The New Administrative Capital (NAC) of Egypt is an ambitious urban development project initiated under President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi. The project, located approximately 45 kilometers east of Cairo, is designed to relieve the congestion of the current capital. With a planned area of 700 square kilometers, the city is projected to house up to 6.5 million residents once completed, with an estimate that this figure could rise to seven million.
Construction of the city commenced in 2015, focusing initially on the vital infrastructure, including bridges and a comprehensive road network. The city, announced by the then Egyptian housing minister Mostafa Madbouly, is part of the larger initiative called Egypt Vision 2030. The estimated total cost of the project is about $45 billion, with construction expected to take seven years. Substantial foreign investments, particularly from China, have been secured, with two Chinese state-owned companies announcing a total investment of $35 billion in October 2016.
The NAC is set to house the main government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies. It is also expected to feature a new Presidential Palace and a new parliament building, marking its administrative significance. Additionally, the city plans to host several new universities, thereby becoming a major hub for higher education. Some international institutions, such as the University of Canada in Egypt, have already inaugurated their campuses in the NAC.
The city is also aiming to become a significant hub for medical tourism, with numerous hospitals and specialized medical institutions in the planning stages. It will also feature vast green areas, parks, and recreational spaces, promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle to its residents.
In terms of impressive structures, the city is housing the Iconic Tower, which, once completed, will be the tallest building in Africa at 400 meters. The NAC also plans to construct the Oblisco Capitale, a planned skyscraper intended to reach a striking height of 1000 meters, which, if completed, would surpass the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and become the world's tallest building.
The Central Business District (CBD), constructed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), is a remarkable example of sustainable development and friendly cooperation between China and Egypt. Covering an area of about 505,000 square meters, the CBD houses several commercial and residential buildings. The district places significant emphasis on environmental and security concerns, integrating smart technologies and utilizing eco-friendly energy sources, like solar power.
The city is also set to feature a comprehensive cultural and arts hub, boasting a plethora of venues such as theatres, cinemas, and galleries. This cultural district is said to include a large opera house that will seat 2,000 people and a larger version of Cairo's Tahrir Square, signaling the NAC's commitment to promoting cultural life and artistic expression.
By June 2023, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the relocation of all ministries to the NAC by the end of that month, with operations beginning from their new headquarters starting in July. Strategically located between Cairo and the Red Sea coast, the NAC aims to reduce congestion in Cairo by creating a sustainable, smart city that can accommodate Egypt's growing population. Most of the funding comes from foreign aid, with China investing heavily in the city's development.
In less than five years, the CBD project has made significant strides, transforming a desert region into a vibrant city. In addition to focusing on green development and environmental protection, the CSCEC has provided practical training for students and professors from over ten Egyptian universities, offered job opportunities for people with special needs, and worked to strengthen cultural exchanges between Egypt and China.
The NAC is being built as a smart city with over 6,000 cameras monitoring the streets, and AI will be used to monitor water use and waste management. Residents will be able to submit complaints through a mobile app. The Egypt Grand Mosque, built in the Mamluk style, is the largest mosque in Africa. The Nativity of Christ, a mega-cathedral, is the largest of its kind in Egypt and the Middle East, serving the city's Coptic Orthodox community.
The Green River Park is planned to extend along the entire city, mimicking the Nile river. It is expected to be double the size of New York's Central Park. The Octagon will be Egypt's new Ministry of Defense headquarters, considered the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The Capital International Airport is being built to relieve pressure on Cairo International Airport and Sphinx International Airport.
The New Administrative Capital Stadium, under construction since 2019, will be the largest stadium in Egypt and the second largest in Africa. It is expected to replace the Cairo International Stadium as the new national stadium and will be part of a larger Olympic sports complex.
The NAC boasts a monumental flagpole, standing at 165 meters, among the world's tallest. Positioned in the city's governmental district, it prominently displays the Egyptian flag. This flagpole serves as a potent symbol of national pride, and like the NAC itself, embodies Egypt's aspirations for progress and global recognition.
The information presented in this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the developments in the NAC up until the date of the last press release provided, i.e., June 2023.