Those concerned with Luxor's heritage say demolishing parts of Luxor City, especially parts of the processional avenue owned by the local community, isolates them from their social and economic networks. They worry that while the ancient path between Luxor and Karnak will be restored, interesting aspects of the medieval city will be erased.
Other heritage issues include fears that vibration and carbon dioxide pollution from new roads might threaten ancient structures, while vibration and increased humidity caused by large-scale construction could cause deterioration of stone, mud, mortar and paintings.
Residential demolition for wide-scale new developments would be out of context and impact authenticity. Concerns are that real estate developers may wield undue influence.
Egypt wants to relocate 30 million people from more crowded cities by 2050 and Upper Egypt is a targeted future local and regional investment hub. Real estate developers say "Upper Egypt is filled with mineral resources that could be used to create construction materials".
Egypt's General Authority for Investment (GAFI) offers investors unregulated access to land in Upper Egypt, protection against expropriation, the right to repatriate profits, and access to resolutions to any disputes administered by GAFI committees.
With tourism and increasing population, Luxor cannot remain untouched but it is to be hoped this beautiful place and its treasures will survive the scramble to cash in on the gold of the pharaohs.
By Alison Stewart for Traveller