A new Chinatown in the middle east

This blog post was written by Stuart Robertson, a Partner in Kensington Swan’s construction team. 

The Egyptian Government’s plans for a new capital city some 45 kilometres from Cairo took a step closer this week. The Chinese Government has agreed to bankroll most of the US$45 billion required for the new city. Work has already begun on the 700 km2 site that will house 5 million people by 2021. But until last week there was a huge funding shortfall. Step in the Chinese, with China Fortune Land Development saying it will invest $20 billion and China’s state owned construction company agreeing to finance the building of 14 Government buildings, a zone for trade fairs and a 5,000 seat conference centre, the largest in Africa. Talks are continuing with the Chinese Government as to financing and/or building a university within the new city.

The main justification for the new city is the chaos and congestion of the ancient city of Cairo, and that it houses (within the city or immediate environs) some 30 million people. Clearly, however, the prospect of mirroring, if not  taking on, the UAE’s success cannot be overlooked.

But the biggest hurdle now faced by the Egyptian Government is a name for the new city.

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Photo: Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

 

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