Amid exceptionally tight security, Egypt will open an expansion to the Suez Canal today with dignitaries from around the world flying in for the occasion.
The Suez extension was announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a year ago. The $8.2bn project includes a 35 km parallel waterway flanking the existing 145-year-old waterway. It also includes a deepening and widening of 37 km of the existing canal.
This will cut transit times for southbound ships by seven hours and allow larger vessels easier passage, local authorities claim.
The grand opening has been targeted by Islamic State as well as an affiliate of al Qaeda.