THE 19TH MEDITERRANEAN GAMES CREATE NEW TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES FOR ORAN
The 19th Mediterranean Games are taking place from June 25 to July 6 in Oran, Algeria’s second largest city.
While the competition is watched by all the participating Mediterranean countries, the city of Oran is also reaping the benefits of playing host to this major sport event thanks to a new improved city infrastructure.
For the second time in its history, Algeria plays host to the Mediterranean Games, a pendant to the Olympic Games in this region. They take place every four years and welcome athletes from the Mediterranean Basin in 25 sport disciplines. It is the most important multidisciplinary sporting event after the Olympic Games for countries along the Mediterranean Sea.
The 19th Games in Oran in Algeria welcomes 3,390 participants from 26 Mediterranean countries. Participants come from 18 European countries, 5 countries in Africa and 3 countries from the Levant (Middle-East). Another 5,156 staff are also present with the athletes.
The opening ceremony of the Mediterranean Games Oran 2022 was held on June 25 at the Miloud-Hadefi Olympic Complex stadium, in the presence of the President of the Algerian Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune and guests from several countries and organizations.
The Games are also an opportunity to show the tourism potential of Oran and improve the city’s infrastructure. For tourists, ten circuits have been identified, the most important of which are those highlighting tourist, cultural, historical, religious and seaside areas and sights. As an example of new historical objects, the birthplace of famed French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent has recently been renovated and converted into a museum.
A new air terminal and highway
Beside the new 40,000 seats Olympic Stadium and various Olympic facilities such as two swimming pools, a multi-sports arena and sport fields, the most important completed infrastructure projects is the new air terminal of the “Ahmed Ben Bella” International Airport, Oran’s main gateway for the Mediterranean Games. The handling capacity of the new terminal is 3.5 million passengers per year, which can be extended to 6 million passengers per year.
Oran International Airport is a green air terminal : the lighting system is powered by solar energy, becoming the first airport in Africa to adopt this new technology. Some 4,550 high quality photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof over an area of 14,500 m2.
Another important new element of infrastructure that is to be partially completed is the first section of a double-track highway which links the port of Oran to the East-West motorway extending over a distance of 26 km. The first section of 8 km was opened just before the launch of the Mediterranean Games. Additional public buses are circulating between the various sport venues and the city centre of Oran.
Hotel capacity in town is estimated at 6,800 rooms, offering more than 9,000 beds, according to an interview with Oran director of tourism, Mourad Boudjenane, to local media. However, in the entire wilaya (prefecture) of Oran, the total number of hotels represent 194 units with close to 19,500 beds according to local authorities.