Construction Begins on Iconic Tower

Cairo, Egypt – 21 January 2019



The foundations for what could become Africa’s tallest building, a 385-meter-tall tower in Egypt’s new administrative capital, will be poured within days, according to the country’s prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly.

Iconic Tower is one of several Dubai-style megaprojects being built in Egypt’s new administrative capital 45 kilometers east of Cairo. It is hoped that when completed it will stand as the tallest building in Africa, though several other taller buildings have been proposed elsewhere on the continent.

Since 1973, the tallest building in Africa has been Johannesburg’s Carlton Centre, at 201 meters in height.

The plan for the new Cairo development – which is being built by a number of Egyptian construction companies in collaboration with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) – shows the site could eventually have 20 skyscrapers.

During a visit to the construction site, Mr Madbouly said the concrete foundations for the tower would be poured continuously over 80 hours. Further building works will begin in March.

Construction of the business district, which began last year, is expected to be completed within three-and-a-half years, CSCEC’s chief executive officer told Xinhua News Agency.

The new administrative capital is one of several mega-projects launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi since he became president in 2014 in an effort to stimulate the economy of the most-populous Arab nation.

The three-phase project aims to transform a 700-square-kilometer area of desert into a modern hub for government buildings, foreign embassies and major companies, easing pressure on traffic-choked Cairo, which is home to 23 million people.

Earlier this month the Egyptian President opened the Middle East’s biggest cathedral and a mega mosque in the new city.

Whether or not the Iconic Tower will eventually become the tallest building in Africa is unclear, as the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Nile Tower also reportedly in the running, as are megaprojects in Kenya and Morocco.

The 70-story Nile Tower building was designed in 2007, with a unique design that sees it twist from a triangular base into a rectangular skyscraper.

For more on this story, go to The National.