Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

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Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by DJKeefy »

Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Tourists visiting Egypt will have to pay for train tickets in foreign currencies from January, according to the country’s transport minister.

During a televised phone-in to a popular talk show, Kamel Al-Wazir said there has been an increase in demand for train tickets among tourists in the past few weeks, with more than 1,000 paying in a foreign currency for the trips.

Foreign currency procured by the transport ministry will be used to pay back loans taken out by the ministry to purchase new trains for Egypt’s railway authority, Al-Wazir said.

The main aim of the new decision is to reduce the financial burden on Egypt’s central bank, which has seen its foreign reserves dwindle to record lows this year amid rising demand for dollars used to clear shipments of goods held up at the nation’s ports.

The minister said he was optimistic that it would be a successful channel for collecting foreign currency.

On Saturday, Al-Wazir joined the first trip from Cairo to Alexandria made by the national railway authority’s new luxury Talgo trains, which, according to the transport ministry, are the best in the country.

Two of seven Talgo trains have arrived in Egypt, the manufacturer said, adding that it signed a contract with Egypt's transport ministry worth €280 million ($298 million), which includes supplying the seven trains in addition to offering 15 years of maintenance services.

The trains are the fastest in Egypt’s fleet, with a maximum speed of 160kph. They are equipped with an advanced shock absorption mechanism that will make the journey more comfortable for passengers, Al-Wazir said.

Tickets for the new train, which only includes first and second-class cars, will cost 200 Egyptian pounds ($8) for first-class tickets and 150 ($6) for second-class.

The ministry said it intends to overhaul the country’s railways by 2024 so they are “entirely brand new”.

Egypt’s railways have been in severe disrepair for years with fatal accidents being quite common — including three this year.

Al-Wazir said the country’s railways have undergone a number of updates in recent weeks, including the installation of new electronically-controlled boom gates in lieu of their human-operated predecessors, who have been the cause of a number of accidents caused by cars crossing into the path of passing trains.

Egypt’s economy has been reeling from the ongoing shortage of dollars needed to operate its import-heavy economy.

Following the departure of more than $20 billion in foreign currency from investors earlier this year, Egypt’s banks and finance ministry have implemented a number of restrictive policies aimed at keeping dollars at home.

The measures include limits on how much foreign currency travellers can leave the country with in addition to higher tolls on ATM withdrawals of foreign currency by Egyptians abroad.

Earlier this month, the country's finance minister implemented a new measure requiring travellers to disclose how much cash they are carrying when entering the country.

Source: https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/eg ... n-tickets/


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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by Brian Yare »

The only losers here are those who use the black market to obtain cheap Egyptian Pounds.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by A-Four »

From what I am hearing and reading is that the situation in Egypt is quite dire, and there are no indications in either the short or medium term that things will improve, whether a business concurn or for the poor and very poor.

Inflation is 20%+, devaluation 20%+, it is very difficult for anyone there to carry on a normal life. The only saving grace that will help is to simply invest in gold, and that is exactly what everyone who has got a little money spare are doing. In a recent conversation with a friend in Luxor, people are prepared to pay 10% above the daily fixed rate, and reading recent press reports in Cairo, this is true.

The government of Egypt seem to be constantly saying how it is investing in this or that. This reminds me of Japan in the 80's and 90's where it tried to spend its way out of recession, building new road, airports in most cities, and even the bullet train, yet even today, that country has not really recovered. Today Japan is a spent force, it imports almost a third of its goods from China.

The future conflict is in the Pacific, which will make the Ukraine situation, like a walk in the park. I expect China to invade Taiwan either this coming year or next, which in truth, when studying modern Chinese history is their right. The big question is how will the West view this ?
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by John Landon »

It is a dire situation, the supply of dollars seems to have dried up.

This popped up on my feed this morning..

https://www.ft.com/content/8d17fe6c-c1a ... e70d49a7bc

I am looking at a possible return in Febrary, so we shall see how that pans out..
A good friend of mine asked me for some advice about a short trip to Luxor while he was staying in Hurgharda, Which I was happy to oblige. Co oncidently he was there in October just as the LE was devalued further from about 19 to 24 LE to the UK pound.

We got together just before Christmas in Liverpool for a catch up and discuss his trip, and it seems the whole dynamic has indeed shifted in luxor to the "Outside Museum" status, and seems to be deterring the old school travlellers like myself who loved to explore and visit certain sites over and over. He did enjoy it though, but did seem to be priced out fo one or 2 of the sites I recommened.

Should I return, I will make sure I will buy and tip in Dollars or UK Pounds.


Its been a long time since I was last here, So Happy New year to all.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by John Landon »

A-Four wrote: Sat Dec 31, 2022 2:01 pm The future conflict is in the Pacific, which will make the Ukraine situation, like a walk in the park. I expect China to invade Taiwan either this coming year or next, which in truth, when studying modern Chinese history is their right. The big question is how will the West view this ?
Let's hope not, but we know that wars are good for the economy, so who knows.. ? After all, its not as if those who start these wars ever have the courage of their own conviction and fight in them, and people of late have started to notice this.
The masses do not seem to revel in a good old punch up with Johnny foreigner like they used to, as Iraq and Afghanistan has proved since the early 2000's.

Covid seems to have kept the Chinese authorities quite busy this last year or so, and a great deal of effort and finances have been brought into the battle, including some rather draconian measures put in place for their zero tolerance of covid, but turned out to be ultimately futile in preventing further infections.
This has I believe distracted the Chinese government from any thought about occupying Taiwan.

