UNWTO (Organisation Mondiale du Tourisme OMT) is currently implementing the tourism component of the project “Mobilization of the Dahshour World Heritage Site for Community Development”. The project, which was launched in April 2009 and will conclude in March 2013, is financed through the contribution made by the Government of Spain to establish the Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDG-F). Five UN Agencies (UNESCO, UNDP, UNIDO, ILO and UNWTO) are collaborating with national institutions (Ministry of Tourism, Supreme Council of Antiquities, Social Fund for Development, Industrial Modernization Centre and Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency) to support the reduction of human development disparities, with special reference to addressing the gender gap and achieving environmental sustainability.
The project strategy works in two dimensions; first to reduce poverty of the local communities in Dahshour, and second to enhance the national institutional capacities so as to better protect and manage the archaeological and natural resources of the area.
Dahshour is an agricultural community comprising five traditional villages to the South ofCairo which is home to the incredible Black, Bent and Red Pyramids (Sneferu Pyramids). Moreover, Birket Dahshour, a seasonal wetland, is situated directly to the southeast of the Dahshour Pyramids and attracts wintering birds. This unique mix of natural and cultural resources provides great potential for Dahshour to become a self-contained, high quality tourism, holiday and resort destination easily reachable from Cairo. Therefore, tourism development is central to all the main project activities, since it can play a fundamental role in creating sustainable livelihoods for the local communities, and provide the framework for the sustainable use and management of cultural and natural resources, as well as fostering the practice of local lifestyles.