By Mohamed Darwish
A consortium that includes UK’s Chipperfield Companies Group, Canadian Maple Leaf among other investors has submitted a proposal to the Egyptian Housing Ministry to build a safari park in Egypt worth $1.1bn.
The project, spanning an area of 1000 feddans [1,038 acres] in 6th of October City, will be completed over five years, according to Tariq Bahgat, Chairman and CEO of ‘300 Years History for Entertainment and Environmental Projects’, which is a subsidiary of Chipperfields Group.
Bahgat added that the Egyptian government will have a stake of 22.36%, or $239m, in the project, which was presented to the country’s officials during the Egypt Economic and Development Conference (EEDC) in March 2015.
He explained that the government’s $239m share of the investment will be equivalent to the price of the land, and will be reimbursed starting from the third year of the project’s operation and over 10 years.
This is in addition to the expected revenues which the Egyptian government will make, which is estimated to be 39.9% of the total cost, he explained.
Bahgat added that the initial inauguration of the project will be on 400 feddans of the safari and theme park, which will be completed within 18 months from acquiring the required licences. The rest of the project will be completed over the remaining period of five years.
The proposed project, which awaits government approval, will also include an African-themed 5-star hotel managed by South Africa’s Glen Afric, in partnership with Canadian investors specialised in developing hotels.
Bahgat added that the cost of the first phase is about $150m, to be completed in 14 months, and will include a zoo as well as shopping malls.
The proposed project is currently being reviewed by the government. According to previous statements by the Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly, investments get approved based on the shortest period of implementation, and the highest returns.