Egypt has officially confirmed media reports that it has reached an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to invest around $22 billion in the Ras El-Hikma region on the Mediterranean coast, some 350 kilometers northwest of the capital Cairo.

Hussam Heiba, Director General of the Egyptian Free Zones Authority, told CNBC Arabia that the project to develop Ras el-Hikma is estimated to cost $22 billion.

The Egyptian official noted that a consortium from the UAE has been selected to work with local partners to develop the Ras al-Hikma area, adding that initial investments for the project could exceed $22 billion.

The Egyptian official said that the UAE consortium will be responsible for financing, developing and managing the project, adding, "Local and foreign companies will participate in the implementation of the project. We have completed negotiations and are now preparing to sign the contract."

Bloomberg first reported that Abu Dhabi was in talks to buy and develop land on Egypt's northern coast.Meanwhile, the Middle East Eye online news website reported that the project to develop the city will be carried out between the Egyptian Ministry of Reconstruction and the UAE Ministry of Finance.

OECD countries grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter! OECD countries grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter!

CRITICISM FROM THE OPPOSITION

According to media reports, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's plan to sell the tourist town, which is facing hard times due to the country's severe shortage of foreign currency, has been harshly criticized by his opponents.Opponents reacted to his decision to give up Ras al-Hikma, one of Egypt's most beautiful coastal areas, in order to overcome the shortage of foreign currency.A retired security official named Hisham Sabri described the sold resort town as "paradise on earth" in a statement on his social media account, saying, "I seriously can't keep up with Sisi's disasters. He is going to crash at 250 km/h."Movie actor Amr Waked expressed his reaction by saying, "Who gave you permission to sell this place, is this the private property of your mother or father?"EGYPT IS GOING THROUGH A SEVERE ECONOMIC CRISISEgypt's national currency has lost 50 percent of its value against the US dollar on the black market over the past year because of the country's economic downturn.An IMF delegation concluded a two-week visit to the country yesterday to negotiate a new $10 billion loan.

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With 109 million inhabitants, Egypt's inflation rate is above 40 percent according to August figures.

More than half of the people in Egypt live with an income below the hunger limit. During the last 10 years of Sisi's rule, Egypt's foreign debt increased to 164 billion dollars.