The Cairo Tower is a free-standing concrete tower located in Cairo, Egypt. At 187 m (614 ft), it has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa for 50 years. It was the tallest structure in Africa for 10 years, until 1971 when it was surpassed by Hillbrow Tower in South Africa. One of Cairo's well-known landmarks, it stands in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the River Nile, close to Downtown Cairo. Built from 1956 to 1961, the tower was designed by the Egyptian architect Naoum Chebib. Its partially open lattice-work design is intended to evoke a pharaonic lotus plant, an iconic symbol of Ancient Egypt. The tower is crowned by a circular observation deck and a rotating restaurant with a view over greater Cairo. One rotation takes approximately seventy minutes.