Ismailia is a city in north-eastern Egypt. Situated on the west bank of the Suez Canal, it is the capital of the Ismailia Governorate. The city had an estimated population of about 430,000 in 2021 (about 750,000, if including surrounding rural areas). It is located approximately halfway between Port Said to the north and Suez to the south. The Canal widens at that point to include Lake Timsah, one of the Bitter Lakes linked by the Canal.

History Ismailia was founded in 1863, during the construction of the Suez Canal, by Khedive Ismail, after whom the city is named. Following the Battle of Kafr-el-Dawwar in 1882 the British established a base there. The head office of the Suez Canal Authority is located in Ismailia at the shore of Lake Timsah. It has a large number of buildings dating from British and French involvement with the Canal. Most of these buildings are currently used by Canal employees and officials. During World War I the British had an air base there and the Battle of Romani took place nearby. Ismailia War Cemetery was designed in 1919 by Sir Robert Lorimer marking the casualties of the battle. In 1973 the Battle of Ismailia took place in the city.

Arts and festivals Ismailia hosts two important festivals each year. The first is the International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts that is held in June.[3] In June 2014, the 17th consecutive festival was organized. The second is the Ismailia International Folklore Arts Festival that is held in September. In this festival folkloric troupes from all around the globe meet in Ismailia, where they perform folkloric dances representing the culture of their countries.

Tourism Ferdinand de Lesseps’ house and office in Ismailia, near the Suez Canal Ismailia does get tourists from within Egypt but is not a major tourism destination for international tourists. The city is approximately a ninety-minute automobile drive from Cairo. From Ismailia it is approximately a four-hour drive to Sharm el-Sheikh in South Sinai. Driving to the Taba Border Crossing at Taba and the Rafah Border Crossing at Rafah are both approximately four-hour drives. A major attraction is the Ismailia Museum which was built in 1932. Visitors will find a variety of significant archaeological finds especially from sites in the Ismailia governorate such as Tell el-Maskhuta, from North Sinai, and from Upper Egypt.