Information for Participants

Dear participant,

Welcome to the Joint Annual Meetings of the Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance of the African Union (AU) and the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), scheduled to take place at the Intercontinental Hotel Cairo Citystars Complex in Cairo, Egypt, from 2 to 7 June 2009. InterContinental Cairo Citystars is situated only seven minutes from Cairo International Airport and about 30 minutes from central Cairo.

Please find below some general information on meeting arrangements which you may find useful. If you have any questions, or if there is any way we may be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact the following address:

Publication and Conference Management Section (PCMS)
Telephone Nos.: +251-11 551 4945 / +251-11 544 3556 /  + 251 11 551 10 47;
Fax Nos.: +251-11 551 3155 or +251-11 551 0105

1. General information

a. Entry visa requirements

All visitors to Egypt must have a valid passport or an identity or travel document recognized by international conventions. Nationals from all countries need an entry visa, which may be obtained from the Egyptian diplomatic mission in their countries of origin. Please check with your nearest Egyptian consular mission for more details concerning visa regulations applying to your citizenship. Delegates from countries where there is no Egyptian diplomatic mission may obtain their visas on arrival at Cairo airport. In such cases participants should inform ECA well in advance to ensure that a visa can be issued on arrival. They should forward their surnames and names, nationality, passport number and flight details as soon as possible to the above contact address, with a copy to the Protocol and Logistics Unit: Fax: +251 544 5654, e-mail:, Tel: +251 544 3524.

b. Medical requirements

All visitors travelling to Egypt should be in possession of a valid International Health Certificate.

c. Customs formalities

A reasonable quantity of personal effects, including cameras and other photographic equipment, watches, pens, lighters, cosmetics, video recorders and other electronic gadgets, can be imported duty-free. You may take the following into Egypt without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of  tobacco, perfume for personal use and gifts to the value of 500 Egyptian pounds. Cash, travellers cheques and gold over the value of 500 Egyptian pounds as well as credit cards must be declared on arrival. Other items are taxable. Visitors may not enter with alcohol, and illegal drugs are not allowed in Egypt. Press equipment is allowed into the country temporarily, provided an exhaustive list is submitted beforehand. Drugs, firearms and cotton may not be brought into the country. The export of any antiquity or any item older than 100 years without a licence is forbidden.

d. Air travel to and from Cairo

The major international airlines currently flying to and from Cairo are Ethiopian Airlines and EgyptAir. Please take your ticket with you when you visit the travel agent for reconfirmation.

e. Information and protocol desk

An information and protocol desk will be set up at Cairo International Airport to facilitate entry and departure formalities for delegates.

f. Local transport

Buses will run shuttle services between the airport and the Intercontinental Hotel Cairo Citystars Complex.

2.  Hotel accommodation

Arrangements have been made by ECA to assist participants with accommodation bookings at their own expense in the Hotel InterContinental and the Holiday Inn located at the Conference venue – the Intercontinental Citystars Complex.
The two hotels are offering the following special rates for Conference participants:

Accommodation at the InterContinental Cairo Citystars


Standard single room


Bed and breakfast


United States dollars 125


Business suite

Executive suite

Diplomatic suite


Bed and breakfast




United States dollars 250

United States dollars 300

United States dollars 340

The above rates are subject to a service charge and taxes of 25.44 per cent.
Double occupancy is subject to a supplement of US$ 20.
The above rates include complimentary high-speed internet access.
The above special rates are applicable for this group only.

Accommodation at the Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars

 Standard single rooms

Bed and breakfast

United States dollars 110


The above rate is subject to a service charge and taxes of 25.44 per cent.
Double occupancy is subject to a supplement of US$ 10 per room per night.
Superior room supplement: US$ 25, plus a 25.44 per cent service charge and taxes.
The above rate includes complimentary high-speed internet access.
The above special rate is applicable for this group only.

Participants choosing the above two hotels should make their booking online by following the procedure described below:

Reservation method: Guests should reserve online through the following links:

Holiday Inn:

Online booking steps

Step 1: Write the requested dates and insert the group code (in capital letters) in the “Group code” field.
The group code for the InterContinental is (MOL)
The group code for the Holiday Inn is (MOG)

Step 2: Fill in all mandatory guest information marked by a red asterisk.  

