What it takes to build a ski slope in Egypt

A ski slope – apparently, every hot desert climate should have one.

UAE developer Majid Al Futtaim put one in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, and it’s doing the same in its Mall of Egypt, now under construction in Cairo.

Set to cover 162,500 sq m, and to be one of the world’s "super malls", it will have 400 shops, cinemas, and 50 food and beverage outlets, not to mention a state-of-the-art "ski park".

It was due to open next year but, no doubt thanks in part to the acute political upheaval in Egypt, the ribbon cutting has been put back to 2016. But it is going ahead, Majid Al Futtaim has insisted.

It’s being built by a joint venture between Belgian conglomerate Besix Group and Egypt’s very own Orascom Construction. This JV won the contract to build the mall, a contract reported to be worth $400m, in 2012.

Construction underway on the "ski park" at Mall of Egypt, opening 2016 in Cairo. It required approximately 1,300 tonnes of equipment for formwork, shear and retaining walls (RMD Kwikform)

Orascom has had a rough ride of its own in Egypt, with its boss Nassef Sawiris sentenced in absentia to prison for tax evasion earlier this month.

Nevertheless, GCR is grateful to shoring specialist RMD Kwikform for sending us these photographs of the ski slope under construction. 

The "peak" of the slope is underpinned by a series of 12.4-m-tall inverted pyramidal piers, and the company says it supplied 1,300 tonnes of equipment for formwork, shear and retaining walls, and staircase towers for access all over the site.

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