The new city of Heliopolis, located in former desert land northeast of Cairo, was planned beginning in 1905 as a garden satellite community by the 'Ain Shams Oasis Electric Railroad Company and Belgian industrialist Baron Empain.
Utilizing capital from European sources, Heliopolis was connected to old Cairo by new transportation links, enabling the city to develop into a substantially-populated community with significant government and commercial functions.
The buildings in the commercial and civic center along 'Abbas Street were designed by French architect Ernest Jaspar between 1908-1910.
Abu-Lughod, Janet L. 1971. Cairo: 1001 years of the city victorious. Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 138-13.