In the late 2000s, the construction of Uptown Cairo, a luxurious private residential city of more than four million square metres, was launched. The project is located just above the community of rag pickers on the Muqattam Hills of Cairo. In many urban peripheries of the Middle East, one can now distinguish the rectangular outline of hypermarkets, often alongside large shopping malls. International fast food, restaurant and coffee chains have all become common features of urban landscapes. These are among the most visible examples of the rapid changes incurred since the 1990s, partly due to the growth of foreign direct investments (FDI) from the AraboPersian Gulf countries to Arab countries of the Mediterranean.1