Egyptian President El Sisi visits UAE as designers push into Africa

Published: 14 November 2019 - 7:26 a.m.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has arrived in the UAE for a two-day state visit, as design opportunities attract interest from local firms.

El Sisi landed in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, 13 November, and was greeted by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Both leaders have taken part in bilateral talks to strengthen already-strong ties between the two nations, with the UAE pumping more foreign direct investment into the Egyptian economy than another other Arab nation.

Cultural ties are also close and strong, with Egyptian and Emirati experts regularly collaborating on art and design platforms.

Dubai-based interior design studios are among the businesses benefiting from the strong ties.

H2R, winner of Boutique Firm of the Year at the Commercial Interior Design Awards 2019, is one of them. The practice was hired by Emaar Hospitality to work on the restoration of Egypt’s historic Al Alamein Hotel. The 190-room hotel was rejuvenated with a contemporary boho-chic style that pays homage to the glamour of Egypt’s golden age of cinema.

Dubai-based Prospect Design International is looking at collaborating with strategic partners in Egypt to capitalise on opportunities in the country.

Meanwhile, HBA partner David T’Kint told Commercial Interior Design the practice was working on three Egyptian hospitality projects: Grand Nile Hilton Cairo, Marriott Cairo and Ritz Carlton Cairo.

Hospitality continues to be a strong industry in Egypt and the likes of Campbell Gray Hotels and Deutsche Hospitality announcing new hotel projects this year. The now-collaposed Thomas Cook also announced plans to open new hotels in Egypt.

In residential, Italian architect Stefano Boeri is working on a lush, low-rise residential block that will have Egypt’s first vertical forest.

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