Egypt to auction 25.2 km2 of lands in new capital till June 2020

Egypt plans to auction 6,000 feddans (25.2 square km) of lands earmarked for the first phase of projects in the new capital until June 2020, an official said on Thursday.

The state-owned Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) – in charge of building the new capital – has so far sold almost half of the land earmarked for the first phase, Reuters quoted its head of the real estate sector, Magdy Amin as saying.

The as-yet unnamed capital city is being built in the desert by ACUD owned 51 percent by the military and 49 percent by the Housing Ministry.

The government has said it wants to start running Egypt from the new city as soon as the middle of next year. But the $58 billion project has struggled to raise funds and faced other challenges after some investors pulled out.

Spanning over around 40 feddans (168 square km), the first phase includes the Central Business District (CBD) as well as other districts for ministries and diplomats, besides housing projects.

Known for now as the new capital, the government expects the city to be 700 square km upon completion, about the size of Singapore.

Launched a year into Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency, the project aims to offer a clean and efficient base for the government and finance industry, as well as homes for at least 6.5 million people.

Located 45 km (28 miles) east of Cairo, the anticipated new capital city is part of the Egyptian government’s plan to expand urban areas to deal with the state’s rapid population growth and improve the nation’s infrastructure.

The large-scale city will be a 270-square-mile hub with 21 residential districts to accommodate five million people.

The new capital is set to feature 1,250 mosques and churches as well as 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and a park that is projected to be the world’s largest.