Egypt denies ending talks with Arabtec to construct 1m housing-unit project
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CAIRO: Egypt’s Housing Minister Moustafa Madbouli denied reports claiming that the government had stalled talks with the UAE’s Arabtec Holding over its 1m housing-unit project in Egypt, affirming that both sides have finalized contracts to commence its first phase, Youm7 reported Monday.

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.

Citing changes in Arabtec’s board of directors three weeks ago, Madbouli told Youm7: “The new board asked the ministry to give it some time to study the project and review the contracts to accomplish the project in a timely manner.”

“Phase one of the projects will cost $280 million and will see the construction of 100,000 units in Egypt’s Obour and Badr cities,” added the minister.

Earlier in April, Egypt’s Cabinet approved Arabtec’s initiative to construct phase one of the project and the company announced that it “will sign a final contract for this first phase … at the earliest opportunity.”

However, the project 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 was surrounded with uncertainty after its former chief executive, Hasan Ismail, resigned in June.

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