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Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

16 Saray El Gezira Street · Zamalek, Cairo 11211 Egypt

History of the Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

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History of the Palace

Khedive Ismail built the historic Palace Al Gezirah in Cairo, Egypt in 1869 to serve as a guest palace during the Suez Canal inauguration celebrations. in the years since, it has housed European monarchs, including Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. It was to be the venue of the first performance of Verdi's Opera Aida.

Neoclassical Architecture

The historic Cairo Palace's architecture and construction demonstrated Khedive's passion for neoclassical style, favored by designers in Europe at the time. Khedive engaged the services of Austrian architect Julius Franz (later known Franz Bey) and De Curel Del Rosso, the designer of the Abdin Palace.

German architect Carl von Diebitsch served as the palace's interior designer. He designed the décor and prefabricated the furniture, draperies and other internal fittings.

Palace in Cairo, Egypt

Historical Timeline

Cairo Palace has hosted several noteworthy ceremonies throughout history; these include the wedding of Khedive Ismail's son, which lasted 40 days, as well as the wedding of the daughter of Prime Minister Nahhas Pasha in the 1930s and a boat party in front of the palace as part of H.M King Farouk and H.M Queen Nariman's wedding celebrations.

The palace's transition to a hotel led to certain inevitable changes. In 1879, while it was operating as the exclusive Gezirah Palace Hotel, it was confiscated by the state due to outstanding debts, and acquired by the Egyptian Hotels Company.

In 1919, Habib Lotfallah, a Syrian landlord who had settled in Egypt, purchased the hotel for 140,000 EGP. In 1961, during the time of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the palace was nationalized and became the Omar Khayyam Hotel.

Cairo palace interior

Marriott Take over the Historic Cairo Palace

Marriott International took over the property for management in the 1970s. They restored the original palace, furnishing it with amenities befitting a five-star hotel and flanking it with two modern towers housing 1,087 guest rooms.

Today, the palace is all that remains of the estate. Many of its rooms and furniture have been preserved and restored to their historic splendor, and now serve as reception rooms and lounges. Likewise, several of Von Diebitsch's decorative elements can be seen in locations throughout the hotel.

Historic Cairo palace restoration

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