Eagle Hills said building $80 billion New City in Egypt

by Zainab Fattah, 26 February 2015

( Published by Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/ ) — Eagle Hills, an Abu Dhabi-based developer of international projects, plans to build a new city near Cairo with a large number of homes for low- and middle-income buyers, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The project will be privately funded by an “investor developer” and possible international partners and will cost $75 billion to $80 billion over 12 years, Ashraf Salman, Egypt’s minister of investment, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Thursday. Salman said the choice of developer has been narrowed down to two companies from the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi, declining to name them.

The new city will to include an airport, hotels, and a mall as well as amenities such as hospitals and schools, the people said, asking not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak on the matter. The project will be formally announced by Egypt’s government at an international investors conference next month, they said.

The project will be built to the east of Cairo and form a natural progression toward a new development area on the Suez Canal, according to Salman. The city will be the same size as the New Cairo suburb, he said. New Cairo, set on 70,000 acres (28,000 hectares), has a target population of 6 million, according to the website of Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority.

International Focus

Eagle Hills has emerged as one of Middle East’s largest developers, with planned projects for Serbia, Nigeria and Bahrain. The Abu Dhabi company is led by a team of executives who worked at Emaar Properties PJSC, including Emaar’s current chairman, Mohamed Alabbar.

A spokesman for Eagle Hills declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg on Thursday. Phone calls to Egyptian Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly weren’t returned and his spokeswoman said she doesn’t have any information on the project.

Arabtec Holding Co., 36 percent owned by an Abu Dhabi government fund, announced plans in March to build 1 million affordable homes in Egypt with a total value of $40 billion. The project, which was expected to provide jobs for more than 1 million Egyptians, has yet to start.

Egypt’s government will present 33 projects to investors in the March 13 to March 15 investors conference, including public-private partnerships, Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Arabi said in an interview Thursday. The country needs $60 billion in foreign direct investment in the next four years, he said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net Ross Larsen