Feature: Fairs with lower prices help Egyptians prepare for Ramadan

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by Marwa Yahya

CAIRO, April 9 (Xinhua) — “The fair is very good as providing all the commodities I need with the best prices in the market,” Mohamed Zaher, a 39-year-old car technician said while touring “Ahlan Ramadan 2021” fair branch in Giza province south of the capital Cairo.

The Egyptian government organized the fair to provide basic commodities at affordable prices for all citizens ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

“I bought traditional nuts and dried fruits, beef, rice, oil and other foodstuffs,” Zaher told Xinhua.

During Ramadan, which starts on April 13 this year, Muslims usually abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking from sunrise to sunset. To prepare for the month, Egyptians flock to the markets to stock up food and buy different kinds of sweets, candies and soft drinks.

Egypt’s Supply Minister Ali Moselhi stressed on Thursday the importance of supplying local products with high quality to attract buyers during the sale.

The fair in a 12,000-square-meter venue is held for the sixth year nationwide in cooperation with the Trade and Industry Ministry and Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

Nearly 170 participating companies offer 18-28 percent discount on their products, said Moselhi, adding that 26 similar fairs will be opened in different provinces.

“I couldn’t imagine the prices are that much lower than the market prices,” said Zaher, who visited the fair for the first time.

Meanwhile, Nour Mahdy, a housewife in her 40s, said she shops every year from the fair as she can find all her needs in one place at cheaper prices.

Mahdy bought 10 kg of sugar for making traditional sweets and cakes at half the price of nearby supermarkets. She wished the government to organize similar expos on monthly basis.

Adel Razeen, secretary-general of Trade Commerce Chamber in Giza, said the exhibition triggers competition among the participants “for displaying the best commodities at the cheapest cost.”

Ahlan Ramadan, which means “welcome Ramadan” in Arabic, has set many booths for selling vegetables, fruits, beef, chicken, nuts and dried food.

Razeen said the fair will continue until the seventh day of Ramadan to offer people more time to finish their purchases.

Mayada Ragab, an owner of a dates company, expected the expo will attract hundreds of buyers to its branch in Giza.

“People love the dates, spices, and drinks products of my company that all come from Aswan, south of Cairo,” she said.

She sells dates for 2.5 U.S. dollars per kg, 25 percent lower than the average market price.

The state-run Egyptian Company for Marketing Rice also joined the fair with all kinds of rice, flour, pasta and dried vegetables at the factory prices, according to Hatem Mohamed, chairman of the marketing department in the company.

“Our products reach consumers directly from the factories,” he said, noting the products are varied and meet the demands of different people.

Such fairs are the gold opportunities for sellers to earn more revenues because they lure all classes and ages of people. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has urged the government to increase windows of such fairs across the country. Enditem

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