Egypt weather is generally hot and dry, with hardly any rain or clouds. November through to January are definitely the most comfortable months for Egypt travel. Days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool.
Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The only differences between the seasons are variations in daytime temperatures and changes in prevailing winds.
In Cairo, temperatures can rise as high as 95°F in summer and drop to as low as 45°F in winter. Farther south, the country becomes hotter.
Alexandria, in the north, enjoys much milder weather than the rest of the country. Here, the highest temperature throughout the year will not usually be more than the mid 80s, and the cool breezes of the Mediterranean make even the hottest days pleasant.
Winters in Aswan are pleasantly warm, but summer temperatures can reach 107°F.
Modern Standard Arabic
Egyptian Society & Culture
Islam is practised by the majority of Egyptians and governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives.
Islam emanated from what is today Saudi Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad is seen as the last of God’s emissaries (following in the footsteps of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc) to bring revelation to mankind. He was distinguished with bringing a message for the whole of mankind, rather than just to a certain peoples. As Moses brought the Torah and Jesus the Bible, Muhammad brought the last book, the Quran. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion.
Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day – at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. Friday is the Muslim holy day. Everything is closed. Many companies also close on Thursday, making the weekend Thursday and Friday.
During the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing.Expatriates are not required to fast; however, they must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public. Each night at sunset, families and friends gather together to celebrate the breaking of the fast (iftar). The festivities often continue well into the night. In general, things happen more slowly during Ramadan. Many businesses operate on a reduced schedule. Shops may be open and closed at unusual times.
The family is the most significant unit of Egyptian society.
Kinship plays an important role in all social relations.
The individual is always subordinate to the family, tribe or group.
Nepotism is viewed positively, since it is patronage of one’s family.
The family consists of both the nuclear and the extended family.
Social class is very apparent in Egypt since it determines your access to power and position.
The social class an Egyptian is born into dictates their everyday life and the opportunities they will have.
There are three social classes: upper, middle, and lower.
Status is defined more by family background than by absolute wealth.
There is little social mobility.
Etiquette & Customs in Egypt
Meetings are based on both class and the religion of the person.
It is best to follow the lead of the Egyptian you are meeting.
Handshakes are the customary greeting among individuals of the same sex.
Handshakes are somewhat limp and prolonged, although they are always given with a hearty smile and direct eye contact.
Once a relationship has developed, it is common to kiss on one cheek and then the other while shaking hands, men with men and women with women.
In any greeting between men and women, the woman must extend her hand first. If she does not, a man should bow his head in greeting.
Gift Giving Etiquette
If you are invited to an Egyptian’s home for dinner, bring good quality chocolates, sweets or pastries to the hostess.
Do not give flowers, which are usually reserved for weddings or the ill, unless you know that the hosts would appreciate them.
A small gift for the children shows affection.
Always give gifts with the right hand or both hands if the gift is heavy.
Gifts are not opened when received
If you are invited into an Egyptian’s house: You would normally remove your shoes before entering. Dress well and conservatively. Appearances are important to Egyptians. Compliment the host on the house.
Wait for the host or hostess to tell you where to sit.
Eat with the right hand only.
It is considered a sincere compliment to take second helpings.
Always show appreciation for the meal.
Salting your food is considered ‘unecessary’.
Leave a small amount of food on your plate when you have finished eating. Otherwise they will keep filling it up for you!
Relationships & Communication
Egyptians prefer to do business with those they know and respect, therefore expect to spend time cultivating a personal relationship before business is conducted.
Who you know is more important than what you know, so it is important to network and cultivate a number of contracts.
Expect to be offered coffee or tea whenever you meet someone, as this demonstrates hospitality. Even if you do not take a sip, always accept the beverage. Declining the offer is viewed as rejecting the person.
Since Egyptians judge people on appearances wear good quality conservative clothes and present yourself well at all times.
Egyptians believe direct eye contact is a sign of honesty and sincerity, so be prepared for disconcertingly intense stares.
Egyptians are emotive and use hand gestures when they are excited. In general, they speak softly, although they may also shout or pound the table. This is not indicative of anger; it is merely an attempt to demonstrate a point.
You should demonstrate deference to the most senior person in the group, who will also be their spokesperson. This is a country where hierarchy and rank are very important.
Business attire is formal and conservative. Dress well if you want to make a good impression.
Men should wear dark coloured, lightweight, conservative business suits, at least to the first meeting.
Men should avoid wearing visible jewellery, especially around the face and neck.
