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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Charges have been dropped against another four NGOs

Charges have been dropped against another four NGOs accused in the foreign funding of civil society case on the grounds of insufficient evidence, Al Masry Al Youm reports, citing a statement issued by the Cairo Court of Appeals. Human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali was among the NGO heads to be acquitted in the ruling. A total of 71 organizations and 200 individuals have now been cleared of wrongdoing in the case, according to the statement, after investigations into six other NGO workers were also dropped earlier this month.

The move could help make the US (and other countries concerned with human rights here) happy: The court decision comes less than a week after the Biden administration said it would withhold USD 130 mn in military aid due to human rights concerns. Conditions for disbursing the aid include closing the NGOs case, one US official said.

New Alamein Airport could be the difference for Sahel hoteliers: Domestic tourists currently account for the bulk of North Coast hotel occupants, but this could change with the opening of the New Alamein Airport later this year, Colliers has said in a report (pdf) on the Mediterranean resort spot. The property research firm says that 70% of occupied room nights are booked by local tourists and only 30% by international guests, making the Sahel hotel business heavily seasonal. The New Alamein Airport is expected to open later this year and could change the game for Sahel hotels, raising annual occupancy rates, which are currently low due to it being a seasonal destination. Colliers predicts hotel occupancy rates to increase from a current 35% to 57% by 2025, driven by new upscale entrants to the North Sea hospitality market.

Other things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • Nine local companies are reportedly competing to implement the smart transport system for internal transit at the new administrative capital. Those in the running include ElSewedy Electric, Arkan, Tatweer Misr, Orange, and Etisalat Egypt.
  • The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will not offer any more industrial land for sale during the current year, Trade Minister Nevine Gamea told Al Borsa (pdf). Last year, the IDA offered 645 plots of industrial land spanning 1.5 mn sqm, and the year before 1.7k plots were sold totalling 4.2 mn sqm.

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