Egypt's parliament grants foreigners right to own land for investment

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Jan 2024

Egypt's House of Representatives approved on Wednesday an amendment to the Desert Land Law, which grants foreigners the right to own lands for investment projects. The amendment grants Arab investors the right to own lands on an equal footing with Egyptians.

Egypt's House of Representatives


The amendment submitted by the government included the second paragraphs of Articles 11 and 12 of the Desert Land Law of 1981.

The second paragraph of Article 11 stated that a foreign investor can obtain land for investments purposes, in accordance with the provisions of the Investment Law, without being restricted by requiring that Egyptian ownership must not be less than 51 percent of the company’s capital and that Individual ownership must not exceed 30 percent of its capital.

While the second paragraph of Article 12 grants the Egyptian president the right, after the cabinet's approval, to treat Arabs as Egyptians regarding land ownership, in case the investor can't obtain the land necessary for his investment, in accordance with the provisions of the Desert Land Law or the provisions of the Investment Law.

The parliament session witnessed objections from a number of MPs, who warned against endangering the country’s national security by selling its land to foreigners, especially if Sinai lands were allowed to be owned.

The memorandum prepared by the Housing Committee indicated that the objective of the amendment is to remove legislative obstacles that hinder the state’s endeavour to attract investment, and to achieve compatibility between the Desert Land Law and the Investment Law.

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