Egypt’s government has been working on developing the country’s economy in the past years, in terms of expanding the land area allocated to residential, commercial, and industrial projects.
Director of healthcare, education and PPP at Colliers International MENA, Mansoor Ahmed, told Mubasher that with approximately 100 million people, Egypt is currently the most populous country across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; the number of inhabitants has grown by almost half a million over the past two years, of which 69% of the current population is under 35 years of age.
“Having understood the significant population growth in urban cities, government measures have been taken to create new cities to help mitigate the burden of overpopulation in existing urban areas. The new cities are also an opportunity to enhance the economic growth to attract FDIs to the local economy, and encourage a certain economic pattern such as industrial cities, port cities, etc.,” Mansoor Ahmed further explained.
New Urban Cities
The new urban cities area currently spans an area of about 1.23 million feddans, while the urban area covers about 518,000 feddans, according to the latest data by Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority, a government authority affiliated with the housing ministry and is headquartered in Sheikh Zayed City.
“The new cities are classified into the first, second, and third generation, and the recently launched fourth generation. Key promising cities are New Administrative Capital, New Alamein City, New Mansoura, and New Minya,” the director at Colliers International MENA concluded.
Recent data by Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority shows that the number of housing units in new urban cities across the country total 2.282 million units of which 782,000 are executed by the authority, while the current total number of housing units implemented by the private sector reaches 1400,000.
Industrial base for sustainable development
“The expansion of population in urban cities have led to the creation of New Cities which brings with it new investment opportunities,” Mansoor Ahmed told Mubasher.
He added: “A number of these new cities were also created as an industrial base outside the City Centre to achieve more sustainable development. With industrial activities contribution approximately 25% of the country’s GDP. These cities attract public and private investments, as seen in 6th of October, 10th of Ramadan, Badr City, and El Obour City.”
Industrial Units and Employment
As of today, industrial units in Egypt’s new cities have developed nearly 750,000 direct employment, of which Greater Cairo and Suez Region account for the highest share of industrial employment i.e. 30% and 51%, respectively, the director at Colliers International MENA clarified to Mubasher.
Mansoor Ahmed expects future industrial units to create approximately 200,000 job opportunities in the short- and medium- term. Similarly, the majority of the employment creation in future industrial units are expected to be developed in Greater Cairo (50%) and Delta (20%).
“On average, new cities allocate 15% and 20% of its total land area for commercial and industrial use, respectively. This translate into more than 0.5 million feddan of land dedicated to commercial and industrial investments,” he added.
Mansoor Ahmed highlighted that the industries which highly contribute to employment creation in Egypt are mainly the labour intensive industries, including food, textile, glass, and plastic.
“Targeting these industries can result in positive direct and indirect job opportunities, thus increasing spending power amongst its residents,” the director at Colliers International MENA noted.