Owners of Sharm el-Sheikh bazaars request rent exemption for 3 months
The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt. Monday Nov. 9. AP

CAIRO: Owners of Sharm el-Sheikh bazaars requested Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to exempt them from paying rent for three months until the Red Sea resort restores the tourist influx it lost after the recent Russian plane crash in Sinai, Youm7 reported Friday.

There are an estimated 17,800 bazaars in Sharm el-Sehikh; their owners are the most affected by any damage to the tourism sector, head of a coalition of bazaar renters Atef Ghorab was quoted by Youm7.

Ghorab added that the tourist city has suffered since the Jan. 25 Revolution in 2011, noting that tourists who have come since then do not purchase as much goods as prior to the upheaval.

The private sector in Sharm el-Sheikh will be allowed to postpone the payment of government bills for three months, Minister of Toursim Hesham Zaazou told al-Youm channel Nov. 11.

The bills include electricity, taxes and social insurance bills as means to support the private sector in the Red Sea resort as the Russian plane crash and suspension of some flights coming to Egypt are expected to damage the income of the resort city.

Incoming Governor of the Central Bank Tarek Amer and bank personalities are also scheduled to visit Sharm el-Sheikh to restructure the debts of the private sector, with a possibility to finance essential needs of some hotels and Egyptian tourist companies, according to Zaazou.

Egypt stands to lose 6.6 billion EGP ($840 million) under the scenario that Russia and Britain continue to suspend flights to the Sinai Peninsula for three months, the minister said.

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