Women must be careful to cover themselves appropriately. Skirts and dresses should cover the knee and sleeves should cover most of the arm.
|FAMOUS FOOD OF EGYPT||INDIAN CUISINE OF EGYPT|
|Gibna Domiati||11 Mohamed Ebeid St, El-saba’a Emarat Square | The Karvin Hotel, Cairo 11341, Egypt|
|002 02 26906453|
|Indira Indian Restaurant|
|Dukkah||Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars | Ali Rashed Street, Cairo 11757, Egypt|
|Maharaja Indian Restaurant|
|Taro/Colcasia Soup||Al Rehab | Sook Tijary, Cairo, Egypt|
|Feseekh||Nawab Indian Restaurant|
|21 B, Bahgat Ali street, | Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt|
|Fatta||Gate to India|
|Swiss Inn | Dreamland, 6th of October City, Cairo, Egypt|
|Silk Road Restaurant|
|Kushari||65 Abdel Hamid Badawey Street, Cairo 1111, Egypt|
|Date||Day||Number of Days||Holiday|
|3-Jan||Saturday||1||Milad Un Nabi (The Prophet’s Birthday)|
|7-Jan||Wednesday||1||Coptic Christmas Day|
|14-Jan||Wednesday||1||Coptic New Year|
|13-Apr||Monday||1||Sham el Nessim|
|25-Apr||Saturday||1||Sinai Liberation Day|
|18-Jul||Saturday||3||Eid Al Fitr|
|23-Sep||Wednesday||4||Eid Al Adha|
|6-Oct||Tuesday||1||Armed Forces Day|
|13-Oct||Tuesday||1||Al Hijra (Islamic New Year)|
|Ain Shams Specialized Hospital Tel: 2402-4111|
|Abbasia, Cairo Tel : 2402-7166|
|Anglo American Hospital Tel: 2735-6162|
|Zamalek, Cairo Tel: 2735-6163/4|
|Arab Contractor Hospital Tel: 2342-6000|
|Behman Hospital Tel: 2555-7551|
|Cairo Medical Hospital Tel: 2450-4901|
|Cairo Radiology Center Tel: 3335-7480|
|Mohandesin, Giza Tel: 3337-4263|
|Cardiac Center Tel: 2259-0376|
|Heliopolis, Cairo Tel:2258-0462|
|Cleopatra Hospital Tel: 2414-3931|
|Damascus Hospital Tel: 3347-0194|
|Dar El Fouad Hospital Tel: 3835-6030|
|4 STAR HOTELS||3 STAR HOTELS|
|Helnan Marina Sharm Hotel||Golden Park Hotel|
|Naama Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt||
|Baron Hotel Heliopolis Cairo||Pyramids View Inn|
|Hotel | 10 Sphinx Street – nazlet el samman | Pyramids Sound & Light Square, Cairo 1212, Egypt|
|00 20 100 058 6661|
|Triumph Hotel||King Hotel|
|20 Abdel Rehim Sabri Street | Dokki, Cairo 002, Egyp|
|Golden Tulip Flamenco||Royal Marshal Hotel|
|Maadi Hotel||Cairo Khan Suites Hotel|
With over 100,000 pieces in all, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo holds the most comprehensive collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts in the world. Among its most prized possessions is the iconic funereal mask of the boy king Tutankhamen, as well as a number of other objects related to this famous young pharaoh. With so much to see it’s a good idea to plan your route before getting started, otherwise the whole experience can be somewhat overwhelming!
Vast and spectacular, this UNESCO listed site contains an incredible array of Ancient Egyptian monuments, the most famous of which are two massive Temples of Ramesses II. Ramesses built these mighty temples as a way to immortalise himself and ensure he would never be forgotten; judging from the thousands of tourists who visit this attraction every year it seems this famous pharaoh got his wish… Don’t miss the main hall of the Great Temple which was cut directly into the sandstone and includes two rows of imposing statues of Ramesses himself, each one 30 feet high!
VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Along with Giza, the Valley of the Kings is probably Egypt’s most famous tourist attraction. The burial place of many of the great pharaohs, the Valley of the Kings contains a myriad of ancient tombs cut into the limestone of the valley itself. Among other highlights, visitors can discover the tomb of famous boy-ruler Tutankhamen as well as the tomb of Ramses the Great and Ramses IV. However, the real one to that you simply can’t miss is Hatshepsut’s Temple, which is phenomenal.
