Egypt signs historic multibillion-dollar Ras El-Hekma North Coast development deal with UAE

Amr Kandil , Friday 23 Feb 2024

Egypt and Emirati investors signed on Friday a historic deal to build a multi-billion new state-of-the-art city of Ras El Hekma as a new massive urban, business and tourism centre in the country's North Coast.

Egypt's Minister of Housing Assem El-Gazzar and UAE’s Minister of Investment Mohamed Al Suwaidi shake hands after signing an agreement to develop Egypt’s Ras El-Hekma at the North Coast in the presence of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Egyptian Cabinet


The agreement was signed by Egypt's Minister of Housing Assem El-Gazzar and UAE’s Minister of Investment Mohamed Al Suwaidi at the New Administrative Capital.

The project, west of Alexandria on the North Coast, will be implemented by the New Urban Communities Authority and the Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company, which is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

At the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the new project will pump $35 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) into the economy within two months - the largest such sum in FDI in the history of the country. 

The immediate FDI will help the country overcome its current hard currency crunch, said Madbouly.

The project will transform the North Coast and face of the country in the long term, he said.

Emirati investments throughout the implementation of the project, the largest of its kind in Egypt’s history, are expected to reach a minimum of $150 billion, Madbouly stated.

Massive and multifaceted 

Ras El Hekma will be built on an unprecedented area of over 40,600 feddans, the prime minister said.

The project will encompass residential districts, prestigious international hotels, tourist resorts, expansive entertainment venues, and service facilities such as hospitals, schools and universities, he said.

It will also feature administrative and service buildings, a free economic zone for information technology industries and logistics hubs, and a central business district that would attract global companies.

The project would also comprise a large marina for tourist yachts and ships, Madbouly said,

"We expect the new city to attract 8 million tourists to Egypt upon completion," he noted.

Both parties have agreed to establish and develop an international airport south of the city, Madvouly announced.

The Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company will develop the airport and Egypt will receive a share of its revenues, according to Madbouly.


The Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company will establish an Egyptian joint-stock company named Ras El-Hekma in Egypt to implement the mega project, Madbouly said.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will retain the transferred investments made in foreign currency and provide an equivalent amount in Egyptian pounds to the company, thus curbing the current foreign currency shortage in the economy, he added.

Madbouly said Egypt will directly receive $24 billion in two instalments out of the total amount in an initial investment of $35 billion in the Ras El-Hekma project. 

The prime minister explained that Egypt will receive $15 billion within a week - followed by the remaining $20 billion within two months.

Meanwhile, the UAE will waive its $11 billion in foreign deposits in the CBE.

The step will reduce Egypt’s foreign debt, noted Madbouly.

Egypt will also obtain 35 percent of the project’s revenues, Madbouly said, expecting the project to create millions of job opportunities during and after its implementation.

He also noted that Egyptian contractors, real estate developers, logistics companies, and local factories will be involved in the project's development and operation.

Developing North Coast

Madbouly emphasized that the project, which is part of the country's strategy to develop the North Coast region in the northwest of the country, aims to develop fully integrated urban communities rather than just seasonal tourist resorts.

The project will help accommodate the majority of the population growth.

It also will enable Egypt to achieve its target of attracting 40-50 million tourists annually, he added.

The plan includes establishing new smart cities in Alamein, Ras Al-Hekma, Sidi Barrani, El-Neguila, and Gargoub, as well as developing Matrouh and Salloum cities.

These new cities will have the capacity to house millions of residents and generate millions of job opportunities for Egyptian youth, he said.

The North Coast urban communities will also benefit from the high-speed train being constructed to connect Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to Salloum city in northwestern Egypt.

Additionally, these new cities will leverage the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant to generate renewable energy and capitalize on the recently expanded Sahel Coastal Highway.

The prime minister affirmed that the government will provide financial and in-kind compensation to the residents of Matrouh who will be impacted by the project.

The government, he assured, possesses comprehensive data on the population, buildings, and agricultural lands in the area.

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