UAE construction company, Arabtec Holding, is conducting a series of discussions with local and international banks to secure funds for the first phase of the 1m residential-unit project.
In a Wednesday statement to the Dubai Financial Market, the company said it will sign the final contract of the first phase with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), which is affiliated with the Ministry of Housing.
Arabtec said it is putting the Egyptian project among its top priorities, “as it is one of the largest projects in the region”.
The armed forces, in cooperation with Arabtec, announced in March 2014 plans to construct 1m residential units for low-income youth on land provided by the armed forces. The contract marks one of the largest construction initiatives in the Arab region in the past three years. The project’s target segment was later changed towards a focus on medium-income citizens.
The project, announced by then-Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, falls under the umbrella of the “For Egyptian Youth” initiative. The initiative, which Al-Sisi launched prior to announcing his presidential campaign, aims to address a shortage of low-income housing for young people.
The project’s implementation has faced uncertainty. Last March, head of the Armed Forces Engineering Corps, General Kamel El-Wazir, said that Arabtec does not agree with the project’s conclusion conditions.
“Our conditions were that any investor who wants to enter the Egyptian market has to bring his money from abroad, not from Egyptian banks,” El-Wazir explained.
The project will be implemented in four stages over the next five years. The $40bn project will be built at 13 locations across Egypt, with the first homes to be delivered in early 2017.
The project will be located in 18 governorates across Egypt, including Cairo, Ismailia, Sharqeya, Daqahleya, Menufiya, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Gharbeya, Beheira, Fayoum, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, New Valley, and Matruh.
Arabtec will provide NUC with the housing units and public services. The ownership of the project will then transfer to the concerned authorities upon completion.