Invest-Gate has successfully held its fourth roundtable on October 16, entitled “Means of Attracting Future Real Estate Investments,” under the auspices of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, capitalizing on its long-term vision and underpinning its standing as “the voice of real estate.”

Organized at the Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Cairo, the roundtable was moderated by Mena Group Founder Fathallah Fawzy and co-moderated by Invest-Gate’s Managing Partner Mohamed Fouad, bringing together Egypt’s mega real estate developers and top housing ministry officials under one roof. It beheld the attendance of Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects Khaled Abbas and Assistant Minister for Community Affairs of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) Waleed Abbas.

Across two extensive sessions, Invest-Gate’s fourth roundtable featured a series of heated discussions that covered a wide-angle of topics, aiming to look for new ways to attract real estate investments in Egypt, whilst coming up with new perks and recommendations for luring more clients. It takes into account the modified investment law, land acquisition rules, and the agile purchasing power.

Other discussion leaders included Rooya Group Chairman and CEO Hisham Shoukri, Castle Development CEO Ahmed Taha Mansour, Madaar Developments Chairman and CEO Maged Salah, Vice-President of Coldwell Banker and Coldwell Banker New Homes Mohamed Banany, Managing Director of Misr Italia Properties Mohamed Hany El Assal, Khozam Developments CEO Nader Khozam, City Edge Developments CEO Amr El Kady, Tatweer Misr President and CEO Ahmed Shalaby, Iwan Developments CEO Waleed Mokhtar, Inertia CEO Ahmed El Adawy, Bahrawi Investment Company (La Hacienda) CEO Samir Bahrawi, First Group CEO Basheer Mostafa, Chairman of Mountain View Amr Soliman, CEO of Retail Banking at Commercial International Bank (CIB) Ahmed Issa, Senior Partner at Shalakany Firm Moataz El Mahdy, JLL Country Head, Egypt Ayman Sami, and Head of Strategic Consulting at JLL Mireille Azzam Vidjen.

Government officials uncovered new updates regarding the establishment of new public registries, mechanisms set for land offerings and allocation, participation in global real estate events, among other solutions to facilitate foreign inflows and boost property exports.

On the sidelines, Abbas confirmed that Egypt will mark its first-ever participation in the 2019 edition of Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), starting from October 23 to November 2.

For his part, Rooya Group’s Shoukri called for the imposition of a price ceiling for land offerings, amid an accurate classification of developers. Meanwhile, Coldwell Banker’s Banany emphasized the importance of establishing a regulatory body, following suit of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), which will be responsible for monitoring transactions, licensing units, and giving official licenses to qualified brokers.

During the roundtable, all discussion leaders also stressed the need to set reliable criteria for controlling land pricing and building specifications.

As for drawing in more foreign investments, Inertia’s El Adawy stated that the diversity of products could create fiercer rivalry among developers, while Tatweer Misr’s Shalaby noted that creating a professional land allocation framework would boost the sector’s appeal in the foreign investors’ eyes. Supplementary, El Kady concluded that it will take Egypt’s real estate market around two years to gain a strong position on the global investment map.

Tackling more controversial issues, Khozam and Bahrawi affirmed that the mortgage finance sector should expand and penetrate the resale as well as the primary market. In collaboration with developers, the state should find a radical solution for the property registration problem, according to El Assal.

Putting the current purchasing power on the discussion table, First Group’s Mostafa called on developers to devote higher attention to consumer needs, with Madaar’s Salah adding up that a special focus should be directed to young home buyers as they are deemed the most prospective clients.

Moreover, Misr Italia’s El Assal and City Edge’s El Kady suggested the launch of unified and comprehensive promotional campaigns to promote the real estate market similar to the tourism sector. In addition, Iwan’s Mokhtar pointed out that there should be a code of conduct for real estate marketers as excessive marketing and redundant phone calls turn clients off, not to mention drawing adversarial results.

Further attributes from CIB’s Issa included the application of new funding concepts like green-field investments in real estate, in addition to the deployment of consolidation through the signing of more merging and acquisition deals.

From an analytical standing, JLL’s Mireille reckoned that customized foreign-investor tours and a smooth purchase process will bring in more investments amid the cyclical nature of Egypt’s real estate market. Additionally, JLL’s country head shared a positive outlook for real estate’s purchasing power due to the improvement in the commercial sector and the expansion of international brands into Egypt.

It is noteworthy to say that the prolific event leveraged a diverse range of prestigious sponsorships, namely Rooya Group, Madaar Development, and Castle Development as the gold sponsors, Coldwell Banker New Homes as the silver sponsor, alongside having Misr Italia Properties as the bronze and lanyard sponsor, while Khozam Developments marked the registration desk sponsor.  The roundtable was held in collaboration with several media partners, notably Daily News Egypt, Al Borsa Newspaper, Hapi Journal, and Al Masdar Newspaper.