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Building a New Capital City in the Sahara Desert

by Allen
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The Ambitious Project Taking Shape in Egypt

Something incredible is rising out of what used to be the middle of nowhere in the Sahara Desert – 28 miles or 45 km east of Egypt’s current capital city, Cairo. The Egyptian government is busy building a massive and exorbitantly expensive brand new capital city from scratch. An official new name for this new capital city has not yet been chosen and so it has only been referred to by its placeholder name, the New Administrative Capital.

The Vision for the New Capital

Once completed, the Egyptian government plans to fully relocate all of its offices and personnel from the old capital in Cairo to the new capital. They also hope to encourage every foreign country with an embassy in Egypt to relocate their own staff to the new capital. The government’s vision is for the new capital to one day be home to 62 million residents, making it the largest new settlement founded anywhere in the world in the 21st century. However, construction has fallen behind schedule and has gone significantly over budget.

The Grandeur and Scale of the New Capital

The new capital is a massive and glittery city rising out of the empty desert. Phase one of the project includes the development of multiple districts within the city, each serving a different purpose. The government district, which will become the new headquarters for 34 of Egypt’s government ministries, is approximately 80% larger than the National Mall in Washington DC. The district also features the world’s tallest flagpole, standing at 680 feet high.

Another district is dedicated solely to housing the new presidential palace complex, which will become the new residence of Egypt’s president. The palace itself is enormous, roughly 10 times larger than the White House in Washington DC. Nearby, the Egyptian Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in Egypt and the African continent, stands as a symbol of the country’s religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Other districts within the new capital include the Central Business District, which features the tallest building in Africa, and the Olympic City complex, built to host major worldwide sporting events. The new capital also boasts the largest district and building, the headquarters for the Egyptian Ministry of Defense, known as the Octagon. This massive complex covers an area larger than the independent nation of San Marino and provides nearly eight times as much floor space as the Pentagon.

The Purpose of the New Capital

While the official reason for building the new capital is to relieve congestion and reduce overpopulation in Cairo, the true motivation may lie elsewhere. The new capital serves as a way to separate the government from the people in case of potential revolutions or coups. It also allows the government to enrich themselves and their supporters through the construction projects.

The Economic Crisis and Controversy

Despite the grand plans and ambitious construction projects, the new capital has faced numerous challenges. Construction has fallen behind schedule, and the cost has exceeded the initial budget by billions of dollars. Egypt’s financial situation has deteriorated, with the country facing its worst economic crisis in decades. The government is heavily in debt, and the currency has lost significant value.

The construction of the new capital has raised concerns among many that it is contributing to the bankruptcy of the entire country. Critics argue that the extravagant project is being funded through loans and public resources, further enriching the government and military at the expense of the Egyptian people.

The Geopolitical Importance of Egypt

Egypt’s stability and geopolitical significance have made it too big to fail in the eyes of its outside supporters. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have a vested interest in maintaining a stable government in Egypt. The Suez Canal, controlled by Egypt, is a vital trade route for the Gulf Arab states and European countries. Egypt’s stability also helps prevent further chaos and instability in the region.

Despite the economic challenges and controversies surrounding the new capital, Egypt’s outside backers continue to provide financial support to keep the country afloat. Investments from the UAE and aid packages from the European Union and the United States demonstrate the importance of Egypt’s stability in the broader geopolitical landscape.

The Future of the New Capital

While the future of Egypt’s new capital remains uncertain, the construction projects continue to move forward. The completion of the new capital will mark a significant milestone in Egypt’s history. Whether it will fulfill its intended purpose of relieving congestion and reducing overpopulation in Cairo remains to be seen. In the meantime, the grandeur and scale of the new capital serve as a symbol of Egypt’s ambitions and the challenges it faces in achieving them.

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