Sokhna World Zone, a new economic free zone located in the Suez Canal region of Egypt, is due to be launched in early 2018, an official from DP World has said.

Covering 95 square kilometres, the free zone will be developed through a joint venture between SCZone (51%) and DP World (49%) with DP World managing the zone, Arabian Business reported.

Plans to create the free zone have been presented to potential investors, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group chairman and CEO, DP World and Admiral Mohab Mamish, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) said.

Sokhna will have industrial and residential areas and will include the development of Sokhna Port, which will increase its capacity and create more than 400,000 jobs.

The economic zone will promote the development of SMEs, create job opportunities, and provide training for young Egyptians adding value to the economy, while also targeting light and medium-sized industries, logistics, and service utilities sectors.

Bin Sulayem said: “Sokhna World Zone will be a major opportunity for businesses here in Dubai and elsewhere to launch regional operations or expand their presence.

“The partnership with the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority and the Egyptian government reflects the strong relationships both our countries enjoy and it will become a foundation of the Egyptian economy for decades to come.

"It will transform the Suez Canal and establish a trade and business hub, changing the lives of thousands and those of future generations.”

The project will also have a 20 square kilometre residential zone that will include coastal villas, residential units, shopping and administrative centres, entertainment facilities, mosques, schools, hospitals, clubs, and green spaces.

The residential area will be able to accommodate 500,000 people.