Ismailia Governorate
View of Ismailia and Timash lake
View of Ismailia and Timash lake
Flag of Ismailia Governorate
Official logo of Ismailia Governorate
Ismailia Governorate on the map of Egypt
Ismailia Governorate on the map of Egypt
Country Egypt
SeatIsmailia (capital)
 • GovernorHamdi Hamed Mohamed Osman[1]
 • Total5,066 km2 (1,956 sq mi)
 (January 2023)[4]
 • Total1,442,402
 • Density280/km2 (740/sq mi)
 • TotalEGP 91 billion
(US$ 5.8 billion)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
HDI (2021)0.745[6]
high · 8th

Ismailia Governorate (Arabic: محافظة الإسماعيلية) is one of the Canal Zone governorates of Egypt. Located in the northeastern part of the country, its capital is the city of Ismailia. It was named after Ismail Pasha, who as Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, oversaw the country during the building of the Suez Canal.[7] It is located between the other two Canal governorates; Port Said Governorate, in the Northern part of Egypt and Suez Governorate.[8]

Fayed War Cemetery
Boats in Great Bitter Lake (Fayed)
Historical population
1966 345,000—    
1976 351,889+2.0%
1986 544,427+54.7%
1996 715,009+31.3%
2006 942,832+31.9%
2015 1,178,641+25.0%
2023 1,442,402+22.4%
1966–2006, 2015 is an estimate[9][4]

Municipal divisions

The governorate is divided into municipal divisions, with a total estimated population as of January 2023 of 1,442,402. In the case of Ismailia governorate, there are 4 kism, 5 markaz and 1 new city.[4]

The divisions are generally seven: Ismailia which is the capital, Tell El Kebir, Abu Suwir, Qassasin, Fayid, Qantara West and Qantara East.[10][11]

Municipal Divisions
Anglicized name Native name Arabic transliteration Population
(July 2017 Est.)
Abu Suwir مركز أبو صوير Abū Ṣuwīr 221,994 Markaz
Ismailia مركز الاسماعيلية Al-Ismā'īliyah 170,065 Markaz
Ismailia 1 قسم أول الاسماعيلية Al-Ismā'īliyah 1 49,859 Kism (fully urban)
Ismailia 2 قسم ثان الاسماعيلية Al-Ismā'īliyah 2 264,376 Kism (fully urban)
Ismailia 3 قسم ثالث الاسماعيلية Al-Ismā'īliyah 3 131,422 Kism (fully urban)
El Qantara West مركز القنطرة غرب Al-Qanṭarah Gharb 162,101 Markaz
El Qantara El Sharqiya مركز القنطرة شرق Al-Qanṭarah Sharq 62,600 Markaz
New Kasaseen مركز القصاصين الجديده Al-Qaṣāṣīn al-Jadīdah 120,788 New City
Tell El Kebir مركز التل الكبير At-Tall al-Kabīr 111,635 Markaz
Fayid مركز فايد Fa'id 147,562 Markaz


According to population estimates, in 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate lived in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 45.4%. Out of an estimated 1,178,641 people residing in the governorate, 643,778 people lived in rural areas as opposed to only 534,863 in urban areas.[12]

Cities and towns

As of 2017, seven cities (or towns) in Ismailia had a population of over 15,000 inhabitants.[13]

Cities and towns with over 15,000 inhabitants
Anglicized name Native name Arabic transliteration Nov. 1996 Census Nov. 2006 Census Population
(July 2017 Est.)
Abu Suwir El Mahata أبو صوير المحطة Abū Ṣuwayr al-Maḥaṭṭah 18,331 24,265 29,476
Ismalia الإسماعيلية Al-Ismā'īliyah 255,134 293,184 386,372
New Kasaseen القصاصين الجديدة Al-Qaṣāṣīn al-Jadīdah 11,948 15,611 22,000
Tell El Kebir التل الكبير At-Tall al-Kabīr 31,410 26,891 37,000
Fayid فايد Fa'id 15,652 21,808 31,545

Industrial zones

According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment (MOI), the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:[14]

Annual film festival

Hashim El Nahas founded the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts and originally considered establishing it in Luxor. Instead this festival has been celebrating its annual events in Ismailia Governorate. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Ismailia Governorate, The National Cinema Center and other sponsors.[15]

Ismailia Canal

The Ismailia Governorate is on the banks of the Suez Canal and its Ismailia Canal extends from the Nile River near Cairo, to the Suez Canal at the city of Ismailia, on Lake Timsah.[16] The Ismailia Canal was built to provide fresh water to workers during the building of the Suez Canal.[8] The Suez Canal Authority headquarters is located in Ismailia.[17]

Conflicts and wars

From 1967 to 1970, Ismailia became a war zone and was damaged in the conflict with Israel. Many battles were fought, in and around Ismailia, including at the end of the conflict in the Battle of Ismailia[18] and the area was able to begin rebuilding after a cease-fire was negotiated between Egypt and Israel in 1973.[19][20]

Fishing landing sites

There are several official fishing landing sites in Ismailia. One is at Lake Timsah and the other at Bitter Lake.[21][22]

UN sustainable programme

After a successful SIP (Sustainable Ismailia Programme) from 1992 to 1997, the United Nations expanded the project to include the entire Governorate of Ismailia calling it SGIP (Sustainable Ismailia Governorate Programme). Its goal is to work with local partners to improve the communities in Ismailia.[23]


  1. ^ "رسمياً.. المحافظون الجدد ونوابهم يؤدون اليمين الدستورية أمام الرئيس". Almasry Alyoum (in Arabic). 30 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
  2. ^ "Ismailia Governorate Subdivisions". Archived from the original on 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  3. ^ "About the governorate". Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Retrieved 2 April 2023. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Subnational HDI - Table - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2023-02-20.
  7. ^ "Ismail-Pasha". Britannica. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Al-Ismailiyyah". Britannica. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Ismailia Population, 1966–2006". Statoids. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ismailia site". (in Arabic). Ismailia Government.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Map of Ismailia". Ismailia Government. Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  12. ^ "Population Estimates By Sex & Governorate 1/1/2015" (PDF). CAPMAS. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Cities". Archived from the original on 2018-10-05. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  14. ^ "Industrial Zones of Governorate". Ministry of Investment Egypt. Archived from the original on 2018-11-23. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries and Shorts". Ismailia FilmFestival. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  16. ^ Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary (3rd ed.). Merriam-Webster. 1997. p. 535. ISBN 0-87779-546-0.
  17. ^ "Suez Canal". Suez Canal Government of Egypt. Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  18. ^ Dunstan, Simon (20 November 2012). The Yom Kippur War 1973 (2): The Sinai. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 9781846036484.
  19. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2015). Wars That Changed History: 50 of the World's Greatest Conflicts. ABC-CLIO. p. 549. ISBN 9781610697866.
  20. ^ Potholm, Christian P. (2016). Understanding War: An Annotated Bibliography. UPA. p. 584. ISBN 9780761867746.
  21. ^ "Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profiles The Arab Republic of Egypt". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Archived from the original on 16 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  22. ^ "Information on Fisheries Management in the Arab Republic of Egypt". FOA. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  23. ^ Sustainable Cities Programme 1990-2000: A Decade of United Nations Support for Broad-based Participatory Management of Urban Development. UN. 2002. p. 30. ISBN 9789211316322.

Further reading

30°36′N 32°17′E / 30.600°N 32.283°E / 30.600; 32.283