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Work on ADQ-backed resort in Egypt ‘to start this year’

A construction site in Cairo. Egypt received the final tranche of ADQ funding for Ras El Hekma last week Tamer Adel/Alamy via Reuters Connect
A construction site in Cairo. Egypt received the final tranche of ADQ funding for Ras El Hekma last week
  • Plans and licences in place, says minister
  • ADQ has yet to name contractors
  • Ras El Hekma deal signed in February

ADQ will begin building the infrastructure for its Ras El Hekma development on Egypt’s north coast before the end of this year, according to housing minister Assem El Gazzar.

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund had said it would break ground in early 2025, but it has yet to announce the names of contractors or further information about the project. 

El Gazzar told Asharq Business on Sunday that plans and licences were in place and work would start this year.

ADQ acquired the rights to develop Ras El Hekma in a $35 billion deal signed with the Egyptian government in February. Last Wednesday the Egyptian cabinet announced that the second and final tranche of the UAE investment had been received

Details about the development remain scarce. In its initial statement, ADQ said the 170 million square metre site would become “a next-generation city comprising mainly of tourism amenities, a free zone and an investment zone” and “a premium international financial and tourism destination”. 

The wealth fund also said it expects the city to attract over $150 billion of investment.

In April the Egyptian government allocated two plots of land to ADQ to build an international airport that will serve Ras El Hekma.

In a separate interview with Asharq, Egypt’s deputy housing minister Abdel Khaleq Ibrahim said the government was aiming to raise $6 billion from real estate sales before the end of the year. The housing and finance ministries and the Central Bank of Egypt will set up an authority to manage sales to foreign investors, he added. 

The new agency will oversee the sale of 25,000 commercial and residential units in its first phase of operations, according to Ibrahim.

Real estate accounts for roughly a fifth of Egypt’s GDP and has been among the best-performing sectors in recent years.

In its latest results, construction giant Orascom Development Egypt reported revenues of EGP4.2 billion (close to $90 billion at current exchange rates) in the first quarter of 2024, a 41 percent increase year on year.

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