Minimize Growth of Hurghada, Egypt

This Landsat-8 image, acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on 28 November 2014, shows the Egyptian city of Hurghada.

Hurghada first emerged as a settlement of significance in 1909, when British geologists discovered oil reserves nearby. For decades oil-as well as fishing-drove the small Egyptian town's economy. Today, it is a major resort city, part of a transformation along the Red Sea coast.

As recently as the 1980s, only 12,000 people lived in Hurghada. It was around that time that hotels started to spring up, as the region's spectacular coastal views, perpetually sunny skies, mild winters, and extensive network of coral reefs proved an appealing combination for developers. By 2014, Hurghada's population had swollen to more than 250,000 people, and the city had become a haven for tourists-fuelled by some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities in the world. More than one million tourists, mainly Europeans and Russians, visit Hurghada each year.

View the full resolution image, and a view of Hurghada in 1985 for comparison.

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory / United States Geological Survey (USGS)


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