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Cultural Tourism


1-     Site specification:

        Geography: The location is situated south of Tartous city, 6 km from the city centre, east of the Mediterranean Sea, facing 500m long sea front, in the direction of the Syrian Lebanese border. Adjacent to the site from the west is the Mediterranean Sea, and near by to the east is the Tartous Tripoli highway and to the north Rabeaa Street and Al-Manara Chalets and to the south Amrit archaeological city.

        Site Area: 235000m.

        Site topography:

o       The land is sandy and horizontal ( yellow sand medium fine).

o       Coastline is near straight.

o       The site overlooks the sea with a wide angle (nearly 180).

o       The depth of the sea is gradual and goes from 20cm to 200cm at a distance of 100m from the shoreline.

o        The movement of currents near the beach is south western, and is considered to be of moderate speed in summer and high speed in winter.

o       The climate is moderate throughout the year and the temperature varies between 10-18 degrees Celsius in winter and 22-32 degrees Celsius in summer. Wind blows in south western direction at speed of 10-80 km per hour. Rain fall levels in the winter varies from 800 to1000 mm per year. The average humidity levels in the atmosphere is 70% annually.

         The available infrastructure in the site:

o       Electricity: There is an Electricity grid feeding the site.

o       Water: Drinking water is available in the site.

o       Telephone: There is a telephone exchange that covers the area.

o       Sewage treatment: Sewage treatment is available.

o       Road links: A road network that connects the site with the city and surrounding areas is available in various standards (class 1 and 2) and is generally in good condition.


2-     Site tourism attractions:

o       The site is easily reached, since it can be reached by land through a network of public roads and a train station, also by sea from the Tartous sea port (3 km away) and by air via Basel Al-Assad Airport (70km away).

o       Natural attractions of the site are shown in the pictures.

o       Attractions around the site:

-         Archaeological sites: Amrit archaeological city (3km away). Old city of Tartous (3km away)

-         Natural sites: Opposite the site lies two islands, Arwad and Al-Habbas.

-         Entertainment services: Various sporting activities, amusments, and touristic events of Tartous city.

-         Public Services: Tartous shopping centre, plus many other comprehensive services available in  the city of Tartous.

3-     Organization system: Governed by current organization system in Tartous city.

4-     Site Ownership: Tartous city council.

5-     Investment Obstacles: The obstacles of investment take the following forms:

a.       The street that separates the shoreline from the site and services Amrit Sections.

b.      Al-Muhandiseen casino and restaurant, and Al-Ahlam Beach restaurant and guest houses belonging to them situated opposite the site are currently being removed.

c.       Residential buildings situated with the site perimeter are being removed and their occupants relocated.

6-     The opinion of the consultative team: The site is suitable for touring investment.

7-     Suggested Planning Standards:


Overall area of the site is approximately 235,000m.


The area of the land excluding the beach is approximately 1,175,000m.


The area of the beach is approximately 60,000 m (the shoreline length is about 500m, average width of the beach is 120m).


According to a previous beach study, it was suggested that the depth of the beach should be 150m to make the beach area 75,000m.


The maximum percentage of construction works area to land area is 15%.


The total area percentage of the building space is 40%.


The number of the hotel rooms and the building condensation is proportionate with the beach capacity which depends on its natural characteristics and the hotel star rating.


A construction free area will be reserved along the river with 10m width for walks and picnics.


The proposal: Dividing the Section into two main sections:


1-     The first section: An International standard hotel project (3 star rating).

2-     The second section: A regional historic style park for Amrit area.


The basic components for the proposed  hotel project (the first section):


It is proposed that project will be a hotel and comprehensive touring services to the international standard (3 Star) ,all activities and services that satisfies the requirements for the target classification, the study is conducted according to the following specifications:


-         Overall area of the site is approximately 110,000m.

-         The area of  beach is approximately 30,000m.

-         The building area is approximately 80,000m.

-         The maximum percentage of construction works area to land area is 15%.

-         The total area percentage of the building space is 40%.

-         The hotel capacity is 120 rooms, with the assumption that each room is fully serviced which is about 50m.

-         Maximum building height to the hotel is 21m

-         Attached to the hotel chalets of one and two stories that do not exceed 7m in height.



The basic components for the proposed park project (the second section):


Considering the historic importance of Amrit city, and the closeness of the development site to the archaeological site, a regional park was suggested which includes the following elements:


o       First class hotel (4 Star)

o       Exhibition yards for most important historic periods in the lifetime of Amrit. (Phoenician Era Roman Era Islamic Era) along with green areas and site appropriate styling elements.

o       Floating restaurant in the shape of a Phoenician ship.etc.




-         Overall area of the site is approximately 125,000m.

-         The area of  beach is approximately 45,000m.

-         The building area is approximately 80,000m.

-         The hotel capacity is about 160 rooms, with the assumption that each room is fully serviced and which is about 60m. The total height of the hotel building would be 36m.


(The following explanations and pictures are not part of the original text):

 A few months of the beginning of the national excavation mission, headed by Dr. Michael Maqdissi were enough to uncover important historic findings, despite the difficult conditions from a shortage in the number of workers and equipment. The findings were described by Dr. Bassam Jamous, the general director of the Directorate of Antiques  and Museums in Syria, in his letter (dated 29/05/2004) to Adyat Tartous:

 Findings that belong to the Hellenistic period which are linked historically to Amrit city and composed of many residential blocks and tanks collecting water in addition to ovens and stoves, and currently the clay pottery fragments are being studied in order to continue working towards the north direction.

 The following  pictures clarify the above text:






A sepulcher (grave) called the French safe it has story; we will narrate it later

The observer can easily see that the land for touring investment ,is an excellent archaeological site , rich in ruins and important archaeological findings, which needs a great deal of excavation and work (due to its large size) until its beautiful cultural image is exposed. As a civilised and cultivated country, we are not meant to ruin and bury it under the concrete of the miserable touring projects .

 From here comes the importance of the role the Directorate of Antiques and Museums and the national excavation mission, and the importance of the continuous support to these efforts, and to make available all what is necessary for its success.

We as volunteers for saving Amrit will continue our efforts for this cause.

Traslated by: Anas Battikhi