Port Said (Egyptian Arabic: بورسعيد) is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 kilometers (19 miles) 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, a fueling station for ships that pass through the Suez Canal, and site of open water swimming competitions. 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).
There are numerous old houses with grand balconies on all floors, giving the city a distinctive look. Port Said's twin city is Port Fuad, which lies on the eastern bank of the canal. The two cities coexist, to the extent that there hardly is any town centre in Port Fuad. The cities are connected by free ferries running all through the day, and together they form a metropolitan area with over a million residents that extends both on the African and the Asian sides of the Suez Canal. The only other metropolitan area in the world that also spans two continents is Istanbul.