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Egypt military opens 'New Cairo' luxury hotel, as old Cairo sinks in poverty

Egypt's military unveiled a new hotel on Friday as part of President Sisi's plans to build a new administrative capital for $45bn
The new hotel is the first to be built in the new 'capital', which has been partly designed to attract new foreign investment (screengrab)

A swanky new hotel built by Egypt’s Armed Forces Engineering Authority was unveiled on Friday, coinciding with the 44th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, sparking criticism on social media.

The al-Massa Capital Hotel is the first to be built in Egypt’s new administrative capital.

Egypt's plan to construct a new metropolis 45km east of Cairo was announced in March 2015 at a Sharm al-Sheikh summit held to lure back foreign investors who fled after the 2011 revolution.

The new capital aims to ease congestion and overpopulation in Cairo.

Whilst the hotel includes a resort, an elaborate conference hall and lake, many Egyptians are still struggling to afford food and basic necessities.

Social media users were quick to point out the discrepancies.  

Egypt's inflation rose to a three-decade high in April, with food prices rising by 43.6 percent year on year.

"Everything is so expensive. We can't afford to eat. I don't know what to buy," Baheega Mostafa, a housewife shopping for food, told Reuters in May.

"I voted for Sisi. Unfortunately. I regret it very much." 

The new "capital" will cost $45bn, Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly told the BBC. "We are talking about a world capital," he added.

Built to help alleviate Cairo's overcrowding and pollution, the new administrative capital was initially expected to cost $300bn and feature an airport larger than London's Heathrow and a building taller than Paris's Eiffel Tower. 

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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