Dubai construction company Arabtec has signed the final contract for phase one of the $36.7bn Egyptian housing project.

This contract with the new Urban Authority of Egypt’s Ministry of Housing covers the construction of one million housing units in the country.

Under the initial phase, 100,000 units will be built in the cities of El Obour and Badr.

In March 2014, Arabtec agreed on a plan with the Egyptian Army for the construction of the housing units in 13 locations across the country on land provided by the armed forces.

"100,000 units will be built in the cities of El Obour and Badr." 

Reuters reported a source as saying that the parties had agreed terms in February, but when the final contract was received it included less attractive terms than the company had approved.

Following this, senior Arabtec officials returned to Egypt to undertake fresh negotiations and agreed terms in time for the initial phase to begin.

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Arabtec has not stated how many phases are included in the housing project.

Construction was originally expected to commence in the third quarter of 2014.

The project will cover 160 million m² area across 13 sites in Egypt for lower income individuals, and work is scheduled for completion before 2020.

Egypt Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouli said that within six months of commencing the project, $180m will be transferred from UAE Arabtec to its subsidiary in Egypt, Ahram Online reported.