Rubber hits the road on Egypt grand museum project

Besix begins superstructure on first of twin $800m Orascom wins

The Six Construct project is set to the dramatic backdrop of the great pyramids.
The Six Construct project is set to the dramatic backdrop of the great pyramids.

The Grand Egyptian Museum is beginning to emerge from its construction site on the outskirts of Cairo, after a partnership between Orascom and Besix began work on the project in early 2012.

Upon completion the 32,000m2 complex will host permanent exhibition galleries, special exhibitions, virtual and large format screens, and house about 100,000 artifacts harboured from across Egypt.

Updating CW on the progress of the $810m project, Philippe Dessoy, GM of Six Construct, said: “The museum is out of the ground now, and we are starting work on the superstructure.

“There are some changes on the project, so it will be three more years before they open it.”

Expected to be complete by July 2015 the museum is 65%-funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The client, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, expects eight million visitors to flock to the museum every year.

Dessoy noted that the location is ideal: situated on the Cairo-Alexandria highway overlooking Egypt’s Grand Pyramids the museum, “will be out of the centre of Cairo, which is quite difficult to access”.

The project will generate approximately 5,000 jobs across the entire course of its construction, according to Osama Bishai, MD of Orascom’s construction group, who is overseeing the project.

Other parties involved in the project include Ireland’s Heneghan Peng Architects, who provided the design, and Hill International and EHAF Consulting Engineers as project managers.

For Besix the project further strengthens the history of collaboration between Six Construct and Orascom, and adds to the group’s retinue of projects in the region’s most populous country.

Dessoy noted: “The company has been in Egypt since 1996-97, so we have built a few buildings there, Previous ones were the extension of the Royal Meridien and the Conrad also, we did Nile City, but I think last year we were quite successfully - now we have two major projects in Egypt."

The other project is the $800m Mall of Egypt, which Six Construct began work on just last month, in another joint partnership with Orascom, and on behalf of Majid Al Futtaim.

Built on 40 hectares of land on the outskirts of Cairo, it will include North Africa’s first manmade indoor ski resort, in a similar to MAF Properties’ Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates, as well as 380 retail outlets, a Carrefour hypermarket, 17-screen cinema complex and an amusement park.

It will generate 9,000 jobs during the construction phase and 7,000 posts once it opens in late 2015.

 

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