Sudan looks to pyramids to attract tourism
Creeping desert sands surround the Royal Cemeteries of Meroe Pyramids in Begrawiya at River Nile State, Sudan. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Sudan has more - though smaller - pyramids than Egypt, but attracted only about 700,000 tourists in 2018 compared to some 10 million in its northern neighbor. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Conflicts and crises under veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir, a tough visa regime and a lack of roads and decent hotels outside Khartoum have made Sudan an unlikely tourist destination. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
But Bashir lost power in April, and the new civilian transition government is easing visa rules to attract more visitors with their hard currency to places such as the Royal Pyramids of Meroe. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Like the Egyptians, the Nubian Kush dynasty that ruled in the area some 2,500 years ago buried members of the royal family in pyramid tombs. Near Meroe's pyramids lie an array of temples with ancient drawings of animals and the ancient city of Naga,...more
The new government has already started relaxing the visa system, including dropping a permit required for travel outside Khartoum, said Graham Abdel-Qadir, undersecretary of the ministry of information, culture and tourism. "There has been already a...more
Arrivals fell this year because of unrest but numbers are expected to exceed 900,000 next year and might reach up to 1.2 million in 2021, he said. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Sudan needs tourists after decades of isolation and hyperinflation. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
At Meroe, thanks to money from Qatar and German expertise, a visitor's center has been set up explaining the history of Sudan and the pyramids. There are walking tracks and a new reception center. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Visitors can for first time enter the pyramids' interior and will soon be able to go into tombs underneath, part of Qatar's $135 million aid. Several pyramids will be restored after decades of neglect. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
Sudanese tourists are also coming. "We had three buses (of Sudanese alone) yesterday," said Mahmoud Suleiman, head of the site. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
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