How The Private Sector Is Fueling Fashion And Retail In Cairo

Much of the world may not have the perception that Egypt is booming, but you don’t have to strain to see that the country is swiftly changing…  

From the large infrastructure projects that the government is investing into, Egypt is on a new path of vast growth. And it’s not just the government, the private sector is fueling the growth in fashion, retail, and the food and beverage sectors. Marakez, a real estate developer; Platform, a commercial and retail projects management company, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are such entities a part of fueling retail in Cairo.

One factor that is also helping retail growth is that Egyptian law requires that for every compound or real estate project there has to be a commercial area. Egypt is a high consumer market where Egyptians like to go out and enjoy shopping and dining, so this law is beneficial to the private sector. With a mixture of pure Egyptian brands, to international brands already in the country or coming into it, it’s creating healthy competition.

With a 2 percent population growth a year in Egypt, the middle class is emerging, there is a shift of population from different places within Cairo, secondary cities are rising, and there is a shifting of preferences for the consumer. “Globalization really does have an effect; the internet really does have an effect in terms of people’s preferences,” says Basil Ramzy, the CEO of Marakez.

Maria Muñoz, Co-founder of Maison Pyramide also sees the growth in the country. “The private sector is really helping these talents rise by investing in them, giving them visibility, or giving them a platform to showcase, to organize their retail, giving them access to information, and access to secondary markets,” she says.


Marakez is one of the Middle East’s real estate developers, owned by Fawaz Al Kokair, the largest mall operator in Saudi Arabia and the region. When they came to Egypt, they wanted to open a mall in Cairo and they quickly came to realize that mall development in Egypt is very different from Saudi Arabia. Cementing a local team that knows about the market to manage what they’re doing was key. “What we’re trying to do is create places where there’s a lot of energy where people are attracted to. We consider ourselves a developer of mixed used development.” says Ramzy.

Shopping and retail are at the core of getting people to congregate. “A downtown isn’t a downtown without commerce. What we’re trying to do is create places where there’s a lot of energy, where people are attracted to,” notes Ramzy.

The age of Covid has affected their business model, a model based on bringing people together in office space, retail or communities. “We’re feeling how powerful our business model is because we’re restricted enacting it the way we want.” But, Marakez’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Ashraf Makiad is hopeful. “Recovery

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Austin sets up fashion exchange program with Cairo embassy – News – Austin American-Statesman


Exchange program

set up fashion

Austin Economic Development Department to offer international exchange program

The city of Austin Economic Development Department has partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for an international exchange program for fashion designers in Austin and Egypt.

Applications for the program are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 1.

Selected businesses will participate in a year-long business development and cultural exchange to grow within the fashion industry. The first phase of the program is virtual and occurs December through April 2021, featuring an education series on topics ranging from fashion management to entrepreneurship. The second phase is an in-person exchange between Austin and Cairo participants in each city and occurs October 2021 to December 2021.

For eligibility questions and application assistance: [email protected] For more information: 512-974-7819; [email protected];


Jingle Bell Run

is canceled

The Sights & Sounds of Christmas Foundation’s 2020 Santa’s Jingle Bell Run 5K & Kids K, scheduled for Dec. 12, has been canceled.

Anyone registered for the 2020 event will have their registration moved to 2021.

The board of directors is exploring options to provide an alternative experience for the annual Christmas Festival and will provide updates.

For more information: [email protected]


I-35/Williams Drive

project begins

The Texas Department of Transportation held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Interstate 35 at Williams Drive project.

The project includes the construction of a new Williams Drive bridge over Interstate 35 to accommodate a diverging diamond intersection, northbound and southbound intersection bypass lanes under the bridge, the extension of the northbound I-35 frontage road and improvements to the southbound I-35 frontage road and the Austin Avenue intersection at Williams Drive.

This $61.7 million project is funded by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and TxDOT.


Bank program serves

health care workers

Regions Bank has announced that its annual Share the Good program is serving health care workers in Austin who are helping patients and families affected by COVID-19.

Regions team members in Austin delivered box lunches to associates at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center’s Buda and Cedar Park locations to recognize their service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Each year, Share the Good provides an opportunity for Regions Bank associates to offer thanks to people who are supporting their communities.

American-Statesman staff

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