Egypt

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula
Geographic coordinates: 27 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 1,001,450 sq km
Land: 995,450 sq km
Water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
Land Boundaries: total: 2,665 km
Border Countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,273 km
Coastline: 2,450 km
Maritime Claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous Zone: 24 nm
Exclusive Economic zone: 200 nm
Continental Shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Terrain: vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
Elevation Extremes: lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
Highest Point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m
Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc
Land Use: arable land: 2.92%
Permanent Crops: 0.5%
Other: 96.58% (2005)
Irrigated Land: 34,220 sq km (2003)
Total Renewable Water Resources: 86.8 cu km (1997)
Freshwater Withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): Total: 68.3 cu km/yr (8%/6%/86%)
Per Capita: 923 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural Hazards: periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; very limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources

Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees

Population: 80,335,036 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 32.2% (male 13,234,428/female 12,631,681)
15-64 years: 63.2% (male 25,688,703/female 25,082,200)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 1,576,376/female 2,121,648) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 24.2 years
Male: 23.9 years
Female: 24.6 years (2007 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.721% (2007 est.)
Birth Rate: 22.53 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death Rate: 5.11 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net Migration Rate: -0.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex Ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 Years: 1.048 male(s)/female
15-64 Years: 1.024 male(s)/female
65 Years and Over: 0.743 male(s)/female
Total Population: 1.017 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant Mortality Rate: total: 29.5 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 31.22 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 27.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life Expectancy at Birth: total population: 71.57 years
Male: 69.04 years
Female: 74.22 years (2007 est.)
Total Fertility Rate: 2.77 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 12,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 700 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Egyptian(s)
Adjective: Egyptian
Ethnic Groups: Egyptian 98%, Berber, Nubian, Bedouin, and Beja 1%, Greek, Armenian, other European (primarily Italian and French) 1%
Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%
Languages: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total Population: 71.4%
Male: 83%
Female: 59.4% (2005 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
Conventional Short Form: Egypt
Local Long Form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
Local Short Form: Misr
Former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)
Government Type: republic
Capital: name: Cairo
Geographic Coordinates: 30 03 N, 31 15 E
Time Difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight Saving Time: +1hr, begins last Friday in April; ends last Thursday in September
Administrative Divisions: 26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah, Al Jizah, Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid, As Suways, Ash Sharqiyah, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub Sina', Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina', Suhaj

Independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK)
National holiday: Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)
Constitution: 11 September 1971; amended 22 May 1980, 25 May 2005, and 26 March 2007
Legal system: based on Islamic and civil law (particularly Napoleonic codes); judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
President: Mohammad Mohamed Morsy Al-Ayat
Prime minister: Hesham Kandil

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; design is based on the Arab Liberation flag and similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars in the white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white band

