Arabtec chairman Khadem Abdullah Al-Qubaisi met with Egyptian Ministry of Housing officials Wednesday to resume negotiations on the “One Million Residential Units” project, Reuters quoted a source as saying.
“The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) and Arabtec agreed on contract terms late last month, but the contract received by Arabtec contained terms less attractive to the company than what is agreed upon,” said the source.
The source added that the ministry agreed it will offer Arabtec the project’s lands in return for the company giving a certain percentage of housing units to the ministry after completion instead of payment.
The source revealed that the Ministry of Housing has asked for a higher percentage of the residential units than the previous percentage agreed upon, which prompted Al-Qubaisi to travel to Cairo to resume negotiations.
The project will be built with Egyptian-Arabtec cooperation at a cost of $40bn. The Arabtec project was temporarily halted, as the company did not approve the Egyptian government’s conditions, according to head of the Armed Forces Engineering Corps, General Kamel El-Wazir.
Meanwhile, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouly recently made assurances to Al-Arabiya television channel that the project is ongoing. He added that negotiations are continuing between NUCA and Arabtec to sign the project soon.
Madbouly added that the project’s nature has changed from social housing to middle-class housing. The partner has also changed from the Armed Forces Engineering Corps to be a special project with the NUCA.
The project will be located in 18 governorates across Egypt, including Cairo, Ismailia, Sharqeya, Daqahleya, Menufiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbeya, Beheira, Fayoum, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, the New Valley, and Matruh.
NUCA has selected El-Obour City, Badr City, and New Minya City for Phase One of the project. In this phase, 420,000 housing units will be built, while New Assiut City will be the alternative for Phase One. These cities were chosen due to their large industrial areas and the job opportunities they provide.