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The Arab Republic of Egypt is home to one of the oldest civilisations in the world. The country possesses an extensive history with significant cultural, political and military influence in the region.
Egypt is one of the earliest nation states in history and is famous for being a trendsetter within the Arabic-speaking countries. As a result, Middle Eastern culture is heavily influenced by Egyptian literature, music, film and television.
Today, the Egyptian economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the region. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country’s economy relies on agriculture (14.2%), industry (39.6%) and services (46.1%).
The agriculture sector is a major economic contributor to Egypt. The country’s warm weather and abundant water resources sustain several crop cycles on a yearly basis. Cotton, rice, wheat, corn, sugarcane, sugar beet, onion, tobacco and beans are the country’s main crop harvest.
The oil and gas industry is another contributor to the country’s economic growth. Egypt is the largest oil producing, non-OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) member and is Africa’s second largest natural gas producer.
The services and tourism industry also play a significant part in Egypt’s economy with an annual tourist spending of nearly USD 9 billion. The Giza Necropolis has been listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the country’s most iconic landmark as well as a highly popular tourist destination.
The country’s numerous marketplaces known as ‘Souks’ are a shopper’s paradise. The Khan El Khalili, Sharia Khayamiya and Suuq el Ataba, for example, feature various merchants selling antiquities, jewellery and souvenirs. Other popular tourist destinations include Alexandria, Egypt’s main summer attraction; Luxor, where ancient temples and royal tombs abound; and the Nile River which can be explored via cruise boats.
Home to the ancient Pharaohs, Egypt has attracted countless tourists and archaeologists. It has played a significant role with other ancient civilisations such as Greek, Roman, Islamic and modern Middle East.
The ancient Pharaohs also left massive monuments throughout the kingdom including the Great Sphinx, the Pyramids of Giza, the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak as well as the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt is considered to be the first to develop the formal writing system called ‘hieroglyphs’ and incorporate design elements in art and architecture.