Egypt’s government-owned Upper Egypt-Red Sea for Investment and Development (Userid) is planning to build a new residential development on the outskirts of Sohaj in Upper-Egypt.

The new town will cover a total area of 18 million square metres. The project is intended to address the housing shortage in the area by providing 30,000 residential units for 140,000 people.

The urban development will contain villas, apartment buildings, hospitals, medical facilities and shopping malls.

Local consultants Egyptian Consulting Group (ECG) and Eco-Plan International have been appointed to masterplan the project. The two firms were awarded the contract at the beginning of October and have 4-6 months to complete the designs. After the masterplan has been completed, companies will be invited to bid for the main consulting and construction contracts.

Egypt contract awards, 2010
Percentage of $1,746m
Construction 800 45.8 46
Infrastructure 116 6.64 6
Industrial 130 7.44 7
Metal  400 22.9 23
Oil and gas 300 17.8 18
Total 1,746    
Source: MEED Projects

The investment company is also planning to upgrade the Upper-Egypt Red Sea Road.

Userid is planning to convert the single-carriageway Upper-Egypt Red Sea Road into a dual-lane highway. The current road was inaugurated in February this year, and links the towns of Assiut, Sohaj, Ouena and Safaga.

The investment fund is planning to raise £E1.4bn ($244m) for the cost of expanding the 412-kilometre road. The group hopes to finance the project by selling off land around the road.

 “We are looking at different methods of financing, but nothing has been established yet,” says Mohamed Hosny, chairman and chief executive officer of Userid.

Userid hopes to have completed the road works by 2014.

Userid was formed in 2008 and began operations in 2009. The investment company was set up to construct and operate the Upper-Egypt Red Sea Road and to allocate and sell plots of land through direct investment schemes or in joint ventures with interested parties.

The investment vehicle also plans to build several concentrated solar projects in the Upper-Egypt area.