Overview: Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most economic activity takes place. In the last 30 years, the government has reformed the highly centralized economy it inherited from President Gamel Abdel NASSER. In 2005, Prime Minister Ahmed NAZIF's government reduced personal and corporate tax rates, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises. The stock market boomed, and GDP grew about 5% per year in 2005-06, and topped 7% in 2007. Despite these achievements, the government has failed to raise living standards for the average Egyptian, and has had to continue providing subsidies for basic necessities. The subsidies have contributed to a sizeable budget deficit - roughly 7.5% of GDP in 2007 - and represent a significant drain on the economy. Foreign direct investment has increased significantly in the past two years, but the NAZIF government will need to continue its aggressive pursuit of reforms in order to sustain the spike in investment and growth and begin to improve economic conditions for the broader population. Egypt's export sectors - particularly natural gas - have bright prospects.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $431.9 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $93.65 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 7.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 13.8%
industry: 41.1%
services: 45.1% (2007 est.)
Labor Force: 22.49 million (2007 est.)
Labor Force - by occupation: agriculture: 32%
Industry: 17%
Services: 51% (2001 est.)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (2007 est.)
Population Below Poverty Line: 20% (2005 est.)
Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: lowest 10%: 3.7%
Highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)
Distribution of Family Income - Gini index: 34.4 (2001)
Inflation Rate (consumer prices): 8.8% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 21.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $37.47 billion
expenditures: $44.48 billion (2007 est.)
Public Debt: 105.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats Industries: textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals, light manufactures
Industrial production growth rate: 13.8% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 102.5 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 81%
Hydro: 19%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 84.49 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 946 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 168 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 688,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 635,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 152,600 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports: 69,860 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 3.7 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 40.76 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 32.81 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 7.951 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.589 trillion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $3.115 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $27.42 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals
Exports - partners: Italy 12.1%, US 11.3%, Spain 8.5%, UK 5.5%, France 5.4%, Syria 5.2%, Saudi Arabia 4.3%, Germany 4.2% (2006)
Imports: $40.48 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
Imports - partners: US 11.4%, China 8.3%, Germany 6.4%, Italy 5.4%, Saudi Arabia 5%, France 4.6% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $925.9 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $31.14 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $29.9 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $37.66 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.115 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $93.48 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Egyptian pound (EGP)
Currency code: EGP
Exchange rates: Egyptian pounds per US dollar - 5.67 (2007), 5.725 (2006), 5.78 (2005), 6.1962 (2004), 5.8509 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Pyramids, Sphinx, Pharaohs are some of the things one would associate with a country that has a golden history. However, mummies are not the only things which have been more recently uncovered in this land, the real estate market had been thriving and investors or holiday home seekers are now starting to take notice. Tourists are attracted to Egypt for its rich history that dates back to around 5000BC, for the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, for the diving possibilities in the Red Sea and for the luxury hotels and resorts that make Egypt something special for the international tourist.

An increasing number of visitors are buying into new build luxury apartment complexes in the major holiday hotspots and are being rewarded with low off plan prices, guaranteed rental yields, a holiday home in the sun and an investment that even begins increasing in value over the build period.Investors have been benefiting from the country’s increased tourism traffic and also as a result of the Egyptian Government’s sweeping reforms to attract further inward investment. Having consistently worked to promote the historic, cultural and entertainment available in Egypt, the Government was rewarded in 2004 where the country received it’s highest number of visitors to date. Egypt is now the number one, medium haul, top end destination for European travellers.

Cairo is an amazing city full of life and movement, and it is that way almost 24 hours every day, with the noisy honking of horns, children playing in the streets and merchants selling their wears and services. And here, the Egyptians are most at home in this powerful, modern and ancient city, it is often hard to appreciate the wonders and wisdom of the Egyptians. With the right guidance, it is, however, possible to steer clear of the whirl of people in Africa's largest city, to uncover its history and understand its people, from the pyramid-builders to the stock-market traders.

Explore the city's streets and grand 19th-century boulevards and you'll discover ancient mosques, including Amr's, the oldest in Egypt, Coptic churches, Arab settlements, the 10th-century palace-city, Saladin's imposing Citadel, the minarets of Sultan Hassan's 13th-century gem of a mosque. In the desert, visit the pyramids, go horse riding or simply watch the sunset over the Nile.

Cairo offers an incredible selection of shopping, leisure and nightlife activities. Shopping ranges from the famous khan-el-khalili souk, (bazaar) largely unchanged since the 14th century to the more modern European style shopping centers. Since the 19th century Cairo has also become a center for tourism as people from around the world have come to see the monuments and artifacts of Ancient Egypt, Laws against the export of these treasures has meant that the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is the only place in the world that many items can be seen.

Once the centre of the ancient world, Alexandria has let most of its historical monuments disappear. But the Egyptian city still has plenty to offer its visitors. Explore the bustling streets and souks and discover a vibrant street life, an unparalleled welcome and an uninhibited cultural exchange. The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern; its ambiance and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country although it is only 225km from Cairo.

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., Alexandria became the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt; its status as a beacon of culture is symbolized by Pharos, the legendry lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the centre of learning in the ancient world. Unfortunately ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed he found a sparsely populated fishing village. Since the 19th century Alexandria has played a new role, as a focus for Egypt's commercial and maritime expansion.

