New Cairo. The Egyptians want to “move” the metropolis

Egypt is a well-known country for most Czechs, which does not need much introduction. We admire its incredible sandy beaches, turquoise-colored water, and colorful underwater life. We respect the extraordinary history of the country – whether it is the ancient pyramids or Luxor.

But at the same time, we all have little idea and don‘t see that there is also a second Egypt. The one that hides from the eyes of tourists from foreign countries on optional trips. Crazy and messy. Dirty and displeasing. But with enormous potential that is far from being exploited. The symbol of this second Egypt is the 16 million megalopolis of Cairo, which is constantly suffocated by smog, traffic jams, and poverty. That’s why the Egyptians recently decided to build a new one in Cairo. New Cairo is set to become a new metropolis. Clean, airy, and thoroughly covered with modern technologies.

It is to be in the desert east of Cairo and is the flagship of President Abdal Fattas al-Sisi. New Cairo is designed to work with intelligent technologies and away from the clutter and chaos of Cairo. It will boast universities, leisure facilities, and a diplomatic district. Today, intensive work is being done on the first of the three planned phases. However, even here he spoke about the coronavirus and the effect on the project, which slowed down the progress of work. The first officials were supposed to move in July this year, but now the Egyptians are counting on the autumn of this year. But it will take decades to complete.


The city is a high-tech model of Egypt’s future

The control centers will monitor infrastructure and security electronically, the roofs will be covered with solar panels, payments will be cashless and 15 square meters of green space will be allocated per inhabitant. The finished city is expected to house at least 6 million people, with the second and third phases of which are mainly residential housing.

It is very likely that Czech companies that are heading there as part of technological assistance under the auspices of the Czech Development Agency and will also participate in the development of New Cairo.  The Holešov Company ELKO EP will be in charge of the program entitled Development of Smart Home and Intelligent Buildings in Egypt, which pays the way for the leading European developers and manufacturers of intelligent and automation solutions.

“We have been very active in Arab countries for a long time. We have branches in Saudi Arabia, in the United Arab Emirates, in Kuwait. We have specific references everywhere, which is why there is a lot at stake here. But New Cairo is still a completely unique challenge. It is reminiscent of the situation in Kazakhstan that they decided to replace the capital Almaty with Astana and built a brand new city complex. Here, everything is even more thoughtful; moreover, the two localities are not hundreds of kilometers apart, but only less than fifty. Intelligent technologies will rule everything, and it is a great challenge for us to be there, “says Jiří Konečný, owner and founder of ELKO EP.

“A first phase, New Capital Cairo, to be opened in October 2021 for government employees and officials, will be a showcase not only for Egypt but for the whole of Africa. Of course, this also brings with it technological conveniences, such as the “monorail” connecting New Cairo Capital with New Cairo and the original Cairo. This infrastructure also includes thousands of outdoor lights, which, in addition to the obvious LED sources, are also to be controlled with the possibility of dimming during the night. This is also the subject of cooperation with ELKO EP, with each light being controlled using IoT networks (LORA and NB-IoT). I visited the largest column manufacturer (ASF), which participates in the supply of lighting to the New Cairo Capital, and we dealt with the mutual “consolidation” of their version of “Smart Column” with the technologies we use in ours, “adds Jiří Konečný, who in early April went to Egypt in person.

If the coronavirus doesn’t go crazy anymore, we’ll see really magnificent things. For example, The Iconic Tower – the largest skyscraper in Africa – is nearing completion in New Cairo, but it will hand over its scepter to another New Cairo landmark in the near future. The Oblisco Capitale, to be inaugurated in 2030, was designed by the Egyptian architectural design company IDIA in the form of a pharaoh’s obelisk and will be the tallest building in the world when completed. But Egyptians and visitors will also find the giant Capital Park on the banks of the Nile, which is twice the size of New York’s famous Central Park. The Department of Defence cast its eyes on the Pentagon – and is preparing to build an Octagon that will be an order of magnitude larger than its American counterpart.

Either way, Cairo has many wild years ahead.