Port Said Governorate is one of the Canal Zone governorates of Egypt. The town of Port Said lies in the northeastern part of the country, on the Mediterranean Sea at the northern gate of the Suez Canal. This unique location makes Port Said the second most important harbour in Egypt. The capital has the same name, Port Said, and is home to the Suez Canal Authority historical administrative building and the Lighthouse of Port Said.
Location of Port Said Governorate
Port Said governorate is one of the urban provinces in the northeast of the Delta with a distinguished location overlooking the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. Most of the districts of the governorate lie on the African side of the Suez Canal, although Port Fuad lies on the Asian side.
Port Said lies in the North East of the Delta region, in a unique area right at the head of the Suez Canal and on the Mediterranean Sea coast. The Mediterranean Sea stretches along with it in the north. Ismailia borders it in the south, with Damietta, Sharqeya, and Daqahlia governorates to the west and the east by North Sinai.
Egypt now has one of the largest areas of natural gas. In 2015, the government discovered a substantial natural gas reserve off the coast of Port Said. Experts describe The gas reserve as “the largest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea”. The Italian company ENI has been contracted to work on the natural gas liquefaction for Egypt. It was welcome news as Egypt has long suffered an energy crisis.
- The New Suez Canal project launched in 2015 included dredging the East Port Said Canal.
- Port Said – the French Cathedral and Kitchener Street
- Port Said East
- Located on the Sinai side of the canal, Port Said East is a development project that contains the Suez Canal Container Terminal, which opened in 2004.
- In November 2015, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi publicly launched a new harbour development project at East Port Said.
- The government completed a side canal at Port Said East in 2016.
Port Said is also privileged with several natural protectorates, including Ashtoum el-Gameel, 7km away from West Port Said, including el-Gameel and Ashtoum el-Gameel straits. Moreover, Tenes Island is 7 km southwest of Port Said inside el-Manzalla Lake and has Tal Tenes (Tenes hill). Al-Farma, east Port Said, includes el-Khoury and el-Sahelia citadels.
Port Said Governorate includes the following municipal divisions for administrative purposes. El Sharq, El Arab, Port Fuad, El Manakh, El Dawahy, El Zohur, West (El Gharb), South (El Ganoub).
Divisions of the Governorate, at the 2006 census, included Mubarak East (the zone east of the new channel), Port Fuad 2 (the southern half of Fuad Island), Ganoub 2 (the south part of the South District), El Manasrah (now El Gharb), and a police department covering the docks. The total estimated population as of July 2017 was 751,073.
Port Said Governorate is wholly urban, with 98.2% of the area populated. The total population was estimated at the end of 2016 to be 684,303. With an urbanisation rate of 100%, the Port Said Governorate is one of the most urbanised in Egypt, parallel with Cairo and Suez. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs treats the province as one urban agglomeration.
The governorate was established in 1860 in a historical site called Farma, 28 km away from Port Said. Port Said lies on the historical roads between the East and West. Its prominent location gave it its worldwide economic importance and a trade link. People’s main activities are focused on port services, transit trade, fishing and, recently, industrial movement.
In February 2012, more than 70 people died in the Port Said Stadium Riot after a football match. Social unrest in early 2013 continued for at least two weeks. While protesting on March 5, 2013, protesters set fire to the governorate’s headquarters, and several people were injured.
In October 2016, some Egyptians protested rent increases.
Industrial zones in Port Said
According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:
- The industrial zone C 1
- The industrial area C 6
- And the industrial area C 11
- The Northwest Bortex
- The industrial site south of Port Said (Al Reswah)
- New urban community industrial zone
- Besides, East Port Said
Port Said Governorate is a significant transit point for business, importing and exporting millions of goods each year. The government makes efforts to encourage tourism flow for the region. During his presidency, Anwar Sadat declared it a duty-free zone to promote trade.
Port Said Port is an integrated system for maritime transport. It occupies an influential key position in the national economy due to its location as a trade liaison between the east and the west. Port Said is famous for its mild climate all year round.
It is also one of Egypt’s most important ports for tourism, reception of containers and transit trade. Since the Port Said General Authority’s establishment in 1980, the Port has undergone ongoing development. Its total imports capacity stood at 6 million tons, while exports capacity stood at 5.3 million tons, with LE 10.7 million.
The geo-strategic location of the hub port in the East of Port Said contributed to the integration of international transportation of the East Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf regions, hence giving the port economic and strategic importance. It also has diversified activities and navigation services.
The vast natural gas reserves off Port Said and Sinai‘s shores, particularly in Port Fouad and Port Said fields turned the governorate into a region for natural gas development. Consequently, the governorate hosted the most significant complex for natural gas liquefaction in the Middle East, over 452 hectares in West Port Said.
Port Said National Museum of Antiquities
There are several museums in this area. One may want to visit the Port Said National Museum of Antiquities for cultural tourism. The ministry of antiquities launched this museum in 1987 at the confluence of the Suez Canal waters and the Mediterranean Sea. It houses about 9,000 artefacts from all eras, ranging from the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, and modern periods and Coptic and Islamic eras.
Military Museum of Port Said
The Military Museum of Port Said, established in 1964, commemorates 1956 the tripartite aggression on the city. It features armoury and military artefacts, equipment used in the wars fought between 1956 – 1967 and 1973.
Al-Nasr Museum of Modern Art
Al-Nasr Museum of Modern Art in Port Said opened on December 25, 1995, and includes artwork by Egyptian artists in various branches of Fine Art.
Statue de Lesseps
The Statue de Lesseps, honouring Ferdinand de Lesseps, the Suez and Panama Canals developer, has its base at the entrance to the Suez Canal, along Palestine Street, where passing ships come from all over the world. It makes it a favourite with tourists. Nearby is the Suez Canal Authority building built on the banks of Port Said at the start of the project.
Lighthouse and Jetties
The lighthouse and jetties at Port Said stand at the northern terminus of the Suez Canal. They were completed in 1869 using Teil lime and sand concrete. In the construction, engineers used 120,000 tons of Teil hydraulic lime. It was a vital engineering feat involving 25,000 blocks, each weighing twenty-five tons. The lighthouse is a monolith 180 feet high.
Tall al Faramah
Tall al Faramah, also called Pelusium, is of Ecclesiastical and archaeological importance. It is an archaeological, prehistoric site with ruins and a Byzantine church.
In 2004, the marine sector of Egypt had 3,013 fishers who were categorised in the recreational fishing sector, fishing in and around the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Visitors to Port Said widely practise recreational fishing along the Mediterranean Coast.
Tel Tennis is an island (also Tennis or Thenessus) located 7 km (4.3 mi) southwest of Port Said on Lake Manzala. Passengers can reach this island by boat starting from Port Said.
One can find historic churches in Port Said Governorate. Christians established a Roman Church in 1926; a Melkite Greek Catholic Church called Saint Elias Greek Catholic Church and an old French Cathedral.
The governorate’s national day
December 23 corresponds with the evacuation of the tri-partite aggression forces “France, Israel, and England” in 1956.
It shows an anchor surrounded by two olive branches symbolising the peace realised in the land and the Port of Port Said by sacrificing the martyrs.
Port Said governorate occupies an area of 1344.96 Km2.