Luxor is an essential part of any visit to Egypt. Take in the cursed tomb of Tutankhamen, in the dramatic Valley of the Kings at Thebes, which is a must for all intrepid travelers. Today Luxor is well equipped to accommodate tourists with many hotels and in general a tourist industry ready and willing to serve the people from many countries that descend on this area of the Nile Valley every year. Luxor is also home to the biggest temple in Egypt, the vast Karnak Temple complex that holds the Great Temple within its walls.

But there's more to the ancient city than visiting pyramids, for a taste of luxury take a trip over the ruins of Thebes in a hot-air balloon. Or take a trip down the Nile in a hired felucca for a river-view of Luxor and the ancient ruins. And El-Mekashkesh is the oldest Mosque in Luxor, It contains the remains of a 10th century Islamic saint, rumor has it that he was a monk prior to converting to Islam. The mosque is a popular pilgrimage destination. Here also is the Franciscan Church and its schools, one for boys and the other girls. Beyond this lies a great Coptic basilica. And if you want a taste of "real" Egyptian life sneak off into one of Luxor's souks try to get away from the touristy areas and lose yourself in the bustle and color of Egyptian street life.

Sharm El-Sheikh is the most accessible and developed tourist resort communities on the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm el Sheikh, with its string of luxury resorts, is heaven for winter-sun seekers; only a five-and-a-half hour flight from the UK. The sun burns brightly and rain is a rarity, the temperature is tailor-made for languid swimming, sitting by a pool or lying in the shade. It is also a world-class diving destination and a great place to soak up some history. The region of Sharm El Sheikh is actually a series of bays with innumerable and extraordinary coral reefs. It is located on the east shore at the southernmost tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The National Park of Ras Muhammad is one of the world’s most famous dive sites. Ras Muhammad National Park was created in 1983 to protect coral reefs and the fragile environment.

The magnificent climate, astounding desert environment and fantastic diving make Sharm El Sheikh a favourite destination. Sharm El Sheikh offers a range of activities from diving and snorkelling, windsurfing, parasailing and other water sports, to horses and camel riding, desert safaris, and great nearby antiquities attractions. Every resort has got its own bar with different happy hour offers.

An evening stroll along the promenade gives you an insight of what the beach bars of the hotels have to offer for the evening. You can also dance the night through in one of Sharm’s discos. Shopping in Sharm El Sheikh is a delight for shopping lovers. You'll find a range of fine but affordable jewellery, leather goods, clothing, pottery, handmade gifts, souvenirs, and books.

*Having selected a property, ensure an independent lawyer can trace ownership documents before bidding

*If your offer is accepted, instruct a lawyer to write a contract of purchase in English and Arabic, including value, exact dimensions and details of title deeds

*Sign the contract in the presence of your lawyer

*Having selected a property, ensure an independent lawyer can trace ownership documents before bidding

*If your offer is accepted, instruct a lawyer to write a contract of purchase in English and Arabic, including value, exact dimensions and details of title deeds

*Sign the contract in the presence of your lawyer

*There are no capital gains taxes when selling homes or building plots in Egypt

*Small fees apply on most documents, including searches, legal contracts, notes regarding deposits and other property transactions paperwork

*Rent from holiday homes is taxable up to 4% and after living in Egypt for five years a foreigner is considered a resident for income tax purposes.

*There are no capital gains taxes when selling homes or building plots in Egypt

*Small fees apply on most documents, including searches, legal contracts, notes regarding deposits and other property transactions paperwork

*Rent from holiday homes is taxable up to 4% and after living in Egypt for five years a foreigner is considered a resident for income tax purposes.

*Foreign investors are only allowed to own a maximum of 2 properties at any one point in time or a maximum 4,000m2 total floor area

*Foreigners are only allowed to purchase a leashold property of 99 years in Sharm El Sheikh, whilst the rest of Egypt is Freehold.

