Egypt lowers fuel prices after protests

Egyptians gather at a petrol station. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 October 2019

Egypt lowers fuel prices after protests

  • The price of 80-octane gas was cut to 6.5 Egyptian pounds, 92-octane to 7.75 pounds and 95-octane was lowered to 8.75 pounds
  • Egypt has raised fuel prices several times as part of subsidy cuts under ambitious but tough economic reforms since general-turned-president El-Sisi took office in 2014

CAIRO: Egypt lowered fuel prices on Friday, the oil ministry said, following several rounds of price hikes as part of an austerity program that have triggered discontent.
The move comes a week after rare protests broke out in Cairo and other cities across Egypt calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The country’s pricing committee “decided to lower the prices of the three types of gasoline products on the domestic market by 25 piastres (0.015 US cents) a liter,” the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
The price of 80-octane gas was cut to 6.5 Egyptian pounds, 92-octane to 7.75 pounds and 95-octane was lowered to 8.75 pounds.
The decision comes “in light of the decline in the price of Brent crude oil in the international market between July and September ... and the depreciation of the dollar against the (Egyptian) pound,” it said.
Egypt has raised fuel prices several times as part of subsidy cuts under ambitious but tough economic reforms since general-turned-president El-Sisi took office in 2014.
The austerity policies, including subsidy cuts on essentials such as fuel as well as the devaluation of the local currency, are tied to a $12-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Egypt received the final tranche of the three-year IMF loan in August.
Since Egypt’s agreement with the IMF in 2016, living costs have soared, hitting poor and middle-class Egyptians.
El-Sisi regularly calls on Egyptians to endure the economic hardship promising future prosperity.
Last month’s protests broke out in defiance of a ban on demonstrations after an exiled Egyptian businessman accused El-Sisi and the military of rampant corruption.


Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

Updated 7 min 59 sec ago

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: Crowds gathered at different locations in the UAE on Sunday night to mark its one-year countdown to Expo 2020 in October next year, with host emirates Dubai staging a spectacular concert, topped by a light projection on the iconic Burj Khalifa.

American superstar Mariah Carey was the star of the night, which also saw performances from regional artists including Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain. The audience also grooved to a few Arabic tunes from Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.

A make-shift stage was set up at the Burj Park in Dubai’s downtown area to host the performances, while people also enjoyed a good view of the tallest building in the world. The countdown was facilitated by Emirati social media sensation Khalid Al-Ameri and Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor. 

A 3-minute firework display lit up the skies of Dubai as the crowd eagerly waited for Carey to appear on stage.

The 49-year-old singer sang her all-time favorite songs, including “Emotion,” “We Belong Together,” and a revival of the Motown classic “I’ll Be There,” to an enthusiastic audience who didn’t mind the heat and humidity at the outdoor venue.

The other six emirates also marked the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi featured YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists were celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum hosted Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.

The 6-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimate of 25 million visitors.