CAIRO: The government has allocated 5 billion EGP ($638.8 million) for the Administrative Capital project in its new budget, said Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly, Youm7 reported Monday.
He added that a “new step” in the project is to be announced soon.
“The project is the bigger than any company, it is a state’s project,” Madbouly said on the sidelines of signing a protocol with Sodic, a real estate company, to supply 1000 towns in Ezbet Khairallah, a large slum in south Cairo, with water.
The minister also said more than five Arab and Egyptian mega companies have submitted requests to contribute to the project.
He added that negotiations are ongoing with a United Arab Emirates company and facilities are being connected to the first stage of the project.
On June 9, Madbouly acknowledged “complications” in contract negotiations with the investment fund expected to lead development of a new administrative capital east of Cairo.
“There are many complications. We are still in the negotiations stage for this project,” Madbouly said on the sidelines of a business conference in Cairo, adding the negotiations were “very sensitive”.
On March 14, Madbouly signed an agreement with the UAE government to establish a new administrative capital city “Cairo Capital” halfway between Cairo and the Suez Canal area.
The deal was signed during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), held in the Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh in March.
The new capital is one of a series of mega-projects announced by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to attract foreign investment and create jobs in a country with a booming population of 90 million.
The proposed city, which Egypt plans to build within five to seven years at a cost of $45 billion, has been criticized by some Egyptians and observers as “unnecessary and ill-conceived.”
The project, planned to be the size of Singapore, is set to include an airport larger than London’s Heathrow, a building taller than Paris’s Eiffel Tower, and more than 10,000 km (6,200 miles) of boulevards, avenues and streets.