The Deputy Minister of Housing for National Projects, Khaled Abbas, said that the state is trying to remove obstacles facing developers. For example, the ministry of housing insisted that the Reconciliation Law in building violations should not include any reconciliation in the irregularities of changing residential activity.
During the ‘Think Commercial’ roundtable discussions held by Media Avenue and Window companies on Wednesday, Abbas added that with the completion of New Administrative Capital (NAC), old Cairo will be restored to its tourist and cultural splendour.
“Some of the terms in the contracts signed in the non-residential real estate sector have become unfair. Our role is to keep buyers from mistakes to maintain the market, and the sector must be more accurately organised in the coming period,” Abbas said.
He added that the market data will not be conducted by the ministry on its own. “From personal experience, I asked for data on the prices and sales to create a database, but the companies refused to disclose them. The ministry is not responsible for the data and market studies,” he elaborated.
The Chairperson of Mountain View, Amr Soliman, noted that the market needs a unified database because it is not normal to add 1m sqm of administrative and commercial space without being aware of the requirements of the sector. “If dumping occurred, the market would head toward a disaster,” he said.
Soliman added that the beginning of regulating the market and the work of a real estate market index should be put in place.
“Market regulation must be established, and a real estate market index should be put in place where companies and the state are required to provide data and identify current and future needs,” he said.
Mohammed Mohamed Farid Khamis, the owner and board member of Orientals for Urban Development, said that the problem lies in marketing of administrative units, as well as the lack of real knowledge on the need of the market before launching projects.
Khamis added that buyers’ categories vary between large companies which buy land, and the development of headquarters owned by international companies seeking to acquire headquarters in Egypt through long-term lease mechanisms, and small companies that get ready medium and small offices with spaces of 150 sqm and 200 sqm.
Furthermore, Khamis explained that the state is required to oblige clients to obtain a licence for changing a unit’s activity.
He pointed out that the Egyptian market includes more than 100 million people, which means that the demand is large and existing, and provides jobs for local and foreign companies.
Nihad Adel, president of B2B for Real Estate Investment and Real Estate Marketing, said, “The retail space in Dubai is 550 sqm for every 1,000 individuals, and 1,200 sqm in the US, however, in Egypt only 150 sqm are provided for every 1,000 citizens.”
Adel added that the Egyptian market needs to be five times like Dubai, 10 times as much as the US. Dubai’s administrative buildings are nine times the size of Egypt, and administrative buildings in Abu Dhabi are five times the size of such activities in Egypt.
Moreover, Adel explained that the medical sector needs between 2,500 and 3,000 beds annually, and before 2020, the Egyptian market needs 30,000 beds, and before 2030 the market will need 110,000 beds.
For his part, Ahmed El Attal, the chairperson of El Attal Holding, said that the NAC is one of the most attractive projects for real estate investment in all its residential, administrative, and commercial sectors.
He pointed out the need for a number of administrative, commercial, and medical projects in the NAC to provide basic services for the Capital’s residents.