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Egypt's urban authority approves Madinaty settlement

The government last year approved an amendment to the investment law that prevents third parties from challenging contracts signed between the government and investors

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Mar 2015
Madinaty land (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's New Urban Communities Authority approved the settlement with real estate developer Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) over the Madinaty land dispute, the minister of housing, Moustafa Madbouly, was quoted as saying by state news agency MENA on Tuesday.

Egypt's general prosecution reached an LE9 billion settlement in March with the Madinaty real estate project after a long-drawn out land dispute, according to a statement by the general prosecutor's office.

In 2010, Egypt's High Administrative Court decided in a ruling that the $3 billlion Madinaty land deal is void, citing that "the method of the selling [of the state-owned land to TMG] made the price less than the land's market value."

Following the verdict in 2010, real estate prices dropped.

But in 2011, another court ruling asserted that the Madinaty contract was valid, but ruled that a committee be set up to reevaluate the lands not yet used for construction.

The project became mired in legal disputes because the Mubarak-era government sold the land directly to TMG without a public auction as required by Egyptian law.

The Madinaty settlement is the latest in a series of resolutions aimed at attracting back foreign investors.

Last year, the government approved an amendment to the investment law with a clause that prevents third parties from challenging contracts made between the government and investors.

Madinaty, which includes homes, hotels and a golf course, is one of the most ambitious examples of a Mubarak-era drive to re-house mostly rich and middle class Egyptians on the outskirts of the teeming, polluted capital Cairo. 

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