The site of one of the key battles of world war two could be transformed beyond recognition under plans by the Egyptian government to turn the area around El Alamein into an international tourist resort. The project, a public-private initiative, involves building luxury villas and a golf course near the coastal town 106 kilometres west of Alexandra. It has been met with strong opposition from war veterans especially in Britain, who see the development as defiling the memory of the thousands of soldiers who fought and died there in 1942.

Allied and Axis forces met twice in the desert area near El Alamein in 1942 before the Eighth Army commanded by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery finally won over the Afrika Korps of Erwin Rommel, thwarting the Germans in their bid to expand into North Africa and take the Suez Canal. The battle represented the