On each beach, you will find one or more service stations. The beach attendants and F&B teams are merged to offer faster and more efficient service. Reservations of pool or beach sunbeds are not allowed.
Repeatedly excelling at hosting a wide variety of events, The Smokery has developed a strong reputation as a prime location for events in El Gouna. Renowned for their exquisite cuisine and exceptional service, The Smokery caters to the different requests of every event, surpassing expectations every single time with lavish buffets, unmatchable Sushi stations, skilled bartenders and a very experienced team! With two beautiful locations and stunning views of the Red Sea in the New Marina, you can have your event at The Smokery El Gouna Yacht Club. Or The Smokery Beach, whether you are going for the raw and rustic look or the classy and elegant feel. Adaptable and flexible to any occasion, you cannot go wrong with these venues!
Steigenberger Golf Resort
The lagoon beach in front of the hotel is equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and windbreaks. It offers easy access to swimming in the seawater lagoon in a relaxing atmosphere. The Beach Bar provides tasty and refreshing drinks from 10:30 am till sunset. Steigenberger Golf Resort offers several water sports activities at the lagoon jetty. It also offers two pools heated in the winter season.
The Club House
A Gouna staple. Jump in the pool or lounge at their private beach. The Club House’s staff is always on hand to take your drink or food order. Whether relaxing on a beach bag or carrying a reprieve from the sun in their beach restaurant, you can try it.
The Three Corners Ocean View
The Ultimate lounge experience of hot nights and lazy afternoons is made for DuPort Pool Club at the Three Corners Ocean View. DuPort is one of the hottest clubs on the scene; with its cool tunes, private lounge beds and heated swimming pool, you will never want to leave. Sip your cocktails, admire the view or dance under the stars. The venue is open every day from 8:00 am till sunset and for nightlife events, stay tuned. You may contact us as well for weddings or any other private party.
Zeytouna Beach Island
A regular shuttle boat takes you to the Zeytouna beach, leaving Sultan Bey hotel. The beach stretches on an island surrounded by sea and lagoons. Sunbeds, shade umbrellas, fresh towel service, beach sports, a restaurant and a beach bar, are available.
Kiki’s Restaurant & Pool Bar exists in Fanadir Hotel, open from 11 am to 11 pm. The Pool Bar offers a wide variety of fresh juices and cocktails served on the in-pool stools or the surrounding tables in a shady and breezy environment. The menu offers a variety of Italian and Egyptian specialities, from pasta pizzas to a wide selection of panini, wraps, and salads. They serve fresh fish, tuna, and a large variety of local beef and poultry from the outdoor charcoal grill. Pool access is free for outside guests.