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Abu Dhabi close to $22bn development project in Egypt

Ras El-Hekma Egypt Creative Commons
A UAE consortium will work with Egyptian partners to develop Ras El-Hekma on the Mediterranean coast

Abu Dhabi is in advanced talks with the Egyptian government to buy and develop premium land on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast in a potential multi-billion-dollar deal, according to a media report.

A UAE consortium has been selected to work with local partners to develop Ras El-Hekma, an area 350 km northwest of Cairo, Bloomberg reported, citing an Egyptian official.

The initial estimate for the total project is $22 billion and an agreement is expected soon, the CEO of the state-owned General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, Hossam Heiba, told CNBC Arabia.

Details of the project and consortium member names were not disclosed.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, said the lender was “very close” to finalising a new financial package.

Egypt’s government confirmed on Thursday that a committee is studying investment offers for major projects.

The UAE in 2022 deposited $5 billion in Egypt’s central bank, while the Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ purchased an 18 percent stake in Commercial International Bank, Egypt’s largest listed lender, for $2 billion.

ADQ last year spent $800 million to acquire minority stakes in Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Co., Egyptian Drilling Co. and Egyptian Linear Alkyl Benzene.

Another UAE firm bought a 30 percent stake in Egypt’s largest tobacco company for $625 million, the report said.

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