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The President Of Egypt Actually Drove A Motorcade Down A Red Carpet

"Mr. President! Mr. President! Who are you driving?"

Posted on February 8, 2016, at 6:37 p.m. ET

In the two and a half years since he rose to the presidency following a military coup, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has developed a bit of a reputation for opulent projects.

Julie Jacobson / AP

Like, remember how insane the opening of a new section of the Suez Canal was last year? Sisi believes in doing things high-end or not at all.

Hassan Ammar / AP

That seemed to reach a new peak when on Saturday the presidential motorcade drove over 4 kilometers — or nearly 2.5 miles — of red carpet on its way to a new housing project.

Uncredited / AP

That is not Photoshop. It is a real red carpet, draped over an Egyptian road like the world's longest entrance to an awards show?

This footage from Al Jazeera gives a better scope for just how much carpeting was used for the jaunt.

Gamal Eid, an Egyptian lawyer, took the time to calculate about how much such a luxury ride would cost: "4,000-by-eight meters of red carpet equals to 32,000 square meters. [That] by 50 Egyptian pounds equals to 1.6m Egyptian pounds" or about $190,000.

1- أربعة كيلو متر من السجاد الاحمر = 4000مترxحوالي 8متر= 32000 متر xحوالي 50جنيه = مليون و600 ألف جنيه ، تقريبا. 2- محاكمة طفل سرق 5 أرغفة.

But according to the military, the Sisi administration didn't actually buy the carpet. Spokesman Brigadier General Ehab el-Ahwagy told several talk shows that it's been in use for three years.

How exactly 2.5 miles of red carpet escaped everyone's notice is unclear.

How exactly 2.5 miles of red carpet escaped everyone's notice is unclear.

"It gives a kind of joy and assurance to the Egyptian citizen that our people and our land and our armed forces are always capable of organizing anything in a proper manner," el-Ahwagy told prominent TV talk show host Amr Adeeb, the AP reports.

Meanwhile, according to a 2014 report from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), approximately 26.3% of Egyptians live below the national poverty line and the unemployment rate is at 13.2%. But red carpets are cool, too.

Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty Images

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