The sanctuaries at Karnak and Luxor rank among the largest ancient temples on the planet. Originally forming part of the Egyptian city of Thebes, these temple complexes housed a number of religious sites, sanctuaries, sphinxes and other ancient buildings. Probably the most impressive attraction at Karnak is the Temple of Amun-Ra, with its world famous Great Hypostyle Hall. This huge looming structure contains a series of massive columns, each sixty-nine feet high. Just a short distance further down the river, Luxor temple contains the famous Avenue of the Sphinxes as well as a variety of vast structures and giant statues. Their close proximity to the heart of the Luxor tourist resort means these temples sit among Egypt’s most popular tourist attractions.
Containing three magnificent Egyptian pyramids as well as the renowned Sphinx, Giza is just a stone’s throw from Cairo and lies literally across the road from many of the most popular hotels. Giza is probably the most famous and most visited entry on our top ten tourist attractions of Egypt list, so while you won’t get any peace and quiet you will have an amazing experience and will see a site which can’t be beaten.
India is 3 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Egypt
Official Currency ” Egyptian Pound”
Summer: Temperatures in Egypt and Jordan are generally high, particularly during the summer months from May to August, when the sun can be very strong, so take plenty of sunscreen. It’s still fine to visit Egypt at these times of year and the heat is more dry than humid.
Winter: In Cairo and the Nile Delta region, winter (October to February) can be cooler – so take a jacket, long-sleeved tops and trousers for the cooler evenings. The south remains warm during this time but again, temperatures do drop in the evenings. This is the best time to visit Egypt if you want to avoid the hot sun. March and April are also pleasant and good months to visit Egypt too. Rainfall is negligible, except on Egypt’s coast.
CHECK, PLEASE!? -Always ask for the bill after your finished eating at a sit down restaurant. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get it and you’ll waste your day waiting to pay for your meal.
EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE! -Learn how to haggle. Egypt is all about haggling, whether it’s for a water at the corner store, a souvenir at the market, or a non-metered taxi fare. Even haggling for hotel room prices, restaurant menu prices is acceptable to a point. After spending a short time there, you’ll realize that almost everything in Egypt is negotiable.
DON’T FORGET TP! -BYOTP! (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper). You’ll be hard pressed to find toilet paper in most restrooms in Egypt. The toilets here have a built in bidet spray nozzle so if you don’t have toilet paper with you, prepare to walk out of the bathroom with a wet or dirty behind.
BLANK STARES -Accept that you’re a foreigner and that you will be stared at all day, every day. Literally. What ever you do, do not take offense to this behavior, it’s all out of curiosity!
GENUINE GUY, OR SCAMMER? -Be careful who you trust. You should be able to figure out who is genuine and whose not after the first two minutes of conversation. If a person approaches you and starts to tell you that he owns a perfume shop, or mentions the Arabic word “baksheesh” which means “tip” in English, tell them “La, Shukran” which means “No, thank you.” in English and simply walk the other way.
WAIT, HOW MUCH? -Ask the price before buying water, soda, candy, and anything else that you can buy at a convenience store. If you’re used to paying a lower price in other shops for your item, haggle with the shop owner a bit!
UTILIZE THE METRO -It’s one of the most efficient metro systems. Be aware, it’s extremely rare that you’ll run into other foreigners on the metro. Considering you’ll be a minority, expect the train to go silent at times and when you look up, the entire car will be looking at you in awe.
BRING COMFY SHOES! -Walking shoes or comfortable sneakers are best. You can wear flip flops or sandals but just realize that the streets of Egypt and Cairo especially can be very dirty therefore you’ll surely return from your day with two nasty looking feet!
WASH YOUR HANDS! -Carry hand sanitizer! You’ll constantly be touching doors, hand rails and money while you’re in the city. You’re not the only one touching those things! Remember, there’s an estimated 25 million people in Cairo! Think about it.
WATCH YOUR STEP! -Watch where you’re walking while exploring the city. The sidewalks, and streets of Cairo are not maintained well. Dangerous isn’t even the word for the streets and sidewalks here.
DRINK WATER, AND LOTS OF IT -Buy bottled water, lots of it! You’ll need it to brush your teeth, to drink during the day and maybe even some to pour over your head after being in the extreme heat all day.
EAT WHERE THE LOCALS DO! -Not only will it be the cheapest food that you’ll encounter during your travels, but you’ll also most likely be eating traditional Egyptian food which is what you should be doing if you’re in Egypt anyway, right?
DON’T BE AFRAID TO CROSS THE STREETS -The driving and traffic will be shocking when you first arrive. Crossing the streets at first is quite intimidating but after you get used to it, you’ll be crossing the streets with ease. There’s a science to it! Don’t bother getting assistance from the “Tourist Police” when crossing the roads, if you do they’ll most likely want a tip (baksheesh) after they assist you in crossing.
