The Grand Egyptian Museum Soon Opens for Visitors

The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is an Institution Worth Billion Dollars That Will Finally Open After 20 Years.

Nov 9, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Grand Egyptian Museum
The entrance courtyard of the Grand Egyptian Museum, as of August 2018. Photo courtesy Hill International


The Grand Egyptian Museum was under construction for 20 years, which consists of a billion dollar expense. But, the institution shall shortly be able to receive guests. Many described it as “largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization”. There are also many anticipations. For example, that the GEM would emerge as a preeminent global hub for historical and archaeological research.


A Strategic Design for the Museum

The Grand Egyptian Museum
Aerial view of the institution. Photo courtesy Hill International


The museum tactically lies between the Great Pyramid of Giza and Cairo. It also contains 100,000 artefacts and a 120-acre span. Of all artifacts included, 20% will be on broad exhibit for the first time. There are also more than twelve display rooms totaling 484,000 square feet of space. Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus is one of the relics presented at the museum.


Besides Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus, there are 5,000 artifacts that came to light when the archaeologists discovered this tomb in 1922. There are a 30-foot-tall, 3,200-year-old statue of Ramses the Great, and the Khufu ship. This ship is an entirely unharmed solar-powered raft, buried around 2500 BC adjacent to the Great Pyramid.


The Grand Egyptian Museum
The museum. Photo courtesy Hill International.


The Irish architectural firm Henghan Peng decided on the design. They won a competition in 2003 with their concept for a potential housing for historic Egyptian artefacts. As the  Architectural Digest says, the museum’s construction had many setbacks. They go from the Covid epidemic and the to the financial meltdown of 2018 Arab Spring of 2011.

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What About Setbacks?

 Photo courtesy Hill International
Photo courtesy Hill International


A March 2022 article by Building Design + Construction also reported that the structure was “99% complete, with the remaining 1% representing the final touches and logistics for the official opening, planned for November 2022”. While there is no official date, Architectural Digest says “there are murmurs of a late 2023 inauguration”.


The upcoming launch coincides with Egypt’s goal of tripling tourism arrivals during the next five years. The goal is to achieve 30 million visitors by 2028. The Gaza Strip’s destruction during the Israel-Hamas conflict has little bearing on the nation’s tourism industry. According to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism, less than 10% of travel reservations to the nation remained affected.


King Tut's Tomb
Visitors on their way to King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber on November 4. Photo by Fareed Kotb/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


In a conflicting report, a tour operator told The Independent that “bookings for Egyptian Red Sea resorts through their company had fallen by 80 percent”. While travel to Egypt is still considered safe by some governments, the U.S. Department of State has, since July 2023, advised Americans against travel to Egypt due to terrorist attacks and the prevalence of military zones.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.