Saturday, October 30, 2010

Egypt sets minimum monthly wages to $69 - BusinessWeek

Something to remember when you are being hassled for baksheesh or tips. If you can imagine proving for a family with food, clothes, medicines, school uniform, well something has to give. As a diabetic my medicines cost me 1000LE a month. This minimum wage increase takes the minimum wage to 400Le a month. So what do Egyptian diabetics do, well they die or if they are lucky and a member of their family works in tourism and gets good tips, they live. So please be generous

Egypt sets minimum monthly wages to $69 - BusinessWeek: "Around 40 percent of the country's 76.5 million people live on or near the poverty line of $2 a day.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Luxor apartment, your decoration, whatever that might be

When people buy a flat or villa from us at Flats in Luxor they sometimes ask for it to be decorated to their own personal taste. Michael was the first person to buy from us and asked for a rather unique decoration in his lounge.

That was back in 2006, this year he asked that we get his bedroom ceiling redecorated and this is what he choose. Isn't it brilliant, Sennefer eat your heart out.

So if you want to buy a flat from Flats in Luxor and want a rather unusal decoration, no problems. Can we do it, yes we can :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Luxor, no longer a luxury - Africa, Travel - The Independent

Come on EasyJey!! With cheap flights and cheap accommodation at Flats in Luxor.

Luxor, no longer a luxury - Africa, Travel - The Independent: "Luxor, no longer a luxury

The city that is the cradle of civilisation is now a no-frills flight destination. Simon Calder enjoys this Nile gem that offers culture and pleasure in equal measure

We say

Gatwick's longest no-frills flight begins next week. The destination, five hours away, of the easyJet plane is the city on the Nile that combines an astonishing amount of history with a laid-back vibe and clear blue November skies

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Flats in Luxor 2010/2011 prices

Live the holiday dream in Luxor. Fantastic flats, awesome apartments and value-added villas from Flats in Luxor Group.

We have a huge variety of apartments and villas from simple one bedrooms to luxury family apartments with private swimming pools. Although these are self catering, with our two resident chefs you need not prepare a single meal unless you want to.

The prices start from $25 USD for one bedroom flat, $30 USD for a two bedroom flat and $40 USD for a three bedroom flat. These are in buildings with limited communal facilities like the Arabesque House and East Bank building but you are most welcome to use the swimming pool, free WiFi etc at our luxury apartment blocks on the West Bank.

The luxury apartments at Goubli and Al Gezera are keeping their 2009/2010 prices and even at Christmas these are only $75 USD a night.

All bookings are for a minimum of three nights and we offer a courtesy meet and greet service.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Special Introductory Offer

We are offering our one bedroom villas at $60 USD a night, yes even over Christmas, your dream holiday in Luxor just got mega cheap. Please quote SP15

Monday, October 11, 2010

Flats in Cairo!!!!

Well just for December and January. A friend of mine in downtown Cairo has a 2 bedroom flat available for rent, it sleeps three persons and is very central. just 10 minutes from the museum. It is his personal flat and he is away for those 2 months. If you are interested please email me.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Salads in Egypt

I know a lot of tourists are frightened of eating salads in Egypt, rubbish!! Be scared, really scared of buffets where food is kept tepid for hours but a freshly prepared salad in a tourist establishment is fine. Personally I eat street food with salad and never had a problem. This is three salads prepared by my chef that my guests (and me) had for lunch today; Oriental lots of garlic and aubergine, Greek with feta cheese and black olives and Tuna with spicy peppers. I tell you they tasted as good as they look.

Luxor Vacation Rentals & Vacation Rental Homes - Rent Holiday Homes in Luxor

Flats in Luxor has just started using this accommodation listing website. Run by a PCG member, my old trade association, he has offered me a years free listing. Good for both of us as I have just trebled his Luxor entries :) Luxor Vacation Rentals & Vacation Rental Homes - Rent Holiday Homes in Luxor: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Planeta Sostenible & Flats in Luxor

This Spanish website promotes eco tourism and selected Flats in Luxor and the Nubian Eco Village. So I am hoping for lots of Spanish guests. Planeta Sostenible: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, October 04, 2010

Traveller - Inflight Magazine of easyJet

I have been asked to write the destination guide for Luxor as EasyJet start flying there in November so bookmark this page and see Luxor appear next month. I have no idea how much editing of my piece will occur so I shall be waiting with baited breath too. Traveller - Inflight Magazine of easyJet: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists

Interesting article about traveling in Egypt with a handicap. It can be done!

Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists: "Making Egypt 'accessible' for tourists

Programs for physically challenged tourists are designed to allow the tourist more time for visits and includes almost all the activities.

By Tamim Elyan
Special to Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: Claudia Ehlers has always dreamed of seeing the pyramids – a dream dismissed by almost everyone she told given the challenges she would face as a physically challenged tourist.

“But I followed my dream in defiance of all difficulties,” Ehlers said.
The German tourist stayed in Egypt for eight days and went on a safari trip on Al-Ryan Lake in her wheelchair. She says her trip exceeded all expectations.

“Everything was so unbelievable, so experience-rich, so fantastic and most importantly so problem-free,” she said, describing her trip.

Ehlers’ adventure started at Cairo Airport where she was carried off the plane by two men. “I was carried out of the airplane in a manner I never experienced before, namely without any utilities; normally the transport in and out of the plane is done with a very small chair, but here it seemed that they didn’t have anything like that. I worried about the two men who carried me because I’m not very light weighted but then I saw a wheelchair in front of the plane.”

