CAIRO: Egypt’s government held intensive talks with officials from the UAE’s Arabtec last week, to commence the One Million Unit housing project, Egypt’s Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a TV interview late Sunday.
The $40 billion project was mentioned as part of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral campaign launched March, 2014. Sisi said the project aimed to solve housing problems by providing affordable houses for low-income people.
“We [Egypt’s government and Arabtec] are in intensive talks to reach a final agreement to start constructing the projects… Arabtec will launch phase one in the next few days, which includes around 120,000 middle-income units in el-Obour, Badr and New Minya cities,” said the minister.
Madbouly added that these cities were selected because of their need for more development.
Earlier in February, Madbouly said at a Cityscape business event held in Cairo that he will meet a delegation from Arabtec Holding visiting Cairo at the same time to conclude a final agreement to commence the national project.
It was initially scheduled to start construction on the project in the third quarter of 2014, but talks between the Egyptian government and Arabtec were stalled and 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 Ismail, resigned in June.
Earlier in October, Arabtec announced its commitment to implement the project after several media outlets reported that the company was no longer interested.