Guest speaker at AHIC 2018, Egyptian business mogul Samih Sawiris is the founder of Orascom for Hotels and Development S.A.E. HN sat down with the man who has made the impossible happen – wine in Egypt and a tourist town in the Egyptian desert, for a one-on-one
What are your expansion plans for the near future?
Right now, we’re in eight countries, so we’re focusing on them rather than looking to expand, since that’s more than enough. We have tons of land plots in these countries which need development, so I don’t believe that we need to look for new opportunities.
Which region or country do you feel most confident about?
It keeps changing! Ask me this year and I’ll tell you one of the eight. If you’d asked me last year, I would have told you another one. It really keeps shifting according to the dynamics. For instance, Morocco was completely dormant for a few years and now, all of a sudden, it’s coming back. We’re excited about Morocco. We’re even looking at another opportunity there, not just the Chbika development that stayed idle for many years because of the crisis. So as you can see, it’s impossible to give a generalistic view of these countries.
Any developments in Egypt?
Egypt is in my heart. I’m an Egyptian and Egypt made me what I am. The El Gouna, which gave everyone confidence in us and instilled the trust that we’d make good partners, is still our flagship, and will always remain a priority for me.