Arabtec has announced that it is nearing completion of the planning and design stages of one of the biggest housing projects in history.Â
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) contractor is working on a $40bn deal to build 1 million homes in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. The land for the projects is being donated by the Egyptian army.
Construction of the homes is due to start in the third quarter of this year with the first units scheduled to be delivered at the beginning of 2017. The whole project is set to be finished by 2020.Â
The company first announced the project in March this year. The affordable housing programme is seen as a way for the military-backed government to stabilise Egyptian society after the upheavals of the past three years. The involvement of the government of the UAE reflects its backing of the Abdel Fattah al-Sisi regime, which shares its hostility to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.Â
Until now Arabtec has remained quiet about the progress of the contract, which has led to speculation that the company had abandoned it.Â
Arabtec said in a statement that it would "commence the project immediately after the finalisation of the planning and design stages which have been nearly completed … The Company has made positive progress in its discussions with the concerned authorities in Egypt in order to commence the project as soon as possible".Â
In June this year Hasan Ismaik left his position as chief executive at Arabtec as shares had plummeted after rumours of boardroom split.