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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

Egypt is building a completely new capital city beside its old one

See ya later, Cairo.

01 - Cairora airetik hurbiltzen Source: Mr. Theklan via Flickr/Creative Commons

EGYPT’S GOVERNMENT HAS announced plans to build a new capital adjacent to Cairo, in a massive new project that in its first phase would cost €40 billion and take up to seven years to complete.

Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the plan at the opening of the 3-day international economic conference held in this resort city and attended by hundreds of business executives and world leaders. The aim, he said, is to alleviate congestion and overpopulation in Cairo over the next 40 years. By that time, Cairo — currently home to nearly 20 million — would have doubled in size.

The first phase of the ambitious program, Madbouly said, is an expansion of the current outskirts of the capital to the east, adding an additional 105 kilometers of development. The area would be a new administrative centre including government offices, diplomatic missions and housing as well as universities, a technology and innovation park, and 10,000 kilometers of roads.

The military has already began constructing the road linking Cairo to the new planned administrative heart of the capital, he said.

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Mideast Egypt Economic Conference A model of a planned new capital for Egypt Source: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Eventually the new capital would expand to 700 square kilometers in size, much of it green spaces, linking up with the Suez Canal zone, Madbouly said, calling the project a source of “pride and inspiration” to young Egyptians.

The ambitious plan is the latest mega project planned by the government, headed by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who elected in June last year. The other is the expansion of the Suez Canal and the creation of an industrial zone around it.

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