Egypt is the third largest economy in Africa, only behind Nigeria and South Africa. But it is home to the fastest-growing real estate sector in the region, projected to record an annual growth of 8% in 2022. One of the prominent drivers of the transformation in that country’s real estate development is Dr. Ahmed Shalaby, an Egyptian businessman and a Professor of Architecture and Urban Development at the Department of Architectural Engineering at Cairo University, Egypt.
Dr. Shalaby is a rare human because, on one hand, he is praised for his outstanding eruditeness and progress in the academic field and on the other hand, he is globally reputed for his groundbreaking accomplishment in business and the real estate sector.
He is presently the CEO of Tatweer Misr and a Founding Member of the company’s Board of Directors which he has led since 2014.
A celebrated architect and real estate expert, Dr. Shalaby began his career in the academic environment in 1993 as a faculty member at Cairo University. At the same time, he was a prominent architectural engineer at a consultancy firm he founded.
His job in those early days provided the foundation for his global success in academics and real estate.
Development of El Mostskakbal city
He quickly became famous for his talent and was called upon to serve as Adviser to the Chairman of El mostakbal for Urban Development. Even though he barely spent a year in that company, Dr. Shalaby quickly made his mark.
He led the team that developed El Mostakbal City, a magnificent project that redefined the design and landscape of the new Cairo area. El Mostakbal city is the largest planned mixed-use development in new Cairo.
Dr. Shalaby has over 20 years of experience as an architecture consultant and in developing and managing major real estate portfolios in Egypt. During his time at Al Fawares Holding, he was put in charge of multi-million-dollar real estate investment. He worked at Egypt’s Ministry of Housing, Infrastructure, and Urban Community as a Technical Adviser to the Minister.
His biggest success has come in his present job as CEO of Tatweer Misr, one of Africa’s most audacious and innovative real estate establishments. The company is reputed for its unique and cutting-edge real estate projects, which have attracted global acclaim.
Some of the major real estate project undertaken by Tatweer Misr since 2014 includes IL Monte Galala in Ain Sokhna, its island-inspired, award-winning development Fouka Bay in Ras El Hekma, Bloomfields, its first home mixed-use development in the heart of Mostakbal City, to its latest coastal gem D-Bay along the North Coast.”
How Tatweer Misr became successful
Even though the company has accomplished a lot under his watch, Dr. Shalaby has stressed that the beginning was far from rosy. “When my company was first founded, and I was made CEO, I didn’t inherit a large and successful company. The founding team and I started work with a seed,” he said. “We had to be entrepreneurs to turn that seed into what it has become today.”
To become successful, Dr. Shalaby determined that his company would not follow the crowd. Instead, it worked towards being unique and outstanding by continuously innovating and incorporating new ideas and trends into its day-to-day work. This has enabled it to be successful and competitive.
He was also aggressively committed to creating value and building value for its clients, shareholders, and team. He says, “Creating value is the main effort behind our company. We do that by trying to satisfy our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations.”
Support for SMEs
From the beginning, Dr. Shalaby realised that he needed to work closely with small businesses to create a system of shared prosperity.
He designed a structure that always engaged small businesses in the company’s supply chain. “We made them our partners as a way to always encourage their growth,” he said.
He stressed that SMEs are the pillars of growth and job creation for the Egyptian economy, and therefore it is imperative for them to be supported.
Another important factor that has accelerated the company’s growth is the ability to incorporate its goals into the larger development plans for the Egyptian economy.
“We felt that for our company to flourish, we needed to support the Egyptian economy and make sure that it flourishes too. That will require that we strategically support entrepreneurship in Egypt from the perspective of new business growth and by drawing importance to the SMEs already existing in our market.
“For us to be successful, we need to make Egypt succeed. This was an intrinsic part of our responsibility.”
These strategies have worked very well for Tatweer, making the Egyptian real estate segment attractive to international investors.
Real Estate FDI
But Dr. Shalaby has stressed that despite what his company and the real estate segment in Egypt have achieved, there is still much room for growth.
For this possibility to become a reality, he advised that three things must be done. The need for public-private sector collaboration in the country to create the right legislative environment for foreign investment. He called for sustained advertisement and campaigns to draw attention to the potential of the sector; he also called for increased participation in international exhibitions where Egyptian real estate projects can be showcased to a global audience.
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