Sharm El Sheikh and Al Alamein hubs for Egypt’s future investments and economic development

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By: Amira Elhamy

After three years from the Sharm El- Sheikh economic conference, 65% of projects discussed have been implemented as per the Ministry of Investment announcement. 2017 is further witnessing a huge growth of investment projects that highlight the road towards economic development in Egypt. The diversification of investments has grown parallel to the demographic structure of Egypt, with high incentives set for south of Egypt, infrastructure and energy projects, and lately a new hub crystalising in Sharm El Sheikh and Al Alamein. Egypt’s Investment Minister, Sahar Nasr, said on Monday that the billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal will invest $800 million in Sharm El Sheik to expand the worldwide hotel chain, Four Seasons resort, in partnership with Talaat Moustafa Holding Group. According to Reuters, the Saudi Prince, will establish two new hotels; the first one will be in Al-Alamein, on Egypt’s Mediterranean Coast, and the second hotel will be in Madinaty, a residential compound located east of Cairo. It is worth to note that these projects are not the first projects to be established in Egypt by the Saudi Prince. Al-Waleed bin Talal owns 40 hotels and resorts in Egypt in addition to 18 other projects, under construction. From her Side, Dr. Sahar Nasr recently met with Governor of South Sinai Maj. Gen. Khaled Fouda to discuss the governorates investment opportunities and its plans till 2030, and the utilization of its vast areas that require investment projects as well as proposals on several projects, including the development of Ras Sidr Airport, Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, Taba Airport, and Al-Tur Port; as well as the establishment of a global Marina Yacht in Sharm El-Sheikh. Both sides also discussed the implementation rate of development projects in South Sinai, under the Sinai Peninsula Development Project financed by a number of Arab funds. Such projects are worth approximately USD 947 million and include the establishment of 7 Bedouin zones, 7 agricultural zones, Al- Tur University, and 5 desalination plants as well as the development of the Sharm El-Sheik- Oyoun Moussa road and Al-Tur fishing port. The Minister clarified that the new Investment  Law included several incentives for investors in lagging regions, noting that MIIC was keen on supporting development projects in South Sinai. She added that she would pay a visit soon to the governorate to meet with investors and discuss investment opportunities. From his side Governor Fouda gave an overview of the development plan of the area between Tur Sinai, Sharm El-Sheik, Nuweiba and Taba, while referring to the establishment of a free zone at Nuweiba port and rendering it a multi-activities port, and to the establishment of an investment zone at Abu Zanima and a global shopping city in Sharm El-Sheik, and investments in the area straddling the middle road. The Governor explained that South Sinai included several investment projects which represent good opportunities for Egyptian and foreign investors to invest in South Sinai. Investment in Al Alamein: In addition to recent investments plans in Sharm Al Sheik and Sinai, and Al-Waleed bin Talal investments in Al- Alamein, more efforts have been exerted to flourish investment opportunities also in Al Alamein city. Earlier this month, Dr. Sahar Nasr and the Minister of Housing Dr. Mostafa Madbouly met with Mr. Mohammed El Dahan, Chairman of Emaar Misr and representative of the Emirati Investor Mohammed Alabbar in Egypt, in El-Alamein City to discuss coordination between MIIC and Emaar Misr within the framework of Alabbar's keenness on investing in the new Alamein. Cooperation between both ministries in supporting the social housing project in Matrouh was also discussed, besides tackling demined areas at the North West coast in coordination with MIIC's National Center for Mine Action. From his side Dr. Madbouly, emphasized the Ministry of Housing's intentions to allocate an adequate land to Mr. Alabbar in the city through partnership with the government, provided that the land would be appropriate for accomplishing the project as soon as possible. As for Dr. Nasr, she praised Emaar Misr's investments in Egypt and its role in achieving development, stressing on the fact that injecting new investments would help achieve desired development and provide job opportunities. She pointed out that the investment map developed with all ministries would be announced soon, including approximately 600 investment opportunities across governorates comprising  airports, ports and investment and free industrial zones for Arab and foreign investors. Both, Dr. Nasr and Mr. Al Dahan visited the land on which Alabbas project is proposed to be established in the new Alamein. They were briefed by the Chairman of the Housing Facility on the New Alamein Project and the infrastructure available for the project. It is to be noted that Egypt passed a long-delayed investment law that aims to better the investment atmosphere in Egypt to encourage more investors to invest, following turbulent economic conditions in recent years.

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