By: Shaimaa Ghanem
In light of the mega development projects planned for Egypt, with much more in the pipeline, Invest-Gate interviews Waleed Abbas, assistant minister for community affairs of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), to discuss the authority’s development strategy regarding these new cities as well as partnership projects with private developers, in addition to its plans for the new fiscal year.
What are the main axes of NUCA’s investment plan for FY 2019/20?
The NUCA adopts three main axes:
The first axis comprises completing the development of the first phase of New Alamein and New Mansoura cities, in addition to the development of the first phase of four other cities in Upper Egypt – West Nasser, West Assiut, El Fashn, and Mallawi. It also includes the completion of construction works at R3 and R5 residential districts in the New Administrative Capital (NAC).
The second axis includes the implementation of social housing projects in different cities, as we plan to build 120,000 new units, in addition to 120,000 units that are underway development in a number of new cities.
The third axis embraces the development of the country’s transportation system, as well as, maintenance services for roads and water and sewage networks in the already existing cities.
The government has recently unveiled 20 new fourth-generation cities. When will NUCA finish the first phase of these cities?
NUCA plans to deliver the first phase of the 20 new fourth-generation cities by the end of 2019. Their implementation is still underway and they notably include: the NAC, New El Fashn, New Mallawi, West Nasser, West Assuit, New Sphinx, New Obour, New Alamein, and New Mansoura.
Since NUCA is done with the first phase of partnership projects with private real estate development companies, what are some details on the second phase?
The second phase of the partnership projects includes several developments in varying areas. There is an integrated urban development on 410 acres in north Sheikh Zayed City, west Cairo, at an expected investment cost of EGP 17 bn. Others include a mixed-use project in Zayed Spark on an area of 205 acres, at an anticipated investment value of EGP 59 bn, as well as an urban development project stretching over 1,000 acres along Al Dabaa Corridor, Sheikh Zayed City, with investments worth nearly EGP 60 bn, in addition to another urban development project located in the same area across 500 acres – at an investment cost of roughly EGP 29 bn.
Moreover, there is an integrated urban development project in the eastern expansion area of 6th of October City, west Cairo, on an area of 144 acres, with investments set at EGP 5.5 bn, as well as another project with an integrated urban tourism activity on an area of about 104 acres in New Cairo, east Cairo, with investments worth almost EGP 8.5 bn.
When will NUCA complete the second phase of partnership projects? Also, when will the third phase be launched?
The second phase includes 12 partnership projects. Previously, NUCA has completed six projects and is planning to deal on the other six – which span across 2,370 acres – with four major real estate developers during the first quarter of 2019. The total value of the six partnership projects’ contracts amounts to EGP 179 bn.
We plan to launch the third phase of partnership projects during the second half of 2019 and it may include 20 land plots on 10,000 acres in new cities such as New Alamein and New Mansoura cities, for the first time with expectations to witness a high demand on land offerings.
How many lands will be offered with infrastructure in the current FY?
We target providing 30,000 acres with infrastructure during the current FY, which will be located in the existing cities or the newly launched cities.
What are the latest development updates on New Mansoura and New Alamein? And what about New Sphinx and New Warraq?
We have completed about 70% of construction works at the first phase of New Mansoura and New Alamein. As for New Sphinx and New Warraq cities, we are still working on their master plans. Additionally, we are taking steps to legalize contracts of property owners in both cities to guarantee their rights.
Some developers criticize NUCA for competing with them in specific segments of residential units. What is your opinion regarding that?
The residential units NUCA offers are not considered competitive with the private sector; they are only considered as a way of controlling prices among the real estate market. In the end, the client has the final call to choose between NUCA and other private developers.
NUCA offers units with prices lower than those of private developers, so when developers provide units with higher prices, they should present additional benefits for their customers.
The prices set by the authority include land’s value and implementation costs, as well as profit margins, and yet, they are still lower prices than the prices of developers.
Read the full interview at pages no. 20 and 21 at our February issue.