New Cairo, also known as New Cairo or New Cairo, will be the new administrative capital of Egypt. At the time of writing this post (January 2024), the urban development was well advanced, but the actual transfer of official state powers has not yet been consummated, as this is a gradual process that will presumably conclude with an official grand opening.
Location and purpose of New Cairo
Cairo, capital of Egypt, is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, as we tell you in this page and as you can see in many of our tours. But unfortunately, it is also one of the most saturated on the planet: with an estimated population of some 10 billion inhabitants, it has become too small, both for its institutions and its inhabitants, paradoxical as it may seem. And it has hardly any expansion possibilities.
Therefore, in 2015, the New Cairo project was presented: a city emerged from scratch, about 45 km east of Cairo, with a potential capacity for about 7 million inhabitants, which would also house the main official state institutions. And although many have called it ‘pharaonic’ and it has suffered setbacks and delays, the truth is that it is still going ahead, with some fundamental gaps:
- Grand Central Avenue, the real hub of New Cairo, where the main ministries and government buildings are located.
- Parliament and Senate, at one end of this axis, in a large landscaped area, where there will also be military parades.
- Presidential Palace, located further north
- The Octagon or Ministry of Defense, the main headquarters of Egypt’s military and intelligence, located further south
In addition to many other official buildings, private development abounds, as is logical. For example, one of the few already completed and in operation: the Hotel St. Louis Regisowned by the country’s military hotel chain and with Marriott’s participation. One of its original functions was simple: to house the military who supervised the construction of the city.
But in more recent times it has become a prestigious international venue, as evidenced by the organization of the peace summit for the conflict between Israel and Hamas, in October 2023, hosting dozens of leaders from around the world. Its architecture, by the way, is inspired by that of the White House in Washington.
New Cairo attractions for a tourist
Undoubtedly, everything listed above is of great interest and symbolism to any Egyptian. But what attractions can this new capital have for tourists? Are there or will there be monuments, museums or buildings worth seeing in person? And the answer is that it all depends on the traveler’s profile, of course. The following is a list of places of potential interest for visitors interested in modern architecture, religion or culture in general:
- Iconic Tower the tallest skyscraper in the city… and in all of Africa, at 393.8 meters.
- Religious temples: all the religious temples to be built in New Cairo are modern, of course, but many of them are inspired by temples of the past. Among the mosques, the Al-Fattah al-Aleem mosque stands out, considered the second largest in the world, with a capacity for 17,000 worshippers and an architecture based on the mosques of Cairo, with Ottoman-style minarets. In addition, there is also a large Coptic Christian cathedral, the Cathedral of the Nativity.
Obelisco Capitale: for now only in the design phase, it is inspired by the obelisks of Ancient Egypt and would reach a height of 1,000 meters, which would make it the tallest building in the world.