The COP27 climate summit is now underway with 40,000 guests expected to attend, including delegates and leaders from around the world.
Rishi Sunak is now attending after a huge U-turn, making it his first global appearance since becoming Prime Minister.
Delegates and world leaders are speculated to be staying in the resort of Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt during the conference, which has garnered much criticism and attention.
While guests will be treated to a jam-packed itinerary, including talks on youth activism, delegates and world leaders will be staying at the most luxurious and expensive five-star hotels that Egypt has to offer.
The fact that world leaders are jetting off to stay in the fanciest hotels has been slammed by many on social media as the UK battles with a cost of living crisis.
Political broadcaster Sophie Corcoran took to Twitter to say that the summit should be done by Zoom instead, writing “there’s no reason to fly private jet 1000s of miles, stay in luxury hotels and eat luxury food and bring your 50+ car motorcades - when your own citizens can’t heat their homes.”
But where exactly will delegates and world leaders be staying during the conference? And how much do these hotels cost? Here’s everything you need to know.
Where are COP27 delegates staying?
Exactly where delegates will stay is being kept under wraps, but there are many likely options where world leaders will be staying.
One of these is the Four Seasons Hotel, one of the finest hotels in south Sinai and just ten minutes from Sharm El Sheikh’s international airport.
The hotel boasts a private beach, cliff-top restaurants and Arabic-inspired suites with private terraces. A room per night costs around £500 according to Booking.com, with the odd day towards the end of November increasing to around £1,000.
Another is the Steigenberger Alcazar hotel, with three swimming pools, spa and private beach. It is another likely candidate with it being located just ten minutes from the airport at Sharm El Sheikh.
A night at this hotel costs around £2,000 during the time of the conference, dropping down to £280 towards the end of November and start of December.
The Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort may also play host to world leaders during the summit, with the hotel boasting a private beach, six a-la-carte restaurants, three swimming pools, and a steam room, sauna and wellness centre. During the time of COP27, a night at this hotel costs around £1,000.
Xperience Sea Breeze Resort could also be another candidate for world leaders and delegates. The five-star resort has its own private marina and offers magnificent sea views. It boasts nine swimming pools, access to a private golden sandy beach, a health club and a wide variety of on-site restaurants and bars. At the time of the conference a night’s stay costs around £500, dropping down to just under £100 thereafter.
More than 500 white taxis have reportedly been commissioned to transport attendees between their hotels and the COP conference venue, where on-site facilities include a Covid testing centre, meditation rooms and traditional Egyptian bedouin catering tents.
How much are COP27 hotels?
Hotel prices are expected to be “several times higher than usual” during COP27, according to W&A consular, a company which offers governments, Heads of State and COP Delegations with flights, cars and transfers worldwide.
On its website it reads: “In a letter to Sharm El Sheikh hotels, the Egyptian Hotel Association announced that it is imposing these per night floor rates: $120 for two-star hotels, $350 for four-star hotels, and $500 for five-star hotels.”
The Egyptian Hotel Association said the government ordered it to do so with 25% of the revenues going towards the costs of the summit. However, the government has denied this.
There have also been reports of hotel room costs surging, and those attending the conference recognising the extortionate prices delegates and other attendees are facing.
Climate Home News reports that a five-star hotel informed a delegate from an NGO of a $400 nightly surcharge to the cost of rooms. It claimed “all (COP27) participating properties have been instructed by the government to apply a specific rate to all bookings received during the summit period”.
After lobbying from civil society, the Egyptian government announced cheaper accommodation including rooms for 400 young people at about $30-40 a night.
Omar Elmawi, an East African climate campaigner and member of the COP27 Coalition who has sought a visa to travel to the summit, told EuroNews that it was also designed to help African groups overcome long-standing obstacles to accessing COP summits. However, the offer of cheaper accommodation had been too slow to arrive.
Delegates are now reporting last-minute cancellations which are “rife”, and hotels are arbitrarily charging extra on arrival, even on reservations made months ago at lower rates, according to Climate Home News.
Egyptian officials have said hotel prices are driven by market forces and peaceful protests will be welcomed during the summit, with designated spaces created for them.