Overcrowding of Cairo is the reason for the ambitious plan to create a 700km2 new home for up to seven million people.
The deal was signed with Abu Dhabi-based Eagle Hills Property Company during the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el Sheikh, where an exhibition area was devoted to the scheme.
The plan for the as-yet-unnamed capital was one of a number of major schemes outlined at the event. The president said: "We need to complete the proposed projects soon. We have talked with the company that will take over building the new capital. The first phase of the project was supposed to take 10 years but I refused that the project takes all that time given the fact that by then our population would have increased by 26 million people.”