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Start of the official countdown to opening the New Suez Canal
More than 210m tons of sand have been excavated for the New Suez Canal

Start of the official countdown to opening the New Suez Canal

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has begun the celebrations that will culminate in the opening of the New Suez Canal on August 6, 2015 by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Both the celebrations and global communications campaign will be overseen by SCA and implemented by a consortium comprising marketing communication company WPP and a number of local Egyptian businesses. Team WPP is led by Memac Ogilvy Public Relations with support from Memac Ogilvy & Mather, Media Waves, Emeco Travel, JWT, Richard Attias and Mindshare.

“The New Suez Canal project is more than 80% complete with more than 210m tons of sand excavated, so our attention is now turning to the celebration of this achievement with the Egyptian people, as well as sharing news of Egypt’s ‘gift to the world’ far and wide,” said Admiral Mohab Mameesh, SCA’s Chairman and Managing Director.

The communications campaign will not only embrace and involve the Egyptian people but will also tell the story of the canal to a global audience. It will highlight the determination of the Egyptian people in building the new 72km canal in just 12 months, as well as the impact it will have on the country, region and the world.

The campaign will culminate in a gala event on the banks of the New Suez Canal on August 6, 2015. President El-Sisi will be joined by world leaders to witness the first time traffic has flowed simultaneously north and south through the Red Sea – Mediterranean crossing.

The huge engineering project began on August 6, 2014. Despite initial estimates indicating the project would take three years, the project is well on course to be completed in less than 12 months.

The Suez Canal has been at the heart of Egypt’s economy for more than 150 years. The project to build a new 72km waterway will enable two-way traffic and double the current daily ship capacity. As a result, the canal authority is set to increase its annual revenue from US$5.3bn in 2015 to US$13.2bn in 2023, as well as underscoring the canal’s position as a major maritime trade route against a backdrop of growing competition.