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1.8% urbanisation growth drives Egyptian delegation to Cityscape.

Summary: Population growth of 1.6 million per annum sends largest ever Egyptian delegation to Cityscape Global looking for investors in urban development projects in Cairo .

With Egypt's population now growing at the rate of 1.

6 million people per annum, combined with an urbanisation growth rate of 1.

8% annually and a growing middle class, Egypt is sending a high-level delegation to Cityscape Global, which is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 4-7 October 2010.

The delegation consists of officials from New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) plus leading Egyptian developers such as SODIC and ROOYA Group as well as United Gulf Properties and ITDA.

The Egyptian pavilion which covers 800 square metres of exhibition space, will showcase projects in the east and west suburbs of Cairo Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo, amongst others.

"The Egyptian government has long since been aware that the urban sprawl of Cairo was in fact chocking further economic development and that in previous years it had encouraged development to the north and south of Cairo," said Chris Speller, Group Director, Cityscape Global.

"Unfortunately that strategy ruined agricultural land and as a result two new centres emerged on either side of Cairo, namely Sheikh Zayed City/Sixth of October City in the west and Kattameya/New Cairo in the east.

The simple idea was to create suburban living close to edge of Cairo where those who worked in the west or west central Cairo could commute more easily and the same strategy for those in the east.

That has now provided a solution to satisfy growing demand for suburban living from the middle income Cairo residents.

The delegation will be in Dubai looking for regional or international investors for a range of mixed use projects that will cater for the growing middle class residents in the capital.

Once married, middle income newlyweds (Cairo plays host to 150,000 marriages per year) are now looking to move out of the overcrowded and polluted city centre to the suburbs.

The demographics of Egypt certainly create a compelling business case for would be investors.

According to the IMF and CIA world fact book, despite the global economic slowdown, Egypt's GDP grew 4.

7% last year and Economic Development Minister Osman Mohamed Osman commented that Egypt's GDP could grow as much as 5.

3% this year and as much as 6% in the year ending June 2011.

"Egypt's real estate market is fuelled by genuine organic growth driven by an indigenous 80 million plus population, 31% of which is under 14 years of age and is growing at present by more than 1.

6 million annually, with a per capita income of over $6,000 per annum," commented Speller.

"Urban population growth of 4% annually is now creating pent up demand for 30,000 mid to high income homes a year with a deficit of 22,000 hotel rooms in Cairo alone.

Overall the Egyptian government has around one million new citizens to house every eight months," added Speller.

One of the participants, SODIC which has a wide range of mixed-use development projects in East and West Cairo, is targeting Gulf investors because of the variety of SODIC's projects, which cater to the various needs that are currently unmet in the current real estate arena.

"We will showcase Westown and Eastown, two mixed-use city centre developments in collaboration with Solidere International that will act as hubs for the east and west suburbs of Cairo -- Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo, respectively," said Amir Ibrahim, Marketing Manager at SODIC.

"Forty West, a mixed-used residential neighbourhood in Westown, and The Polygon, Westown's business park, will also be showcased, in addition to Esplanade, the first residential neighbourhood in Eastown," added Ibrahim.

2010 is the ninth year that a Cityscape event will be held in Dubai and Cityscape Global is an integral part of the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development brand in the world.

Last years event welcomed more than 200 exhibiting companies and 38,000 participants from 115 countries.

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Date:Sep 29, 2010
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