COVID-19: Egypt President postpones GEM, Administrative Capital opening

Published: 6 April 2020 - 9 a.m.
In light of the global coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has ordered the postponement of the opening of the North African nation's in the New Administrative Capital to 2021 instead of 2020.

According to Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS), the suspension includes relocation to the Administrative Capital as well as the opening of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

The announcement was made following El Sisi's meeting with Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouli, and the country’s minister of housing, Asem Al Gazzar.

SIS cited presidential spokesperson, Bassam Radi, who said that as part of the meeting a strategy of work at construction sites was also reviewed for the near future, following the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the announcement, the president also called for the implementation of the highest standards of preventive measures for the safety and wellbeing of all workers at the construction sites; increase awareness about measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

GEM is being built by Belgian construction giant Besix with its 50% owner, Egyptian Stock Market- (EGX) and Dubai Financial Exchange-listed (DFM), Orascom Construction.

Irish architecture firm Heneghan Peng won the tender to design the megaproject that features the 3,200-year-old statue of King Ramses II, with construction on the museum having commenced in 2012.

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