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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Qatari Diar to resume Egypt mega project

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The Qatari company owns several projects in Egypt, many of which were put on hold in 2017 when Cairo imposed an illegal land, air and blockade on Doha. Now, business seems to be getting slowly back on track.

Doha’s state owned real estate development company Qatari Diar is set to resume its huge “CityGate” project in New Cairo after a four-year pause. The news was reported just hours after Egypt opened its airspace to Qatari aircrafts after a three-year suspension.

The project will be located 30 km southeast of the Egyptian capital and is set to be one of the biggest projects for the company in Egypt.

“CityGate is a self-sustained city with various sizes of villas and apartments viewing the golf course, green spaces and parks. In addition to community centres in all neighbourhoods, schools, international hotels, a sport club, business parks, a medical complex and all means of entertainment planned according to world-class specifications,” Qatari Diar says of the project on its website. 

Last week, Qatari Diar also opened its fully-owned St. Regis hotel in Cairo, the event took place on the same day the Al Ula Declaration was signed at the GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia. The recent reconciliation between the former blockading countries and Qatar is said to have pushed the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) in Egypt to give the green light for CityGate’s construction to resume. 

Read also: Qatar opens $1 billion St. Regis Hotel in Cairo.

According to Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk, the project was suspended in 2016 because of a disagreement between the company and NUCA, the blockade a few months later added to the dispute. 

According to Arab media, Qatari Diar’s subsidiary East Gate, owner of the development, had their request to resume working on the project approved by the authority following a court ruling that “NUCA was not entitled to ask for fees of EGP 1.379 billion ($88.11 million).”

Construction work is set to resume shortly in Egypt, the company announced. 

Officials said “the first phase of the project will encompass investments worth EGP 1 billion.”

Earlier this month, the opening ceremony of the St. Regis Hotel in the Egyptian capital was attended by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin who joined Qatar’s Finance Minister Ali Al Emadi who was the first Qatari official to visit Egypt since the 2017 rift erupted. 

“By investing through Qatari Diar in this distinguished project, the State of Qatar practically affirms its commitment to contribute to supporting the tourism sector for its vital role in economic development and creating job opportunities,” said Al Emadi.

The $1 billion investment into St Regis is considered one of the company’s most prominent projects in Egypt, offering an ultimate expression of contemporary luxury in the country’s capital. 

Full diplomatic relations restored

The latest venture in Egypt comes just over a week after leaders and diplomats of the Gulf Cooperation Council met in Saudi Arabia to sign the much-anticipated Al-Ula Declaration that put an end to the Gulf crisis.

The declaration, signed by the blockading quartet and Qatar, closed a gloomy chapter in GCC relations that posed a serious threat to the unity of the bloc as well as security in the region.

The restoration of relations includes all former blockading countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

Airspace is now open to Qatar and relations are set to return back to normal.

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