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Egypt to build new capital city


Rendering of new capital city in Egypt.   Image:  SOM.

Rendering of new capital city in Egypt. Image by SOM.

Egypt has plans to build a new capital 45 kilometres east of the existing capital Cairo. Announced last March, the ambitious master plans are for a 700-square kilometre city of five million people. It will include a new administrative and financial capital housing government department and ministries as well as parks, artificial lakes, 663 hospitals and clinics, 1,250 mosques and a major theme park four times the size of Disney land. There is also to be an international airport larger than Heathrow.

A private developer, Mohamed Alabbar of Capital City Partners, who helped develop the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, was originally on board to develop the $300-billion project. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) are theĀ  designers.

However, the arrangements fell through and now the Egyptian government is concentrating on just the first phase. It has signed a new memorandum of understanding with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation to study building and financing the government sector for $3-4 billion.

According to an article in December by Reuters, the new capital is one in a series of mega projects that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has launched. The article says, “Gulf states have showered Egypt with billions of dollars in aid since Sisi removed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi from the presidency in mid-2013.”

To read the Reuters article, click here.

For an early BBC report, click here.