The traditional “Ramadan tents” have witnessed an unprecedented turnout this year. The crowds continue to come, despite prices that start at EGP 350 on weekdays.
Companies recorded twice the number of bookings. The Ministry of Tourism showed the total number of hotels licensed for tents, iftar, and suhoor reached 35 hotels.
Abdel Fattah El-Asi, chairperson of the hotel facilities department at the Ministry of Tourism, said that some 30-35 hotels were granted license to provide entertainment programmes in Ramadan.
He explained that all the liscensed hotels are located in Cairo and Giza, with the exception of three in Alexandria. El-Asi explained that hotels that have offered Ramadan programmes in the past must continue to maintain their clientel.
Hotels benefit from this on the financial side as well. He pointed out that prices range between EGP 400 and EGP 450 for iftar, and EGP 300 and EGP 350 for suhur on normal days. The price hikes to at least EGP 600 for the days when there are concerts.
El-Asi said that there has been a great demand on iftar and suhur in hotels throughout the holy month, especially on weekends. The demand provides incentive for the hotels to provide these programmes every year.
The Ministry of Tourism closely monitores the hotel facilities, said El-Asi, to ensure compliance with the programme liscensing rules. Hotels found providing programmes without a liscense can recieve heavy fines, by paying three times the tax value.
A booking official at the Nile Ritz-Carlton said that there was a positive and unexpected response to their garden Ramadan tent, adding that they are fully booked till the end of the month.
The average prices of iftar and suhour at the Nile Ritz-Carlton range from EGP 400-600, based on the program and the menu. Their official noted that companies have more of an appetite for the events than the individuals.
According to the booking officer at Kempinski Nile City Hotel, the programmes in Ramadan begin at EGP 450 to EGP 600, except for weekends, when prices go up by 10% at least.
She said all the weekends are fully booked until the end of the month and there are only Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays available now. She noted that corporate bookings are on all days of the week except Fridays, which are reserved by individuals.
There are special programmes for the weekends, which come with artists and a concert.
At the Dusit Thani Lakeview Cairo, a booking official said that the Ramadan tent offered by the hotel is witnessing unprecedented demand this year from individuals and companies alike.
He explained that prices start from EGP 500 for all days, which is up by 50% from last year, due to the pound flotation and the price hikes of all inputs.
He stressed that the tent includes a number of artistic and popular segments.
The booking officer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Giza also pointed out that the hotel’s tent is hosting a great number of companies and individuals, but the proportion of companies exceeds the number of individuals.
She explained that the tent includes shisha and a DJ throughout the days, except for the weekly holiday, in which the hotel offers an oriental band as well. The prices at the hotel begin at EGP 350 per person.
She said prices witnessed a significant increase in the current year compared to last year by at least 50%.