*For foreign investors to legally purchase a property in Egypt, a residents visa must be obtained. This can be done either in person at the Government Offices in Egypt, or through the City and Urban offices here in the UK. City and Urban will be only too happy to assist you through whichever process is most convenient for you

*Most off plan developments require an optional furniture package which is usually in the region of around £5,000 – this is normally paid prior to completion of the Project. This however may not be optional in certain projects e.g it could be one of the conditions for a guaranteed rental income package

*There will be annual service or maintenance charges typically in the region of around £300 per year.

*Egypt is moving towards a European-style mortgage system with some local banks

*There are number of options available to you. Some developers offer loans of short duration to people who buy their properties and local banks may offer you a loan agreement, but normally over a much shorter period than is typical for mortgages in the UK and at a relatively high rate

*It may be worth approaching a western bank in Egypt and looking for a euro-based loan, but you could find that your best option is to raise finance in the UK, secured against your main home.

*Make sure your lawyer investigates thoroughly any guarantees offered by the developer – all finished buildings should have guarantees of at least ten years

*There should be clearly defined financial penalties if the developer is late with the construction of off-plan properties

*There should be provision for what would happen in the event of the developer going bust - preferably a guarantee underwritten by a bank

*Make sure your lawyer investigates thoroughly any guarantees offered by the developer – all finished buildings should have guarantees of at least ten years

*There should be clearly defined financial penalties if the developer is late with the construction of off-plan properties

*There should be provision for what would happen in the event of the developer going bust - preferably a guarantee underwritten by a bank

*There are several potential dangers and pitfalls that investors need to be looking out for when thinking of purchasing in Egypt. Firstly, it is imperative that you use an experienced and knowledgeable agency who would be carrying out due diligence on behalf of their clients. Most agencies are relatively new to the Egyptian property market and unfortunately do not have the required knowledge and expertise. If buying within a development it is essential that the agents have access to all the legal documents that will be required by any purchaser’s lawyers.

*Talk to several lawyers before deciding on whom you will instruct, let the lawyers check contracts, planning permissions and most importantly the ownership documents.

Make sure all contracts and legal documents have been verified prior to committing yourself in any way; ask for a copy of the contract so that you can have a read through before proceeding to the next stage.

*Most agents will let you know there are only a few units remaining in order to extract a deposit, but do not be pushed in to paying a deposit as most people realise they are not sure once they return from their holiday and end up losing their money. When purchasing a property from an individual, make sure all owners have signed all the relevant documents allowing the sale to take place.

*Your lawyer should be aware of exactly what documents need to be included in the contract. Make sure that the previous owner signs a power of attorney allowing you to sell that property on in the future or you could be stuck. Finally choose your agent and lawyer very carefully; it could make all the difference.

- Low property prices starting at around only £30k
- Steady year-on-year capital appreciation of between 20-30%
- Well established tourist hotspots suitable for varied tourist interests, from excellent diving and snorkelling to cultural and historical locations
- Steady annual growth in tourist figures
- Favourable tax incentives: no capital gains tax, less property taxes than paid in the UK and British residents avoid inheritance tax on any Egyptian properties
- Foreign investors are regarded by the government as a big investment opportunity and laws have recently streamlined procedures, making the purchase procedure easy
- Strong economic growth and increased investment in infrastructure are boosting the property investment market as a whole.
- Easy air access from many European destinations makes Egypt an ever popular medium haul holiday location
- Low cost of living and maintenance costs
- English is widely spoken after Arabic

What else can City and Urban International do for you?

* Off Plan Investments: If your strategy is capital gains and you wish to cash in after a period of time, City and Urban will be more than happy to sell your property (expected growth of 20% - 30% year-on-year)

* Property Management: If you wish to receive rental yield, we will manage all of your affairs and ensure you receive your rental income on a monthly basis

* Property transformation. Some of our clients have commissioned us to convert their large villas into four individual fully furnished 2 bedroom apartments for greater rental income. We have completed a number of these projects within agreed timescales and budget. Whatever your requirements, we are supremely confident that your needs will be met in a transparent, efficient and effective manner

Darren Wilson - Leeds, UK

I was more than pleased with the lengths the company goes to make sure it only deals with the most reputable and established developers. On top of all that they have gone out of their way and been more than helpful to me on many occasions since the purchase, this is why City &Urban not only got my business but also my trust.


