As the capital of Egypt, its distinctive character is based on history that goes back thousands of years. This amazing city is full of life and its living personality is its own. With streets full of people and uninterrupted activity, Cairo offers both a modern environment and a uniqueness in which the city was built. Covering the banks of the Nile River, you will not find a more colorful place than Cairo. There is much to do in Cairo. It is a wonderful city that adapts to almost all lifestyles.
Upon arrival, newcomers find that Cairo is an exciting city full of energy, color and adventure. They also enjoy the immediate and open friendship of the locals. The official language in Cairo is Arabic. However, English and French are widely spoken. For visitors who are not familiar with Arabic or French, it will be easier to adapt to the culture if they take the initiative to learn some of the common phrases.
There are some things to remember to avoid offending the other residents of this city. Pointing and using the index finger, showing the bottom of the feet, using the "thumbs up" sign, gesturing with the left hand (which is considered impure), taking photographs without permission is considered offensive and should be avoided. It is illegal to photograph bridges, railway stations, anything military, airports and other public works.
Tipping (called "baksheesh" in Egypt) is a common practice for most services, regardless of how inconsequential it is. In hotels and restaurants, a service charge of approximately 12% is added to the bill, but an additional 5% is used. Taxi fares often include a tip, but if the driver has provided an especially good service, 10% is expected. Modest tips for goalkeepers and buttons are also expected. Many people rely on tips to supplement their income and it is part of the culture of Cairo, so it is important to be aware of the practice and remember to bring small changes.
People who like dry weather will like Cairo. Cairo experiences dry weather throughout the year. Winter, spring and autumn are temperate times of the year. However, in April it is very hot and there are sandy desert winds "Khamsin" (hot and violent winds), followed by scorching summers. The average summer temperature is 98 ° F (37 ° C) and the average summer temperature is 47 ° F (8 ° C). Most buildings and houses have air conditioning.
Cairo is as old as history itself, but it also shows a modern flare. Its uniqueness is inexplicable until it is seen with monuments dating from four different historical periods: the Pharaonic, the Roman, the Christian and the Islamic. People who enjoy history will love Cairo!
To enter Egypt, citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States must provide a valid passport for at least six months beyond the expected length of stay, a visa and a one-way ticket and return. necessary. Citizens of Bahrain, Djibouti, Guinea, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days.
All other citizens of countries not mentioned above must provide a passport valid for at least six months beyond the expected length of stay, a visa and a round trip ticket.
All visitors must register within seven days of arrival. This can be done in most hotels, at any police station or in the Mugamma building in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where they are very well prepared to deal with foreign tourists. Each visitor must bring a passport with them when they register. These requirements are always subject to change, so it is recommended to check with the embassy or consulate of the visitor's country of origin.
There are two types of visas available. A tourist visa is generally valid for a period not exceeding three months and is granted in the form of a single or multiple entry. A business visa is required for any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, for example, work, study, etc. Possession of a valid entry visa is required to complete the residency procedure in Egypt.
The final spouses can work in Cairo, provided that all immigration steps and Visa processes are followed. To obtain an Egyptian driver's license, visitors must show proof that they are at least 18 years old, provide a certificate from an Egyptian ophthalmologist and / or doctor to verify blood type, visual and physical health, provide the Department of Traffic in Attaba Square in Cairo, or in Giza, with all certificates, a valid driver's license from the country of origin, as well as two photographs, a completed LE 55 form and the successful completion of a verbal test and one of highway. All vehicles must carry a fire extinguisher and a red danger triangle.
The entry into the country of alcohol, weapons of any kind, drugs, fireworks or explosives, pornographic material, any type of telephone, seeds, gold or silver (except dishes) is prohibited. All animals must have a veterinary certificate stating that they are in good health and that they are up to date on all their vaccines, including rabies. The plants are managed on a case-by-case basis, analyzed by type of plant and quantity.
The currency in Egypt is the abbreviated Pound (EGP) E £. In Arabic, the pound is called guineh. The pound is divided into 100 piasters, and each piastra in 10 thousandths. Invoices are available in denominations of E £ 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100, and 25 and 50 piasters. Coins are available in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 piasters. The best way to change currency is in banks and hotels. In addition, for your convenience, private exchange agencies are located in various areas of downtown and in the suburbs.
Cash is the preferred payment method for daily purchases, such as groceries, but credit cards are slowly becoming a popular way to pay for items in hotels, restaurants, and tourist-type stores. You can also use traveler's checks that can be exchanged at most banks and accepted as a form of payment in many shops, hotels and restaurants. While in Egypt, one should always carry a small amount of cash, but keep in mind that pickpockets in public places.