Note: The group rate is indicated in "Group details", which will appear after you complete step 2.

Cancellation/no-show policy

Cancellations received one day or more before 4 p.m. on the arrival date  (local hotel time) will result in no charge. Cancellations received after then or failure to show will result in a charge of 1 night per room. Taxes will apply.

This cancellation policy applies to both the InterContinental and the Holiday Inn.

NB: In the event of any difficulties arising during online reservation, reception at the airport or transport, or any other requests, please contact:

Wael El Homosany:
E-mail or
the Group Coordinator Team:

Participants should make their online bookings themselves following the above steps and send a copy to the ECA Protocol and Logistics Unit, tel. 251 11 544 35 24, fax: 251 11 544 56 54, e-mail, not later than 25 May 2009.  You are strongly advised to send your request for a hotel room as soon as possible to take advantage of the preferential rates obtained by ECA. Payments are to be made in cash or using credit cards.

3. Registration of participants

The registration desk at the the Intercontinental Hotel Cairo Citystars will be open daily from 31 May 2009 from 8 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. All delegates and participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible upon arrival in Cairo.

Each delegate or participant will be issued with a photo badge for the purpose of identification during the period of the meetings. To expedite procedures, delegates and participants are requested to report at the registration desk with their passports or other photographic means of identification.

For information regarding substantive Conference issues, please contact:
Mr. Urbain Zadi
Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Programme Management
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Tel:      + 251 11 5 51 58 27
Fax:     + 251 11 5 51 44 61

For any other issues pertaining to protocol and logistics, please contact:
Ms. Doreen Bongoy-Mawalla
Office-in-Charge, Division of Administration
and Chief, Publications and Conference Management Section
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Tel.:      + 251 11 5 51 10 47
Fax:      + 251 11 5 51 01 04

For all issues falling under the responsibility of the Government of Egypt, please contact:
Mr. Yasser Sobhi, Economist,
Office of the Minister, Ministry of Finance
Tel: +(202)23421283 - Fax: + (202) 23421303.

4. Egypt: What you need to know

The Arab Republic of Egypt, one of the world's most ancient States, is located in North Africa bordering the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the west, the Sudan to the south, Israel and the Gaza Strip to the north-east, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. Egypt is one of the main political and cultural centres of the Arab world and the Middle East. It has been an influential pioneer in science, art, architecture and many other intellectual fields throughout its impressive 7,000-year history as a civilization. Egypt is home to the Great Pyramid of Giza, a surviving wonder of the world, as well as the Sphinx, Al-Azhar, the world's oldest university, the Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, the Sinai peninsula, which links Africa to Asia, and the River Nile, whose rich deltas have sustained the Egyptian economy for thousands of years.

Arabic is the official language of Egypt, and Islam has been the dominant Egyptian religion since the Arab conquests of the seventh century A.D. The majority of Egypt's 71.9 million citizens are Muslim, although a significant minority are Coptic  Christians following the rites of one of the oldest churches in the world. Egypt also has Roman Catholic as well as Greek and Armenian Orthodox minorities. Egypt is a popular international tourist attraction known for its recreational tourism, with such attractions as the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Sphinx, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Safaga and Hurghada.  

Climate: Average temperatures in Cairo in May-June range between 20 and 35oC.

5.         Banking

Banks in Cairo open from Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.  In addition, ATM machines are quite common for withdrawing cash.  The Egyptian pound (EGP) is the primary unit of currency.

The indicative exchange rate as of March 2009 was US$ 1 = EGP 5.58

Credit and debit cards: MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available

6.         Entertainment guide

Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids and Sphinx: Enjoy a night of passion with ancient Egypt! Feed all your senses with the history of Egypt and its magical enchantment.   From the proximity of the Giza plateau, one can sit in a theatrical seating arrangement with an undetectable stage, a curtain of darkness, an invisible orchestra, monumental actors and a script of a true story that occurred in this very place millions of years ago. As you are seated in total darkness, the story begins to unfold solely by means of sound and light effects. Each character introduces itself as a spotlight shines upon it, making it visible to the eye, and sounds prepare you for its entrance. Not only do you experience the stories behind the three pyramids, but also the story of the sphinx.

Display of the Pharaonic life: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
El Bahr El Aazam St.Giza, Egypt
Tel: 202-571-8675