On Thursday, the head of the Egyptian parliament’s tourism committee Nora Ali asked Tourism Minister Khaled Al-Anani to move the Cairo Eye Ferris wheel project from Zamalek Island to another location, explaining that the island is not suitable at all.
Ali pointed out that because the Eye is a tourist attraction, it is better for it to be built close to other tourist attractions, such as in Giza’s Pyramid Plateau or the New Administrative Capital.
The request follows public and official outcry about the project after it was announced.
Ali said no environmental study has been conducted for the Cairo Eye Ferris wheel project.
Additionally, Parliament Member Shaima Halawa has submitted a request for further studies into potential issues arising from the establishment of Ferris wheel.
According to a statement issued in January, Halawa’s request addressed to the prime minister and minister of local development noted that problems would likely arise as a result of the wheel’s establishment in the already-crowded Cairo neighborhood of Zamalek.
She said that the studies currently done in advance of the project regarding the impact it will have on traffic and the surrounding environment are lacking, with unclear results thus far.
Zamalek residents largely agree, and have voiced their concerns for the project and the effects it will have on the neighborhood.
Tourism expert Ahmed Metwally said that the wheel will be a boon for the nation’s entertainment and tourism sector, and will allow for a unique panoramic view of Cairo’s sights likely attracting millions of visitors annually and hundreds of thousands of tourists, therefore bringing more foreign investments into Egypt.
The Cairo Eye contains 48 cabins with a capacity of 6-8 visitors each, servicing up to an estimated 2,500,000 visitors each year. An integrated leisure and tourism destination will also be built around the wheel for a unique experience in the heart of the capital.
Metwally added that an accurate traffic study was drafted up for the project to ensure proper traffic flow within the Zamalek area. This involves providing various means to reach the wheel, including a river transport service using the Cairo Eye Taxi and Cairo Eye Buses for free transportation in addition to allocating a parking lot of up to 500 cars.