Located to the east of Cairo’s historic centre, New Cairo is a modern city development which was built to alleviate congestion and overcrowding. It sprawls across 30,000 hectares in what was formerly known as Helwan and has been designed to house around five million residents.
Cairo Festival City lies at the entrance to New Cairo, with public gardens and parks, walkways, pools, office space, shopping malls and residential housing within its 283 hectares. The Katameya Heights Golf & Tennis Resort lies just to the south, with a championship golf course, while shopping malls with big name brands and food courts such as Downtown Mall, Future Mall and Americana Plaza dot the district. New Cairo is emerging as a major hub for factories and international company headquarters like Google Egypt, with a good selection of chain hotels catering to business clientele. A campus of the American International School is found here, along with the New Cairo British International School and Korean School in Cairo. Universities include the American University in Cairo, the Future University in Egypt and the Canadian International College. The Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy Coptic Church and Patmos Monastery of St. John the Beloved are both located within New Cairo, together with various mosques serving the predominantly Islamic community. The Petrified Forest Protected Area is also situated within its bounds, with its petrified trees and ancient rocks believed to have been brought here by Oligocene flooding.
New Cairo is situated a 30-minute drive from the Cairo Airport, from where there are international flights across the world. Buses are the main means of getting into the historic centre using public transport, although private vehicles are more convenient for exploring New Cairo itself.
New Cairo is one of the numerous cities unveiled by the Egyptian authorities which cater to a rapidly increasing population, estimated to reach 40 million by 2050. Construction on New Cairo began in 2000, with the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior inaugurated in 2016 by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, alongside the city’s Police Academy.