Cafes and shops in Sharm El Sheikh have been offering a 50 discount to participants in COP27. Photos: Ahmed Morsy
Participants at the conference can now grab soft drinks and still water out of refrigerators for free and order meals for reasonable prices.
Before the recent discounts, visitors paid the exorbitant price, much higher than average prices in Egypt or abroad, of $11 (around EGP268) for cold sandwiches such as Tuna, Turkey and cheese sandwiches.
"The prices were insane," said a French journalist attending the COP27.
"Everyone is happy now as the prices have been brought down to normal levels," said the French journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Though happy with the discounts, Jamila Farah, a Kenyan TV presenter, criticised the way the discount had been announced.
"The thing is that it was not announced properly. I only knew the 50-percent discount from one of my Egyptian friends," Jamila said. “It is something good, but no one knows,” she added.
Jamila also said that the long queues one had to stand in to get meals constitute a major issue and discourage people from buying.
Egyptian participant Sara Hendawi said that before the recent discounts she used to bring snacks with her from cheaper supermarkets outside of the COP27 area.
“We even make sandwiches while having breakfast at the hotel and bring them along in our bags," Hendawy noted.
Starting Friday, she said, they will no longer need to bring anything with them.
In an interview with AP, Shoukry said that the presidency of COP27 has intervened to bring down food prices by 50 percent starting today. In addition, he said that out of courtesy to participants water and soft drinks will be provided for free also starting today.
COP27, which is held from 6 to 18 November, has seen the participation of dozens of world leaders and heads of state and more than 40,000 participants.
The conference, held under the theme “together for implementation”, concluded its fifth day today with repeated calls for fulfiling climate pledges, ensuring providing climate finance to developing states, and pushing forward climate action collectively.