New Valley Governate is named after the New Valley Project, which aims to irrigate parts of the Western Desert. Consisting of roughly half of Egypt’s area, this spacious governorate is the country’s largest and most sparsely populated and one of the most significant subnational divisions globally. At 440,098 square kilometres in size, New Valley Governorate is just slightly larger than the country of Iraq. The capital is at the Kharga Oasis.
Location of the New Valley Governorate
New Valley Governorate or El Wadi El Gedid Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. The southwestern part of the country is south of Egypt’s Western Desert (part of the Sahara Desert), between the Nile, northern Sudan, and southeastern Libya.
The governorate is divided into municipal divisions with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 242,300. In the case of the New Valley governorate, there is one kism with urban and rural parts and four marakiz.
According to population estimates, in 2015, most residents in the governorate lived in rural areas, with an urbanisation rate of only 48.0%. Out of an estimated 225,416 people residing in the governorate, 117,180 people lived in rural areas, and only 108,236 lived in urban areas.
According to population estimates, in 2018, the population was 245,000, with an urbanisation rate of 46.7%.
Cities, towns, oases
New Valley has several cities, towns and oases. As of 2018, Kharga Oasis and Dakhla Oasis were the two places in New Valley with a population of over 15,000. Farafra Oasis and Baris Oasis are also in New Valley.
According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment (MOI), the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:
- Al Kharga
- Heavy industrial zone – El Dakhla
- Heavy industrial area – Wadi Waer West
New Valley also contains some farming areas created by the New Valley project, like Sharq El Owainat.
In the New Valley Governorate on February 8–9, 2011, violent clashes were reported as part of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Protesters set fire to police stations and the National Democratic Party building. Multiple deaths were reported in addition to hundreds of injuries amid claims that the police opened fire on protesters in Kharga Oasis with live ammunition.
- Manufacturing of palm dates
- Tourism and safaris
- Agricultural activities (around oases)