Pilfering the petrodollar

You know I’ve mentioned before that Cairo’s full of Gulf Arabs at the moment, who will enjoy Egypt’s ‘cooler’ weather (it’s all relative) until just before Ramadan, the holy month of Islam, which starts on 21 August and continues until 19 September.

Apparently the rush of new movies and theatre is another drawcard for the influx of Gulfies, as such luxuries were banned in Saudi Arabia until recently.

Sure as an obvious foreigner I have the occasional moan about being treated as a wallet with legs (and chest) and subsequently charged double or triple the going rate, but the Gulf Arabs say they cop it far worse.

“[Egyptians] see my face, and they see a barrel of oil,” one Saudi banker was quoted as saying in an article in The National, a newspaper out of Abu Dhabi.

To help protect their petrodollars, Egyptian Tourism has established a phone hotline so foreign tourists can complain about being ripped off by hotels. Maybe they need another one for the camel touts and the papayrus ‘museums’…

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad.

3 thoughts on “Pilfering the petrodollar

  1. I swear to GOD I was not thinking of you when I wrote that. Really. Swear to God…really… Besides, you weren't ripped off. It was just a gentle realignment of global wealth.

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