Al Habtoor pitches major real estate scheme in Cairo directly to Egypt’s president

Al Habtoor Group, the UAE-based conglomerate, is campaigning to develop an 800,000-sq-m mixed use property scheme in Cairo similar to its $3bn Al Habtoor City scheme in Dubai.

Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, company chairman, has submitted a proposal directly to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi following talks between the two men, the company said.

There is huge untapped potential as well as access to a vast consumer market – as long as there is stability– Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, Al Habtoor Group company chairman

The Dubai project, still under construction, will have three luxury hotels and three high-rise residential towers on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal.

Now Al Habtoor wants to build something similar in Egypt.

Al Habtoor City Cairo would also have a cluster of mid-rise residential apartment blocks, 204 luxury villas, an international school, a 290,000 square metre shopping complex, two polo fields and a golf course.

"There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. It is all encompassing," Al Habtoor said in a 6 January interview on Al Arabiya TV, reproduced on Al Habtoor’s website. "Residents and guests would have everything they need on their doorstep."

"We have been studying the idea for some time," he added. "Egypt is ready for an investment of this scale."

He said it would be "a vibrant community in the heart of the city and a new landmark in Cairo".

Al Habtoor submitted his proposal after one-on-one talks with al-Sisi at the presidential palace in December.

According to a company statement two men discussed the political and social climate in Egypt, as well as the prospects for investment.

Al Habtoor praised al-Sisi for restoring order in Egypt and for encouraging investors back to the country.

However, he said more confidence was needed to lure big investors and stressed the need to create incentives to encourage more foreign direct investment to the country, such as tax incentives and "a guarantee that repatriation of funds would be given priority by the Central Bank of Egypt".

He added: "I would like to emphasise that individuals and businesses in the GCC are eager to invest in Egypt, including myself. There is huge untapped potential as well as access to a vast consumer market – as long as there is stability."

Last year al-Sisi unveiled a programme of large-scale construction and infrastructure schemes funded by foreign investment as a strategy to restore stability.

Photograph: The Dubai version of Habtoor City, for which Atkins is designing the residential elements (Atkins)

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