Conflicting reports have emerged over the identity of the Emirati company that will finance the US$45 billion new administrative capital Egypt has presented to investors during the Egypt Economic Development Conference on Saturday. The company's CEO, the Egyptian investment minister and Egyptian media all point to three different real estate developers who fall under the management of one person.
Mohamed al-Abbar, CEO of Emaar and Eagle Hills, told Orbit satellite channel's host Amr Adeeb on Saturday that neither Emaar nor Eagle Hills had signed the contract for the project with the Egyptian government as circulated by the media, and that the company that signed the contract was Capital City Partners, of which he is a founding partner.
Abbar justified the opening of a company specifically for the project by saying that the new capital requires “special focus” away from Emaar's already wide-scale operations, stressing that the new entity, to which other Arab partners are contributing, is not linked to Emaar.
The company's website identifies Capital City Partners as “a private real estate investment fund by global investors focused on investment and development partnerships in high-growth international markets".
Abbar’s statement came to refute earlier statements by the Egyptian government's Investment Minister, Ashraf Salman, who pointed to a different financer of the scheme.
Salman had told Egypt’s state agency MENA that Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills, and not its sister company, Emaar, would finance Egypt’s new administrative capital project, which was presented during the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.
The minister’s clarification came as news was circulating throughout Egypt’s state and private media about Emaar’s agreement with the Egyptian government to finance the project which will involve 1.1 million residential units.
The conflict also came in the size of finances allocated for the scheme, with Abbar, in his interview with Adeeb, setting the amount at US$90 billion, in contrast to the widely-circulated cost of US$45 billion, which was also quoted by the government.
Salman maintained that media outlets had been confused over the identity of Mr. al-Abbar.
Signing the contract for the project with Abbar on Saturday, Egypt’s Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the new capital seeks to expand Egypt’s current 6 percent urbanized area to 12 percent within 40 years.