Fathallah Fawzy, founder of MENA Group and vice chairman of the Egypt Businessmen’s Association (EBA), gave the opening address at Cityscape Egypt in Cairo last week.
Fawzy stressed the enduring significance of Cityscape as a platform for fostering communication, facilitating expertise sharing, and exploring the latest trends and technologies driving the real estate industry forward.
“We convene again at Cityscape in light of the massive urban development that Egypt is currently going through, marked by the implementation of several new cities and the construction of an integrated road network spanning 7,000 kilometres," he said.
The twelfth edition of Cityscape Egypt kicked off on September 20th at Egypt’s International Exhibition Centre in New Cairo under the auspices of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities. This year’s edition, organised by Informa Markets, featured over 70 exhibitors showcasing various projects combining state-of-the-art architectural designs with contemporary elements.
EGYPT IS AFRICAN HUB
Situated at the heart of the African continent, Egypt's strategic location helped it become a key area for logistics, trade, and transportation.
Taking into account its position as the second-largest market in Africa, Egypt serves as the African continent's prime hub for real estate development, argues Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
“This requires us as stakeholders to work to further spur the presence of global investors to bolster the country’s leadership position on the African continent,” he said during his speech at CityScape 2023.
With more offshore companies expected to launch in the county’s free-trade zones, Heiba highlighted the importance of establishing more office spaces to keep pace with the rise in foreign investor activity in the country. This also provides real estate developers with the opportunity to promote their products to global markets.
The real estate sector has maintained its appeal as an attractive investment haven, Heiba said, saying that direct foreign investment in the real estate sector remaind substantial.
“The rise in the volume of foreign investments in the real estate sector attests to its global attractiveness; through hard work, this can be doubled,” he added.
The total capital expenditure spent on the development of new cities around Egypt amounted to EGP 705 billion, out of which EGP 163 billion was geared towards the development of the New Administrative City (NAC), said Walid Abbas, assistant Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, during a speech at Cityscape.
“Out of recently-established 61 new cities, 39 are fourth-generation cities. This includes NAC, New Aswan and North Coast’s New Al-Alamein City.”
“The latter is envisioned to be a global tourism destination and hub for scientific research and is being implemented at a cost of EGP199 billion,” he added.
The recent progress in the real estate sector is attributed to a number of governmental initiatives and strategies to promote innovation and business friendliness in this vital sector. That includes maximizing the role of technology as well as streamlining the permit acquisition process for real estate developers, reducing time and expenses.
Abbas concluded by mentioning that the real estate sector is expected to attract $200 billion worth of investments over the period from 2023 to 2027.