Monday, April 26, 2010

Saudis own over 600,000 flats in Egypt

Come Summer, and the influx of Saudis into Egypt begins.

As a naive expat 4.5 years ago, I had thought that the start of summer would mean the end of the tourist season and the price of all touristy stuff especially at the Khan would go down.

Quite the opposite, the Saudis stream into the country, raising rental rates (when searching for company guesthouses, we were told by a lot of landlords/landladies that they would rent the apartment for 10 months and then if we wanted it for the summer months, we would have to either pay the higher price or vacate the apartment)

As Arabic speakers, they pay local rates for entry into all museums and tourist locations, but the taxi drivers can spot them a mile away and will triple the price when you ask, if he can spy a Saudi family hunting down a taxi in the distance.

Shopping seems to be their favourite past-time and prices of touristy stuff in the Khan and clothes etc in the local markets are jacked up.

They often take over entire hotel floors if not the entire hotel for themselves and their retinue. When we were hunting for conference venues a couple of years ago, we were told by some hotels like the Move n Pick that they were completely booked up for the whole summer by a Saudi Prince and his extended family.

Todays news report in the Arab News says that Saudis own over 600,000 flats in Egypt. 60% in Cairo, 20% in Alexandria, 10% in North Coast resorts and the rest across the country. This does not take into account the number of Saudis who rent apartments or book hotel rooms.

What do you think, is the influx good or bad for Egypt?


Al said...

I think it's very good.

Multiply 600,000 flats by the average cost of a flat (say EGP 100,000?). That's the equivalent of 60 billion Egyptian Pounds injected in the economy. Of course the prices are a lot higher than just EGP 100,000. Not to mention of course the money they spend when they are in the country as tourists.

Smart construction companies should be advertising and hire marketing offices in rich neighboring countries. More customer = more construction projects.

Anonymous said...


In a word Prostitution.

I feel bad for the Saudi wives back home with their kids whilst their husbands are trawling around in search of easy sex, whether it's the higher end ones in hotels or the cheap ones advertising 'English Lessons' in shop windows.

They also are well known for trashing rental accomodation.

They may bring in money but it is at a cost.

Jojomama said...

Fascinating blog. I have traveled extensively in Europe and central america...but still want to see Egypt. Studied it in an archaeology class back in college. You might think these cartouche shirts are cool that I show on my friend makes them.

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