Suez Canal | Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis

Suez Canal | Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis

Suez Canal | Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis

The Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is a vital trade route in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, so we will tell you about Suez Canal Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis. Besides, it facilitates international trade, fosters economic development, and plays a crucial role in global connectivity.

The Suez Canal history

The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Besides, it allows ships to avoid long and perilous trips around the southern tip of Africa. Besides, the Suez Canal history and construction and history have significant events and developments 1. The history of Suez Canal includes Suez Canal Map Ownership History Opens and Crisis and many other events such as:

1- Ancient Canal

The idea of connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea dates back to ancient times. Pharaohs of ancient Egypt attempted to construct a canal as early as 1850 BCE. However, due to technical challenges, they couldn’t complete the project 3.

2- French Interest

In the 19th century, French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps negotiated a concession with Egypt‘s ruler, Said Pasha. So, they formed the Suez Canal Company in 1858. Construction of the canal began in 1859. Later the construction finished in 1869, funded by French and other European investors.

3- International Ownership

The Suez Canal quickly became an important global trade route, reducing the distance between Europe and Asia. In 1875, the British government acquired a controlling stake in the Suez Canal Company.

4- Nationalization and Suez Canal crisis

In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, sparking the Suez Canal Crisis. So, Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt in an attempt to regain control of the canal. However, international pressure and diplomatic efforts led to a ceasefire, and the crisis ended in 1957.

5- Modernization and Expansion

After the Suez Crisis, the Egyptian government reopened it. Then, Egypt took control of the waterway. Over the years, the government expanded and modernized the canal to accommodate larger vessels and increase its capacity. In 2015, the government made a major expansion allowing two-way traffic in most parts of the canal.

6- Closure and Reopening

The Suez Canal faced another significant event in its history. As in 1967 when it was closed during the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt. Besides, The closure lasted for eight years, causing a major disruption to international trade routes.

7- International Cooperation

The Suez Canal has international treaties and agreements. Besides, The Constantinople Convention of 1888 established the principle of freedom of navigation through the canal during peace and war. In 1956, the Suez Canal became a “universal” canal, allowing ships of all nations to transit without discrimination.

Where is the Suez Canal?

Suez Canal | Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis
  • The Suez Canal is situated in Egypt, a country located in North Africa and the Middle East. In addition, the distance from Cairo to Suez Canal is the most direct route via Cairo-Suez Road. In addition, it is approximately 134 miles (216 kilometres) in distance. It is positioned in the northeastern part of Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Red Sea in the south 2.
  • The canal traverses the Isthmus of Suez, a narrow strip of land that separates the African continent from the Sinai Peninsula. The northern entrance of the Suez Canal is located near the city of Port Said on the Mediterranean coast, while the southern entrance is near the city of Suez on the Red Sea coast.

Suez canal map

Suez Canal map
CIA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Suez Canal importance

Suez Canal | Map, Ownership, History, Opens, and Crisis

The Suez Canal holds significant importance for global trade and maritime transportation due to the following key importance of Suez Canal such as:

1- Shortcut for international trade

The Suez Canal provides a vital shortcut for international trade, allowing ships to avoid lengthy and costly trips around the southern tip of Africa. This significantly reduces the distance and time needed to transport goods between Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world, making it a crucial trade route.

2- Strategic geopolitical location

The Suez Canal is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, making it a critical point of intersection for global trade and transportation. It is a major artery for shipping goods between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, serving as a crucial link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

3- Economic significance

The Suez Canal generates substantial revenue for Egypt, as it is a significant source of tolls and fees paid by ships passing through the canal. These revenues contribute to the country’s economy, supporting infrastructure development, employment opportunities, and economic growth.

4- Energy transportation

The Suez Canal is a critical transit route for the transportation of oil and natural gas from the Middle East to markets in Europe, Asia, and beyond. It plays a crucial role in the global energy trade, facilitating the transportation of valuable energy resources to meet the demand of global markets.

5- International trade facilitation

The Suez Canal serves as a facilitator of international trade by providing a shorter route and reducing transportation costs for goods. It enables the efficient movement of goods, including manufactured goods, raw materials, and commodities, helping to drive global trade and economic growth.

6- Global maritime connectivity

The Suez Canal enhances maritime connectivity by providing a direct link between major shipping routes and facilitating the movement of vessels from various regions of the world. It plays a pivotal role in promoting global maritime connectivity, enabling ships to connect and trade with different countries and regions.

In conclusion, the history of the Suez Canal is a complex and dynamic story of the construction, international ownership, nationalization, modernization, economic importance, geopolitical significance, closure, reopening, international cooperation, ongoing maintenance, environmental concerns, and future prospects. The canal has played a crucial role in global trade and has been a focal point of geopolitical tensions, shaping the history and development of the region and the world economy.


Who owned the Suez Canal before the crisis?

Before the crisis, the Suez Canal was owned by the private Suez Canal Company, established in 1858 by Ferdinand de Lesseps. President Gamal Abd El-Nasser nationalized it in 1956.

Why does Egypt own the Suez Canal?

Egypt owns the Suez Canal as it is located within its territory. Originally constructed through a concession to a private French company, it was later nationalized by the Egyptian government in 1956.

Does Egypt benefit from Suez Canal?

Yes, Egypt benefits from the Suez Canal through significant revenue from tolls, economic growth, job opportunities, and strategic significance.