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US companies win $19bn contract to develop Egypt's Tahrir Complex

The Mugamma (Complex) administrative government building towering over Cairo's Tahrir Square, on 3 April 2021 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
The Mugamma (Complex) administrative government building towering over Cairo's Tahrir Square, on 3 April 2021 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt has signed an alliance with several American companies worth 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($19 billion) to develop the Tahrir Complex located in downtown Cairo.

The Tahrir Complex, also known as the Mogamma, used to be a government administrative building where people went to renew their visas, obtain their driving licence or to process documents.

The 14-storey building once housed 30,000 government employees, had 1,350 rooms and thousands of citizens passed through its doors every day.

Among the companies who have won the contract are Global Ventures Group, Oxford Capital Group and Al Otaiba Investment Company. The Tahrir Complex looks set to become a hotel, apartments, office space or food outlets.

Egypt's Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Hala Al-Saeed, said that the alliance beat major local and international entities seeking to enter the Egyptian market for the first time.

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Egypt has gone to considerable efforts to attract foreign investment over the past several years.

In April the Egyptian government denied reports that the Sovereign Fund, which owns the Mogamma building, would sell the state-owned complex to foreign or Egyptian investors and that it was looking to partner up with developers and investors to finance the revamp.

Egypt is in the process of developing a new $45 billion capital on the edge of Cairo, which has been touted as a solution to overcrowding. It has also been heavily criticised as a vanity project being built at an extortionate cost whilst so many Egyptians live in poverty.

The New Administrative Capital is set to open in December and in the meantime, plans are underway to revamp central Cairo.

The Sovereign Fund is reported to be developing the former ruling National Democratic Party's headquarters and former interior ministry buildings in the downtown area.

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