Egypt is blessed with Nile valley and its fertile lands, along which many civilizations have settled and developed throughout history. This has, for so long, laid most emphases of development strategies and economic plans upon this particular strip of Egypt's land, while more than 90% of the Country's desert area was left with very little, or probably no attention. Tourism is a major sector in Egypt's economy, which has contributed more than 17% to the Country's GDP in 2005. Egyptian tourism has, for some time, focused on historic monuments and beach resorts. In recent years, attention is directed to a different trend of tourism, in accordance with the general tendency towards sustainable development. This trend is eco-tourism, which endorses touring natural habitats in a manner that minimizes negative ecological impacts upon the environment. Thus, the prime goal for eco-tourists is the genuine exposure to and the true interaction with local environments. To benefit from these concepts, and to achieve better utility of the local resources, it is important to promote the application of eco-tourism in wider areas of Egypt. Eco-tourism has the potential to accomplish valuable social and economic benefits, by creating job opportunities for the local residents, exchanging knowledge with foreign visitors, disseminating environmental awareness, and promoting sustainable development. Thus, the current study addresses Siwa Oasis – Egypt, as an example for promoting eco-tourism in desert environments. In terms of architecture, it is important to grasp the real forces underlying the production of local built forms, so that any introduced facilities do not contradict with the main objectives of eco-tourism. This research deals with built forms as the responsive objectification of more complex and sophisticated subjective dimensions. Amongst these dimensions are social systems, traditions, beliefs and culture. Therefore, the study addresses the physical and non-physical aspects shaping the pattern of built environment in Siwa, to outline broad guidelines for new enterprises to undertake, towards supporting viable eco-tourism and sustainable development.The study concludes that architecture should not be a mere reproduction of certain building typologies that are undertaken in different historic or geographic contexts. It should alternatively stem from a sound understanding to all subjective and objective characteristics of the environment, and how local people envisage the desert and deal with it. This is found positively supportive to eco-tourism and sustainable socio-economic development of the desert communities.