Simon Griffiths – Kent, UK

Our business and our associates have had dealings with Sajjad Aslam and City & Urban over the last 12 months. Specifically we have purchased two units in a new development in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt through City & Urban. Additionally, we have received considerable guidance on another similar purchase. In the latter respect where we have been very disappointed by other agents we have found City & Urban to be extremely knowledgeable, helpful and professional. This is all the more to City & Urban’s credit as they have nothing to gain financially for their time spent helping us here. We would not hesitate to recommend City & Urban to potential clients and enjoy working alongside them.


Farooq Durrani – Lancashire, UK

I purchased an off plan property in Sharm el Sheikh through City & Urban in 2005. When buying abroad you want an agent with the following attributes: trustworthy, impartial advice, local property knowledge, strong understanding of local property law. City & Urban delivered this plus a whole lot more. Their all inclusive service meant that I could sit back and invest while they co-coordinated ALL the logistics and admin.


John Green – Hong Kong

Last year I purchased two properties in Sharm El Sheikh through Sajjad Aslam at City & Urban in London. Being new to the property market in Egypt, I was very impressed by Sajjad’s knowledge and experience of the area and his willingness to share this information to help me make the decision on what and where to buy. All in all, I have been very satisfied with the excellent level of service and would certainly recommend Sajjad Aslam and City & Urban to anyone thinking of buying a property in Egypt.


Andreas Buhl, Germany

This is to confirm that in April 2007 we bought a building project called Marina View Residence, in Marsa Alam, Egypt through Sajjad Aslam, City and Urban real estate agency and that we have been happy with their services in relation to the purchase process. Furthermore during our holidays in Egypt in July 2007 we had the opportunity to visit the building site with a local representative from the company explaining all the details at the construction site and during the construction phase the company has provided regular photo coverage of the construction process. Since the holiday apartment is not completing until September 2008, we expect that City & Urban will continue to provide us with regular news, good advice and all the necessary documentation up to the final hand-over of the apartment.


Oscar Williams, London, UK

Re: Property Purchases in Egypt; El-Hayat and Marina I would like to take this opportunity in thanking you personally for the advice and professional guidance that you provided me with when I came to see you at your Hackney Offices. I came to your firm approximately three years ago with a complete negative attitude towards Egypt and the Egyptian property markets. These were my own personal views which had been escalated from the constant negative media coverage highlighting the vulnerability of the Western Tourists in the Middle East. Having met with you and obtained a better understanding of the security, political agendas associated to such events shown in the media I came to a conclusion that a trip to this Country was necessary prior to making any personal judgments. I purchased my first off-plan property in Egypt at the El Hayat complex in 2005 without even visiting the Country; this shows you how much of a significant impact you had on my understanding of Egypt. In 2007 I finally made my trip to Egypt, other than viewing the El Hayat residence and being very impressed with the excellence of the work on this property I also took the time to meet with many Egyptians and I must say that they are absolutely wonderful people. Since my trip we have been involved in two further purchases of properties in Marsa Alam and not to forget that throughout our business relationship you have also been involved in advising my family and friends on prospective purchases that they have also undertaken. Further trips to Egypt have been planned and we are due to re-visit the wonderful land in August 2008. I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that your integrity and Client relationship strives to maintain an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect and the business activities are all conducted in an atmosphere of good faith and respect, which is lacking with nearly all Estate Agents in the UK. Being involved in the property market in Egypt has resulted in a Capital appreciation of my assets there by 116% within three years. This is as a result of a good development purchase at a realistic price and also with the increase in Tourism that Sharm el Sheikh has had. I shall be forwarding this letter to the Egyptian Tourism Board also so that they too can acknowledge that not only have you assisted their Country with overseas buyers, but played a major part in the growth of their Tourism industry. Thanking you in advance for your assistance, I look forward to our continuing ongoing long term business relationship.


