The monstrous building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the center of Cairo to turn into a fashionable hotel
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The monstrous building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the center of Cairo to turn into a fashionable hotel

News  
03-19-2024
 
Source: Masrawy
The Interior Ministry building on Tahrir Square in the center of Cairo, where the Egyptian passport and visa service was located for many years, will turn into a fashionable Cairo House hotel. The reconstruction is being carried out by the American-Emirati alliance consisting of Global Ventures, Oxford Capital Group and Al-Otaiba. The volume of investments is estimated at 200 million US dollars.

According to the plan, the hotel will include 450 comfortable rooms, restaurants, entertainment centers. The CairoHouse roof with a total area of almost 8000 sq.m. will become one of the country's largest venues for public events. The modernization of the complex is carried out within the framework of the authorities' plan for the development of the historical center of the Egyptian capital.

The Interior Ministry building, which has served as one of the symbols of the Egyptian bureaucracy for more than 60 years, was emptied a few years ago. The passport and visa Service (better known as Mugamma), whose offices had to be upholstered annually in order to legalize all foreigners in Egypt, moved to another area a few years ago, when Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi instructed to remove all ministries and state institutions from the historical part of Cairo. It took several more years to find an investor, hold a tender and develop a reconstruction project.

The monstrous Mugamma building was once among the ten most "inconvenient" buildings in the world: the harsh, dreary facade of the 14-storey building, made in the style of Soviet constructivist modernism, awed everyone who entered it. But once it was intended to serve as a symbol of a new era, "a state apparatus in the service of the population under one roof." This is how the architect Mohammed Kamal Ismail, who designed this building in 1950, described his brainchild, who believed that he was building the building "in a simplified form of the Islamic style."

The Mughamma was opened in 1952, and the building has remained one of the legacies of President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970) in the architecture of the center of Cairo. For the sake of this complex, the old British army barracks, which had already been empty for several years, were demolished. And the new Tahrir Square, in commemoration of the victory of the revolution over the monarchy, replaced the old Ismailia Square, from which only a few buildings of the early 20th century in the French colonial style have survived to this day - once the center of the Egyptian capital was designed according to the appearance of Paris in the form of radiating streets built up in European architecture houses.

Along with Mugamma, an entire era has passed away - in the Kafkaesque maze of offices and complex passages, in addition to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, there were departments of two more ministries - health and education. Every day, up to 50,000 people stood in long queues there, crowded at the glass windows, spent hours trying to get the coveted piece of paper, stamp or fill out the necessary form. Legends have already been made about the atmosphere of an impossibly bureaucratic state apparatus there. One such urban story said that not only offices, archives, safes and clerks' desks were filled with papers in the building, but even light wells – paper mountains soared several floors high.
# Egypt
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