By Neil Halligan
Dubai-based contractor proposed to build 13,000 homes of the scaled-down 100,000 project but has yet to hear from the Ministry of Housing
Arabtec remains unclear as to when or if the proposed project to build homes for the Egyptian government will start.
The Dubai-based contractor announced more than a year ago that it had agreed in principle with the Egyptian government to build one million homes in the country, but the project remains very much on hold for now, according to Raja Hani Ghanma, CEO of Arabtec Construction.
Ghanma told Arabian Business that the project, which can been scaled back from its original 1 million houses to 100,000, has seen little progress on the part of the Egyptian government’s Ministry of Housing. Arabtec put forward a proposal to start the project with a little over one-tenth of the reduced project last October, but there has been no confirmation of support from Egypt’s housing ministry.
“We haven’t heard from them since. We went there with a specific proposal to start off with 13,000 units and we set certain criteria and requirements,” Ghanma said. “I can’t say it’s totally a dead horse because it can come back any minute, but obviously it has shrunk from what it was. Nobody is talking about a million unit project; we’re [now] talking about 100,000 units. We said we will start off with 13,000 and we gave a proposal on how that is to be done.
“The Ministry of Housing did not come back to us. They might not be interested, I don’t know.”
He said Arabtec still has a strong operation in Egypt and hopes to grow it further, whether the huge housing project materialises or not. It is also looking to develop its business in Saudi Arabia, another booming Gulf state that desperately needs tens of thousands of homes, as well as other buildings. Arabtec already has two operations in the kingdom.