As an attempt to uplift Egypt’s economic prowess, the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has approved plans to construct a new capital for this North African country from scratch.
SOM is leading The Capital Cairo project, which will construct this planned new city eastward of the current capital Cairo, closer to the Red Sea, Gizmag reports.
The plan for a new capital was announced during an economic development conference, during which Egyptian Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the project would take only five to seven years to complete.
Additionally, the economic summit where the project was announced attracted $12 billion in investment pledges from wealthy neighboring countries in the Gulf region.
CityMetric reports that the government hired a Dubai-based real estate investment firm, headed by Emirati Mohamed Alabbar, the man behind the Burj Khalifa, to raise funds for the project and build it.
While many media outlets see the move as a statement on President al-Sisi’s power and vision, one main argument for the project is to relieve incumbent capital Cairo from an ever-growing population and ridding it of its gridlock traffic.
"While we are at the earliest stages of design, the new city will be built on core principles that include places of education, economic opportunity, and quality of life for Egypt’s youthful population," Philip Enquist, Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning at SOM, told Gizmag. "The new city will be designed and built in harmony with nature as a showcase of environmentally sensitive development."