The Grand Egyptian Museum, which has been in the works for more than 10 years and is being designed to display some of the country’s most stunning ancient treasures, is slated to open in 2020.
The Associated Press reported that inauguration of the $1 billion museum is now being planned.
The jaw-dropping museum is seen as yet another example of the substantial investments being made in the country’s tourism industry by the Egyptian government in an attempt to revive it after years of decline.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is being readied to showcase about 50,000 artifacts, among them the legendary mask of Tutankhamen, according to the Associated Press. Many of the items are coming from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
“It’s a place where you can linger to enjoy ancient Egypt,” project director Tarek Tawfik told Associated Press.
The site is also slated to include a conference center, cinema, 28 shops, 10 restaurants, and a boutique hotel. The museum meanwhile, will also feature an intact wooden ship and a statue of Ramses II.
The building itself will be very modern, said Tawfik, who expects the new facility to attract about eight million people annually.
Egypt’s tourism industry has been experiencing a significant rebound of late. The number of tourists to the country spiked by 40 percent during the first nine months of 2018 over a year earlier.
The country expects to exceed eight million visitors before the year is over, and visits are on track to reach levels in the next two to three years not seen since before the 2011 revolution.
In addition to the museum project, Egypt’s government is seeking to help the recovery along even further by creating a new private equity fund focused on upgrading hotels in the country and providing new investment opportunities in the Red Sea area.
Visitor numbers began declining substantially years ago on the heels of such incidents as a revolution, several airline disasters including the ISIL bombing of a Russian Metrojet flight over the Sinai Peninsula that killed 224 people, and deadly bombings at Coptic churches.
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