TBY talks to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, on the strength of social and economic ties between Egypt and the UAE.
BIOGRAPHYAbdel Fattah el-Sisi graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977 and served in the infantry before becoming the commander of Egypt’s northern military region. Following an uprising in 2011, el-Sisi was appointed to the post of Director of Military Intelligence and was also the youngest member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, a body of senior military officers who governed Egypt after Mubarak’s departure. el-Sisi was elevated to the positions of Defense Minister and Commander of the Armed Forces in August 2012 and after the revolution of summer 2013, el-Sisi won the presidency with 93% of the vote and was sworn into office as President of Egypt on June 8, 2014.
In recent years, the UAE has delivered nearly half of the foreign aid budget for developing projects in Egypt. How crucial has UAE aid been in stabilizing Egypt and promoting development?
Egypt and the UAE have always shared special and close relations at both official and popular levels. Today, ties between the two Arab nations are developing on all fronts at an unprecedented rate and are considered a model upon which inter-Arab relations should be styled. During recent years, the UAE has become one of Egypt's most important strategic allies as well as a key development partner. Following the revolution on June 30, 2013, a framework agreement was signed between the two countries by virtue of which the UAE supported the implementation of development projects in vital sectors including energy, housing, education, healthcare, transportation, infrastructure, and food security, in addition to industrial staff training and strategic studies. Talks are also underway with the UAE to finance projects implemented under the Sinai Peninsula Development Project. The UAE's support of Egypt's development plans has been useful, and we look forward to continued collaboration and witnessing the implementation of a number of megaprojects aimed at boosting the economy and fostering Egypt's stability.
The new Suez Canal opened in 2015. Has Egypt seen interest from the UAE to develop special economic zones near the canal, like Sharjah, which has developed efficient business-friendly centers for industry?
The Suez Canal corridor is one of the most prominent projects in Egypt. In November 2015, we launched the first phase of the Suez Canal Area Development Project. The project envisages the promotion of special economic zones and industrial areas. Work is now underway on the infrastructure in the area to turn it into an international investment destination, a global logistics hub, and an industrial center for the new Egypt. As an integral part of this vision, the government is currently reviewing the special economic zones law to improve the tax and investment incentives offered to investors in these zones. The UAE was at the forefront of countries showing interest in this ambitious project, given its commitment to supporting Egypt's comprehensive economic and social development process as well as its successful experience in managing special economic zones. The Emirati interest in the Suez Canal project started early in Phase I, where Abu Dhabi's National Marine Dredging Company was instrumental in delivering the New Suez Canal on time, leading a consortium of four of the world's largest dredging contractors. Momentum has now switched to Phase II of the project, the new special economic zones, which offer a huge opportunity for the UAE, particularly the private sector, to set up industrial parks and logistics hub. I met with several groups of Emirati businessmen and investors over past years and discussed with them the diverse business and investment opportunities offered by Egypt as well as steps and measures undertaken by the government to offer an environment conducive to more investment and to eliminate bureaucratic impediments. They showed great interest and commitment to increasing their investments in Egypt, and we are currently cooperating with them in order to translate this interest into tangible actions and projects that would be of mutual benefit for both sides.
How do you envision future relations between Egypt and the UAE?
At the bilateral level, Egypt and the UAE will continue to strengthen the political, economic, cultural, and social ties that have been established since the UAE's independence in 1971. There is a large Egyptian expatriate community in the UAE, which has positively contributed to its development and modernization process during the past decades, and many Emiratis have a strong affinity to Egypt, where they have received their education at Egyptian universities and enjoyed some of Egypt's most attractive tourist destinations. The political leadership in both countries is interested in seeing these relations further prosper and flourish to serve their mutual and regional interests.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article