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Why Egypt's construction boom creates ghost towns

Egyptian leaders from Anwar to Sisi have attempted — and failed — to build lavish cities to relocate dense urban populations.
A general view shows a construction site of project "New El Alamein" by SIAC, Industrial Construction & Engineering Company at a highway of El Alamein in Egypt, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RC1E93BBF140
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Located on Egypt’s northwest coast, New Alamein City is advertised as the “New Riviera” and the first of the “millennial cities.” The Egyptian government allocated 3 billion Egyptian pounds ($183.3 million) to create this city, which aims to host some 2 million people. The Ministry of Antiquities has even relocated the Ramses II obelisk from Cairo’s Zamalek neighborhood to the new city to give it a bit of grandeur. New Alamein is expected to be used as the government's summer residence, just like Sochi in Russia.

But will this city, despite the efforts, become one of Egypt's ghost cities — lavish but unpopulated?

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