Mrs. Dixon , London, UK

In Oct 2007, I contacted City and Urban and successfully purchased a two bedroom apartment with a sea view in Marsa Alam. I found the company to be honest, professional, knowledgeable and helpful. Due to the competitive prices City and Urban sell there apartments for, as well as the high demand in this area, there were not many apartments left for me to chose from, as they were snapped up very quickly. I was guided by a City and Urban representative in selecting the best apartment from the limited availability, I was very pleased with my purchase and subsequently advised friends and family to also jump on the 'band wagon', which they did. All my friends and family are equally pleased to be successful overseas property owners. I have been keeping a close eye on the ongoing developments in the Marsa Alam area and although it is not as commercial as Sham el Sheik, it is increasingly growing in popularity. I have discovered many of the reputable tour operators are now advertising Marsa Alam as a place to go for a tranquil holiday with the family. There is a vast amount of construction work being conducted in the area and I believe that it has the potential of being as popular as Sham el Sheik. On a final note it came as no surprise to me when I heard that City and Urban won the best real estate agents for Egypt in the CNBC Arabian Property Awards for 2006 & 2007. They work hard and do an outstanding job at making the process of purchasing a property seamless, enjoyable and potential to make a substantial profit. I suggest anyone that is reading this testimony should call City and Urban and invest in a property to make themselves a fortune.


Jane Ossman, London, UK

I am just writing to thank you for organising the site visit to Marina View last week. I was very impressed with your local agent, Abu Bakr. He provided a very professional door-to-door service in a comfortable air-conditioned people carrier and spoke excellent English. He took a great deal of time and trouble to show us, not only the site, but the town and surrounding area. He was very knowledgeable in the history of the town and the planned development and infrastructure changes. He did not hurry us at all and gave us plenty of time to thoroughly view the site and the beach and to wander around the town to get a general feel for the place. We also met with the architect and site manager and had the chance to go in one of the flats which had been built. The site appears to be exactly as it was shown on the plans and we are very enthusiastic about the location and the building work so far and look forward to the flats being finished. I should take this opportunity to say that I am very impressed with the way you and your agency have handled the purchase right from the start. Obviously it’s a big step to buy abroad for the first time but I felt very reassured by your expertise in the area and appreciated your patience in answering the many questions I had. The marketing materials have been excellent and very comprehensive and I am sure contributed to my family members’ interest in also buying flats in Marina View (so much for my getaway in Egypt!). The payment plan has also made it very affordable for us all. We are all very excited about Marina View and enjoy getting the regular links to your website with photos showing the situation on site so far, and eagerly await further updates as the site progresses. Thanks again for all your help so far, you have made the whole experience very straightforward and stress-free.


Charlotte Putland, Herefordshire, UK

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your help and advice regarding the purchase of the apartment. In particular, I would like to thank you for answering all my questions so patiently. I would also like to thank you for giving me directions to the site when I was in Egypt last month. I am so pleased to have visited the construction site myself and to have seen the work underway. It is an excellent idea to send photographs of the site at regular intervals and we shall look forward to receiving these progress reports. Thank you for all your help so far


Vicky Lever, Liverpool, UK

I would just like to say how impressed i was at the level of customer service i received from City and Urban, with regards to the purchase of my apartment in Marsa Alam. I purchased the property round about the end of September 2007. Saj, in particular was excellent. He dealt with all my queries promptly, always returned my calls and was most informative. A friend of mine had also purchased the same property and recommended City and Urban to me. I am most impressed as to how smooth the transaction went. I am always kept up to date with the developments of the property and photographs shown. Also, i visited Sharm in November and Saj arranged for his colleague in the Egypt office to come and collect us to see another development which my friend had bought. I would most definitely recommend City and Urban to anyone who is considering buying a property abroad.


