Emaar Misr signs MoU with Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina for waterfront redevelopment project
Emaar Misr for Development S.A.E., a subsidiary of the UAE-based Emaar Properties and Artoc Group for Investment and Development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Alexandrina Bibliotheca (Alexandria Library) for a waterfront redevelopment project.
Following the success of the inauguration of the new Alexandria Library in 2002 on the eastern harbour of Alexandria – almost exactly where the ancient Library of Alexandria stood, the redevelopment project aims to provide a spectrum of facilities on ‘Kouta Land’ on the west of the library, within a general vision for the whole area around the library and the entire historic old east harbour area.
The MoU marks the fifth major foray into Egypt for Emaar with announcements last year covering the 4 million square meters Cairo Heights residential, commercial and recreation development as well as a 280 acre integrated community based in Egypt’s Smart Village featuring a convention centre and exhibition centre, hotel, serviced apartments, commercial, office space and shopping village. More projects in Egypt are on the drawing board.
At the signing ceremony held in Sharm El Sheikh, Emaar Chairman Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Emaar Misr Vice Chairman Shafik Gabr and Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina explained the vision behind the milestone project.
“It is truly an honour for Emaar to be working on this Bibliotheca Alexandrina redevelopment project. This project which is immersed in history is Egypt’s window on the world. The launch of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in 2002 offered a new center of knowledge unrealized since the times of the ancient Royal Library of Alexandria founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC,” said Mohamed Ali Alabbar.
Shafik Gabr added: “The success of the new library is what brings us here today; its success has paved the way for redevelopment of the surrounding area. The Board of Trustees has entrusted us with the project on the ‘Kouta Land’ next to the library, that will start the creation of a complete community – a district offering entertainment facilities, residential units, office spaces and much more.”
Dr. Ismail Serageldin said: “Emaar was the perfect partner for this redevelopment project. As an internationally recognized company, their history of creating master planned communities is renowned. As we roll out this exciting chapter in Egypt’s history, we look forward to bringing to life the area surrounding Bibliotheca Alexandrina and help the revitalization of Alexandria as a unique cultural centre for the world to experience.”
The project is envisaged to be part of a broader vision that will contain hotels ranging from four and five star and will include conference and exhibition facilities, retail facilities, office spaces, residential buildings, aquarium, museums and cultural buildings and underground parking.
Plans for the project are already underway with the invitation to a short list of world-class architects for the submission of the most creative design solution for the area surrounding the library.
“This project will ensure Alexandria’s stature at the forefront of intellectual and cultural cities in the world and it deserves the very best architectural design to bring it to life,” added Alabbar.
Architects from around the world will be submitting their designs of the first phase of the redevelopment project next month and the winning projects will move forward to phase two.