CAIRO: The UAE’s construction company Arabtec is currently in talks with banks to secure around $100 million to $200 million to launch phase one of its housing project in Egypt, Arabtec chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
The project was initially 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.
Qubaisi said he hopes soon to start the first phase of the project that would construct 100,000 units and take five to seven years to be completed, adding that Arabtec would work with local contractors like Egypt’s Orascom Construction to build middle-income units.
Qubaisi, who is also the chairman of Abu Dhabi investment firm Aabar, said: “For us (Arabtec), for Aabar, the future is really Egypt,” adding that Aabar and Arabtec are considering more investments in Egypt.
He added that “Egypt will play a big role in our portfolio in the future and Egypt, with respect to the challenges, is really a promising country,” citing his optimistic outlook for the country’s large population which is estimated at 90 million people along with the “rising need” for infrastructure and housing projects.
In a clarification to the Dubai Financial Market on March 19, Arabtec Holding emphasized its commitment to implement a “strategic” million housing units’ project in Egypt.