An agreement of this magnitude could boost the Egyptian economy, which is facing a serious foreign exchange crisis.
The United Arab Emirates is in advanced talks to buy and develop a large plot of land on Egypt's Mediterranean coast in a deal that could support the North African country's struggling economy.
A UAE consortium has been chosen to work with Egyptian partners to develop the Ras el-Hekma land, about 350 km (217 miles) northwest of Cairo, an Egyptian official was quoted as saying by CNBC Arabia on Wednesday. .
Hossam Heiba, director general of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, told the channel that the initial estimate for the total project was $22 billion and that an agreement was expected soon. He did not provide further details or name any companies or entities.
Egypt's cabinet on Thursday said the government was preparing to announce new projects that will “bring in huge amounts of foreign currency” and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, apparently referring to a planned multibillion-dollar development along the Mediterranean coast in one region. high-end luxury resorts.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and the country's capital, is involved in the project, according to anonymous sources close to the discussions cited by the American media Bloomberg, which also reported that the Egypt could retain ownership of around 20 percent of the vast territory spanning 180 million square meters.
The minority stake would include a share of Talaat Moustafa Group, a real estate developer, and some Egyptian public entities, adding that no final decision has been made.
The major deal could strengthen ties between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the main backer of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, which has already offered economic support in the form of investments or other aid.
Egypt is facing its worst foreign exchange crisis in decades, having endured several currency devaluations, and is expected to soon adopt another – the fourth since early 2022.
An increase in foreign exchange could also have a positive impact on negotiations between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a major loan, which could attract other partners and secure financing of some $10 billion.
Egypt has to repay heavy foreign debts this year and the IMF has pushed it to sell public assets, make room for the private sector and allow its currency to trade flexibly.
An IMF team was in Egypt last month to negotiate the revival and possible expansion of a $3 billion loan deal that fell through shortly after it was signed in December 2022.
Egypt, alongside Qatar, is a key mediator in negotiations to end Israel's war on Gaza, starting with a new pause in hostilities and the exchange of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails for captives held in the enclave.