Cairo – Open for Global Real Estate Business

Published December 22nd, 2009 - 10:37 GMT

Buoyed by a growing local economy and its strategic location as a gateway to Africa and the Middle East market, Cairo is becoming a pre-eminent regional real estate market for local, regional and international investors and occupiers, with a renewed focus on diversification and affordable housing over the next five years.

These findings by Jones Lang LaSalle, the leading global real estate investment and advisory firm, were released today in a strategic report, “Cairo: Open for Global Business”, during a key note presentation at the 4th Annual Cairo Investment Forum at the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel.

Highlights of “Cairo – Open for Global Business” include:

• Growth in the residential sector with an important shift towards affordable housing, as Cairo is a demand-driven market where affordable housing is in short supply;

• the fragmented office market provides significant opportunities for purpose - built international quality office buildings with demand from international occupiers;

• the hospitality and tourism sectors driven by new investment is expected to record an important increase in both international and regional tourists;

• Cairo remains a market with more demand than supply for new, high quality retail development and is significantly under-served as compared with competing markets for modern, professionally managed retail offerings.

“Cairo is becoming an international real estate market and is emerging on the radar screen of an increasing number of regional and global developers, investors and occupiers.” said Thierry Loué, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle MENA. “The key markets in Cairo are driven by ‘end user’ demand rather than speculative development. As the Cairo market is largely cash driven, it has experienced much lower levels of debt that in many other cities in the region. It is therefore more stable with greater prospects for sustained growth than many of its peer cities.”

Responding to the increased interest in Cairo, Jones Lang LaSalle has announced that it is opening a full service real estate investment advisory operation in the city during Q1 2010. “More than any other regional city, Cairo is characterized by a combination of mature and emerging market conditions,” said Loué, who has previously lived in Cairo for more than 10 years. “The city is growing rapidly from its constrained historic core to a range of new self-sustaining cities on the urban periphery. Cairo is a global city with a tremendous future - that is why we are opening our office here in early 2010.”

“Over the past five years we have conducted a number of strategic real estate assignments in Egypt for many of the leading local and regional organizations that are directly responsible for the transformation of greater Cairo in the past decade. In recent years, working with our global occupier clients, those Fortune 500 companies active in Cairo, we have gained a unique insight into the importance global organizations place in having a strong presence in Cairo to service their regional markets, especially those in the emerging African continent” said  Loué.

Along with Dubai, Cairo features as the MENA region’s favourite destination for major global corporates. The large number of Fortune 500 companies present in the city serves as a key indicator of both the recent liberalization of the economy and the potential of the increasingly affluent local population.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s “Cairo City Profile” is a strategic assessment of the city’s mid and long term prospects in key real estate asset classes. The organisation, recently voted the most ethical real estate organization in the world by the Ethisphere Institute, is also widely recognized for its leading market research and strategic advisory and transactional services throughout the MENA region.

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