Egypt’s PM orders closure of former ministries’ headquarters until repurposing plans conclude

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Nov 2023

Egypt’s Prime Minister has ordered the closure of the former ministries’ headquarters in Cairo until the authorities conclude their plans for repurposing these state-owned assets.

Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly (Al-Ahram)

In a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Madbouly directed to limit the activities within these buildings to security and maintenance work.

A 2020 presidential decree cancelled the public benefit status of several public properties, including the former downtown ministry headquarters.

The decree transferred the ownership of these public properties to the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE), established in 2018 to offer and manage investment opportunities in state-owned assets.

Currently, plans are in place to convert the seven-building complex that served as the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior for decades into a multi-purpose destination.

The new design will include a tech and business hub, a French university, serviced apartments, and a hotel per a deal signed between the SFE and real estate development company A Developments.

Under the deal, SFE will lease the complex to A Developments for 25 years in return for a fixed rental and a share of revenues.

In December 2021, Egypt signed a deal worth more than EGP 3.5 billion with a US consortium to upgrade the SFE-owned 14-storey Al-Tahrir Complex (Mugamma Al-Tahrir).

In August 2022, the consortium — led by Oxford Capital Group, Global Ventures Group, and Al-Otaiba Investments — announced it would invest $200 million to transform the Mugamma into a luxury hotel.

The moves are part of ongoing government endeavours to rejuvenate the Egyptian capital.

On the other hand, the government started to relocate public employees to the New Administrative Capital (NAC), located 60km from Cairo.

Madbouly said 48,108 employees have been relocated to the NAC over the past months.

Downtown Cairo was first developed as an elite residential quarter under Khedive Ismail, who ruled Egypt between 1863 and 1879. 

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