Amid Egypt’s fast changing political landscape, one constant in recent years has been the drive to build a much-discussed new capital city. Citing Brazil, India and Kazakhstan as successful previous examples, the Egyptian government sees the move as tackling both an endemic issue of overcrowding as well as providing a necessary stimulus to the national economy (The Capital, 2015).

In typical Egyptian fashion, however, the project has been characterised by uncertainty and a lack of investor confidence. Foreign real estate companies, developers, and construction conglomerates have all pulled out of the project following protracted negotiations with Egypt’s power players in charge of implementing the deal. Although an attractive investment opportunity, the risks to doing business in Egypt may be driving investors away, just when the country needs it the most.

Courting the Regional Elite
Less than a year into his election victory, Sisi forged an early reputation as the “mega project President”. The Suez Canal expansion is perhaps the most high-profile post-2014 plan, increasing Egypt’s capacity to facilitate international maritime trade; a move aimed at capitalising on the country’s position at the intersection of a global supply route between East and West. The Suez project almost certainly filters into the government’s wider drive to stimulate Egypt’s economy through massive infrastructure initiatives, a Keynesian-inspired move akin to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal stimulus package for America during the 1930s.