Arabtec Holding, Middle East's biggest construction company by market capitalization, said here on Sunday it is about to seal a final agreement with Egyptian regulators to start building one million houses in the most populous Arab country.
In a filing to the local Dubai exchange DFM, on which Arabtec shares are listed, the Dubai-based construction firm said it would do "maximum possible efforts" to get nod from Egypt's concerned regulatory bodies, particularly the Housing Ministry, so that it can start the construction of the first phase of the project before the end of 2014.
Arabtec announced in March that it agreed with the Egyptian army to build one million houses in a project worth 280 billion Egyptian pounds (40 billion U.S. dollars) in 13 sites across the country.
The delayed implementation of the project, which was scheduled for the third quarter of this year, sparked rumors in the media there would be significant delays in realizing the plan or even cancellation by Arabtec. However, Arabtec denied these reports.
Arabtec said phase one would consist of 120,000 housing units in the three cities of Obour, Badr and New Minia
Egypt's economy has been struggling since mass protests toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 when millions of Egyptians took to the streets to demand social justice and better living standards.