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ADQ to invest $35bn in Egypt’s ‘new city’ project

Officials sign the development agreement for the Ras El-Hekma mega project in the presence of Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly

UAE’s ADQ has unveiled plans to invest $35 billion to build the “largest new city” in Egypt to promote tourism and drive economic growth.

The Abu Dhabi state-owned company will acquire the development rights for Ras El-Hekma for $24 billion to develop the region as a Mediterranean holiday destination, including a free zone, state-run WAM news agency reported.

As part of this investment, ADQ will also convert $11 billion of deposits that will be used for investment in prime projects across Egypt to support its economic growth and development.

Ras El-Hekma is a coastal region in Egypt located approximately 350 km northwest of Cairo.

The investment will establish Ras El-Hekma, spanning over 170 million sq m, as a tourism destination, financial centre and free zone to strengthen Egypt’s economic and tourism growth potential.

The Egyptian government will retain a 35 percent stake in the Ras El-Hekma development.

ADQ plans to use Egyptian and international partners as part of its development and investment plans. Work is expected to commence in early 2025.

The new development is expected to attract over $150 billion in investments in Egypt.

“This investment underscores our commitment to developing Ras El-Hekma into one of Egypt’s most attractive coastal destinations through the enablement of mega-infrastructure and development projects, working with partners such as Modon Properties and Talaat Moustafa Group, which will deliver value across multiple sectors of Egypt’s vibrant economy,” said Mohamed Hassan Al Suwaidi, managing director and CEO of ADQ.

Last week, Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority and the UAE’s UDC Real Estate Development Company signed a contract to develop an EGP60 billion ($1.9 billion) urban development project in New Cairo.

Egypt has long struggled to attract foreign direct investment outside its energy sector, partly due to concerns surrounding the rules that protect investors and excessive red tape.

However, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has made addressing this a priority as he intends to increase the role of the private sector in the country’s economy.

The government aims to attract around $12 billion in foreign direct investment in the current financial year, which runs to June, according to General Authority of Free Zones and Investment chairman Hossam Heiba.

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