Egypt to establish 'investment free zone' in Ras al-Hekma

Egypt to establish 'investment free zone' in Ras al-Hekma
In February, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates struck a landmark investment partnership worth US$35 billion to develop the Ras al-Hekma area.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
25 April, 2024
In recent months, Egypt has resorted to direct foreign investments to secure much-needed foreign currency amid shortage. [Getty]

The Egyptian government said on Wednesday it had approved establishing a special free zone and an international touristic port in the Mediterranean Ras al-Hekma beach resort, west of Alexandria. 

The Ras al-Hekma Development Project Company will set up the project, which has been granted a golden license to develop an investment and a private free zone, the cabinet said in a statement.

In February, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates struck a landmark investment partnership to develop the Ras al-Hekma (also spelt al-Hikma and El-Hekma) worth US$35 billion.

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

Live Story

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

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 investment in luxury developments.

The Egypt-UAE deal is intended to bolster economic growth and address Egypt's months-long hard currency crisis.

Earlier this month, the Egyptian government allocated two plots of land to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to build an international airport in Marsa Matrouh province near Ras al-Hekma. The UAE will develop the airport, and Egypt will receive a share of the generated revenues as per the multi-billion-dollar deal.