Egypt’s government to relocate to new capital within a year – minister

Egyptian government is poised to relocate to the country’s anticipated new administrative capital within a year, Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said on Sunday.

It will not only be a geographical relocation but also a culture shift towards openness for the government apparatus, al-Saeed said during the World Youth Forum, taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh on December 14-17.

Billed as smart city in the desert 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Cairo, the as-yet-unnamed city will span 700 square kilometres, making it almost as large as Singapore. The current Egyptian capital suffers from severe congestion and overcrowding – problems which the government hopes the new capital will resolve.

The new capital will include an expanse of high-rises and residential buildings as well as a government and business district all stationed around a central green river, a combination of open water and planted greenery twice the size of New York’s Central Park. Foreign embassies are encouraged to relocate, and businesses will be lured to a central business district of 20 Chinese-built skyscrapers.