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Egypt to Build EGP80 Billion Airport City

Expected to create around 120,000 new jobs, the latest incarnation of an 'airport city' project is the biggest yet.

Egypt is dealing with some tough economical times, but you wouldn't be able to guess when each week brings about another massive project. No, we aren't talking about the new Suez Canal, but rather the governments new plans to build an airport city around Cairo's International Airport.

The aero-metropolis is estimated to cost around EGP80 billion, according to Mahmoud Essmat, Chief Executive Officer of the Holding Company for Airports and Aviation. Mahmoud Essmat held a press conference on Saturday, and announced that a feasibility study for the project has been completed with the aim for completion being 2020.

The plan proposes that the airport city will include tourist attractions, trade, entertainment, medical and educational areas built on supposedly environmentally-friendly infrastructure that will span an area of 10 million square metres. The massive project is expected to generate revenues of EGP422 billion by 2040, and is expected to create 30,000 jobs directly and 90,000 jobs indirectly.

This isn't the first time that Egypt announced plans to build an airport city. Before Morsi's ouster there were talks of building an airport city but the projected figures fluctuated from 14 billion to 70 billion EGP. It isn't clear exactly how this gigantic undertaking will be paid for, but Essmat expressed hopes that the project would attract investments from Egyptian and Arab investors.

This project is arguably good for Egypt and has been discussed for quite a while. However, with equally ambitious plans to build a new waterway alongside the Suez canal, as well as Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab plan to develop tourism on the North coast, there is really only so much a cash strapped country can build.