Egypt receives 1st batch of $35 billion Ras El-Hekma deal: Sisi

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Feb 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Egypt received the first batch of funding from the newly signed $35 billion Ras El-Hekma development deal on Tuesday, while a second batch will be delivered on Friday.

A still photo of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attending the fifth edition of the Kaderoun Bekhtelaf event (or "Differently-Abled" in English) on Wednesday.


Under the deal, signed between Egypt and Emirati investors on Friday, Egypt is due to receive $15 billion within a week, followed by the remaining $20 billion within two months, officials from both countries announced.

"The figures announced have been received yesterday, part of which was transferred to the Central Bank of Egypt today and the same amount is set to be delivered on Friday,” the president said in his first comment on the megaproject.

El-Sisi made his remarks during the fifth edition of the Kaderoun Bekhtelaf event ("Differently-Abled”), a yearly event for persons with special needs.

The Egypt-UAE project – the largest ever direct investment partnership deal in Egypt – is meant to develop the Ras El-Hekma region into the first-of-its-kind Mediterranean urban community.

El-Sisi said the deal will turn the 40,600-fedan coastal area into the largest tourism project in the Mediterranean, serving as a year-round tourist destination rather than a seasonal attraction.

The project, he added, will also introduce various activities to the country for the first time.

The coastal area will serve as an integrated hub that includes holiday destinations, financial centres, and free economic zones, all equipped with top-notch infrastructure as announced during the signing ceremony.

President El-Sisi thanked the UAE for their cooperation amid the harsh economic circumstances besetting Egypt since the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is not easy for anyone to deliver $35 billion in two months. This is a form of support,” El-Sisi said.

El-Sisi confirmed the project’s details as announced by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly during the signing ceremony.

“It is not proper to deceive you or say something that is not accurate,” he said, in reference to the controversy surrounding the deal.

Several reports have circulated in recent days alleging that the government is selling the nations’ assets to secure much-needed foreign funding.

Madbouly refuted this claim last week, pointing out that the project is a partnership with the UAE and does not involve a sale of assets.

He noted that Egypt will retain a 35 percent stake in the project.

The project will help address Egypt’s severe hard currency shortage, reduce its foreign debts as well as move forward with its plan for urban development.

Such a partnership is expected to bolster Egypt's economic and tourism growth potential.

The project is expected to attract a total investment of $150 billion.


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