Under the MoU, signed at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, Emaar Misr plans to develop an area known as Alexandria’s eastern harbour, which has been allocated to the Alexandria library by the government. The real estate development will include the construction of a five-star hotel and related facilities. The developer will implement the project under a 60-year lease agreement.

Negotiations to expand the scheme to include surrounding land still owned by the government and the private sector are ongoing. The overall scheme is envisaged to include the construction of a convention centre, retail space, serviced apartments, exhibition space and offices, with the library at the heart of the development.

Architects will submit initial designs for the scheme in early June, which will be followed by the preparation of a shortlist of three firms. A decision on the final design is planned to be made by the end of August, says an Emaar official. Architects from the UK, the US, Norway and Switzerland are among those preparing to bid for the project.

The Alexandria library project will be Emaar’s fifth in Egypt. It is pressing ahead with plans to carry out an estimated $5,000 million mixed-use real-estate scheme known as Cairo Heights and a 280-acre community development in the Smart Village (MEED 4:11:05).