The Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative is a development project launched by the private firm EQI (Environment Quality International) in the oasis at Siwa, in the Matrouh region of Egypt. The project aims to demonstrate that the private sector can make profitable developments while preserving the local community and environment, which will ensure long-term sustainability. The first action of this initiative is the protection of the natural environment and revitalization of the cultural heritage through the Adrère Amellal Oasis project. The second action is the establishing of the Siwa Environmental Fund, which promotes the development of small and micro-enterprises. A main focus for the development fund will be the food business, which has great potential due to the unpolluted environment and olive- and date-growing tradition in Siwa.
The Adrère Amellal Oasis project, the subject of this review, is a luxury resort on a 60-hectare site at the foot of the Adrère Amellal Mountain, within the Siwa area. It has been developed with the full cooperation of the local community. Its size was dictated by the amount of water available at the site: thirty-four bedrooms and associated public areas formed the limit that the fragile environment of the location was deemed to allow. Built in the traditional Siwan way, the project has revitalized a dying tradition by retraining the 120 Siwans who worked on the complex. It also supports the local community by providing employment and purchasing local craft accessories such as candleholders, linen tablecloths and furniture.