In March, the Fourth Ordinary General Meeting and the 17th oard Meeting of the Emirates Council of Investors Abroad recommended that Egypt be the UAE’s investment destination for the current year, as it represents one of the best investiture environments in the world for current UAE investments.
The results of UAE investments in urban projects are diverse, and have considerable benefits for the economies of the countries in which they operate.
The investments of UAE private and government companies are concentrated in five major countries, including Egypt, with total investments of $20bn.
Recent data on the volume of UAE investments in the real estate sector in Egypt reached over EGP 94bn ($5.3bn) in eight different projects that are under construction and in the planning phase.
UAE’s biggest client companies in Egypt
Emirati Capital Group Properties (CGP) developed the Al Burouj project. It is an integrated project on an area of 1,200 feddan in Al Shorouk City which includes apartments, townhouses, and penthouses.
Moreover, the project includes a smart village as well as a branch of El Sawy Culturewheel, as CGP had signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth EGP 40bn with Smart Village, SABIS, Africa Crest Education, El Sawy Culturewheel, and food company Al Bustan in order to develop projects at Al Burouj.
CGP Deputy CEO Amgad Hassanein said that the decision of the parent company to be present in the Egyptian market was based on the market’s strength and its attractive investment opportunities
The total investments that the company has injected into the Egyptian real estate market is worth $300m since the company was launched in 2015, declared Hassanein.
The CGP Deputy CEO elaborated that these investments represent the value of the land, and construction works that are being carried out in the project, in addition to other fees and expenses. The company is targeting to secure the first place in the Egyptian real estate market.
He pointed out that the investment climate in Egypt is stable since 2011, and that his company works in several companies, but unlike any other country, the company finds many advantages and privileges in the Egyptian market. Moreover, demand in real estate in Egypt is exceedindly growing.
Furthermore, he added that the company plans to expand outside greater Cairo to implement real estate projects in new cities such as the North Coast, especially with the success of the company in implementing its investment plan in the Alburouj project, the company’s first project in the local real estate market.
Emaar Misr owns four projects, the largest of which are Marassi with an investment value of EGP 22.5bn on an area of 6.5m sqm and Uptown Cairo with an investment value of EGP 13.5bn, on an area of 4.5m sqm, at an height of 200 metres above sea level. Other Emaar projects include Mavida with investments worth EGP 17.5bn on 3.8m sqm, and Cairo Gate—a mixed-use development that covers over 160 feddan. Cairo Gate will also house an office park, hotel, and other amenities.
Founder and Chairperson of Emaar Properties, Emirati billionaire Mohamed Alabbar, said that the Egyptian economy is robust and that the housing, tourism, and retail sectors are increasingly developing.
Alabbar informed Daily News Egypt in previous statements that he has a positive outlook for the real estate sector in Egypt in general, yet simultaneously, there are some variables which must be taken into account such as high land prices and price hikes of construction materials.
Commenting on negotiations with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development Company, Alabbar said, “we have a continuous and amicable relationship with the Administrative Capital Company, and God willing, we will work together. I expect to reach an agreement.”
Furthermore, the company did not specify the size of land in the New Administrative Capital, noting, “all opportunities are available and are being studied concurrently, because Egypt is a promising country to invest in,” he clarified.
Alabbar revealed that Emaar Misr has developed 6m sqm in Egypt, driven by legitimate demand growth in the country.
Emaar Properties aims to expand its investments in the Egyptian market, and is currently studying all investment opportunities available in various parts of the country, including Cairo, Alexandria, Ain Sokhna, New El Alamein, and the New Administrative Capital, according to Alabbar.
He added that all cities have an investment feasibility, and priorities are determined through the company’s vision and distinguished land plots on offer.
Majid Al Futtaim Group
Emirati Majid Al Futtaim Group has developed the largest shopping centre called Mall of Egypt with investments worth $722m, a shopping destination in the Sixth of October city. The gross leasable area is 165,000 sqm.
Majid Al Futtaim plans to invest over $ 600m in another shopping mall in Cairo. The intended mall will be more than five times the size of Mall of Egypt, along with partnerships with international companies such as Nestlé, Mars, and BIM.
Majid Al Futtaim Group aims to increase its investments in the Egyptian market to EGP 23bn by 2020, according to CEO Alain Bejjani.
Bejjani said, “Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman are currently the top investment destinations for Majid Al Futtaim, as it continues to pursue expansion plans in the region. The company’s regional development plans are focused on high-demand markets such as Egypt, where it’s currently working on building 100 new Carrefour stores in industrial zones across the country, with the first set to be established in Ismailia.”
In August, Majid Al Futtaim, which operates the franchise of French Carrefour retailer in the Middle East, signed a cooperation protocol agreement with the Egyptian government’s New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).
As per the agreement, the UAE retailer will open Carrefour stores in a three new cities, Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, New Alamein, and New Mansoura.
Dubai-based real estate classifieds website Property Finder is the largest real estate marketing website in Egypt, headquartered in Dubai, with branches in eight other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Property Finder raised its investments to $120m. Founder of Property Finder Michael Lahyani said that the money will also be used to expand the brand in its existing market of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Morocco.
Lahyani stressed that the Egyptian market is one of the largest markets in the Middle East. He explained that the company plans to infuse further investments in the promising Egyptian market in the near future.