An Emirati company has plans to develop the Al-Warraq Island in Cairo in which clashes have erupted in recent days, local newspaper have reported.
According to Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Watan newspapers, the Emirati-Singaporean RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Company and the Cairo-based Cube Engineering Consultancy published on their websites drawings of their plans to develop Al-Warraq Island.Contracts for the development project were signed with the Egyptian Government on 31 March 2013, according to RSP. The Egyptian Government has denied the claims.
The company’s plans include buildings, commercial units, a university, residential buildings and public parks, as well as development of the infrastructure and provision of public transport.
On Sunday, Al-Warraq Island witnessed clashes between police and protesters against the decision to demolish buildings on the island. Authorities claimed the properties were built on state-owned land. One person died in the clashes while dozens more were injured.
The Egyptian authorities have had close relations with the UAE since the Egyptian army overthrew the first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.
Cube announced on its website that in 2010 it had signed contracts with the Ministry of Housing’s General Organisation for Physical Planning to set about a plan for the development of Al-Warraq Island as part of the 2050 Plan announced by then President Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal in 2007.
Hany Younis, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Housing, denied the existence of any contracts with Emirati, Singaporean or Egyptian companies to develop the island, stressing that no negotiations or discussions are underway with the two companies.