Egypt allocates land for UAE to develop airport in Ras al-Hekma Mediterranean resort

Egypt allocates land for UAE to develop airport in Ras al-Hekma Mediterranean resort
Egypt has been aggressively pursuing the sale of state assets, primarily to wealthy Gulf nations, to address significant economic challenges.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
09 April, 2024
The new Ras al-Hekma airport is part of a multi-billion-dollar deal that Egypt signed with the UAE in February this year. [Getty]

The Egyptian cabinet allocated two plots of land to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to establish an international airport in Marsa Matrouh province, the most recent in several projects developed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Mediterranean Ras al-Hekma beach resort.

During a cabinet meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the construction of Ras al-Hekma airport is part of a deal signed with the UAE earlier in February this year.

The UAE will develop the airport, and Egypt will receive a share of the generated revenues as per the multi-billion-dollar agreement.

Madbouly gave no further details on the major project.

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Last month, the government took steps to allow private sector companies to run and operate the country's airports.

Egypt and the UAE had struck a landmark investment partnership to develop the Ras al-Hekma (also al-Hikma) peninsula, located west of Alexandria.

To bolster the project, the Egyptian government has transferred 170.8 million square meters of army-owned land to the state-owned New Urban Communities Authority to construct 'New Ras al-Hekma City'.

Amid an unforgiving economic crisis, foreign debts, and a significant budget deficit, Egypt has aggressively pursued the sale of state assets to address such challenges.

Ras al-Hekma is an up-and-coming resort destination located on a cape approximately 212 kilometres west of Alexandria and about 350 kilometres northwest of the capital, Cairo. It boasts stunning turquoise waters and white sandy beaches and has attracted significant investments in luxury developments.

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The Egypt-UAE deal is set to inject US$35 billion of foreign direct investment into the struggling Egyptian economy, intended to bolster economic growth and address a hard currency crisis the country sustained for months.

The UAE's sovereign wealth fund, ADQ, has led an investment consortium with US$24 billion earmarked for Ras al-Hekma. The remaining US$11 billion will go towards other development projects across Egypt.