Egyptian officials have announced plans to build a new administrative and business capital east of Cairo as part of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s economic turnaround drive in a joint venture with the UAE.
The new capital will be developed on a land area of around 700km2 – around 12 times the size of Manhattan Island —located between Cairo and the Red Sea.
Officials hope the development will accommodate seven million people and create 1.5 million jobs, according to documentation made available at an economic summit in the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The move could relieve some pressure on Cairo, whose metropolitan population is straining the city’s congested infrastructure. And a population forecast to grow to 40 million by 2050 from its current figure of 18 million..
The UAE is set to be a partner in the development, which will be led by Capital City Partners, which describes itself as a private fund of global investors that will cooperate with the Egyptian Ministry of Housing.
Egypt’s investment minister Ashraf Salman said the project would be entirely funded by private investors. “The government will incur zero cost in the city, and this will be totally developed, masterplanned and executed by a private sector company – a developer from the Gulf.”
According to a UK newspaper the project is based on an election pledge by the president, who last year promised to extend Cairo to the Red Sea port of Suez if voted into power.
The proposed city would have “large green spaces, an international airport, a theme park four times bigger than Disneyland in California, 90 square kilometres of solar farms, and an electric train” to link with Cairo, according to Egypt’s housing minister Mustafa Kamel Madbuli.
The project will also involve relocating government buildings and foreign embassies from central Cairo.