Local property developers are reporting unprecedented activity as a result of residential projects and regeneration developments, many of which are being jointly funded by overseas governments.
With essential construction work still required to deliver high profile housing and infrastructure initiatives, the real estate industry is responding to increasing levels of demand following a recent decision by The Ministry of Housing to allow non-Egyptian governments to invest in local projects.
Engineer Darwish Hassanein, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Egyptian Construction Company (SECON), states that cooperation between the Saudi and Egyptian governments is already enhancing the country’s changing skyline.
"Our company is continuing to break new ground in Egypt's real estate & tourism sectors. Having established three projects in New Cairo, Obour and 6th of October cities, SECON increased its capital by $243 million in January 2015, which was equally paid by the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian governments. Works are planned to begin concurrently in the three new projects valued at EGP 2.8 billion. We expect to deliver the three projects within just 36 months.”
Keen to align with Egypt’s vision to develop the new cities collaboratively, SECON have also announced the development of the country’s first hotel to be owned by both Egyptian and Saudi governments; “Our biggest aspiration for Egypt's future is the EGP 1.8 billion SECON Nile Towers Comprising two 23-storey towers. One will be home to the latest addition to the Hilton portfolio in Egypt, the five-star, 256-room Hilton Maadi. The other will incorporate 190 luxurious residential units that should be finished by the end of 2016. ”
These milestone announcements coincide with a recent visit to Egypt by Chinese President Xi Jinping, during which a number of agreements and a memorandum of understanding between the two countries was established and Jinping explicitly encouraged Chinese companies to participate in Egypt’s major projects, including developing the Suez Canal Corridor and building a new administrative capital outside of Cairo.
As Egypt continues to extend the hand of cooperation to foreign governments who are aligned with its investment potential, the country’s real estate pipeline is becoming ever more occupied.
Ayman Ismail, Partner – Chairman and CEO of the leading Egyptian private property development company Mountain View explains; “Over the last few years, we went through many crises; from the financial crisis in 2008 to the two revolutions in Egypt. Through all of these crises, the real estate business has proved its ability to grow. To me, this is not a surprise, because the fundamentals of the industry are very strong. We have real demand, not some kind of speculation witnessed in places like Dubai before their crisis. Our growing population is an asset.”
Ahmed Hassaballa, Associate Partner and Director of Operations at John Fotiadis Architect in New York elaborates; “Geopolitical changes in the Middle East are driving investors back to Egypt as they look for a renewed and stable market.