MARRAKECH - One of the world’s leading figures in real estate development, Samih Sawiris, is being recognised by Bench Events for his ground-breaking international projects as well as his focus on sustainability and social housing.
The award was presented by Bench Managing Director, Matthew Weihs, at Forum de l'Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA) in Marrakech, on February 8. The forum is the ninth edition of Africa’s leading hospitality investment conference, AHIF.
The award was presented at Forum de l'Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA) in Marrakech. Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development, EMEA, Hilton (L) makes the presentation to Samih Sawiris, Chairman, Orascom Development Holding (C) with Matthew Weihs, MD Bench Events (R)
Samih Sawiris is Chairman of Orascom Development Holding, and part of the renowned Sawiris family. His flagship development in Egypt – El Gouna – comprises 36.92 million square metres including 17 hotels and a range of residential properties. In effect, it’s a town that aims to become the first in the world to be CO2 neutral.
He has five similar developments across Egypt, and others in Switzerland, Oman, Montenegro, UAE, the UK and Morocco.
HIS FOCUS ON SOCIAL HOUSING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Matthew Weihs said: “We are awarding Samih for the impact he has made on the real estate industry, the vision of his projects and his focus on sustainable development. But also, less well known, his focus on social housing in sub-Saharan Africa.”
And in a humorous reference to their shared passion for squash, Weihs added: “I particularly want to recognise Samih’s contribution as a headline sponsor of the El Gouna International Squash Open, one of the most exciting tournaments on the professional Squash circuit.”
The FIHA business event, organised by Bench Events, unites North and West African countries to develop their economies and support hospitality investment, including tourism projects, infrastructure, entertainment and hotel expansion across the region.
In French and English with simultaneous translation, the Forum offers unrivalled networking opportunities across two days in which business leaders mingle with government ministers and officials. The agenda ranges from plenary overviews of the region’s macro-economic state of play, to intimate round table sessions, bringing delegates up close to the key players
FRANCOPHONE INVESTMENT FORUM FOR AFRICA’S HOSPITALITY SECTOR
Matthew Weihs, MD, Bench Events, said: “There’s increasing investor appetite for these markets and FIHA leads the debate, helping to bring projects to fruition and to aid local owners and investors to decide on new partnerships, joint ventures and deals.
“FIHA is the only top-calibre, francophone investment forum for Africa’s hospitality sector, at which delegates can be confident to gain genuine insight from the leaders of the industry, to participate in relevant, high-level networking activities and to lay the foundations for promising future business relationships.”
CHAIRMAN, ORASCOM DEVELOPMENT HOLDING, SAMIH SAWIRIS
Born in Cairo on the 28th of January 1957 as the middle son among three sons of Onsi Sawiris, founder and president of Orascom conglomerate. He received his Diploma in economic engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 1980. Samih is married and has 5 children.
He is the founder and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding (ODH.SW), a Swiss- incorporated company listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). Orascom Development is a leading developer of fully integrated destinations that include hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure. Orascom Development’s diversified portfolio of destinations is spread over nine jurisdictions (Switzerland, Egypt, Montenegro, Oman, UAE, Jordan and Morocco). The Group currently owns 35 hotels, with 8,135 guestrooms and over 1,000 rooms under development in the different countries. ODH operates eight destinations; Andermatt in Switzerland, Four in Egypt: El Gouna, Taba Heights, Haram City and Makadi; The Cove in United Arab Emirates and Jebel Sifah and Salalah Beach in Oman.
Samih is a major shareholder of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI N.V.) a Dutch based global producer of natural gas-based chemicals and engineering and construction contractor with projects and investments across Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He is also a significant stake holder in Lafarage (LG.FP); world lea