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Rediscovering Esna’s Cultural Heritage Assets (RECHA)

For centuries, Esna - located 34 miles to the south of Luxor- was an important economic center. The city’s Historic Center -once thriving with tourists- suddenly fell into decay and became a dilapidated and under populated area. Esna still maintains a wealth of cultural heritage assets that reflect all eras of the Egyptian history. The city’s unique urban fabric represents one of the few remaining examples of coexistence between different cultures manifested in one place. Esna is also rich with its crafts such as traditional textiles and gastronomic products - mostly unknown and on the verge of extinction. All these potentials, if better utilized, can turn the city into a model for balanced development that capitalizes on cultural tourism, the effective management of heritage assets, and sustainable local development.


Esna, Luxor, Egypt


October 2016 - November 2020

Project Partners:

Made possible by the generous support of

The American people through the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID)

Implemented by Takween Integrated Community Development in partnership with CID Consulting


Sponsor Agencies & Partners

  • Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA)

  • Luxor Governorate

  • Ministry of International Cooperation (MoIC)


Develop, implement, and promote an alternative tourism development approach that:

i) enhances responsible cultural tourism potentials;

ii) strikes a balance between heritage conservation, tourism requirements, and local development needs; and

iii) improves economic benefits for the local community, as core elements to unleash the potentials of the diverse cultural assets in the Esna city center and pave the way for a sustainable revitalization process in the area through a series of integrated pilot interventions that engage the local community members.

Project Links:

Facebook page

Instagram account


Objective 1: Promote better conservation standards and enhance visitors' experience:

  • Conservation and adaptive reuse of Wakalet el-Geddawy

  • Pilot upgrading of a portion of al-Qisariyya market;

  • Façade renovation of 8-12 architecturally significant buildings;

  • Preliminary development of the Esna City Center Tourist Route;

Objective 2: Promote effective management of the site and a more inclusive heritage planning and management of the Esna City Center:

  • Preparation of the Wakalet el-Geddawy Site Management Plan and capacity building activities;

  • Update of the 2010 Esna City Center Revitalization Plan;