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‘The Capital’ place for business opens up: a game changer

Article - March 26, 2016

Cairo’s new Capital Business Park is ideal for international investors who are coming to tap into the pent-up demand in Egyptian markets and looking for an outstanding, premier base of operations for their business

Optimism is high in Egypt’s real estate sector. The country’s resilient economy continues to move forward, bolstered by political stability and governmental promises of support being turned into action. Moves such as the expansion of the Suez Canal and recent tweaks to the investment law are doing much to reassure investors of the stability of investments and encourage their participation in sectors across the board.

However, office space in Cairo is a prime commodity. Floor space that two years ago cost EGP 14,000 (£1,140) per square meter now costs around EGP 25,000 per square meter. Older apartments converted into office complexes within purpose built residential buildings can be seen around the city. “Everything is on the rise,” comments Omar Dorra, Managing Director of Dorra Developments. “Assets are appreciating much more rapidly than anyone expected.

Egypt has always had a very fertile economy, not only for its abundance of undeveloped land, but the entire economy across the board.”

The Dorra Group is bringing international standards of office and retail space to Egypt with the inauguration of its game changing Capital Business Park, a striking new architectural landmark in western Cairo’s vibrant Sheikh Zayed district. The completion of phase one of the development is imminent and will put the finishing touches to three of the planned seven state-of-the-art buildings, with a fourth slated to round off phase two when it opens in 2017.

The company’s aim was to ‘to create the foremost prominent and exclusive business park in Egypt, one that may rival the most sophisticated and bespoke business communities in the Middle East region that emphasises design and representations which tailor to the necessities and convenience of today’s leading corporations and firms.’ Its mission has most certainly been accomplished, as the results unquestionably impress on a global level. From the high quality imported Belgian glass curtain wall that drapes the complex’s office buildings to the advanced building management systems that supervise their internal environment and security controls, surrounded by tasteful water features and stylishly lit public spaces, attention to detail hallmarks this showpiece development and sets a new precedent to the Egyptian markets business place.

“There is a thin line between going to work and doing business: business has a certain flair and lifestyle, so we wanted to merge both and introduce this concept in Egypt to re-shape the corporate landscape,” explains  Mr Dorra.

“Businessmen from Egypt, especially from multinational companies, appreciate this product mix, particularly as they have been exposed to the standards abroad.

“The specifications of the Capital Business Park are very high. This makes it the ideal location for multinationals moving here. We succeeded in this because we have the best quality around.”

Omar Dorra, Managing Director of Dorra Developments

“We’ve also commissioned industry professionals from the Middle East who work closely with municipal and multi-national companies to implement high-tech security and surveillance systems, that are both preventive and corrective in order to offer the best secured environment for our tenants businesses and day to day corporate lifestyle.”

“At Capital Business Park, we have really focused in on the details of making our business park truly convenient and up to date-whether it be indoor and outdoor high speed internet connectivity or technologically advanced elevator systems to and from the parking basements, we have left no rock unturned in our efforts to offer a state of the art business environment that can cater to all modern day needs. We are delighted to say that we have raised the bar in Egypt, and our project specifications are very high.”

Developed over 35,000 square metres under the ethos of ‘great design is great business’, the buildings’ architectural merit is the result of global award-winning Hazel Wong of RMJM. The commercial floors are designed following an open plan format to give tenants the highest flexibility in designing their office spaces, as well as any future expansions they may have, and the offices enjoy panoramic views of the complex and Sheikh Zayed city.

The ground floors have been intentionally allocated for retail use to create ‘La Promenade’, with the likes of Porsche and Harley Davidson opening their largest showrooms in Egypt there. This recreational feature was designed to blend aesthetically with the retailing, dining and entertainment venues that will fill the ground floor units, and currently many of the venues have been filled out and are under soft operation.

The developer has over 70 years of experience in the field and since its inception in 1943, the Dorra Group has become established as one of the leading contractors and real estate developers in not only Egypt but also the Gulf.

The company’s brand has evolved into being a synonym of quality and property investment for developing and constructing a broad spectrum of various real estate commodities, from commercial and office space to retail and housing as well as private public partnerships on constructing large scaled industrial centric projects. When it comes to housing Dorra Group has at least 20,000 new homes bearing its seal today. “We also entered the educational market, partnering up with one of the best and fully accredited educational providers of American curriculum and opened the west Cairo campus of the American International School, fully operated by American and Canadian expats,” adds  Mr Dorra.

“Education is key in unlocking the potential, new talent pools and innovation of this country. I strongly believe communities’ flourish on having access to the best educators and establishments, and that is what I longed for in providing.

This project is not the most profitable, it is not the largest but it is the most satisfying development I have made to date; being part of developing communities and providing the platform to shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders is really the true essence of development in my opinion and we need more of such developments in our country.”

Expansion overseas is on the table at the Dorra Group, with the company putting out definite feelers in planned U.S. and Canadian market places to assess the market entry barriers and competition levels there. However,  Mr Dorra explains that the group’s main focus is on expanding their real estate development model within Egypt due to the high return on investment, stable market with its organic demand and retaining high proportions of their developed assets. Among them, he sees great future possibilities in the country’s need to decentralise – its population only occupies around 7 per cent of its territory. So as organisations and governmental bodies look to spread out from Cairo to other areas of Egypt, to even out the nation’s development and ease congestion and pricing pressures in the capital, the potential of taking the ‘Capital Business Park’s ethos’ around the country is an impending opportunity they are waiting upon.