Sally Kavanagh, Kilkenney, Ireland

Prior to a visit to Sharm el Sheikh in February 2007 I had shown interest in a property in Zafarana Bay and had arranged to view this property with the agent (not City and Urban I may add) when I visited Egypt. I asked them various questions about the situation of it and all I was told was that it was a development in a new area on the Red Sea. I showed interest in the most expensive of the apartments – The Penthouse. I arranged a flight to view this property from Sharm to Cairo and then I was met by a taxi. We drove off into the Desert for about 2 hours plus. Eventually we turned into 2 gates and my driver said we were here!!! This site was in the full throws of being built – no problems with that, but no one had informed me that the penthouse backed onto the main road and viewed straight onto a wind farm – surprisingly it was very windy!! Had I been informed of this windfarm and the proximity of the apartment to the main Cairo – Hurghada road I would never have wasted the time viewing this. I may add all this was at my expense! Having returned to Sharm I was telling my story to a few local Egyptians who suggested that I should look at Marsa Alam – I thanked them and came back to Ireland. I started looking on the Internet and came up with The Marina view Residence in Marsa Alam. I rang you and you explained and answered all the questions I had. You kindly reserved apartment F8 for me. You extended my reservation since you realised I was waiting and hoping for a business to sale. I always felt the decision was entirely mine and I received no pressure. Thankfully the business was sold and I agreed to sign the Contract. You kindly sent out a preliminary copy for me to view and ask questions on – I did come up with various questions and these were all answered very satisfactorily. I signed the Contract. I was very happy to make this purchase – since I had been sent constant updates of the buildings progression and I had total faith in the agent I was dealing with. In November 2008 I decided it was time to view the project. I asked Sajjad to recommend accommodation – I needed somewhere with easy access to the sea which he kindly did since I was taking my mother who is 77 and I wanted her to enjoy her holiday as much as possible. Prior to leaving I had arranged a viewing of the property with Sajjad and he had an agent Abu organised to look after us and we arranged a time. Unfortunately for reasons beyond anyone’s control the ferry between Sharm and Hurghada did not run. Abu kindly caught a flight from Sharm via Cairo to Hurghada and then drove the 2 ½ hours down to Marsa Alam in order to give us a viewing of the site. I thought this was a great effort of Abu’s and City and Urban – since I could have got a taxi and found the site myself – they would not hear of this. When Abu arrived he could not have been more helpful or patient as following the viewing of the site he showed us all of the development in Marsa Alam so we could get a real feel for the place. We asked could we stop at one shop for a few minutes – little did he know that this would end up being nearly an hour!! He could not have been more courteous towards my mother and myself. We were both very happy with what we found in every aspect. I cannot recommend Sajjad and City and Urban more highly. The Service has been exceptional – I keep on being up dated with photos, e.mails and all phone calls are always returned. My mother’s words when I left her back in England where “I think you are on a real winner there”. Thank you everyone I am sure this will be the case.


Mr & Mrs. Wright, Plymouth, UK

"The purchase of our 3 apartments last year was trouble free and the deferred payment scheme suited our needs. It is reassuring to receive City & Urban's emails with updates and photos. More impressive is the help and assistance City & Urban gave us when we made our unscheduled trip to Egypt and managed to view the site. The site agent and engineer were also both helpful and gave us a guided tour of the building works and explained the finer points. Again City & Urban responded to all the questions we had on our return."


Malcolm & Sue Wallace, East Yorkshire, UK

We just wanted to first of all congratulate you and your wife on the birth of your son, trust all the family are doing well. Having four sons ourselves we feel we can appreciate the elation you and your family must be feeling at this time. In addition to this we also wanted to thank City & Urban for providing us with the help & guidance we required during our first property purchase in Egypt. We have found your service (even during your stressful family times) very professional and reassuring, your expertise has made the experience for us a pleasant one and we look forward very much to the completion of the apartment.


Steve Hillier, Northampton, UK

Hi Saj, just a quick line to thank you for your help with the purchase of our apartment in Marina-View, Marsa Alam. I have to say that you and your company have made it an absolute pleasure with your prompt response to any questions and regular updates from the site and i am very much looking forward to receiving the keys upon completion in September.


Michael Richardson, London, UK

"I bought an apartment in Marsa Alam through City & Urban in March 2007. From the very first meeting i was impressed with the sincerity and professionalism of the staff i encountered and have had no reason to amend my initial opinion subsequently. The development would seem to be on track for the promised delivery date of August 2008, when i shall look forward very much to taking possession of my Red-Sea investment."


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