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Staying green as the skies go orange

6th March 2008 Print
Pyramisa Hotel Sahl Hasheesh EasyJet is comprehensively conquering the skies. Adding new routes on a seemingly daily basis, recently accelerated by the acquisition of GB Airways for £103.5 million in January of this year, the no-frills airline now has the Canary Islands, Malta, Crete, Corfu, Cyprus, Turkey, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada on its 2008 timetable. For the price of a slap up meal the world is now your oyster, but will you be able to sleep easy when you look down at your big scary carbon footprint?

The good news is that EasyJet has much to brag about environmentally. Operating 137 of the cleanest, quietest aircraft available with an average tender age of 2.3 years, EasyJet reckons that traditional airlines flying the same aircraft on similar routes churn out 27% more emissions per passenger kilometre than they do. Their policy of fuller planes (they sell on average 85% of their seats on high-density planes) and only handling short-haul direct trips has helped EasyJet to become one of Europe’s most environmentally efficient airlines. And, if your conscience isn’t quite clear, remember that the 2006 Stern Review on Climate Change also confirmed that aviation only accounts for 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not all bad – and carbon offsetting is a mere mouse click away.

Of course the opening of the skies also opens up new property markets, Hurghada being one of them. This Egyptian Red Sea resort has been simmering away for several months now but when the first orange liveried plane touches down on 4 April 2008 you can expect it to reach boiling point. And, if that carbon footprint is still making you toss and turn, the environmentally sound resort of Sahl Hasheesh is where you should invest your pennies.

Sahl Hasheesh, meaning literally ‘Green Valley’, covers 32 million square metres and fronts 12.5km of clear Red Sea fringed with sandy beach. Only 15% of the total surface area of the resort will be built up with the remainder being given over to extensive green areas, water features and natural desert vistas. Before commencing build the developers used the services of Environment Quality International (EQI) an Egyptian consultancy firm dedicated to providing the framework for environmentally sustainable development. Their assessment conducted in 1996 mobilised divers, oceanographers, marine biologists, environmental scientists and engineers on-site to carry out the technical investigations. The report illustrated and predicted significant, adverse, and/or beneficial impacts of Sahl Hasheesh and also recommended measures to mitigate, and whenever possible remedy anticipated adverse impacts.

The Red Sea is one of Sahl Hasheesh’s finest assets, the best spot for diving on the planet with up to 30 metres visibility and Jacques Cousteau’s favourite underwater playground. No wonder environmental sensitivity is a priority for Sahl Hasheesh. More than 1,100 species of fish have been recorded in its waters, 10% of them are to be found nowhere else on the planet, and these along with 2,000km of coral reef are a major draw for diving enthusiasts. With Sahl Hasheesh’s help more and more people will be able to delight in the beauty of the Red Sea whilst paying it the utmost respect.

On the Market in Sahl Hasheesh is the five star Pyramisa Hotel. Already open since April 2007 and enjoying occupancy rates in excess of 85%, the Pyramisa Beach Resort comprises studio and one and two bedroom suites with access to five restaurants, swimming pools, a beach bar and a health & beauty club, set right on the sandy shoreline. The Resort has a five year 7% rental guarantee, which despite being gross, has such low service charges of just £5/m² per annum that the net figure works out to be 6.41% on a studio suite priced from 39,950 pounds (approx. 55,870 euros). Purchasers have the right to up to eight weeks private use per year plus for 35 euros per person per day you get unlimited food and drink. There is also the option to exchange part of that usage in any of the Pyramisa resorts. With six to choose from including Cairo, Luxor and Sharm el Sheikh, your investment will never become tedious.

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