CAIRO, Egypt – The government of Egypt is preparing for the moving in of its first batch of civil servants to the new capital city located 45 km east of Cairo. As the move is schedule for this summer, developers are putting final touches to the government district of the new capital city with the monumental two-doomed parliament buildings. The new administrative capital is planned to accommodate a population of 5 million people, reducing the congestion levels in the current capital, Cairo.
The plans to develop the US$54billion new administrative capital were first set in motion in March 2015 after the government of Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with UAE based company, Capital City Planners. However, the MOU was withdrawn in June 2015 over the partnership arrangement challenge between the company and the Egyptian government which cited lack of progress on the part of Capital City Planners. In September 2015, the government of Egypt signed another MOU with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) whose focus was mostly developing the government district of the city.
Designed to operate with smart technology, the new city will host universities, diplomatic quarters among other uses siting on 753 square kilometres. The government district now comprises of various complexes that include ministerial buildings, parliament complex, a convention centre and a presidential palace.
The development of the Central Business District (CBD) of the city was contracted to CSCEC on an area of 190 hectares with development have begun in May 2018. The CBD comprise of 20 buildings that include 12 high-rise office buildings, 5 high rise apartment buildings, 2 luxury hotels and an iconic tower which is 385.8metres tall billed to be the tallest in Africa and the tower’s construction began in 2019. The completion of the business district is marked for 2023.
The government of Egypt also cooperated with other developers and financers to develop the rest of the city. These include the Almasa Group for the construction of a new grand museum near the pyramids. The Egyptian-Chinese consortium, Samcrete Engineers & Contractors was contracted to construct the Ain Sokhna to Alamein high-speed electric rail at a cost of US$9bn. This 534km of rail which passes through the New Administrative Capital, Sixth of October, Burj al-Arab and Alexandria will be the first electric rail to open in Egypt since 1854. Also, Hill International was contracted to oversee the New Administrative Capital’s Monorail project.
The monorail project, estimated to be US$4bn will be the first monorail in North Africa and will be the longest in the world, 98.5km long when complete. The monorail will connect Greater Cairo with the New Administrative Capital and Sixth of October City and expected to transport 45 000 passenger per hour at peak capacity. The project is structured as Design-Build-Operate-and-Maintain (DBOM). While the Covid-19 pandemic slowed progress on the completion of the city, the Prime Minister of Egypt, Mostafa Madbouly announced that the transfer of government institutions to the New Administrative Capital would begin for the end of 2021. This is the most progressive efforts ever made on the relocation of Egypt’s governmental centre from the congested current capital, Cairo. The relocation efforts date back to the City of Revolution under President Nasser in the 1950s and these efforts have been carried on by the successors as they met lack of funds, resistance by state employees and an unfavourable political environment.