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Sat 4 Apr 2015 01:07 AM

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UAE could collaborate with more Arab countries on mega projects

Economy minister says $45bn Egyptian city tie-up should be model to extend to other regional countries

UAE could collaborate with more Arab countries on mega projects
Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAEs Minister of Economy.

The UAE is looking to collaborate with other Arab countries on mega developments such as the $45 billion plan to build a new capital city in Egypt, according to Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

In comments made at the launch of the International Property Show, he revealed that the collaboration between UAE and Egypt in developing the Capital Cairo project can be extended to other countries as a model relationship.

Al Mansouri said: "The UAE's involvement in this ambitious project reflects a pioneering initiative, and we look at it as a model that other countries can follow and emulate.

"The UAE has gained tremendous expertise in the real estate field that could benefit other countries in the wider region."

Al Mansouri added: "Real estate is considered one of the most significant investments worldwide and it forms one of the main pillars of any economy. This sector is witnessing strong growth, especially in the Arab world, and therefore both private and government sectors in Arab countries must take it seriously by taking actions like new legislation, support, innovation and easy liquidity."

In Egypt, a private real estate investment fund company founded by UAE businessman Mohammed Alabbar, will spearhead the development of Egypt’s new $45 billion capital project, which will include a landmark tower similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Capital Cairo project will be led by the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, and will be developed by Capital City Partners, a private fund of global investors, including the UAE, which was founded by Alabbar.

It’s expected to take between five and seven years to complete the mammoth development project, which is spread over 700 square km.

The new capital, planned to be the size of Singapore, will house government buildings, diplomatic missions and residential units in the area between Cairo, Suez City and Ain Sokhna, Egypt’s housing minister Mostafa Madbouli said.

When completed, Capital Cairo will be home to five million people, and will include an airport nearly 1.3 times the size of Heathrow Airport in London, and 90 sq km (35 sq miles) of solar power fields, which Madbouli said was part of a sustainable strategy.

With easy access to the Suez, one of the world’s leading shipping routes, the project will create 1.1 million housing units. The theme park in the development will be seven times bigger than California's Disneyland.

A total of 40,000 hotel rooms, retail area of 4.2 million sq m and 663 healthcare facilities (including 18 regional hospitals) are also included in the development plans.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE each offered $4 billion (3.8 billion euros) in investment aid for the project.