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Al Futtaim launches two new phases of Cairo Festival City at Next Move
Published in Daily News Egypt on 02 - 05 - 2010

CAIRO: With the opening of Next Move last week, Al Futtaim introduced two new phases of Cairo Festival City: Festival Living and the Business District.
Stretching over 3 million square meters in New Cairo, Cairo Festival City is a mixed use development offering a healthy combination of residential, retail and business real estate.
Festival Living is planned as a gated community occupying 130,000 square meters of land in the Festival City. It will consist of several apartment buildings with 4 to 7 floors and 500 apartments. Only 180 of these apartments will be built in the first phase. The new apartments will vary in size between 120 and 300 square meters.
According to Amad Touni, Development Director of the Residential/Commercial Division at Al Futtaim Egypt, the global financial crisis did not affect them severely. The company offered only two products in 2009 which attained relative success.
“[After the crisis] we started moving to a better situation in the first quarter of 2010. A positive development from the crisis is that most developers are moving into projects other than the luxurious products,” says Touni.
He explains that some of the residential properties Al Futtaim is planning have been resized to smaller proportions to make them more affordable to Egyptian customers. It will be Al Futtaim's long-term strategy to offer such smaller-sized properties.
In Touni's opinion, this is a general trend in Egypt. “Some of the developers are going into low-cost housing and this is supported by our government. Some of the developers are going into luxury products. But most of them are going into an intermediate project that can sell to a [larger bracket] of the Egyptian population,” he says.
Covering an area of 100,000 square meters, the Business District will consist of three large administrative buildings overlooking the central Boulevard 90 in New Cairo. An underground garage and a business hotel will complement the buildings. The project's completion date is set to be in 2012.
One of the main components of Cairo Festival City will be the retail mall which has already started construction. With an area of 400,000 square meters, Al Futtaim says it will be the biggest mall in Egypt. Half of the mall is already leased out to local and international retailers.
To tap into the growing automotive retail industry, the company is including four automotive show rooms in Cairo Festival City. Two showrooms for Honda and Toyota have been in operation since 2008.
Additionally, the Festival City is hosting one of Cairo's prestigious international schools: the American International School. Located in the eastern part of the community, it has been in operation since 2005.
Oriana, a high end residential area, will be launched this June. It offers large luxurious villas between 771 and 1,300 square meters. Prices vary between LE 8,000 and LE 9,000 per square meter. Customers have the option either to finance a new property through a mortgage or through Al Futtaim's credit scheme with a down payment of 25 percent and a three-year installment period.
Cairo Festival City was preceded by Al Futtaim's Dubai namesake development. The Dubai Festival City spans over 5 million square meters and has been developed over the last five years.
Touni expects that the housing boom in Greater Cairo will continue. “[Greater Cairo] is the main place to construct because the infrastructure that the government is providing into these new settlements. So a developer cannot go into a location without infrastructure. So as long as the government is building infrastructure, the developers are moving in,” he explains.
According to Touni, Al Futtaim is planning to move beyond the Cairo suburbs into the rest of country as well as into the rest of the Arab region, although he could not specify which areas and countries are being considered.

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