Under the financing agreement with the ministry, JBIC will provide a yen-denominated soft loan of $300 million. It will fund the landmark project under its official development assistance (ODA) programme because, as a tourism scheme, it is considered to be a major contributor to the economy.

JBIC’s portion will go towards financing the PMC and the construction package. The government is contributing about $100 million dedicated to the schematic and detailed designs. A fundraising programme will raise the remaining amount required.

The design team, led by Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects and including representatives of UK engineering firms Arup and Buro Happold, has completed the schematic designs for the project. Detailed designs are ongoing and are due to be completed in early 2007. The PMC tender will also be retendered within weeks among the same five bidders originally shortlisted. They were Hill International, Fluor Corporation and Turner Construction International, all of the US, Australia’s Bovis Lend Lease and the UK’s Mace International. Work on the main construction package will start in 2008.

With a total built-up area of 38,000 square metres, the planned exhibition building in Giza will have as its centrepiece the King Tutankhamun collection.