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Egypt has unveiled plans for a new 700sq km capital city to be built to the East of Cairo
The project, which housing minister Mustafa Kamel Madbouli insisted will be completed within five to seven years, will include an international airport larger than Heathrow, 91sq km of solar farms and a theme park “four times bigger than Disneyland”.
"The idea to build the new city originated from our awareness that Cairo's current population will double in the next 40 years," Madbouli explained during a presentation at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm El Sheikh last week.
The North African nation is the most populous in the Middle East with close to 88mn inhabitants, and increasing urbanisation in recent years has caused overcrowding problems in many cities, none more so than Cairo with its population of 18mn.
The ‘new capital’, which is yet to be named, will be large enough to house five million people, as well as including 663 health facilities, almost 2,000 schools and colleges and 100sq km of preserved green spaces.
The project, which Madbouli said will become “a world capital”, will be undertaken by Capital City Partners, the company which built the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and is currently constructing the King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia.
The firm’s owner, Emirati billionaire Mohammed Alabbar, told the BBC the new city will be “a natural extension for the city of Cairo”.
He added, “It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to design something from scratch, and to design it keeping in mind the needs of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government."