If we merge the positive economic outlook of Egypt along with the strong fundamentals and historical data about the real estate market I think we are in front of a very positive and very stable market and very stable part of our economy.
Egypt developed 24 new cities from scratch in the desert in the last 40 years. Now Egypt has an ambitious plan to develop another 35 to 40 new cities in the coming 40 years. Fourteen of them are currently undergoing in what's called the fourth generation of new cities, the new administrative capital New Alamein, New Mansoura and in Upper Egypt. And the fourth generation of new cities is really advanced compared to all that we have currently. The thing that we should learn from the international experience is the focus on economic basis. How do you provide an economic base for a new city that allows the new city to flourish. In addition to that we need to focus on the expected residence profile. In each new city there is a target population and the target population should come from certain places based on the economic base and based on the strategic plan of the new city. Focusing on the expected residence profile, what kind of jobs are they looking for? What kind of education do they have? What kind of income do they have? You can provide the typical job facilities, housing facilities for them, infrastructure and services that will allow them to come and live in this new city.
Egypt has a population of 100 million who are increasing annually by about 2.5 million. The number of marriages recorded in Egypt in 2017 was about 1 million and this is a big number that covers all segments. The supply on the other side is nothing compared to with the demand. The annual provision of housing units is no more than 30 to 40 thousand units. So the gap is increasing and it covers all the segments from social housing to luxurious and upper end. So I think the real estate market in Egypt is very competitive. Real estate is creating lives, creating the proper atmosphere for people to live in, so if we look at the different non-residential assets you will see something very interesting.
We have huge demand and schools, higher education, universities and colleges, hospitals and health facilities, commercial spaces, retail spaces. We still need ten times what we have currently to just meet the demand. The real estate market in Egypt is very attractive, has a lot of opportunities for Egyptian investors and for international investors to come and invest in, whether in the residential component or in the non-residential assets.
We are trying to change a lot from the regulations from the general landscape and the investment market in Egypt. The good thing about it is that the government is fully supportive of this step. The private sector is fully supportive. So I think the joint efforts between the government and the private sector will achieve huge success.
It's the right time for the real estate financing, for the project financing and mortgage mechanism to come and please.
We need to work as private sector with the government and with the different financial authorities towards finding new mechanisms that allow the real estate companies to get the required financing.
Egypt is in a better position than before we have a stable economy we have a stable political environment. That is really encouraging us to invest more in the real estate sector and to invite others to invest with us. So we are benefiting as a real estate sector from these reforms because actually these reforms confirm the strength of the real estate market, the resilience of the real estate market towards keeping your investments as an asset that keeps your investment over time.