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Emaar, Egypt end talks for project in new administrative capital

Discussions between real estate developer Emaar Properties PJSC and Egyptian officials to develop a 1,500-acre plot in the country's new administrative capital have "stopped" over disagreements on price, Bloomberg News reported, citing a project official.

Dubai-based Emaar wanted to acquire the site at a price below the price range of 3,500 Egyptian pounds to 4,000 pounds per square meter typically sought for housing developments in the project, the news outlet reported, citing Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, who heads the company created to supervise the project's construction.

The Egyptian government is aiming to convert a 700-square-kilometer plot of desert land into a multibillion-dollar administrative capital and business hub.

Initially, Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar was tapped to lead the project development, but eventually a partnership between the Egyptian military and housing ministry was established to oversee the construction.

A spokesman for Emaar's Egyptian unit was cited in the Dec. 30 report as saying the "interest in the new administrative capital and other land offered by the government is ongoing."

Earlier in December, the Egyptian government also ended talks with China Fortune Land Development Co. Ltd. for a US$20 billion development of the new administrative capital over disagreements on profit sharing.

Bloomberg could not get a comment from Emaar's regional CEO, Mohamed El Dahan, on the matter.

As of Dec. 28, US$1 was equivalent to 17.89 Egyptian pounds.