By Courtney Trenwith
The billionaire Dubai developer has expressed surprise at the lack of response from President El Sisi despite Egypt’s worsening economy
One of Dubai’s biggest developers, Khalaf Al Habtoor has expressed surprise at the lack of response from Egyptian authorities to his $8.5bn investment proposal.
The billionaire chairman of Al Habtoor Group wrote directly to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in December, outlining plans to build a huge mixed-use development in Cairo, based on a similar project, Al Habtoor City, currently being built in Dubai.
In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, Al Habtoor said he had not received any response. While he would have accepted a negative reply, he said most governments would not have completely ignored such a large scale investment opportunity.
Apparently surprised, he said sarcastically: “I don’t blame them, maybe they are busy with other things, priorities more than $8.5bn.
“Maybe they have enough [investment].”
Al Habtoor said his development would have included an international school, two polo fields, a golf course and a shopping complex, creating a vibrant community and “a new landmark in Cairo”. It would have provided much-needed jobs for the Egyptian people, and a boost to the economy, he added.
President El Sisi is facing his greatest challenge from the public since taking office, amid a declining economy and increasing violence, particularly in the Sinai.
umerous foreign airlines have complained that they cannot withdraw their income from the country due to a lack of foreign currency reserves, while El Sisi’s claim to have boosted the economy by building a second Suez Canal has so far not worked.