Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly said that the ministry will announce the 2018 plan of offering new lands in March.
During the third Egypt Investment Forum held on Sunday, Madbouly noted that the ministry is currently allocating 13 plots of lands which were recently offered.
Madbouly added that the government seeks to double urbanised areas to reach 12% by 2050 to absorb the increase in population through implementing megaprojects in new cities and supplying them with fundamental utilities such as electricity, sewage, and water, in addition to implementing big investment projects such as the 1.5m feddan reclamation project.
The minister pointed out that Egypt is the key location for investment in the Arab world because its investment rate is the highest in the Middle East.
He pointed out that Egypt passed through many challenges from the period starting in 2011 until recently, where the government was able to implement a series of legislative measures and procedures to stimulate the investment climate. It issued several laws, including the new Investment Law and its executive regulations. It also made moves to reform the economic structure, such as the decision to liberalise the exchange rate, lifting restrictions on foreign exchange and profits on investors, with the aim of encouraging investment in all sectors, especially real estate investment.
He added that the registration law of real estate in new cities, which was recently approved, will stimulate more investors to engage in real estate activity, and exporting real estate abroad through the registration of units after obtaining a certificate from the New Urban Communities Authority.
He explained that Egypt is currently witnessing a huge boom in the establishment of new cities starting from social housing, middle-income, and above-middle-income housing, in addition to the availability of land for the private sector to invest.
“The Ministry of Housing has for the first time partnered with the private sector through quotas in kind or cash in investment and urban projects,” the minister added. “These partnerships started as one of the mechanisms that were agreed at the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2015 with a total investment of EGP 350bn.”
He pointed out that 13 plots were offered, while the ministry received 36 offers from major real estate companies allied with Arab and foreign companies with investments exceeding EGP 550bn.
According to Madbouly, the Egyptian market is large, the demand is huge, and there is a big gap in the real estate sector.
“Over the next three years, the New Alamein city will be transformed into one of the most important tourist destinations, akin to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, and will be an icon of beach tourism on the Mediterranean Sea,” Madbouly said. “The government will create more than 25,000 hotel rooms and attract a number of Arab investors who own a number of brands and hotels. During the past period, a number of agreements has been concluded with a number of Arab investors from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”
The minister noted that there is a strong focus on mass transport to connect cities and the agreement with the Ministry of Transport to launch the electrified train connecting Ain Sokhna, New Alamein, Sixth of October, and the New Administrative Capital, as 23 offers were submitted by international alliances.
Madbouly stressed that megaprojects have created job opportunities and raised the economic growth rate, which is expected to further grow to 5.5%.
Ater Hanoura, head of the Egyptian Countryside Development Company, said that land contracts would be signed with the people in de facto ownership of the land (wad` yad) in the 1.5m feddans project, who have already reclaimed land, by the end of this week.
Hanoura added that the lands of de facto owners within the project has been calculated since April by the concerned committees.
The lands that were cultivated and the lands abandoned by their owners will be withdrawn. Agreements were signed with the Ministry of Communications to reach the areas of Farafra, Al-Magharah, and Toshka by the end of the month for the Ministry of Electricity to start its work in those areas.
Hanoura pointed out that the 1.5m feddans project will not be limited to agricultural projects, but there are other opportunities for investment, including the establishment of factories through the industrial developer system and logistic areas, as well as poultry, meat, milk, olive, and jujube production, in addition to packaging and desalination plants.