Featured image via Forbes.com
While the Cairo Tower may have been the tallest building in Cairo for some time, it’s definitely not in the top list when it comes to buildings worldwide. And as Dubai seeks to remain the host of the tallest building in the MENA region, and the world for that matter, with Burj Khalifa piercing 828 metres in the sky, Egypt is seeking to have a modern monument of its own, with plans of building the tallest building in the whole of Africa.
Forbes reports that Egypt has set plans to construct Africa’s tallest building, starting with a triangular base and twisting up to form a rectangular skyscraper high up in the sky. So where will it go? The Nile Tower, as it’s set to be called, will be located somewhere in central Cairo along the banks of the Nile, aiming to retain the stature of downtown Cairo. The 70-storey building was designed by ingenious architect, the late Zaha Hadid back in 2007.
Living in Interiors is the company in charge of the project, and while the building is set to cost around $600 million, Diaa Tantawy, Design Manager of the company, expects it to be $150 million more or so. While building factors are variable and the cost is ever changing, Tantawy states that the deciding factor here is the exchange rates. Economic reforms are not easy, and the one Egypt is withstanding at the moment, mean that the purchasing power of the Egyptian Pound is not set in stone.
Being first designed in 2007, it was actually Hosni Mubarak who instigated this project. After the plan started to gain speed, it was time for the 2011 revolution, ousting Mubarak from office, and starting a period where there was no room for such a project. After the many real estate projects in development in Egypt, it seems to be reassured how much of an interest the current office has in real estate, and under Al-Sisi’s reign, interest in this project has been reignited.
Tantawy also states that this project has a branding purpose as well, sending a message to the world that “we are now strong, the leader of Africa and the Middle East, you can invest with us.” So what kind of investment is to be expected? Well, the few first floors are available for miscellaneous amenities, facilities such as a night club, health club, shopping area, spa, or a casino. Moving up a bit, the middle 18 stories will become a hotel, housing around 230 rooms, while the top 36 floors are residential apartments, very expensive ones for that matter.
The Nile Tower will overlook the Nile as well as the pyramids, but it will also afford views of a new and more modern Cairo. Investment is a main aim of this project, but it’s mainly directed towards reigniting interest in downtown Cairo, after being overshadowed by bigger projects in the West and East with Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo respectively.
In an effort to improve the low-income housing areas of Central Cairo, there will be major demolishing projects to leave room for the Nile Tower. Maspero Triangle is set to the most changes to make place for the development. Tantawy believes this is necessary, and that plans for improving such areas as is will be highly difficult. The Egyptian government has already made similar actions, offering original residents compensation plans.
Perhaps in a few years we will be seeing a completely new face of Central Cairo. But for now, let us know what you are expecting from this whole development.