CAIRO: The United Arab Emirates’ Arabtec Holding announced in a Sunday statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) website that it is about to conclude a final agreement with Egyptian authorities to commence the construction of a million housing unit project in Egypt.
The $40 billion project was part of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral campaign launched last March.
Sisi said the project aimed to solve the housing problems of low-income people.
Arabtec Holding Chairman Khadem Al-Qubaisi said in the statement that Arabtec has conducted intensive negotiations and meetings with Egyptian authorities.
“It (the company) is making the maximum possible efforts in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) in Egypt to commence the construction of phase one of the project before the end of the current year,” Qubaisi said in the statement.
According to the company, phase one of the project will be distributed in the three cities of Obour, Badr and New Minya. It will comprise 120,000 housing units, which will form integrated cities that include public services and facilities, including schools, hospitals and places of worship.
Both parties have agreed that Arabtec Holding will grant NUCA in-kind housing units and public service buildings in return for the land and facilities of the project as per the project phases, the statement noted.
The project, which will cover 160 million square meters in 13 locations in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor, was surrounded with uncertainty after its former chief executive, Hasan Ismaik, resigned in June.
Several media outlets reported later in September that Arabtec was no longer committed to implementing the project in Egypt.
The deputy head of NUCA, Amin Abdel Moneim, told The Cairo Post on Oct. 1 that Egypt was negotiating with Arabtec to reach a consensus to commence the delayed million unit housing project, which was scheduled to kick off in July.
Moneim said that NUCA was assessing the land price and allocation. “We are also considering the most appropriate partnership system for the project,” he said.
“NUCA has urged Arabtec to determine the construction cost of a single unit in addition to the administrative expenses. We are waiting for their offer to start negotiations with the aim of providing affordable houses for low-income people,” Abdel Moneim concluded.