A Revival of the Cairo Citadel Aqueduct

One of the Primary Developmental Projects in Cairo

October, 2022

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A Brief History of the Cairo Citadel Aqueduct & its Development:

Cairo Citadel Aqueduct is one of the most prominent historical walls in Cairo. It is located in Old Cairo and extends from Fum al-Khalij area to Sayyida Aisha Square.

The origin of this aqueduct goes back to the reign of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi, the founder of the Ayyubid State in Egypt, with an aim of transporting the Nile water to the Citadel. This procedure happened through streams to facilitate the irrigation and watering of the plants surrounding the Citadel. It was later on renovated by Al-Nasir Muhammad bin Qalawun.

The Cairo Citadel Aqueduct is strategically located, enabling it to cover an area of up to 3500 meters. Its remarkable architectural style is an undeniable distinguisher; constructed with sculpted stone - unique and exclusive to the Mamluk era.

In favor of reviving this historical aqueduct, Egypt has developed a strategic plan for its restoration, including the illumination of it using laser beams to highlight its architectural form. It was about time to shed some light on this overlooked masterpiece.

cairo citadel

The Area Surrounding Cairo Citadel Aqueduct: A Slum Turns into a Developed Area

The area surrounding the Cairo Citadel Aqueduct is considered one of the greatest archaeological sites; historically and geographically. Unfortunately, its beauty was buried beneath all the slums and waste. Its potential lied in its rich Egyptian culture, but it was due for some development. For that reason, President Abdelfattah El-Sisi saw it fit to instruct the Governor of Cairo to coordinate with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to urgently develop this area. Its refurbishment puts it back among the top tourist destinations in Egypt. This project represents an integral part of the plan to develop Historic Cairo.

The Egyptian State’s efforts in eradicating all the slum areas surrounding the aqueduct were efficient. Luckily for the inhabitants, they were relocated safely to Al Khayala compound, located in Al Basatin neighborhood that is adjacent to Maadi and overlooking Ain el-Sira Lake.

The developmental projects were initiated in March 2021, and 65% of the implementation plan was achieved by July 2022. It is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2022. It spreads across 95 acres and costs about EGP 1.72 billion.

If we take a closer look at the buildings within the project, we will find that there are about 79 buildings of varying heights and a total of 1924 residential units. The buildings close to the Aqueduct consist of a ground floor and three additional floors. The distant ones, on the other hand, consist of a ground floor and 6 additional floors. Each floor contains 4 apartments of about 150 meters, including 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a kitchen. Fortunately, all the exterior finishes have been completed, but the interior finishes are still in progress.

As for the commercial and recreational units, they are built on an area of 16 acres, including a large commercial mall consisting of 4 floors and a theater, cinema, shops, and restaurants. Also, about 18 commercial units on the ground floor in some buildings. Across the mall, you will find many restaurants, cafeterias, cinemas, tourist bazaars, handicraft markets, and a theater.

 old cairo

The development of the Cairo Citadel Aqueduct and the surrounding zone opened the door to Historic Cairo’s revival. Consequently, we are to expect major impacts on the real estate market and the tourism sector in Egypt. The new residential units will attract many new citizens and the fact that this area is in very close proximity to several touristic attractions might drive tourists to seek accommodation there as well.