An expanded ministerial meeting to discuss ways to develop a new construction permit system that tightens control procedures, particularly using modern technology, bidding to move ahead of the six-month conceptual planning phase to fast-track urbanization, Invest-Gate reports.

The meeting, chaired by Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar, in the presence of Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi and Head of the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate Hany Dahi, also aimed at determining the framework of the syndicate in this regard, according to an official statement on December 8.

El Gazzar explained, “We are now in a six-month transitional period to outline the proposed city-scale building and planning controls and requirements for eliminating previous loopholes.” He stresses that there is a golden opportunity to control and govern urban development, which is the first national goal of Egypt.

On his part, Shaarawi confirmed that the planning and building requirements will be concluded during the next six months. New terms include adherence to design and conditions for the implementation of buildings and facilities pursuant to local building codes, approved by the competent administrative authorities.

In late November, the Egyptian government had decided against renewing its six-month construction ban in Greater Cairo and Alexandria to end as of December, as highlighted in a previous official statement.

Accordingly, a six-month transitional period was set to lay out the new building permit system, which includes conditions of obtaining new licenses for new commercial and administrative activities, restrictions on building height and land use for residential purposes, and parking lot design requirements.