Luxor, what can be done?

What is it like to live in Luxor? Share your experiences of Luxor's culture.

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Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Dusak »

What can be done about Luxor? It seems that we hit a brick wall whenever things start to look better for the city's future. I guess we all shook in our boots when round two kicked off, but here it dissipated quite quickly, as happened at the beginning of the first revolution. We soon started to get back to normality, or as close as the countries economy, infrastructure and ruling bodies would allow us to. The people regained their relaxed attitude that things would get better in the short term this time, not seeing the long drawn out arduous months of problems we experienced in the last twelve months under Morsi and this time it looked far more serious for all of us. Even Cairo seems to be calming down a little. As to whether this is because of Ramadan or the promised billions of aid from our Arab neighbours is anyone guess, and since the latest statement is that Morsi could face criminal proceedings connected to ruining the country's financial future, spying, loss of life and various other charges, it could all go belly up again. But no matter what/could happen Luxor continues to be hit. Hotels are closing, airlines are bailing out for long periods, tour and on site travel companies, all stating that its as a result of the troubles. Well perhaps it is, but perhaps its due to miss management and greed [I speak of the large international ones, not the localized small enterprises] As has been stated, a business operates to make money, not friends, but they also, in my opinion, have a moral obligation as well.

In the heydays of the large tourist numbers visiting Luxor, all [localized] business providers to the tourist industry offered, on the whole, good service and produce. They still do, or attempt to, but the costs are still very high and with no visitors coming in, or if they do, they use and stay on the cruisers for their duration, little of their money filters onto the streets. We now have cancelled flights with no one seeing any danger. So the airlines save money, our local business will start to go bust. And when this inevitable begins to happen, for some it will mean sudden death for all the hard work and risks that they have chanced to give the tourists what they wanted. Some will be able to weather the storm by using their own money to at least pay the rents and hopefully support the loyal staff and indirectly their families. But for some this option will not exist, they will close and never be in the financial position to restart in the future. Most hotels here, the ones that are remaining open that is, still quote high off the street prices, as friends of mine discovered. One or two are offering discounted rates, just to make a little ticking over cash flow. Some, like the Hilton, do not show any concerns. If they are empty, they are empty, so why not offer B&B at say £15 per night, the place would be filled, against continually having next to no visitors. Its about time Luxor, the capital of the worlds past history started to receive the respect that it deserves. Airlines could quite easily operate on a break even level for a few months and start to regain some respect. Luxor's hotels could do the same by offering the lowest possible booking terms. Travel companies all over the globe could do similar. The country could open all tourist attractions for a nominal 10Le for twelve months, even giving free admission for some to reduce the holidays cost at source to encourage visitors. Just because you receive ten free trips on your booking form it doesn't mean that they are free, they still have to be paid for.

How long has the avenue of the Sphinx lay there, an unfinished mess of broken works, half finished walls and filth littering the excavations for all the world to see. This was billed, when the excavations first started, that it would be the eighth wonder of the world, now I wonder if it should not be filled in as at least we would have a decent street system in the immediate area which creates more misery and suffering for the locals. Get it finished, show the world that this is what you can experience if you come. Hassle? We live with the hassle, so can the visitor, its part and parcel of the experience. As you walk down any street in Luxor, you only have to say Salaam to all you pass. You immediately receive a smile, a grin or a reply. Sometimes all three. These are the common people of Luxor, their home and city. Not necessarily attached to tourism but they genuinely like to see you out and about on their streets. This is another example of their normality. We all know of the visa situation. We can have six months against our past twelve. No explanation has ever been offered as to why. Yes they make more money out of the double whammy which I don't object to if it helps the local economy. I was told on Wednesday that the number of registered six month visa holders last month was 220 compared to a thousand same time last year. Again Luxor was kicked in the teeth by getting a shorter length of visa compared to the rest of the country although it has to be said this is not the reason for the lower number of applications. I can't explain it but I get the distinct feeling that the city of Luxor is slowly being annexed from the rest of the country.


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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by carrie »

It's not all about Luxor, things are very difficult for a lot of people in Europe, a holiday is a luxury compared to paying your mortgage, electricity etc. And if you can afford a holiday why come here when things are so uncertain.
After Hatchepsut Luxor was dead and it took a long time to recover even though there were no further incidents. Like you said D everytime things seem to be improving a little something else happens, yet another knock back. The more bad press Egypt gets the longer it is going to be before there is the slightest hope of a return of tourists. The tombs, temples will still be here next year in ten years no need for anyone to hurry back. I have friends who come every year for the winter and they have already booked their accomodation for this year but it's just a drop in the bucket really.
I do feel sorry for the business people, they must be going through a very hard time and I know resources are not finite, they can't afford to lose money month after month for ever, my greatest sympathy though lies with the Egyptians, the lack of non tourists related occupations is appalling. Even painters and decorators, plumbers etc are feeling it, if your not earning then you cant employ these people.
I think the only way forward for Luxor is to diversify bring in some much needed industry.
Hope springs eternal and at the moment all we can do is spend as much as possible, remain positive and inshallah better times are ahead.
I love this place and the people, and sometimes I could weep.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by A-Four »

I am certain, that when I wrote As I See It, Greed & Chaos posted in Visiting Luxor, almost six months ago, people could quite easy see that change was on the way, those who could not, I argued their points.

