Egypt, Arabtec to sign final agreement on 1M housing project w/i month: Minister
An Arabtec logo is seen on buildings under construction in the Marina area of Dubai in this picture taken November 28, 2009. Arabtec, the largest construction firm in the Middle East, is likely to suffer on doubts about contract payments from Nakheel when UAE markets reopen on Monday in the first post-holiday trading after Dubai shocked global markets last week by seeking a debt standstill for two flagship firms - REUTERS/Steve Crisp (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES BUSINESS)

CAIRO: A final agreement between Egypt and the UAE’s Arabtec to commence the first phase of the One Million Unit housing project with an estimated 20 billion EGP ($2.62 billion) investment will be signed within a month, Egypt’s Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouly told CNBC TV.

The project was first proposed as part of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s electoral campaign launched in March 2014, and its total value is estimated at $40 billion. Sisi said the project aimed to solve housing problems by providing affordable houses for low-income people.

“Upon the agreement, Egypt’s government will get a portion of the constructed units, but this share has not been determined yet,” Madbouly told CNBC Arabia.

During a workshop on the sidelines of the three-day Egypt Economic Development Conference which ended Sunday, the minister told reporters that “Egypt and Arabtec have reached a final agreement to start constructing the projects in a few days,” MENA reported Sunday.

Phase one comprise around 100,000 middle-income units in el-Obour, Badr and New Minya cities, Madbouly said in a TV interview last week, adding that these cities were selected because of their need for more development.

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.

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