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Obama speech and massive infrastructure investment set to boost real estate in Egypt

While Americans are not the most prolific property investors in the Arab world, the fact that Obama has given a keynote speech will encourage more to look at this part of the world, according to Middle East economic analyst Mahmoud Rachid.

'We believe that more American property investors will be interested as a result of Obama's visit,' he said.

Indeed on the eve of Obama's arrival a Gallup poll showed that approval of the US leadership among Egyptians is up 19% over last year. It is still a pretty dismal 25% but still represents a change in attitude. Disapproval of US policy among Egyptians has dropped to 52% compared with 74% in 2008.

'This is significant for both the US and Egypt. The US is a huge untapped market for Egypt and putting relations on a friendlier footing can only help. The Egyptian government recognises this and so to the key business sectors,' added Rachid.

The decision by the Egyptian government to go ahead with multi million dollar airport expansions and improvement will boost the buy to let real estate sector in particular, he said.

Some 6.3 billion Egyptian pounds is to be spent on expansion of the country's main airport in Cairo and a further 4.3 billion pounds on three new airports – Burg El Arab Airport, Hurgada Airport and Asyout Airport.

'Airport expansion will be a major boost for the property sector as many real estate investors want to rent out their apartments to tourists,' explained Rachid.

Located at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Gulf, Egypt is poised to become the gateway to Africa and the Middle East and a regional hub for millions of visitors, according to Ihsan Sadik from the Cairo Airport Company.

Egypt's economic growth accelerated to 4.3% in the first quarter of 2009 and the construction industry expanded by 16%, adding to optimism in the property industry overall.