(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Al-Futtaim Group and Emaar, the two UAE based international real estate giants, are joining hands to develop what promises to be a landmark Egyptian project - Cairo Gate.
Envisaged as the largest lifestyle and entertainment development, the project on an Emaar Misr property of 160 acres of prime land on the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway, will involve an investment of E5 billion. The announcement of an initial intention to enter into a joint venture coincided with the opening of Cityscape Global on Tuesday.
The iconic Cairo Gate will not only cater to discerning shoppers from Egypt and the world over, but also to those who appreciate a trendy lifestyle that has come of age, the two groups said in a joint statement.
"While the mega shopping mall will be the centrepiece of the development, Cairo Gate will be complemented by an office park with world-class facilities including a luxury hotel, schools, medical facilities and residences ranging from townhouses to villas and apartments," it said. The JV agreement will mark a new milestone in the real estate industry as the region's two mega developers, who already have large developments in Egypt and contribute significantly towards the growing Egyptian economy, have come together to commit both expertise and investment to the local Egyptian market, the statement said.
Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said the partnership would add tremendous value to the real estate and retail industry sectors at large. "We look forward to working together with Al-Futtaim Group and realising the full potential of this venture. As we boost our continued development portfolio in the Egyptian market we also demonstrate our belief in Egypt, its economy and its people."
The first phase of Cairo Gate development will comprise a mall with a gross leasable area of 120,000sqm, and will be anchored by Al-Futtaim's retail brands such as Ikea, Marks & Spencer, Toys "R" Us, ACE, Intersport, Guess, Esprit as well as a multitude of additional world-class shopping brands apart from restaurants, cafs and leisure outlets with a strong outdoor theme.
Omar Al Futtaim, vice-chairman and group CEO, said the JV represented a significant and long-term partnership between Al-Futtaim Group and Emaar who are on a new path for growth in Egypt. "The agreement demonstrates our confidence in the Egyptian economy and will raise Egypt's profile as a nation focused on innovation, excellence, and dynamic sustainable development in the retail and real estate sectors. Our Cairo Festival City development is already making strong headway in establishing Egypt as Centrepoint for the North African retail industry. The JV will further demonstrate our firm commitment to not only enhance Egypt's development, but amplify the country's leadership positioning within the regional and global economy."
By Issac John