ISLAMABAD, Jan 20 (APP):After launch of US $ two billion housing project in Islamabad, an Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has now shown interest to build 100,000 housing units in the country to help accomplish Prime Minister’s dream, Naya Pakistan Housing project of five million houses.
“Naguib Sawiris has expressed his will to invest in 100,000 units of affordable housing to help prime minister (Imran Khan) in his vision toward Pakistan,” Tarek Hamdy, Chief Executive officer of Elite Estates — a partnership between Ora Developer and Saif Holding — told Arab News in an interview.
Owned by Sawiris, Ora Developers is already engaged in the construction of a multibillion-dollar housing scheme named ‘Eighteen’ which was launched in 2017 in Islamabad with local partners, Saif Group and Kohistan Builders. Sawiris’ first investment in Pakistan was in Mobilink, a cellular operator.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in October 2018 had launched Naya Pakistan Housing Project in line with his party’s election manifesto.
“This (Naya Pakistan Housing) scheme is very ambitious yet very promising for the people of Pakistan. I think all the developers should help in this scheme. You cannot solely rely on the government
to build five million houses,” Hamdy said.
Recently, the governor State Bank of Pakistan had said that the massive housing project would require financing of up to Rs 17 trillion.
Hamdy believes that the promise of building five million affordable housing units cannot be realized in a short span of time. “I think the plan is right but it has to be in stages, has to be in steps. It could be achievable obviously that is not the project (to be achieved) in one or two years… may take few good years, may be couple of decades to be achieved,” he said.
In the Islamabad project the Ora Developers own a 60 percent stake in the project comprising a five-star hotel, 1,068 housing units, 921 residential apartments, business parks, hospitals, schools and
other educational facilities and 13 office buildings, and a golf course. The networth of the project is US $
two billion. Hamdy says he was confident of delivering the promise by 2021.
The next cities on the radar for real estate projects are Lahore, Karachi, and Faisalabad. “We intend to
do more, we intend to invest more. I think that our portfolio of real estate could come to US $10 billion worth
of investments in the next five to 10 years including all the projects that we intent to do,” Hamdy said.
Pakistan faces a shortage of nearly 12 million housing units that may require a massive investment of
around US $ 180 billion, according to the former Chairman of the Association of Builders and Developers,
Arif Yousuf Jeewa.
Pakistan expects to attract more than US $ 40 billion foreign direct investment in the next five years
in oil refining, petrochemical, mining, renewable energy, and real estate sectors.
“We estimate that roughly around US $ 40 billion investment will be made by three countries (Saudi
Arabia, the UAE, and China) during the next three to five years,” Pakistan Board of Investment
(BOI) chief, Haroon Sharif had told Arab News earlier, adding, “the investment would start materializing
within the next two years”.