June ‘14
Insight Interview

June ‘14
Adly El Mestekawy : Pacha Sharm Is Evolving
Adly El Mestekawy : Pacha Sharm Is Evolving


Mr. Adly El Mestekawy is a big name in Sharm El Sheikh and in Egypt's clubs history'¦ He is the one who brought the most dominant clubbing brand in the world. Famous for those iconic red cherries and VIP clubbing, this year Pacha Sharm celebrates its 10th anniversary so We caught up with the owner, Mr. Adly to get the latest on the new developments and plans for the future.

Pacha is one of the most recognizable names in the nightlife industry, what was your vision for Pacha Sharm apart from its European recognition?

Sharm El Sheikh is predominantly a tourist beach resort, I believe that beach resorts need the young spirit of parties to keep the place and people fresh and alive to keep rejuvenating, so that people return and make it their holiday destination. Pacha Sharm is a major contributor to this young, energetic vibe and it puts Sharm el Sheikh on the clubbing map.

How would you describe the nightlife scene in Sharm El Sheikh compared to the rest of the world? What makes Sharm different?

A vibrant clubbing scene is a true gift to a destination and is not a guarantee - that is what I believe and therefore continue to aim to keep the club scene in Sharm on trend. Throughout the world, different places are associated with clubbing; Ibiza in Spain, Aiya-Napa in Cyprus, Mykonos in Greece and Sharm in Egypt. Sharm has the advantage of having over 120,000-hotel rooms capacity in an annual sunshine season and an island of History, peace and meditation. On top of the great Red Sea natural aquarium, which attracts global visitors, making it a truly multi-cultural hub and this gives it a wonderful feeling for tribal gatherings under the stars of Sinai sky. Free and open feel - just perfect for clubbing.

You are one of the most dominant clubbing brands in the world, what is the key to the success?

Ibiza Island is deeply at the beginning of modern time clubbing, since 1967 and the Pacha Cherries are in the heart of it all, the time of youth, peace and flower power spirit.

Ten years strong in the nightclub industry is incredible, how do you plan on keeping Pacha Sharm one of the best contenders in the nightlife scene?

The key to success is creating a complete concept where all pieces work together at their optimums; the music, the decor, the visuals and the show. This is achievable by having a team of staff who feel they are part of the club, who are proud, secure and well paid - together we create something amazing. Sharm has historically been associated with parties, from the early 1990's we had the lively 'Bus Stop' club, then the first house music open air party in Egypt 'House Nation' and then of course Pacha Sharm. We are innovators and constantly create new and exciting club concepts. We reach this by being open to new talents, traveling and experiencing different clubbing hubs, which refresh and bring new ideas. To continue to succeed, we keep creating, dreaming, moving, taking risks and continually evolving. My team 'Pacha Sharm' consists of pioneers of clubbing in Egypt and we will continue to be so.

When it comes to hosting all the top names in the music industry, what are the things you keep in consideration? What makes these events so successful?

Pacha Sharm has always been about the whole concept, not just focusing on the headliner. For a night to be a success, the party people need to have a good time. Pacha should always be a happy positive, special and glamorous place to party. The club was created from the original Sanafir Hotel, the very first Egyptian hotel in Sharm; it started as a club within a hotel and became a hotel serving the needs of a club. This allowed us to creatively re-adjust the existing structure of the hotel architecture, which had many levels and different terraces. The individual levels allowed us to understand that people wanted to have a more intimate clubbing experience but still within a large club scene. People can party within their group of friends but equally do not miss out on the main action. Equally every corner and level of the club has some entertainment apart from the main DJ; fire show performers, aerial acrobats, trapeze, podium theatrics and visuals. Pacha Sharm also has a strict entry policy which maintains the best party balance of different cultures, ages and gender, so that no-one dominates the scene.

What are some of your greatest memories since opening Pacha Sharm?

My most memorable moment of Pacha Sharm is of course the opening night in 2004. It was a bold choice to bring the concept of global clubbing to Sharm - I was a pioneer and the energy and happiness of people that night is unforgettable. All eyes were on Pacha Sharm, the opening night attracted celebrities from Egypt - people were eager to have this new experience - it was amazing to see my dream become a reality.

Do you see yourself possibly opening up other Pacha locations in Egypt? If so, have you considered opening Pacha Cairo?

Hurghada yes, It has some similarities to Sharm in the fact that it is a holiday beach resort. Cairo is more difficult, as it is a big city with different equations than the holiday destinations and needs different concept and different approach.

What's on your playlist right now?

Uplifting music from deep house to rock remixes.

Some big clubs closed down recently. But, do you think there is a bit of a 'Club Revolution' going on under the surface at the moment, with more and more people getting into dance music?

If you are talking nationally, I feel there is a change in Cairo and Alexandria. I feel a greater communication with the rest of the world that makes clubbing more of the new generations common language. In the past, I felt people didn't know how to let go and enjoy themselves, people almost felt embarrassed to be seen dancing and partying which pushed the club scene underground.

Finally, what are your top 3 tips for a perfect night at Pacha?

Good communication between the DJ, VJ and the show with the guests, who will become the main show that will bring this positive vibe to the world.