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 (pictured below) 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.
Dubai’s Emaar Properties, of which Alabbar is chairman, has moved to distance itself from the project, after media reports yesterday said the company would participate in the ambitious scheme. However, in a Dubai bourse statement on Monday, Emaar insisted it was not involved in developing the planned new capital to the east of Cairo.
"We would like to clarify that Emaar is not involved in the development of the new capital city project in Egypt," it said, without saying whether it might become involved in future.
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.
Speaking to the BBC, Alabbar said, “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to design something from scratch, and to design it keeping in mind the needs of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government.”
He told Egyptian TV that the aim of the new capital is to gather together government institutions, embassies, and to introduce residential units that would serve all social classes.
The project will also include a major tourist tower, which will not be residential and is said to be similar in shape to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Alabbar confirmed.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to that year's World's Fair. A replica of the Paris iconic landmark is also due to be built in Dubai as part of the Falconcity of Wonders project (pictured below). Announced in 2005, plans include life-size replicas of the seven wonders of the world, including the Egyptian pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and other famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a part of Dubailand but has been stalled as a result of the 2008 economic downturn, which saw property prices in Dubai fall by up to 60 percent and around half of project canceled or delayed.
In June 2013, it was announced that the work will be resumed but work unlikely to be completed before 2020.
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