Egypt partially relaxes construction ban; buildings no higher than 4 storeys permitted

Contractors and real estate developers will now be permitted to resume construction on buildings that are no higher than four storeys after the Egyptian government relaxed some of the construction restrictions introduced in May.

The exemption applies only to companies that have already obtained the required building permits, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said following a meeting with local governors and the local development minister.

The decision comes a day after President Abdel Fattah al Sisi called on the government to end the six-month ban and introduce new building regulations as soon as possible.

The government imposed in May a six-month ban on construction permits in urban centers, including Greater Cairo and Alexandria, after President Abdel Fattah al Sisi ordered the government to halt construction in response to ongoing building code violations.

All ongoing construction of private housing was also halted until owners present plans that meet legal requirements, such as allowing for enough parking spots.

The decision came after parliament approved in March the Unified Building Code, a long-awaited piece of legislation that gave the government sharper teeth to clamp down on illegal construction