Coastal protection and beach development in Alexandria (Egypt)

Coastal protection and beach development in Alexandria (Egypt)

Alexandria is one of the major cities on the Mediterranean Sea, and plays an essential role in Egyptian economy and cultural life as the country’s oldest and largest port. Its population is more than 4.5 million. The population density is about 1,750 per square kilometer, and the Gross National Income per capita is approximately $1,570 (2005). The city hosts five harbors: three commercial harbors, the western harbor, El-Dekhaila harbor and Abu Quir harbor and two fishing harbors: Eastern harbor and Abu Quir harbor. Most of Egypt’s foreign trade passes through its harbors, which has 75 percent of the total capacity of Egypt’s Mediterranean harbors. Also, the city hosts about 40% of Egypt industries. The pleasant climate and sandy beaches make Alexandria a favorite tourist spot, more than one million local summer visitors together with about 4.0 million residents enjoy the summer season at Alexandria every year.  Alexandria coast is characterized by a rocky shoreline with complex bathymetry of reefs, rock outcrops, and rocky islets extending more or less parallel to shoreline. The beach of Alexandria consists of pocket and embayment beaches with narrow beaches not exceed 50 m wide. The rapid population growth coupled with ambitious development, industrialization policies and climatic changes have put a heavy pressure on the city’s natural resources in the form of air, water, and soil pollution. Sea level rise will lead to infiltration of salt water in this perched water table adversely affecting archaeological sites and underground infrastructure networks. Increasing groundwater salinity damages plaster, stucco and frescoes. On the other hand, no action is taken till now to solve the problem of beach disappearance, which affect the tourism sector in the city, and the stability of the Cornish road.


Find innovative solutions to combine coastal protection with other (potential) functions of the coastal region (e.g. tourism, transport, business, etc.). 


Poster of the team


November 2012






Wetskills Egypt 2012

flood protection, integrated coastal zone management, tourism