The Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban communities will offer several land and partnership tenders in the upcoming period across the country with a return on investment worth of EGP 1,400 bn, Assistant Housing Minister for Technical Affairs Khaled Abbas said at the Cityscape Business Breakfast today, Invest-Gate reports.

The ministry will reportedly provide various offerings to investors in an effort to meet Egypt’s 2052 vision for urban development, which includes a goal of increasing habitable areas nationwide to 14% rather than the current 7%, Abbas stated.

Land offerings will take place in several areas within the country including Toshka, the New Administrative Capital, Al Alamein City, New Qena City, and New Assiut City.

The offering for partnership projects between the government and the private sector has been delayed, according to Abbas, because the Ministry was evaluating the overall performance from previous offerings in an effort to enhance partnership projects. Also, recent economic changes have affected plans for mega projects and financial assets that could be used for execution. He further emphasized that partnerships occur through the government providing lands to developers.

“Recent Economic reform measures such as amending the Investment Law will attract more foreign investments, which is what the Housing Ministry is looking forward to–especially Gulf investors, because they could be used for consultancy. The purchase process by foreign investors has never been easier as they’ll be able to pay in foreign currency for lands offered at a cheap price,” Abbas said.

Offerings regarding lands and mega projects are expected to be announced within the upcoming three months. The Ministry is currently awaiting finalization of the New Urban Communities Authority’s (NUCA) Real Estate ByLaw and is studying the possibility of allowing developers to extend implementation periods for projects in an effort to avoid penalties.

“Extending the period of execution for projects in the country is a critical decision because developers have to consider the impact of late project delivery on buyers,” Abbas explained.

The Housing Ministry has a plan to increase offerings, especially in new cities that may include land plots of over 20,000 acres rather than established urban areas such as New Cairo, which include less acres of lands currently. Al Alamein City is expected to include 30,000 touristic rooms and will add a milestone to the tourism segment.

“We encourage private developers to contribute in several aspects, including developing touristic sites such as Al Alamein City, investing in new cities, and working on affordable housing that has been so far financed by the Real Estate Fund Initiative launched by the Central Bank of Egypt with over EGP 4 bn…obtaining additional funds remains a challenge” added Abbas.

The real estate funds have a goal of increasing capital of real estate companies despite economic challenges, stated Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority Chairman Sherif Samy.

He added that the government seeks to initiate a Green Fund focused on usage of recycling and solar energy, with plans to implement projects complying with green codes and requiring cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities.