Construction of new capital in Egypt takes new dimension
Plans to construct a new capital in Cairo, Egypt, have assumed a new dimension after the Housing Minister Mustafa Madbouly announced that government will be taking charge of its construction after failing to close a deal with the UAE investor meant to lead a project.
Built to escape Cairo’s overcrowding and pollution, the new administrative capital was expected to cost a total $300 billion and feature an airport larger than London’s Heathrow and a building taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower.
The mega-project was unveiled in March at the Sharm el-Sheikh economic summit, where President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi urged foreign investors to help Egypt recover from the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
Mohamed Alabbar, the UAE property tycoon who helped develop Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, would not be the lead partner in the venture due to disagreements on the finances.
Instead, the government will set up a wholly owned company to lead the venture and allocate specific projects to private developers from the Gulf and elsewhere, which may include Alabbar’s Capital City Partners.
Gulf states have showered Egypt with billions of dollars in aid since Sisi removed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Morsi from the presidency in mid-2013 following mass protests.