The Egyptian government has signed a deal with a UAE-based fund to build a new capital city to east of Cairo, it has been reported.
The agreement is reportedly with Capital City Partners, a private real estate investment fund, and is worth almost $20 billion, according to the UAE state news agency WAM. The total cost of the project is said to be in the region of $45 billion.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the Egyptian President, Abdul Fattah Al Sisi, witnessed the signing of the agreement at a major investment conference in Sharm El Sheikh.
The deal between the UAE and Egypt will see a new administrative and business capital built on the Ain al-Sokhna road, to the east of Cairo. The project will be more than 700 sq km and will house about seven million residents.
Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development, Dr Mostafa Madbouly told assembled dignitaries at the conference that the aim of the project was to ease congestion and overpopulation in Cairo over the next 40 years. The current population of Greater Cairo is estimated at about 18 million, and is expected to double within four decades.
The new capital will house the Egyptian parliament and its government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies, the BBC reported. It will also include resorts, modern shopping centers and residential neighborhoods.
Developers have said that the new city will also include 2,000 schools and colleges, as well as more than 600 healthcare facilities. They claim that the project will create more than a million jobs.
More than 35 specialized Egyptian construction companies will take part in the implementation of the project. Madbouly said that the colossal project would be named after HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Once construction is complete, the new capital will be linked to Cairo and the Suez Canal.
It will be built by Capital City Partners, a private real estate investment fund led by Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, the builders of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
“It is a natural extension for the city of Cairo,” Mr Alabbar told the BBC, saying that the new development would sit on the edge of the existing city.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to design something from scratch, and to design it keeping in mind the needs of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government.”
He added that the builders would deploy the most advanced design techniques on the project, and that the city would breed "confidence and pride in Egyptians".
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