COVER UP -If you’re a female and you’re planning on traveling to Egypt please do your research! Many foreigners come to Egypt and dress as they would in their home country. This type of behavior canand will attract much unwanted attention, stares, and even perhaps physical advances by Egyptian men. In order to blend in and avoid these issues, please choose your outfits carefully.
TAKE A BLACK TAXI -If you’re confident with your haggling skills, take a black taxi to your next destination. The black taxi’s are considered private and never have running meters. All you need to do is ask a local how much it should cost to go from point A to B and use that number to haggle with the driver. Make sure you agree on a price BEFORE entering the taxi. Confirm the price 2 or 3 times before actually getting in to avoid any issues. By doing so, you may save yourself a few pounds. Once again, if you’re confident and aware of the true “Egyptian” prices (what Egyptians would pay for something), you’ll most likely have no issues with agreeing on a price and you’ll be able to avoid being ripped off.
Egypt Travel Dont’s
Do not go on holiday to Egypt without telling your friends or family how to reach you.
Do not touch during a conversation, which is not usually appropriate unless the people having the conversation are very close to each other. In general, there is little to no touching between opposite sex during conversations or in public places. Do not hug and kiss in public.
Do not wear sleeveless tops and short skirts or shorts on the streets or in markets. Swimsuits and bikinis are acceptable in hotel pools and cruise ships or in the Red Sea towns.
Do not offer alcohol or pork to your local Egyptian guests unless you know for sure that they consume it. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, although it’s available in shops. Most Muslims do not eat pork and believe pork is unclean.
Do not eat communal food with your left hand, as this is used for personal hygiene. The right hand is used for greeting, eating, and passing objects.
Do not be offended if your Egyptian host turns on the TV when you visit. It is a kind of hospitality saying you are welcome in our house. The TV is a sign of wealth.
Do not cross your legs in front of the master of the house or any other elder person, which is thought to be very impolite in Egypt. Do not point the foot at any person.
Do not wear trainers for walking in desert as the sand will get inside the lining and make the show too tight. Sandals and boots are better.
Do not forget to take enough money with you on your daily outings. Take a large number of single dollar bills. It’s very difficult to find single Egyptian Pounds.
Do not get into a taxi without asking the price first or use a meter counter.
Do not walk around alone if you are a woman.
Do not eat and drink or smoking in public places on Muslim fasting days.
Do not drink alcohol. Islamic countries are against alcohol, while eating at the restaurant, ask the tour leader if you can drink.
Do not take photographs of local Egyptian without prior permission. Do not take the military restricted areas and government agencies.
Do not forget to give some tips to waiters, tour guides, drivers and the room cleaners as an expression of satisfaction with the services, otherwise they will be greatly offended.
Egypt Travel Do’s
Do learn a few Arabic words so that you can ask for help when needed. “Say-eeda” is “hi”, “Shok-ran” is “thank you”.
Do handshake in certain circumstances. Cheek kissing is acceptable if closely related, but the most common greeting would be a slight bow of the head and a greeting of “salaam aleikum” which should be replied to with “waaleikum us salam”. It is taboo for religiously observant men to touch women and vice-versa.
Do keep your valuables and all your important documents in a safe place.
Do negotiate before getting in a cab or on a camel. Do negotiate price on all merchandise.
Do prepare some sweets as a gift when visit an Egyptian house, according to local customs.
Do make an attempt to take off your shoes when entering a Muslim house unless you are told not to. The house is where they pray, so some kind of sacred ground.
Do wash your hands before entering the table. Do use your right hand when eating. Do not expect to have knife and fork. Eating with your hands is quite acceptable in Egypt.
Do let the master of the house to have the first bite when dinning with the Egyptian, unless he invites you to have a nib before him.
Do take two or more vehicles when making a long trip into the desert.
Do ask to see the camels first on a camel journey and do check out when hiring a guide with vehicles. The desert is recognized by all as a serious place to have a breakdown and almost all guides go well prepared.
Do watch out and plan on drinking between 1 and 3 litres of water a day in winter in addition to any tea, coffee or soup. In summer you can expect to last less than three days without water. In winter, it’s much longer, probably a week. It is the very lack of water that makes the desert a dangerous place to make a mistake.
Do stock up on sun cream to avoid sunburn, especially between 11am and 2pm, especially in summer time. Do wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and head.
Do keep an eye on your groups departure time, and let the people you are with know where you are going so they know how long you will be.