Orascom Development Holding, the company behind the pioneering Andermatt Swiss Alps project, is among the world’s leading developers and long-term operators of integrated holiday destinations. Property developer Samih Sawiris plays a key role in the vision and future of Andermatt Swiss Alps, leading a team of experts to create the next ‘must-experience’ alpine destination.
With a strong foothold in Egypt and the Middle East and over 20 years of experience, Orascom Development Holding is more than well-equipped to revive Andermatt to its former glory. The group is characterised by its emphasis on community and is a developer of fully integrated destinations, offering hotels, private villas and apartments and leisure facilities such as golf courses and marinas.
So where did Orascom’s success story begin?
Twenty years ago, Orascom Development came up with a simple idea – to create a small piece of paradise against the beautiful backdrop of the Red Sea. El Gouna has since evolved into a fully integrated town with a population of around 20,000 inhabitants, and a flow of hotel guests throughout the year. Its traditional Arabian architecture and interior design is unique and the project has been used as a model for all their other developments, including Andermatt and future project Lustica Bay in Montenegro.
Orascom’s projects reflect carefully chosen locations, well thought-out infrastructure and a sustainable and an environmentally-friendly layout. Such qualities are being applied to Andermatt by transforming the village into a car-free zone and using a carbon-low energy supply system for the entire resort.
Samih Sawaris, founder of Orascom development, was educated at the German School in Cairo, Sawiris then graduated from the Technical University of Berlin with a Diploma in Economic Engineering in 1980.
Aside from his unending commitment and passion for developing communities, Samih Sawaris is also a Board Member of the Guggenheim Museum, whose mission it is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art and architecture, and a founding member of the Sawiris Foundation which is the first family foundation of its kind dedicated to funding social development projects in Egypt.
Samih Sawaris has long harbored a love of the alpine culture and his affection for Switzerland led him to be invited by the Swiss government to purchase the land in Andermatt.