Thu, 19 Nov 2020 - 11:45 GMT
They’ve been an inspiration to many, their dazzling photographs of iconic destinations igniting wanderlust in the hearts of their thousands of followers; whether it’s a trip to Nubia or Aswan, a walk exploring the magical architecture of Old Cairo, or a dive near the coastline of a fancy Red Sea resort town. Now Omar Attia and Dalia Debaiky, the couple behind the “Around Egypt in 60 Days” Facebook and Instagram pages that took the local social media scene by storm, have launched Events Around Egypt to radically change the idea of events being held across the country.
“We are surrounded by so much beauty in this country and countless, hidden gems that beg to be discovered,” say the two marketers, who have decided to market the local tourism industry by documenting their trips on an Instagram page.
This month, we catch up with Attia to chat about the newly launched “Events Around Egypt”.
How would you introduce the idea of “Events Around Egypt”?
It’s a newly launched agency that strives to merge eventmanagement with tourism by holding wedding festivities and corporate gala dinners at historical and touristic venues, all around Egypt. This is to encourage locals to break the norm of holding events at traditional ballrooms indoors and unveil the real beauty of Egypt’s magical attractions.
How did the idea evolve?
It all started when Dalia, my wife, and I, decided to personally hold our own celebrations at unconventional venues around Cairo. We hosted our engagement by the Nile, our wedding contract ceremony at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali inside the Citadel of Salah El Din and our wedding at Prince Mohamed Ali Manial Palace. They were all stunning and had our families and friends mind-blown by their uniqueness and splendor. Later, Dalia and I embarked on a journey of 60 days to roam all of Egypt and document this adventure in a book —which is soon to be launched—and on several social media platforms. This has really opened our eyes to abundant treasures that our country embraces.
And since I’ve personally had 15 years of experience in the hospitality sector and events management industry, I’ve decided to create Events Around Egypt.
Which venues do you hold events at?
We’re currently managing events at Prince Mohamed Ali’s Manial Palace, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali at the Citadel, Al Manasterly Palace, the Gold Palace on the Gold Island and at numerous gardens by the Nile.
What services do you offer as an agency?
Our agency provides full-fledged events planning and management services, starting with obtaining government licenses and booking venues to the reservation of catering, setup, decorations and entertainment suppliers, to the management of the entire event on the day itself. Our mission is to help clients hold their events at unique venues, hassle free and with budget-friendly costs too.
How will the events management industry and tourism sector survive Covid-19? And how has the pandemic changed the scene of events and tourism?
We’ve all seen how the pandemic literally dragged the tourism and events industries into a deep dive for more than four months, but I really hope that the way we’ve been viewing those two sectors would change for life.
For tourism, it’s time we position our country in a different category that doesn’t only survive on cheap, all-inclusive packages and focus on diverse target markets that spend well. It’s also a great opportunity to shuffle our cards, come up with out-of-the-box ideas, focus on new internal destinations to tourists, such as the Western Desert, Siwa, Halayeb, and so on, and also shed light on different types of tourism like medical and events tourism.
As for events management, I think clients are already aware, post Covid-19, that they no longer have the luxury of spending millions on a six-hour event, so they’ll tend to lean toward open-air venues, downsize large events into receptions with a fewer number of guests and put a cap on how much they spend. And all these factors are in our agency’s favor, along with how unique the venues are.