Fun Valley

This is a visual story about how dinosaurs, Chinese heavy industry and Egyptian children all have fun together in a tax-free zone by the Suez channel.



TEDA is a major Chinese company, you may know it, but in case you don’t then they have about $40 billion in assets and $11 billion in annual turnover. They trade heavily in Africa and have set up factories in the Suez Special Economic Zone (SEZONE) in Egypt.

Getting interest from other companies to set up factories in the middle of nowhere is a challenge.

“The existing plans had difficulty to get Egyptian workers to run the 24-hour shifts they do in China – this is where the fun starts”

The Chinese state-owned company TEDA has started winning hearts and minds of Egypt’s workers and children, and this seems to be the relatively strange logic they have to set up not one, but four theme parks inside the SEZONE under the name TEDA Fun Valley.

The zone is right by the Suez Canal and about an hour and a half away from Cairo. There is Dinosaur World, Candy World, Water World, Automotive World and also (unsurprisingly) an Egyptian restaurant, as well as a Chinese restaurant, bank, swimming pool, basketball court and more.

The backstory behind this is interesting as the driving force is economics, but not economics in the sense that revenue from the theme parks is the focus.

Fun Valley is a story about China’s involvement in Africa and how they are doing their own “winning hearts and minds” projects.

Images of dinosaurs, Egyptian families and general theme-park oddness, are juxtaposed against the financial reality of Chinese soft propaganda.

“In the corporate material from TEDA they list the reason behind this as building smiles on Egyptian children in order to generate a prosperous future”

“A happy childhood lays a happy life, happy children will foster a happy society. TEDA Fun Valley cares the happy growth of Egyptian children, and is committed to sowing happy seeds in their pure hearts with the expectation of extending the happiness to the future and injecting a happy force to the civilized country. Producing happiness, and passing laughter; happy kids, happy Egypt!”.








Arts & Entertainment, Outdoor
Klaus Thymann is an award-winning photographer and film-maker, he works across media and delivers stories and content to The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN and others. 
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