UAE-based Arabtec Holding says that progress is being made on its $40bn Egyptian home-building programme.

In a statement given to the Dubai Financial Market on 25 September, Arabtec said: “…the company will commence the project immediately after the finalisation of the planning and design stages which have been nearly completed after achieving significant progress in this regard.”

The $40bn affordable housing project involves building one million new homes. It was announced early this year as a partnership between Arabtec and the Egyptian Armed Forces, and is the biggest of its kind in the region. There has been speculation that the project has been delayed as the Egyptian government finalises the land ownership rights.

Arabtec says that talks with the government are ongoing and they expect a positive outcome. “…the company has made positive progress and results in its discussion with the concerned authorities in Egypt in order to commence the project as soon as possible, which will reflect positively on the company and its shareholders.”

When the scheme was launched in April, Arabtec said it expects to start construction work in the third quarter of 2014. In June, Arabtec issued a notice inviting Egyptian and UAE companies looking to work on the scheme to pre-register with the company. Arabtec subsidiary Arabtec Egypt for Property Development is managing the project.

In May, Arabtec said it was interested in building a new airport at 6th of October City, and confirmed that it had the necessary support from the Egyptian leadership.