Egypt’s ‘most hated building’ is soon to undergo a transfiguration, much to the surprise of the country’s citizens.
The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) signed a new partnership agreement on Tuesday, 9 August, with US-Emirati international consortium CairoHouse to transform the infamous Tahrir Square Complex Building, commonly known as Mugamma El-Tahrir, into a grand luxury hotel.
Comprising United States investment and development groups, Global Ventures and Oxford Capital, as well as United Arab Emirates’ Al Otaiba Investment, CairoHouse had signed a USD 200 million (EGP 3.5 billion) contract with the Sovereign Fund and the Egyptian Ministry of Planning in December 2021.
The contract followed their victory in a bid for the rights to “repurpose” the building. The bid entailed leading the development, renovation, and management of the historic complex, which had long been associated with Egypt’s bureaucracy since its establishment in 1951.
According to Global Ventures Group founder, Randall Langer, the hotel is expected to be completed within 31 months, by the end of 2024. The Lebanese-owned Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) will act as the general contractor for the project.
“We are honored to cooperate with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt to develop the Tahrir Complex as one of the distinctive landmarks in the world and one of the Egyptian architectural treasures,” Langer said as per Al-Ahram.
“We are also proud of our contract with this distinguished group of companies that will ensure the success of development operations for this iconic building.”
The project is expected to contain more than 450 luxury hotel rooms and apartments, various restaurants and venues for meetings and events. A “pyramidal shape” will be built at the front of the complex, to act as a symbol of the preservation of Cairo’s visual identity, showcasing the heritage of the past and contemporary innovation.
Tahrir, located at the heart of Cairo, is already home to a few distinguished hotels, namely the Nile-Ritz Carlton and St. Regis, casting a shed of doubt on whether an additional hotel would be a warranted investment.
In 2020, an article by MadaMasr, an independent Egyptian newspaper, hypothetically re-imagined the building —renowned for housing tedious bureaucratic administration— as a multi-layered space providing affordable housing, a public library, an e-government center as well as a luxury hotel.
Yet, one aspect seems to have prevailed.