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Egypt's Orascom is Building $2 Billion Suburb in Islamabad

Orascom has launched yet another business expansion.

Pakistan’s federal capital is the site of Orascom’s new real-estate project. The project, named Eighteen Islamabad, plans to build a suburban city.

The $2-billion project was officially launched on Friday and is a partnership between Egypt-based Ora Developers and Saif Group, with Kohistan Builders and Developers also taking part in the project.

The Eighteen Islamabad project isn’t the first time Orascom has done business in Pakistan. Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, of which Naguib Sawiris is a chairman and a majority stake holder, had previously acquired Mobilink before its stake was sold to VimpelCom. However, Eighteen Islamabad is unlike any business venture he’s partaken in in Pakistan before.

“I was here around 20 years ago when we started Mobilink,” said Sawiris, “We wanted to continue our business in Pakistan and as we ventured out of telecom we thought of real estate development because I was horrified at the prices people were paying for villas and apartments in Islamabad,” he continues, pointing out the remarkably high real estate prices that have shot up in Pakistan over the past couple of years.

There is a shortage of 10 million housing units in Pakistan, according to a World Bank Estimate. This deficit will only continue to grow with the population growth at 2%.

The portfolio of the project includes a total of 2,500 homes, three hotels, retail facilities, and a marina.