CAIRO – 16 May 2018: Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court denied the ownership of any agricultural land to foreigners in a verdict issued Tuesday. Accordingly, all land owned by foreigners will be reverted back to the government.
In the ruling, Judge Yehya Noby, vice-premier of the State Council, described Egyptian farmers’ relationship with their lands as “eternal” and “cannot be hindered” in any way.
“History proved that Egyptians never accepted exchanging their land for anything else and never gave it up under any circumstances,” Noby said. He added that legislations issued in 1963 tried to meet Egyptians’ demands to preserve their lands.
It was confirmed by today’s ruling that it is legally prohibited for any foreigner to own agricultural land in Egypt.
Before the revolution of 1952 that toppled the monarchy in Egypt and brought Muhammad Naguib in as the first president of the republic, farmers didn’t have the right to own any of the agricultural lands they worked on. Only nobles, a wealthy faction of the society affiliated with the royal family, had the right to own lands.
Following the revolution, several amendments took place regarding the ownership of agricultural land in Egypt. During the following years, former President Gamal Abdel Nasser issued new legislations that restrained feudalists’ ownership of land and redistributed it to farmers.