Tourism in Luxor will certainly change, that is for sure, it will never go back to those heady days. Tourists, in general will pass through Luxor, much so as they do Essna and Edfu. Lets be honest here, how many of the ex-pat community really know the town centres of those places. To most Egyptians, Luxor is far removed from true Egyptian life. The same can be said for Blackpool or dare I say it Margate, people who live in Lytham or St Annes in Lancashire would never in their wildest dreams, take a stroll down Blackpool's 'golden mile', where perhaps they would have done years ago. These days you can get a decent B&B in Blackpool for very little money, reason being attitudes change. This is much the same with Luxor, add to this the recession throughout Europe, these are indeed bad times.

Although that of which I mention above will have its effect on Luxor, there will be none so severe as that of which I mentioned, with regards to a conversation I had with two quite important officials in Luxor, during the Mubarak era, on the evening after the balloon accident, earlier this year. Details of that conversation I gave in the write-up, As I See It, Greed & Chaos, and how true it is, even with certain elements of the ex-pats, and so often at any cost, even to themselves.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Bombay »

I think Luxor stands a better chance of revival now than it has ever done in the last 2 years, its not going to be overnight but the direction will now change.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

There are so many things that need to be done in Luxor that will need investment, and its investment that will be the stumbling block. Although the world is full of optimists I believe optimism is misplaced in Luxors case. Peoples taste in holidays have changed, peoples incomes have changed, peoples attitudes have changed, but one thing is certain and that is for the retired among us the peace and quiet will be more than welcome.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Bombay »

Luxor and the Nile has been a major tourism destination since tourism was invented.
Every Time a documentary is shown about the place on TV the bookings are boosted.
Anyone who retires to a major tourist destination and expects peace and quiet should have looked elsewhere, it may be that as a tourist destination there are the likes of an airport people who speak foreign languages, signs in foreign languages i.e. English plus many other advantages of a tourist destination I am not aware of any foreigners living in Assiut etc.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Goddess »

Just to clarify:
Luxor is not the only place giving out 6 month tourist visas. Only those applying for residence permits of a year or more are getting what they ask for
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

The West Bank has always been peaceful Bombay, apart from the giddy heights of Ramla , but yesterday we went into Luxor and it was nearly as peaceful as the West Bank, not much traffic, no tourists to be seen, it was great! We both commented on the fact it was a pleasure to visit our neighbours on the other side and feel relaxed, we never got bothered once by taxi's caleshe drivers or anyone, only the beggars in the streets sending their children to us to ask for money and pointing at their mouths comes. It is not my job to provide for these people, that comes under a new heading, that being of working for a living and others providing the investment for those to live and provide for their families.

We drove from the Issis Hotel to the Horus Bridge and not one vehicle overtook us, (I drive slowly for the pleasure and not to impress the boy riders on the speed of my vehicle), From the Horus bridge to La Galta where we turn off the main road for home only 1 empty coach, two Police vehicles and a private car overtook us. It was a pleasure to ride and be able to take in the values of the West Bank without being hustled to go faster or be taken up by stupid immature young lads goading me to take them up in a race up the road. The race just would not bother me at all, most of them ride sewing machines and the fact all I would need to do now is drop a gear and leave them standing. But as it is at my age now I have done that, got the tee shirt and mug, and the latter sums it up, a mugs game!!!

Keefy is an experienced rider and I am sure he would agree with me.
Last edited by Chocolate Eclair on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Who2 »

Surly ex-pat business people didn't come here purely to make money, if they did they were 'on a hiding to nothing before they even started.
I reckon entrepreneurs can do most things it all depends on opportunities at hand, and one's brain!
I used to be in Prague once, loads of russians and loads of angles of opportunity.
Now Good King Wenceslas ? 'when the going got tough, he got everybody building a wall that's clever, that's entrepreneurial,
that's why he's called Good King Wenceslas.
Luxor ? 'loads can be done, but it takes time once you have dragged & beaten the donkey to the Well,
Will they listen ? will they f***.
But! don't give up hope just yet, the entrepreneurial spirit lives in all of us, for some it's a profession rather than just an itch.
Some clever bod will come up with another idea.
Will Luxor survive ? well it hasn't done to bad slightly older than Morecambe or Margate.
It's all to do with the eddies of life, up and down up and down, one just needs to become a good surfer.........:cool:
The Silver Surfer was my CB handle when I was a window cleaner.
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Who2 »

Quote: Only the beggars in the streets sending their children to us to ask for money and pointing at their mouths comes. It is not my job to provide for these people, that comes under a new heading, that being of working for a living and others providing the investment for those to live and provide for their families.

