As Egypt looks to plug the huge demand gap in housing, Tatweer Misr has developed a unique project that will integrate housing, education facilities, a university and start-up incubators that will become a hub for living, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Steadfast development of housing, new cities and infrastructure projects have made Egypt’s real estate one of the most attractive investment segments for foreign investors. With high population growth, around 500,000 new housing units are needed per year, leaving a huge demand gap to be filled both by government social housing schemes and private developers, who currently deliver around 50-60,000 units annually.
The real estate sector is poised to take off following the inauguration of 14 cities worth 22.5 billion dollars. It is projected that 700,000 units will be added in 2020 by the Ministry of Housing, which also wants to engage the private sector in the development of social housing.
With Egypt’s old towns and cities too congested and unable to handle more capacity, the construction of liveable, breathable new urban centres has been deemed the way forward for the country, which still has vast swathes of unoccupied land primed for development. (Egyptians currently live on just 7 percent of the country’s total land area).
“Now we have the land, we have different projects, the new administrative capital and other new cities, I think that the government spending in infrastructure is just opening the way for more investments to come in to the country,” says Ahmed Shalaby, CEO and Managing Director of Tatweer Misr for Real Estate Development.
“I think we developers should consider expanding our work, especially now that the government is opening new cities everywhere in the country. I also see the opportunity for other types of real estate developments – not just housing, but schools and universities and also hospitals. I think this diversification in portfolio between locations and products will be very helpful in the coming few years to sustain the growth of the real estate sector and real estate developers.”
This type of integrated development, incorporating schools, universities and hospitals in new liveable spaces away from congested old population centers, is something Tatweer Misr is already doing at its Bloomfields development located just 15 minutes from the New Administrative Capital.
As Tatweer Misr has called it, Bloomfields is “a breakthrough perspective on integrated living offering new concept homes designed for every lifestyle, ranging from one up to four-bedroom residences.” With education, science and innovation at its heart, the 415-acre development will also comprise an entrepreneurial university, a lively college town, internationally acclaimed schools, and is set to become Egypt’s hotbed for startups and entrepreneurs.
Tatweer Misr has held talks with a number of U.S. universities and recently penned an agreement with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Ocean County College (OCC) in order to establish Egypt’s first American International Branch Campus (IBC) at Bloomfields.
This agreement follows the establishment of another partnership with Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) to launch “GEN@ Bloomfields”, the first hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa managed by GEN.
“We decided to have the GEN hub in the heart of the university campus. Through this hub we will have all GEN activities. It will be connected with all GEN networks around the world and will enable young entrepreneurs to present their ideas, get advice and secure financing, etc.,” says. Dr. Shalaby.
“The hub will host executive courses from different institutions around the world, training courses and conferences. So, it will act as the main value to connect the schools, the university, the surrounding residents in Bloomfields and the others to this area – to make this area the centre of life, innovation and science.”
As one of Egypt’s most innovative and forward-thinking young companies, Tatweer Misr wants to instill the ethos of innovation and entrepreneurship at “GEN@ Bloomfields”, at the university campus and across the whole of Bloomfields, in order to build a thriving ecosystem for creativity and start-ups. As Dr. Shalaby points out, the next generation of Egyptians will have to be job creators rather than job seekers and Tatweer Misr aims to support that landmark shift at Bloomfields.
From mountain to sea: IL Monte Galala and Fouka Bay
Aside from their ambitious Bloomfields project, Tatweer has two other major developments targeting tourists, domestic and foreign second-home buyers and Egyptians on the higher-income scale.
Nestled in the mountains of Galala on the Red Sea coast, IL Monte Galala is Tatweer Misr’s first project, whose design was inspired by the blend of architectural sophistication and natural beauty found in the mountains of Portofino, Italy. Named ‘Best Project’ at the Cityscape Global Awards in 2016, IL Monte Galala’s 2.2 million square meters will offer residents and visitors a unique lifestyle proposition, boasting luxury housing, hotels, serviced apartments, retail and leisure, office spaces, and the world’s first man-made Crystal Lagoon on a mountain, which will include three kilometres of white sandy beaches.
“In terms of location and natural beauty and also proximity to Cairo, IL Monte Galala is the perfect location,” says Dr. Shalaby. “Unfortunately, it is also a location where there are many houses and beautiful vistas but very little life. And here lies our vision to change this through the different activities and lifestyle factors that we will add to this amazing place.”
Tatweer Misr’s second project, Fouka Bay on the North Coast, consists of double-decked twin houses and townhouses, standalone chalets, spacious cabins and bungalows – all of which are located facing the white sandy beachfront along the stunning Ras El Hekma coastline – and like its sister resort, includes a huge Crystal Lagoon making every home in the resort a waterfront home.
At both IL Monte Galala and Fouka Bay, Tatweer Misr has partnered with Kerten Hospitality to build a total of seven boutique hotels operated by the Cloud7 and House brands, which will also offer serviced apartments, villas and cabanas. The House Hotel Fouka will be the first of the seven to be launched in 2020.
“Between hotels and serviced apartments, we will add about 2,400 keys both in Fouka and IL Monte Galala,” Dr. Shalaby explains. “We believe in this diversification, we believe that we should diversify our portfolio to have typical residences, serviced apartments and hotel rooms, and I think there’s a huge opportunity for that in Egypt.”