The local Arab Contractors has been awarded a $120m contract to build a mixed-use residential scheme in Cairo.

The scope of the work includes the construction of a number of residential buildings on a 9 million square metre plot in the New Cairo area. Arab Contractors will also build eight roads as part of the project, totaling 47 kilometres.

Egypt’s Engineering Consultants Group is also working on the project.

The project is being developed by the local Azmeel Group for real estate under an agreement with the housing ministry’s New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) which waivered the land cost in mid-2016.

The scheme is part of the government’s efforts to encourage private sector participation in the development of much needed housing across the country.

In 2016, the government said it was ready to start developing affordable housing schemes under the public private partnership (PPP) model. Since the announcement no housing projects have been added to the PPP Central Unit’s portfolio.

The expectation is Cairo’s partnership with the private sector for housing schemes will come in the form of waivered and discounted land costs.

At the end of 2016 MEED reported that Egypt’s Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development has increased the budget of NUCA. It is understood that the budget for the current financial year has been increased to approximately $2.7bn for urban developments, which the Ismaliya project falls under.

The housing ministry has previously told MEED that it completed 300,000 units in 2016.