Efforts to redevelop the low-income area between downtown Cairo and the Nile river have over the years faltered due to political obstacles, but it is hoped that plans to transform Egypt’s capital into a ‘new, modern’ city will finally be implemented this year.
According to Forbes, the centrepiece of the redevelopment will be the Nile Tower, designed 11 years ago by the architect Zaha Hadid, now deceased. At about 70 storeys and 345m high, the building – twisting from a thin, triangular base into a rectangular skyscraper – is expected to become one of Africa’s tallest buildings.
PR co-ordinator for project developer Living In Interiors, Farah Kamal, says the US$750 million project sends a message that ‘the Egyptian economy and the development of the country is started again’. Offering panoramas of the Nile River and the pyramids, it will be one of 1 400 active construction projects in the country. The tower will boast luxury apartments for the top 36 floors, a hotel for the middle 18 floors, while the rest is reserved for a casino, night club, spa, health club and retail space.
The Egypt Independent reports that the larger, US$3 billion megaproject, of which the Nile Tower is part, will include 12 business complexes, five residential buildings and two hotels, expected to be completed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation over the next four years.
The megaproject ties into China’s One Belt One Road Initiative, which connects the superpower to the rest of Asia, parts of East Africa and Europe through six routes.