Egypt’s newly-introduced sovereign wealth fund (aka Tharaa) received on December 18 the Cabinet’s approval to hold the rights to overhaul Salah El Din Citadel’s gateway, or “Bab El Azab,” under a 49-year contract, Invest-Gate reports. 

The technical proposal for the project includes the development and operation of the 56,000-square-meter area, in addition to building a museum with interactive technologies, establishing craft schools, hotels, an arts center, a theater, besides providing other services and amenities on-site, Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Khaled El Anany said in a recent official statement. 

“The aim of the project is to revive the area so that visitors find fun and entertainment by creating a mixed-use cultural center to represent Arab and African civilizations,” El Anany was quoted as saying. 

During the meeting, the minister presented the current status of all buildings that are part of the state’s plan to develop the Citadel area, including the Nasser Mohamed bin Qalawun Mosque, Suleiman Al-Khadim Mosque, Royal Convoys Museum, Military Museum in the Haram Palace, Mohamed Ali Towers, among others. 

Back then, CEO of Tharaa Ayman Soliman told Reuters that the fund was looking to an Egyptian businessman and chairman of Orascom Development Holding Samih Sawiris to help develop the area, with investments worth EGP 2 bn.

Established last November, Tharaa currently holds a paid-in capital of EGP 1 bn, which President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi earlier vowed to hike to as much as several trillion Egyptian pounds in the near future. The fund is planning to acquire assets chosen from among a vast portfolio held by other government bodies, while also bringing in additional private investors, according to a previous statement