Egypt   Click on images in the post below to view the full-size versions

El Gouna Resort, Red Sea, Egypt

   From an old privately owned village in England to a new privately owned town on the Red Sea, El Gouna is an Integrated Tourist Resort on Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, owned and developed by the Sewiris Family. Both are tourist destinations – one recycled, and the other newly built.
El Gouna, started some 20 years ago, is built around interconnected salt water canals and lagoons dredged out of the desert plain. The development has a population of 18,000 with 5 major hotels, many villas and apartments, two marinas, a downtown area, a golf course, school, library, hospital and a university. The architecture shows variations of Hassan Fathy’s vernacular, appropriate and non-intrusive. The striking aspect is the quality of the whole development; the lush landscaping, the pothole free roads, and the general tidiness is in sad contrast to the world of Egypt outside the Gates of the Main Entrance.

See their website here.

Sun rise over the golf course
The Golf course with Red Sea in the distance
Lagoon side villas
The downtown complex
Beach at the Sheraton Hotel, with created island in distance
The only bit of the real world left, a Mangrove
Movenpick Resort and Spa

However this utopianism has something missing, with its perfect fakeness creating a simulated reality. I feel rather like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, or Patrick McGoohan in that cult TV series The Prisoner. They were both shot in created resorts, the former at Seaside Florida, a master planned community in Florida’s panhandle, the latter at Portmeirion in North Wales, a resort created by Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1920’s. An example of where reel meets real!

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