Port Said (Egyptian Arabic: بورسعيد Borsaʿīd or Porsaʿīd IPA: [boɾ.sæˈʕiːd, poɾ.sæˈʕiːd], the first syllable has its pronunciation from French; unurbanized local pronunciation: [bɔrsaˈʕɛˑd]) is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 kilometres (19 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787 (2010). The city was established in 1859 during the building of the Suez Canal.
Port Said has been ranked the second among the Egyptian cities according to the Human Development Index in 2009 and 2010, the economic base of the city is fishing and industries, like chemicals, processed food, and cigarettes. Port Said is also an important harbour for exports of Egyptian products like cotton and rice, but also a fueling station for ships that pass through the Suez Canal. It thrives on being a duty-free port, as well as a tourist resort especially during summer. It is home to the Lighthouse of Port Said (the first building in the world built from reinforced concrete).
The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس Qanāt al-Sūwais) is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows transportation by water between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa. The northern terminus is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfiq at the city of Suez. Ismailia lies on its west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) from the half-way point.
When first built, the canal was 164 km (102 mi) long and 8 m (26 ft) deep. After multiple enlargements, the canal is 193.30 km (120.11 mi) long, 24 m (79 ft) deep and 205 metres (673 ft) wide as of 2010. It consists of the northern access channel of 22 km (14 mi), the canal itself of 162.25 km (100.82 mi) and the southern access channel of 9 km (5.6 mi).
The canal is single lane with passing places in the "Ballah By-Pass" and the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks; seawater flows freely through the canal. In general, the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. The current south of the lakes changes with the tide at Suez.