Abu Dhabi developer set to build 30,000 homes in Cairo

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Abu Dhabi developer set to build 30,000 homes in Cairo
Walid El-Hindi displays a scale model of Capital Group Properties' Cairo project in Abu Dhabi. It includes homes, an office park, a shopping mall, theatres, cinemas and schools.

Abu Dhabi - The Dh20 billion mixed-use project will be built in phases over 10 years

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Mon 2 May 2016, 7:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 2 May 2016, 9:58 PM

Capital Group Properties is embarking on a massive realty project in Cairo, which will comprise 30,000 residential units once complete.

The project, which will be built in phases over 10 years, includes an office park, a shopping mall, theatres, cinemas, schools and other community amenities. The project's key component will be a sprawling 70-acre park.

Waleed El-Hindi, CEO of Capital Group Properties, said the project, which was launched on March 28 in Cairo, is the developer's first property venture in Egypt which involves a total investment of Dh20 billion.

The project, which is themed around Egypt's cultural heritage, is being built on five million square metres in an area between the Suez and Ismailia Desert roads, around 15 minutes from Cairo's airport.

In the first phase, 300 residential units were offered for sale last month. These were booked immediately as there is strong demand for housing in North Africa's biggest economy.

The prices depend on the residential units - they start from Dh300,000 and can go up to Dh1.5 million.

"We are targeting the middle income groups that have been under-served in Egypt," the CEO said. "The project aims to provide housing to all segments of society." The CEO sees great demand for quality housing not only at home but also among expatriate communities in the Gulf and elsewhere.

El-Hindi said the Egyptian real estate market is attractive for investment, given its political, economic and free market environment. The government has made the business environment conducive for foreign investments.

Asked when construction would begin, he said ground breaking will take place in two months.

On the 70-acre park that is an integral component of the development, the chief executive said it would connect the entire project and be inspired by Egyptian culture and heritage.

"There is a cultural hub in the development which has attractions such as a museum, a planetarium and other tourist attractions," the chief executive said.

There would be an agriculture farm that grows organic vegetables to feed residents in the community. "We are using aquaponic system, a new agricultural technology that uses fish to produce biological chemicals that feed the plants," he said.

El-Hindi said Capital Group Properties has implemented several large-scale projects in many countries, including the UAE, the UK, Seychelles, Montenegro and Sri Lanka, adding that principal shareholders in the company are Al Ain Properties and Abu Dhabi Capital Group.

In recent years, with strengthening political stability, Egypt has attracted huge interest from Gulf institutional and private investors. Last year, the UAE and Egypt agreed to build a new $45 billion administrative capital on the outskirts of Cairo.

Capital City Partners, a private real estate investment fund headed by Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar, will build the new city. It will occupy 700 square kilometres of land to the east of Cairo and will accommodate seven million people when complete.

The development is expected to have 2,000 schools and colleges and more than 600 healthcare facilities, according to media reports.

At an investment conference last year, Abu Dhabi-based firm KBBO agreed to invest $2 billion in health, waste management, money exchange and renewable energy in Egypt.

Leading investment firm Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) will increase its investment in Egypt by $590 million. This is in addition to MAF's current investments, which is worth 18 billion Egyptian pounds.

- haseeb@khaleejtimes.com

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