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Women in Real Estate

Cityscape Egypt highlights hospitality sector, women in real estate

Article-Cityscape Egypt highlights hospitality sector, women in real estate

CityscapeWIRE discussion opens perspectives on how tourism investment is crucial to economic development; three women working in the sector lead discussion

As work on infrastructure projects across Egypt continues in full swing, the real estate sector has witnessed an unprecedented boom across residential, retail, and commercial segments.

Lately, real estate developers are also turning their gaze towards advancing the hospitality sector through a variety of development projects.

“Egypt has long maintained its unique position on the global tourism map. With that in mind, there's a shift in focus from the government to improve the hospitality sector. So, we all noticed that real estate developers are now increasingly diversifying their project portfolios, putting their weight behind projects in the hospitality sector,” said Heba El Dessouky, director of hospitality development at City Edge Developments, during a panel discussion held at Cityscape Egypt 2023 in Cairo last month.

She made her comments during a CityscapeWIRE (Women in Real Estate) discussion called ‘Resilient Women at the Forefront of the Egyptian Real Estate Landscape.’


The importance of applying sustainable practices in tourism can't be overstated, she explained, adding that investing in the hospitality industry should be approached with a forward-thinking mindset and a strong focus on long-term growth and sustainable, profitable returns. The aim of that would be to serve local communities while uplifting the entire economy.

“What's important to bear in mind is that we no longer just develop hotels; we develop destinations with character,” said Eldessouky. “The benefits, in the long run, cannot be disputed, because adopting a sustainable approach when investing in tourism is what makes people come back,” she added.

Concurring with Eldesouky, Hoda Galal Yassa, president of the Arab Women Investors Union (AWIU), maintained that putting more investment in tourism is crucial to economic development, playing a growing role in creating jobs, driving growth, and fostering prosperity.

“Empowering the tourism sector is synonymous with elevating the entire economy," Yassa added. “I am truly convinced that investing in tourism is the most impactful form of investment. There are 360 sections directly linked to hospitality and the tourism sector; it is a huge vehicle of progress.”


The panel discussion also revolved around the pivotal role of female empowerment in the real estate sector and taking up leadership positions.

“Traditionally, women have greater attention to detail and possess high levels of cautiousness, a key success factor when it comes to investment decision-making,” Yassa added, pointing out that now more than ever, women are cracking into senior leadership positions in multiple disciplines across Egypt and Gulf countries.

Achieving gender equality is inextricably linked to a rising percentage of the female workforce across various industries, including the real estate sector.

Nervein Magdy, managing director of Property Finder Egypt, argued that the rise of women workers in real estate and among leadership positions has brought diverse skill sets to the table, translating to better outcomes when it comes to decision-making. “This momentum is carried over to other industries as well, not just real estate,” she said.

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