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In the late 70s a resort was attempted in el-Arish, Egypt by building a resort of villas and a small 4-star hotel to cater for the evolving demand to own vacation homes by Egyptians.  The project was innovative and unrivaled, and was immediately sold to local investors recovering 7 years of profits projections in less than 2 years.

Touristic activity

Touristic activity began in the early 80s with the opening of the Egyptian economy under the reign of President Sadat, starting with floating hotels, resorts, tourist transport, and apartment hotels

Floating Hotels

In the early 80s, Sami El Ashram, entered the tourism industry with the purchase of a floating hotel from Holland; it was the longest boat on the Nile river, and the first imported vessel on the Nile, the “Fleur;” at which time there was only 6 vessels operating on the Nile river.  It was first operated by German & Dutch administration moving tourists from Luxor to Aswan.  A few years into operation, a strategic alliance was formed between Marriott Hotels Int’l and the Ashram family with the floating hotel operation.  Seven years into operation, another vessel was built, the “Fleurette,” and the Ashram family managed the vessels independently.  By forming Mefcot travel, headed by Diaa Sami El Ashram, the vessels were filled by bringing tourist groups in association with other Travel Agencies.  The Ashram family exited the floating hotels business do to the tourism industry instability in the Middle East region, and there approx 240 vessels operating on the Luxor/Aswan tour.

Car Rental

By the early 90s, Diaa El Ashram founded Elite Car Rental to supplement the tourist industry services offered by the family group of companies, and to fulfill the missing gap in local market demand for long-term vehicle corporate rentals.  As the 9th operator in tourist transport business, Elite Car Rental quickly grew to a fleet of 240 cars ranking 3rd to Hertz and Avis Egypt.

Appartment Hotels

By the mid 90s, Sami El Ashram took an early step on the new fad of Egyptian tourism, the Red Sea Riviera, by building an apartments complex in the celebrated city of Sharm El Sheikh.  The project is over 15,000 square meters, consisting of 78 apartments, a 400 square meter swimming pool, and 1200 square meters of commercial space.