The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Selling Sharm?

With Issandr having said 'Buy land in Sinai now!' in the discussion of the Saudi plan to build a bridge to Sinai, I think this interesting article on British property buyers which appeared in Business Monthly in a way supports what he added: 'if you have a well-placed uncle in the army or mukhabarat'.

Property worth up to $250millions has been snatched up by foreigners over the past three years, the article estimates, but nobody is really sure on which legal basis that has happened.

The vague wording of the decree, combined with the fact that parliament has still not got around to approving it, has left the parties concerned in a considerable state of confusion. No one is really sure whether non-Egyptians can still buy property on a freehold basis. Certainly, resorts such as Delta Sharm in the Hadaba area of the city continue to sell and resell on this basis. “Technically, a decree does not cancel a [previously existing] law, it merely gives another option,� says El Bahrawy. Other observers add that a further unwelcome consequence of the legal confusion is some officials have been demanding unwarranted fees.