Egypt’s president inaugurated a new Suez Canal development project from the city of Ismailya, east of Cairo. Fourteen international groups submitted their tenders for the planning of the mega project. After six months of bid evaluations, the winning consortium was announced on Tuesday.
The project is led by Dar el Handasa Engineering in alliance with the Egyptian military. Yasser Hakim takes a look at the project and its importance to the wider Egyptian economy.
President al Sisi calls it the Dream Project. An ambitious plan to dig a 37 kilometer (about 23 mile) waterway across the Suez Canal. He placed a one year target to complete digging, rather than the original three years deadline.
The second phase will see the operation of marine service companies for ships crossing the canal. Three new sea ports, two airports, and several industrial zones will be established. And five fully-developed cities will be constructed to accommodate the workers who will move into the Suez Canal. Another five tourist towns will be put in place to make use of the sunny weather all year round and the beautiful beaches of the Red Sea. Many were skeptical as a project like this will be too expensive for an ailing Egyptian economy. The first phase, the digging, will cost about $10 billion. It will be totally funded by Egyptians.
The government estimates the project will employ over two million people over five years. What the Egyptian presidents’ hopes is that the people respond to his call and buy into his new dream. CCTV America’s Yasser Hakim reports from Cairo.