Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar (Photo: Reuters)
Emirati business tycoon Mohamed El-Abbar has refuted widely-circulating media claims that Emaar, of which he is the chairman, is in charge of implementing plans to establish a new capital for Egypt.
In an interview with Egyptian TV anchor Amr Adib, Saturday, Al-Abbar explained that he co-founded the new company Capital City Partners — independent from Emaar — solely to be responsible for the development of plans for the new city.
"The new capital is a huge project. It needs focus, discipline and prioritising," he said, adding that Capital City Partners is in charge of designing and implementing the new capital, without subcontracting.
According to Al-Abbar, the aim of the new capital is to gather together government institutions, embassies, and to introduce residential units that would serve all social classes.
A touristic tower, seen in the maquette, is also planned. Al-Abbar said it will not be residential and will be similar in shape to the Paris Eiffel Tower.
The land for the proposed new capital was provided by the Egyptian government for free for the Emirati company to invest in, he said.
During a presentation at the Sharm El-Sheikh Economic Development Conference, Al-Abbar told President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Dubai leader Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al-Maktoum that the project will take roughly 10 years to complete. El-Sisi in response said, "Ten is too much; five years are enough."
On Friday, during the Economic Development Conference, Egypt launched its plan for a new administrative capital east of Cairo at the cost of $45 billion.
According to Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouli, the new capital encompasses 490 square kilometres of land available for urban development, and will include 1.1 million housing units to house five million citizens. The capital would also include 10,000 roads and a new airport.
A video giving details about the new administrative capital can be watched here.