Ehlers visited the Cairo Tower where she was helped by her tour guide up the tower to enjoy the view from the top. The next day she paid the pyramids a visit.

The highlight of her trip was when Ehlers gave up her wheelchair and took a ride on a camel with the help of her guide.

Ehlers’ seamless trip was made possible by Egypt for All, the only Egyptian travel agency dedicated to physically challenged tourists, designing programs specifically to cater to their needs.

Established by Sherif El-Hendi and Martin Gaballah in 1999 as an associate of Grabo-tours in Germany, Egypt for All comprises a professional staff devoted to the services of the physically challenged tourist.

El-Hendi received his first delegation in 1999 formed of six tourists on wheelchairs and his client list has been only growing ever since.

“We have been gaining experience and we now have our own equipment and specially equipped cars with ramps and toilets,” he boasted.

Vehicles are modified in a workshop by removing seats, attaching clamps for securing wheelchairs, and adding portable ramps for getting on and off the vehicle.

Potential market

Nashwa El-Sherif, professor at the faculty of tourism, Helwan University, says that the lack of interest in accessible tourism can be referred to the culture, lack of adequate infrastructure and absent marketing.

“We are missing a huge potential market if we continue to ignore physically challenged tourists,” El-Sherif said.

According to Ahmed Al-Khadem, former chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority, the traffic of physically challenged tourists reached 180 million tourists around the world in 2007 and we shouldn’t miss out on that market.

“We need a proper study that evaluates the economic worth of this type of tourism and how we can establish good infrastructure to enable us to compete in it,” he said.

Programs for physically challenged tourists are designed to allow the tourist more time for visits than other tourists; it also has more breaks in between visits. However, it includes almost all the activities other tourists would be interested in, such as scuba diving.

Mick Riley, an English physically challenged tourist made a two-week trip to Luxor visiting the temples of Karnak, Luxor and Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings as well as a ride in a Felucca.

“I was surprised how much of the area I actually got to see,” Riley said.

With a tour guide and someone to push the wheelchair, Riley visited Karnak where he said “the ground is slightly more uneven, the help of someone pushing me came in handy enabling me to videotape the area.”
He recounts his visits to Hatshepsut temple and the Valley of the Kings.

“This is where I thought I would encounter most of my problems, first we went to the Valley of the Kings; three tombs were accessible with help from the guys [from the travel agency], after a short drive we arrived at Hatshepsut temple towering into the mountains behind, two huge ramps and stairways were easily climbed with the help of the two men, one person would have serious difficulty getting you up here alone,” he recalled.

Claus Sans from Germany went a step further; he took a flight in a two seated air glider in Gouna, Hurghada.

“Our flying objects were kind of a small engine delta flyers in which two seats were positioned behind each other, with the back seat set a little higher than the front seat. The pilot was in the front seat steering the flyer, and I was sitting in the back seat. It was like a dream to me, and I never felt myself that free before,” he said.

“The deed made me totally forget about my disability and my wheelchair; I even felt as if I never needed one and wished those 20 minutes – the flight duration – never came to an end,” Sans said, “But our pilot finally went down, and landed me again on the ground of hard reality.”

Mohamed Abdel Lateef, a tour guide from Luxor says he has dealt with a lot of physically challenged tourists sometimes coming in groups.

“Of course they know that it is more exhausting than usual but they always find help whether getting on and off vehicles or inside the sites; the most important thing is not to give them the impression that they are receiving special care, they don’t want to be reminded of their disability,” Abdel Lateef said.


According to El-Hendi, major challenges that accessible tourism faces in Egypt are the shortage of especially handicapped-accessible hotel rooms, mainly exclusive to 5-stars hotels which raises the expenses of the trip.

Out of 350 Nile cruise ships between Luxor and Aswan, only one, Amarco I, has handicap accessible cabins.

Egyptian law stipulates that 5 percent of the rooms in all hotels should be handicapped-accessible.

Another problem is when the tourist wants to go on a free tour in the streets of the city which are not accessible at all; El-Hendi says he must appoint an assistant to help him or her navigate their route.

Accessibility solutions

Al-Khadem says the problem is that physically challenged tourists are only attracted to cultural tourism not to adventure tourism like scuba diving and safari.

“Most sites in Egypt are closed ones that require effort from the tourist to move and making it accessible is very difficult; however, the Supreme Council of Antiquities is already working on this,” Al-Khadem said.

El-Hendi resounded this claim as he noted an improvement both in historical sites and airports during the past 10 years regarding accessibility.

“What we need is to increase the number of accessible hotel rooms in different categories, reduce the time needed to finish paperwork at the airport and tickets’ queues; especially, at the valley of kings where disabled tourists can’t take the mini-train and we have to negotiate with officers to use our cars,” he said.

He also called for encouraging new agencies dedicated to physically challenged tourists to see the light in order to serve this growing market.
“Travel agencies should start making programs for physically challenged tourists and proper infrastructure should be made available which will result in huge revenues for all sides,” El-Sherif said.

“They are working within their capabilities; there must be a media awareness campaign, intensive marketing campaigns and related activities such as equipments exhibitions and conferences,” she added.

According to experts in the field, Egypt is moving on the right track but until it reaches the level when it is 100 percent accessible, Egyptians’ sense of hospitality will always give the physically challenged tourist the warm welcome.

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