Egypt Army to Meet UAE Arabtec over One Million Homes Project

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Egyptian Armed Forces’ Engineering Authority is planning a new meeting with Dubai construction company Arabtec, said an official source from state-run New Urban Communities Authorities (NUCA).

This comes after the UAE firm had missed two previous meetings to discuss the plans for the one million homes project.

The source told Amwal Al Ghad on Monday that Arabtec would definitely attend the anticipated meeting to tackle its framework for its $40 billion deal to build one million homes in Egypt.

In a statement on Sunday, Arabtec announced it is close to completing the planning and design stage to build one million homes in Egypt.

Arabtec originally announced in March that it had agreed with the Egyptian army to build the homes at 13 locations around the country on land provided free by the armed forces. Construction was to start in the third quarter of this year, with the first homes to be delivered in early 2017 and the whole project to be completed before 2020.

The project would not only mark a huge expansion of Arabtec’s business but also boost Egypt’s struggling economy and help to resolve a housing shortage that has become a major source of political discontent.

Since the announcement, however, Arabtec has released few concrete details of the scheme, and said it was reviewing its business after the sudden resignation of chief executive Hasan Ismaik in June. Analysts have questioned how the firm can implement the Egyptian project without subcontracting out much of it or hiring thousands more staff, a potentially disruptive process.

In addition, Arabtec denied in a brief statement to the Dubai stock exchange on Sunday, a recent media report suggesting it was no longer as committed to the Egyptian project.