Egypt prepares to move into high-tech new capital

Away from the chaos of overcrowded Cairo a new capital is rising from the desert east of the city.

Civil servants are due to start moving here this summer, ahead of the official opening planned for the end of 2021.

Workers are putting finishing touches to an avenue of ministries that echo the architecture of pharaonic temples.

There will be a monorail passing through a business district where a 385-meter central tower is close to completion

A 10km park stretching to a giant mosque is also taking shape.

Known simply as the New Administrative Capital - the city is being designed as a high-tech model for Egypt's future.

It will boast universities, leisure facilities, and a diplomatic quarter.

Control centers will monitor infrastructure and security electronically and roofs will be covered in solar panels.

Khaled el-Husseiny is the spokesman for the new capital.

"We are aiming to facilitate the citizen's life. We are aiming to have a cashless community in the new capital. We are trying to solve all the problems we had in the past in the new capital

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's flagship project has made halting progress.

Emirati funding fell through shortly after it was announced in 2015.

The military and government took on the estimated $25 billion cost of the first phase, injecting off-budget investment.

Some foreign loans and financing have been secured, including a Chinese loan that’s helped fund the business district.

How far and how fast Egypt's center of gravity shifts away from Cairo to the new capital 45 km from the Nile is unclear.

For now, thousands of residential blocks stand empty either side of a highway leading into the new city.

The completion of the business district, yet to be marketed, is set for 2023.

Sisi says other regions will not be neglected.

And while there’s support for the government's argument that the new capital can reduce congestion in Cairo, there is also concern that it will be unaffordable and inaccessible to many.

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