Interview with Developer Tom Rhodes, Egypt
Despite a softening in the market, what is the current market sentiment towards Egypt from local and foreign investors, and how will we see it reflected in the show this year?
Last year, Egypt floated its currency to qualify for the IMF loan, to help raise funds and restore investor confidence. As a result, the country has become more attractive to foreign investors. With experts adamant that the country has created a well-functioning currency market that is reflected in the pound’s current rate, we’re confident that this year’s show will attract foreign investors and Egyptian expatriates looking to purchase a second home.
An Egyptian living abroad, of which there are an estimated 4.3 million, looking to buy a residential unit in Egypt, will find it at least 30 to 50% cheaper than pre- floatation. We’re told by experts, that another positive impact will be on the country’s hospitality sector; Egypt has become a very cheap destination and this will drive the growth of tourism. We have a multitude of exhibitors who will be speaking to this demand as they launch projects in some of the country’s most sought-after coastal regions.
Dar Al Maghraby, Egyptian-based architecture firm, will showcase TurQuoise, the latest in its portfolio located on Egypt’s northern coast. The resort is situated on a green cliff overlooking the sea and offers private beach access, amenities, retail and F&B outlets.
In addition, the residential sector remains one of the most resilient sectors in Egypt and is still in high demand due to Egypt’s ever-growing population, which is something that cannot be ignored. During the show, some of our heavyweight exhibitors will be launching cutting-edge residential projects in new and existing areas across the country.
Aspen Development will be launching its urban development community that aims to revive the older, but well-loved neighbourhood in Nasr City. The development will consist of residences as well as commercial, healthcare, and retail space.
What can we expect at this year’s Cityscape Egypt?
Cityscape will also see the return of Cityscape Egypt Awards, which will take place on March 28th sponsored by JLL. The Awards offer international architects and leading real estate developers a platform from which to communicate a shared vision for the future, from culturally integrated city skylines to sustainable urban communities. The nominee shortlist will be announced on March 8th.
Our Cityscape Egypt Conference this year, which precedes the exhibition, takes place on March 29th – 30th at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, Cairo.
The agenda, A roadmap to innovation: tackling project financing, marketing and design to prosper, will explore emerging trends that are redefining investment opportunities in Egypt.
With panel discussions from Egypt’s leading government and private sector thought-leaders, focusing on achieving Egypt’s Vision 2030, including: Dr. Nihal El Megharbel, Deputy Minister of Planning, Ministry of Planning, Dr. Assem El Gazzar, Chairman, General Organisation for Physical Planning, and Mohamed Khodeir, CEO, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, to name a few.
Panel discussions include: Egypt’s Vision 2030: Progress and achievements in urban development, tourism, agriculture and industrial sectors; The private sector vision towards achieving sustainable development and; Reducing construction costs and increasing efficiency to overcome the financial crunch, to name a few.
Following the Conference, the exhibition kicks off with over 90 participants, including 20 new exhibitors. The Cityscape Egypt exhibition, which takes place from 31st March until 3rd April at CICC is sold-out with over 15,000 sqm of floor space confirmed, a clear indication that while there are a few challenges in the market, sentiment and demand remains steadfast. A look at several new residential developments billed to be unveiled at this year’s show is evidence of this.
We’ll see exhibitors showcase projects from across the real estate spectrum, both from Egypt and around the world, and we expect significant investment and interest from this
How important is the event for the real estate industry in Egypt?
Over the last six years, Cityscape Egypt has acted as a barometer for the real estate industry in the country; responsible for fostering partnerships and creating opportunities that drive development and investment across the country.
As a renowned international exhibition, our primary goal is to enable both local and cross-border real estate investment, which has the potential to shape the future of the real estate industry, as well as facilitate a knowledge-based dialogue that tackles the sector’s most pressing needs.
In light of Egypt’s economic overhaul, the real estate sector will emerge as one of the brightest stars in the country’s economy as investors look at it with renewed interest. For this reason, there has never been a more pertinent time for Cityscape to take place and facilitate investment that Egypt needs.