Dubai's Arabtec signs $136m Cairo building contract

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Dubai's Arabtec signed a AED500m (US$136m) contract to build a 23-storey hotel and residential complex in Cairo, the major construction firm said on Sunday.

The Nile Towers, to be built in the Maadi suburb of south Cairo, will include a Hilton Hotel with 256 guest rooms and suites plus other facilities, Arabtec said in a statement. An adjacent tower would contain 114 luxury residential apartments.

Arabtec and its joint venture partner SIAC Industrial Construction & Engineering Co were initially awarded the contract in July last year by developer Saudi Egyptian Construction Co.

The Dubai builder has gradually shifted its focus from its home territory since Dubai's real estate market collapse in 2009, and focused on new markets such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Arabtec said last week that it would raise US$650m through a rights issue before the end of June to help fund its expansion. It replaced its chief executive last month in a shake-up led by Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar, its top shareholder, which has been tightening its grip on the group.

The company said Nile Towers was its third project since it entered the Egyptian market. It has a AED174m contract from Dubai developer Emaar Properties to build the Al Marassi villa project on the coast at Alexandria, and a contract to build a 726-apartment residential development on a cliff top at the town of Sokhna.

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