Cairo’s notorious traffic congestion is proving profitable for one Abu Dhabi-based bus maker.
Hafilat Industries has won a US$40 million order to supply 300 buses to Cairo’s public transport authority. Meanwhile, another 300 buses will be supplied by the Egyptian distributor GB Auto.
The buses will be shipped in three batches with the first “delivered before the end of the year”, said Iyad Al Ansari, a board member at Hafilat Industries. The second and third delivery dates will be in February and April.
Traffic congestion in Cairo has become a serious problem for municipal planners and is hurting both the economy and quality of life for the city’s 20 million inhabitants.
Wasted time spent stuck in traffic, unnecessary fuel consumption and reduced air quality have all been cited as factors that are bad for business in the sprawling city.
The 600 buses will cover about 44.5 per cent of the transport authority’s needs, Hesham Atteya, the Cairo transport chief, told the Egyptian press.
Buses in the country are divided into two categories – the more expensive transport authority buses and minibuses, which have a wider network.
The UAE has recently launched a number of high-profile investment projects in Egypt, including Arabtec’s contract to build 1 million homes, and has paid for a team of consultants to assist the government’s economic planning.
Egypt’s dwindling currency reserves and large fiscal deficit have necessitated large inflows of funds from Arabian Gulf donors. Direct aid to Egypt from the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia totalled $10.6 billion last year.
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