Egyptians staying at one of Cairo's oldest cafes "El Feshawy" and following up the World Cup games - Egypt Today Egyptians staying at one of Cairo's oldest cafes "El Feshawy" and following up the World Cup games - Egypt Today

2018 World Cup: a quick buck for Egyptian Cafes

Tue, Jul. 10, 2018
CAIRO – 10 July 2018: After 28 years of absence and trying so hard to qualify for the world cup, Egypt finally made it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia but performed very poorly and disappointed the Egyptian fans.

This loss will affect the profit of the Qahwas (local coffee shops), which helped people who are not beIN Sports subscribers to watch the World Cup matches.

During the games, the prices of drinks such as tea, coffee or juice were increased by 20 percent; on a normal day, a cup of tea costs LE 2.5 ($ 0.14), which was increased to LE 3 at most of the Qahwas in the slum and blue-collar areas across Cairo and Giza during the matches. However, after the national team’s loss, Qahwas won’t be earning the same amount of money.

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Egyptians staying at Zalat Coffee shop and resturant in Nasr City, Giza, watching the World Cup games - Egypt Today


Qahwa owners consider the World Cup a great season, offering extra seats to attract as many customers as possible. “We already have 150 chairs and the number was increased to 550 seats during the tournament,” said M. Gad, a waiter in a Qahwa in Wadi Hof, Helwan.

“This number could not be enough as the games are not broadcast on other channels,” he told Egypt Today. "Booking a chair with a drink will cost between LE 25 – LE 30," he continued. Gad added the number of clients was not as big as it was expected because the Egyptian games were broadcast on the free beIN sport channel.

“Normally, there are 100 seats, but it depends on the match being aired. For example, if the Egyptian National team is playing, the number of seats increases to almost 200 chairs,” Explained a regular customer at a Qahwa in Ain Shams. Booking a chair at a Qahwa in Ain Shams costs LE 10 without the drink, but with the drink will cost about LE 15. “If all 100 seats are booked, the owner will gain approximately LE 1,500 during one football game.”

Therefore, over the period of one football game, one Qahwa with reasonable prices can make a profit of more than LE 13,700. The World Cup, with a total of 64 games, is a profitable season for hundreds of thousands of Qahwas and cafes. "In 2015, the number of Qahwas and cafes in Cairo only reached 100,000 cafes, most of them unlicensed," said former Cairo Governor, Galal al-Saeed, in media remarks.

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Egyptians staying at a Coffee shop in Giza, watching the World Cup games - Egypt Today


“Reserving a seat costs LE 5 and this doesn’t include a drink, even if the person is not going to order, he still has to pay for the seat. The owner of the coffee shop may earn almost LE 2,000 a day,” Ibrahim Khalil, a friend of a Qahwa owner in Giza, clarified.

The price of having a drink in a Qahwa varies from one area to another. There are coffee shops where reserving a seat can reach LE 100. Whenever you sit at a local coffee shop at an upscale district, the prices gets higher. However, many people, particularly the youth, prefer watching games at Qahwas.

“I personally prefer watching football matches in general in a local coffee shop because I feel free. I feel like home when I watch the games with people who are like family,” Physician Mohamed Sultan told Egypt Today.

“I prefer watching matches at local cafés of course. The atmosphere is indescribable; it’s like a mini stadium. The people watching with you will boost your enthusiasm,” a football fan said.

“Obviously, I prefer watching matches at Qahwas because you don’t have to be embarrassed if you get angry or swear, but at a café you have to be respectful and try not to disturb other people watching; you feel like you are tied to a chair,” Alaa Ahmed Omar commented.

“It’s a very complicated issue regarding the prices now at any Qahwa,” a 15 year old boy said. “In Ain Shams region the price of a drink is cheaper than reserving the seat,” he continued “I have to pay LE 10 for the seat and order a drink which costs less than LE 5. It’s very frustrating.”

After Egypt’s loss and poor performance in the world cup, some Egyptians stopped watching the World Cup at the Qahwa.

“I have been to several Qahwas around Cairo to watch the World Cup with my friends. However, after Egypt’s disappointing performance, it’s mostly the young ones who still watch the World Cup” Mahmoud Abdel Azim, a young football fan commented.

“I personally stopped going to watch the matches at the Qahwa; I only go when friends ask me to join them,” a 42 year old teacher stated.
Meanwhile, Mostafa Mohammed, an accountant in a private company, said that he goes to watch any match at the Qahwa, especially the highly-competitive games like the one between Argentina and Nigeria. “This was a very intense match even though Nigeria lost in the last minute,” he added.
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