Ahmed Afifi

Ahmed Afifi

Ahmed Afifi

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Eskan Global Company

How do you see the real estate market in Egypt?

The Egyptian real estate market is flourishing at present and the situation is now better than it used to be as the Egyptian market has some relative advantages like the low price compared with the prices in all the neighbouring countries. The real estate prices in Egypt are very temptingly low especially after the floating of the Egyptian pound.

We have plans to launch 6 mega real estate construction projects at a cost that may reach LE 1.8 billion. We will start work on these projects after finishing the necessary procedures and getting the necessary permissions and licenses.

How has the floating of the pound made the real estate market attractive in Egypt?

Floating the pound has very much increased the attraction to invest in the Egyptian real estate sector as the decrease in the value of the local currency has practically led prices to plummet to very low levels.

Moreover, the increase in the value of the currencies of the Gulf States against the Egyptian pound has given an unprecedented opportunity of investment to the citizens of these countries and the Egyptians working there because the money they own has become double its value when changed into Egyptian pounds. This has enabled them to buy property that was until recent times higher than the reach of their money purchase power . This encouraged a lot of the Egyptians working abroad to buy property in Cairo or other cities as well as the North Coast and Hurghada.

Are there any intentions from the Gulf states to pump more investments in the real estate sector in Egypt?

Now the eyes of the Gulf area investors are set on the Egyptian real estate market. They select specific properties due to the unprecedented decrease of prices compared with the prices in the region. This has given the Gulf investors a relative advantage of possessing plenty of hard currency that becomes double its value when exchanged into Egyptian pounds. This situation has created real opportunities of investment in the Egyptian market at very low prices that are real good bargains.

Investors from the Gulf area countries appreciate the Egyptian market especially after the the recent political and security turmoil in some countries like Syria, Lybia and other countries of the region that were the main good investment market before 2011. But the situation now is in favor of the Egyptian market and raises its investment importance.

What are your expectations for the real estate market?

I expect the Egyptian real estate market will witness a real breakthrough growth in prices considered as a correction to the present very low prices compared with the other countries in the region which means that the real estate investment is capable of doubling its returns in the coming period.

The Egyptian market is currently the most active one bearing in mind the low prices related to the decrease in the value of the Egyptian currency after the floating of the pound. This is expected to continue during the comng period in a way that will lead to a real promotion in the market.

What about the Elite Exhibition 2017?

This year will witness the second round of the Elite Exhibition which was a great success in its first round last year. Although it is held in the Gulf countries like Kuwait , Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE for ten years now, the Elite Exhibition is to be held in Egypt this year under the auspicious of president Abd El-Fattah El-Sisi. More than 150 of the leading real estate development companies from Egypt and the Gulf region will participate. They will introduce unique real estate offers that meet the needs and requirements of all the Egyptain customers.

What value have the real estate exhibitions added to the Egyptian economy?

Such exhibitions help in attracting new investments to the Egyptian real estate market. It’s enough to say that 7 real estate companies have reinforced their presence after their success in the first round of the Elite Exhibition.

Now it is necessary to show that this year’s round will include companies that have primarily agreed to get into partnership with the government to set up large capital funding real estate investment projects. Agreement on the form of these partnerships has reached advanced stages with the Ministry of Investment and they represent a considerable added value to the national economy.

The regional presence of the group in the Gulf countrirs and Egypt has helped Egypt in conveying the correct information about the Egyptian real estate market situation which encouraged a lot of Gulf companies to put foot in the Egyptian market.

The exhibitions industry is capable of marketing the Egyptian real estate projects in many countries. It offers real estate and housing investments in many countries with enough guarantees for the investor presented by the official authorities concerning the credibility of the company or the value of the project itself. The Gulf states don’t allow the presentation of any project unless it is officially endorsed for credibility and seriousness. This, of course, assures and encourages the investor to get into the Egyptian market.

Despite this huge importance of the exhibition industry sector, the Egyptian government doesn’t give it the due care it should have. It represents the backbone to real estate marketing in countries like Italy. Therefore, it should get special attention from the government to make it the main source of attracting more and more annual real estate investments to the Egyptian market.

Dubai for example depnded on exhibitions for marketing and promoting its real estate investments. It achieved great success there that enabled Dubai to become the largest real estate market in the region.

We have had plans to set up exhibitions in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait but cancelled one that was to be held in Qatar in support of the Arab stand against the Qatari nefarious role in jeopardizing the Arab national security.

We also plan to hold annual exhibitions in the coming period for the Egyptian real estate in Saudi Arabia.

Our exhibition in Kuwait, for instance, which is to be held at the end of the current year has special importance there concerning the number of participants and visitors and even the government sponsorship and coverage focus from the different mass media. The Elite Exhibition in Kuwait is considered one of the most distinguished real estate fairs there. It is held in the Kuwaiti International Exhibitions center in three exhibition halls with an area of 20,000 square meters. The largest hall is 7,000 square meters and is allocated for the Egyptian real estate suite.

Our group also organizes the Egyptian Real Estate Exibition in Kuwait for the third consecutive year. It has achived great success because the Kuwaiti citizen is keen on owning a property in the Egyptian market and building up investments in Egypt. The Kuwaiti real estate companies plan to invest in the Egyptian market as it is the largest and most importanat market in the region for expansion and setting up new real estate investments.

The Egyptian Real Estate Exhibition in Kuwait witnesses high rates of participaton by the Egyptian companies. About 70 of the leading Egyptian companies took part in last year’s round. These companies made a great proprtion of marketing which encouraged them to increase the volume of participation in this year’s round and they asked for larger display areas and offered new investments with more payment facilities.,