It’s not often that you hear of a country constructing brand new cities from the ground up, but Egypt plans to do precisely this in 45 different locations over the next several years. Such a project might sound overly ambitious, but the Egyptian government contends that it was necessary for the country’s rapidly increasing population, the over-concentration of people in the greater Cairo region, and the need to generate more jobs.
Perhaps most significantly, Egypt plans to break with more than 1,000 years of history by replacing Cairo with a new capital city, currently referred to as the New Administrative Capital, some parts of which are already nearly complete.
This ambitious development project dates back to 2014 when the Egyptian government launched the construction of El Galala Plateau, one of the first cities in the initiative. This coincided with the ascension of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as Egypt’s new president, who has proved to be as ambitious in building Egypt’s future as he is in preserving and highlighting its ancient past.
Initiatives to build more new cities soon followed, including the announcement of the new capital city in 2015 (the building of which began in 2016) and the decree to start building New Alamein City in 2017 on Egypt’s northern Mediterranean coast.
However, it wasn’t until the Fifth Real Estate Development Conference in September 2021 that undersecretary of the Ministry of Housing for National Projects Khaled Abbas revealed the government’s plans to build a total of 45 of these new cities, among other ambitious initiatives.
Perhaps the most crucial element of these new cities will be their focus on sustainability. Each new city will be eco-friendly, rely primarily on renewable energy, and ensure water access through desalination and other renewable resource design elements.
One of the most high-profile projects is the development of Egypt’s soon-to-be new capital city. Currently known as the New Administrative Capital, the city is located 75 kilometers east of Cairo and is set to be the country’s first sustainable city.
However, the New Administrative Capital isn’t the only development that regional observers should be eyeing. Other exciting cities-to-be include East Port Said, which will complement the existing city of Port Said and will be well placed for hosting ore industrial activity in the region.
New Alamein City is set to become the “icon of the Mediterranean” and a “New Riviera” thanks to its plans to host luxurious hotels, a yacht marina, sports clubs, an international tourism center, and more.
Like many developing nations, Egypt’s population growth is very much still roaring. The country is currently home to more than 105 million people, and this figure is projected to grow to 180 million by 2052. In addition to the housing demands that this group will place on Egypt, these demographic trends will result in a youthful population that prefers urban centers for better work, entertainment, and social options.
Although Egypt already has some of the world’s more sprawling urban settlements, even these will not have the capacity to support so many people. With the construction of these new cities, the country hopes to be better equipped to provide more affordable and stable housing for its large lower-income population.
Meanwhile, higher-end new developments with modern homes, luxury shops, trendy restaurants, and other glamorous amenities will help to satiate the demand from Egypt’s growing middle and upper classes, including a burgeoning entrepreneurial class that hopes to help carry the country forward into the future.