I'm gobsmacked if you believe that, that you even actually said that.
No wonder, you have had such a hard time here, take some 'time out watch the beggars from a distance watch the humanity of egyptian passing locals.
It beggars belief! if you'll will or will not excuse the pun....:cool:
It's quiet ? it's Ramadan duh!
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Dusak »

I agree with Who2 on this. In Ramadan its tradition to give to those that ask. If you want to boost your street cred up to new highs and gain looks of respect, then give when asked, freely and without comment. Its not as if you can't afford the odd 10Le, one English quid that could just stop those rumbling stomachs for and extra day. Up till now I have given out three 10Le's and will carry on until the end of the month.
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Scottishtourist »

30le Dusak!
Jeez,I've given more to beggar with amputated hand outside Secret Garden Cafe in one visit!
How philanthropic of you!
How many ex-pats dig deep into their pockets?Give alms?
Topped up my mobile one day in Kodak shop.
Man came in followed by his wee boy.Kid had stookie(plaster)on his arm,wee boy aged about 7.
He'd been in motorcycle incident,broke his wrist.
Gave the kiddie 10le,told him to go get sweets,chocolate.That would make his arm better.Kinda like a mum "kissing it better."
Don't really care where the money went to.Family for food?His dad?
Didn't even cross my mind!It's £1,we shove the coins in public toilets here to avail ourselves of the facilities!
No street cred sought after or looked for.
Just a tourist seeing a kid and treating him as a "wean"who's "had a sore one!"

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

How do you know these are not Syrians, there are plenty in and around Luxor that do this for a profession? We were always told if local give then its ok! and that's what we do. So please don't accuse me of what you are trying to say, that how rumours start!!

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Zooropa »

There are a lot of small things which would all add up to help Luxor, heres just one.

The authorities could start by taking immigration seriously and allow no one other than official immigration officials air side so that everyone pays what they should do for a visa.

They should also tell some of the people in the booths to also not try it on as ive heard happens on occasion.

It comes to something when you are being taken advantage of by representatives of the holiday company you have booked with and/or "cheeky" people at the official booths.

This all happens airside when you haven't even technically entered the country!

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Brian Yare »

Did the people of South Sudan get it right? Would a division of Egypt into Upper and Lower help? South of Sohag the country very much relies on Tourism.

Just my odd 25 piasters worth.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Who2 »

Syrians ? does it matter if their f*******eskimos they are humans and, if you bothered to ever notice the beggars you might just get to recognise them, it just the babes in arms that change...a christian are we ?.........:cool:
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Brian Yare »

Scottishtourist wrote:30le Dusak!
Jeez,I've given more to beggar with amputated hand outside Secret Garden Cafe in one visit!

Ah, So now we know at least one of the women who frequented the Secret Garden ...

Brian, who has no idea where this witch's coven is.

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Who2 »

"You may have heard that nasty rumour floating around that copper wire was invented by two Scotsmen fighting over a penny." ..:cool:
Ps: there is a difference in giving it once and giving it every day until you say f***halas, if you give once you accept that responsibility of giving. "What you give a dog a bone ? once, then kick it in the teeth next time..?........:cool:
Pss: I not saying scotspeople are known to be tight, but I know one and a rich one 'when she comes to my gaff she brings no booze but somehow becomes quite tipsy, I'm not saying it's a bad thing, it's just a scottish trait, a bit like haggis, 'it has to-be macsweens...:cool:
almost forgot!..http://www.macsween.co.uk
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Scottishtourist »

Now,now Mr Yare!
I walked down this street with ulterior motive.
It was detour for me on my travels to the mini market beside Arkwrights.Is it 2ways,2days,can't remember.
There's caleche driver who sits outside St Joseph's hotel who always wants to talk with me privately,offers me massages,strange cigarettes,etc.
It's much easier going this detour to avoid him!
Believe he's harmless and use him frequently,he's always been honest with me and I'm safe with him...but he can sometimes just be a bit "wearing."lol!!!

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Re: Luxor, what can be done?

Post by Scottishtourist »

Who2,Who2.
Scots are the most generous people in the world.We give,give,give!
Our blood,our money,our hospitality and our humour!
And what thanks do we get for it?Bugger all!
Here's tale for you.I stayed in hotel in Luxor in April.
Was only one of 2 Scottish people there(me and sis!)
Bought lunch,evening dinners in hotel,coffees,Stellas,etc.Tip was always given to waiters.
English tourists there too.They went for the "2 4 1"deal every day.Buy a can of coke and get one free!
One even had thermos flask!Imagine even giving room to item such as this in suitcase!God's sake,get a life!Asked waiter to fill it with hot water every day(at no cost)then proceeded to bring down his teabags and milk powder to pool!!!
Half-Board..and he was adamant he was paying no more than that!
Waiters were heart-sick of him...and horror was that he was staying there for 6weeks!!

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