(The West could have taken advantage of this, but as far as I know they have done nothing to strengthen allegiances with Taiwan)

I knew this decade was going to be a difficult one, and we are not out of the woods yet, History does indeed repeat itself, wheels within wheels, but there is hope for the late mid and latter part of the 20's.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by crewmeal »

Will Egyptian authorities accept pound sterling? or do we have to change to Euros and dollars?
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by John Landon »

A FURTHER devaluation yesterday, and 9.8 billion dollars worth of goods waiting in the docks to be paid for before they get unloaded.

So how does one pay for goods at the port ? I doubt the captain is waiting for a suitcase full of cash before he allows the goods to be unloaded ? Can a payment not be made electronically in USD from an Egyptian bank account ?
Or do the dollars actually have to exist in said banks ?

Gotta love these FIAT currencies. Biggest scam ever.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by A-Four »

Last Saturday I wrote on here that the situation in Egypt is dire, could it get worse ?

People there this week-end may notice that the two national banks throughout the country will be open today and Monday for one reason ONLY, and that is to offer certificates, or as we in the West call them bonds, to anyone who wish to buy them. What ever currency you have be it $,€,£, or even LE, these can be deposited with the bank as a ONE YEAR fixed bond, with a return of 25%, (or 22.5% if interest is paid monthly). Remember your return currency will be in LE only.

This shows the disasterous situation the government of Egypt is in. It is thought that this offer will remain open for the next three weeks. It is reported that so far this has raised $1 Billion. When you live in a country where a government make it almost impossible to exchange your own country for what is called a 'hard currency', then you have serious problems.

If I was an Egyptian citizen, I would buy gold, even with a 10% premium, but sad to say for the poor and very poor of Egypt they have nothing, and this dreadful situation there will only get worse.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by Teddyboy »

"I will make sure I will buy and tip in Dollars or UK Pounds."

Not that I want to preach to the already converted, but for other less knowledgeable folk; tips in Sterling should never be given in coins.
Foreign coins cannot be changed at a bank, which means that the recipient will have to either pester tourists to change them or go to an illegal money changer who will give them a poor exchange rate.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by Major Thom »

Spot on A4. If you only get 24le to your pound your getting done, my reply to another post. Do you get the feeling they do not know how to get out of a difficult situation? Enter the IMF........AGAIN!!
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by John Landon »

Teddyboy wrote: Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:55 am "I will make sure I will buy and tip in Dollars or UK Pounds."

Not that I want to preach to the already converted, but for other less knowledgeable folk; tips in Sterling should never be given in coins.
Foreign coins cannot be changed at a bank, which means that the recipient will have to either pester tourists to change them or go to an illegal money changer who will give them a poor exchange rate.
Thanks for the reminder TB, but I have in the past always tipped in local currency.
The problem now is that our lowest denomination in paper is 5UK pounds, so I may have to take dollars.
though I do begrudge buying foreign currency in the UK, I always take English notes and change them at banks into local currency, as the deal is always much better. :up

In Turkey, where I have been spending a lot of time in these recent years, they too have now got rampant inflation and a de valued currency. :(
Typically back before this decade of woe hit us, I would get between 4 and 5 Turkish Lira to the pound, and back in September 2022, I was getting 20 TL to the UK pound !
I took my UK currency out there to change at the many places offering this service, but took Dollars for tips for cafe's etc..

A friend of mine was in Luxor in October and we met up for lunch as I may have said before, I paid the bill for that, and he gave me an Egyptian plasticised Pound note.

Last time I was there in 2012, the pounds were issued in coins and I didnt see any 1 LE notes, so I can now only assume that they have reverted to the "paper" money due to the fact the coins probably cost more to make than their face value ?
That and the tourists were probably taking them home as souvenir's given they had Tut's image on them ? :tk
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by Teddyboy »

Although I've only ever tried it once, it seems that exchange places and banks don't accept dollar notes either! One of our past guests left some single dollars, but I couldn't get them changed. I cannot now recall how I got rid of them!
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by John Landon »

interesting, I have never tried exchanging $1 notes abroad. Perhaps the locals can shift them easily ?
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by Teddyboy »

"Perhaps the locals can shift them easily ?"
That's the point, John! If they can, then they're getting a poor rate from an illegal money changer. Part of your tip ends up with the criminal fraternity, whilst your recipient is getting short change, again.
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Re: Egypt to charge tourists in dollars and euros for train tickets.

Post by A-Four »

John Landon wrote: Thu Jan 05, 2023 11:39 am A FURTHER devaluation yesterday, and 9.8 billion dollars worth of goods waiting in the docks to be paid for before they get unloaded.

So how does one pay for goods at the port ? I doubt the captain is waiting for a suitcase full of cash before he allows the goods to be unloaded ? Can a payment not be made electronically in USD from an Egyptian bank account ?
Or do the dollars actually have to exist in said banks ?

Gotta love these FIAT currencies. Biggest scam ever.
When goods arrive at a port such as wheat, oil etc, they are priced on the international market and are paid on arrival in U.S.$, before goods are unloaded payment is made by what is called a Commercial Letter of Credit, issued in the name of the national bank, in this case the National Bank of Egypt.

From the start of this year, it became obvious the bank simply did not hold such reserves, that is why the bank issued the 20% guaranteed bonds last week. Within three days the bank issued a statement that they had raised $4 Billion. They said also that the bond would be available for the next three weeks to anyone in Egypt who wish to buy them.

I still believe that gold is much a safer risk than the LE, on one single day, Wednesday this past week it went up by almost 6% against the LE. Having said that, one has to remember it is a world commodity, and every dog has its day, so buyers beware.
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