When it comes to opening a bank account, each bank has different requirements. Most banks offer services in English, Arabic and French, and many banks can serve clients in many different languages. Having a colleague, friend or Crown representative, recommending a bank is suggested before scheduling an appointment and meeting with a bank consultant. ATMs are available 24 hours a day at various locations throughout Cairo. It is useful to know that there is a shortage of small changes in Egypt, so requesting small denominations while banking will be useful.
When looking for a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference, individual proximity to school work, etc., and in Cairo, traffic is an important issue to consider. There are many nice places to live in Cairo. The city center is more lively with the many tourists and a variety of restaurants and shops to choose from. Most expatriates tend to rent a house, which generally requires a three-month rental deposit in advance, along with a deposit equivalent to two months of rent. Generally, public services and connection charges are not included in the rental price.
As with most cities, some areas are safer and desirable than others. This is usually evident in the cost of accommodation. It is recommended to check local police reports before deciding on an area to live. These reports provide objective information about the types of crimes and how often they occur and should be used to decide in which neighborhood to live.
Expats who move to Cairo tend to enroll their children in international (private) schools. Some schools in Cairo that are worth considering are the New Cairo British International School, The Modern English School, Maadi British International School, Schutz American School, American International School in Egypt, International School of Choueifat and Cairo American College.
There is also a wide range of preschoolers in Cairo. Most international and preschool schools have limited spaces available and have long waiting lists. It is important to begin the application process as soon as possible. Transportation to and from school will vary widely, depending on the location of the school and home. Most independent schools have their own bus systems and some parents choose to drive or take younger children to school. The school year in Cairo generally begins in September and ends sometime in June.
Vaccines are not required, but all travelers arriving in Egypt should be up to date with vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and chickenpox. And, it is important to bring all medical certificates / records from the country of origin. It is also recommended that visitors carefully check any other specific vaccination requirement with their consulate or local embassy in Egypt to confirm medical requirements.
Medical facilities in Cairo are suitable for non-emergency matters, but emergency and intensive care facilities are limited. In general, most expatriates choose to leave the country if they incur a serious medical problem. Or, for regular checkups, wait until they return to their home country and see their regular doctor. However, there are many trained medical professionals in the West throughout Egypt and at the United States Embassy in Cairo that can provide a list of local hospitals and English-speaking doctors. However, keep in mind that medical facilities outside of Cairo, Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh do not meet US standards.
Most insurance companies will provide a list of doctors and specialists in each area. Another alternative that is often useful is to ask a colleague or friend for a referral. The common telephone numbers used for emergencies are: Police – 122; Ambulance – 123 and Fire Department – 125. If an emergency occurs in the middle of the night, one can call one of the numbers mentioned above and wait for an ambulance, or go with a family member to the nearest main hospital.
In Arabic, the name of Pharmacy is Saydaliyya. Pharmacies are located throughout the city and many are open 24 hours. In addition to selling medications, pharmacies also sell perfumes and cosmetics during normal business hours. It is not recommended to drink tap water. It is better to drink bottled water or boiled water and avoid eating raw vegetables.
In Cairo, people drive on the left side of the road. Unless someone is used to driving through Cairo, it is highly recommended that you choose to take a taxi or subway service instead of driving. The roads in Cairo are always crowded and during peak hours, many people drive aggressively. Parking is also very difficult. Egypt has one of the largest incidences of road deaths for miles traveled in the world. Driving in Cairo is a great challenge even for experienced residents. It is recommended that newcomers and visitors do not drive.
Taxis are a very efficient way to get around the city, but the price must be "negotiated" with the driver. The subway is a breath of fresh air in the great confusion of the city. The signs are in English and Arabic, and ticket purchases and route stops are simple. The first car of each train is reserved for women, but women can travel in any car. Only the north-south route is complete and the addresses are named by the last stop of the route. The Marg travels to the north and Helwan travels to the south.
The most popular grocery stores among expats in Cairo are: The Metro Market, Carrefour and Spinneysand Alfa Market. Although their prices are a bit more expensive, the Metro Market is typically the grocery store that most expats choose when they first move to Cairo. It is configured very similarly to what is found in the United States. The stores are very clean and organized; They have a deli that serves hot and cold meals, a good meat market and a wonderful selection of bread. And they have items imported from abroad. For starters, it is a good grocery store because they have prices in Arabic and English. In addition, most stores accept credit cards and ATM cards.
The only thing it can take a while to get used to is that there is no one-stop shop. There are no stores in Cairo that have everything under one roof, so it will be necessary to buy in several different stores to meet all your needs.
There are several newcomer groups that expats can join and there are all kinds of volunteer work available. In addition, some cultures have established support groups. Joining local clubs or volunteering are excellent ways to meet people and make new friends. Families will often network through their children's schools, participating in sports, fundraisers and other activities. Single professionals often socialize in bars and pubs after business hours. There are also several associations of reputable singles networks that organize night and weekend activities, such as dinners in restaurants, sightseeing and tours.
Cairo is not the most equipped place to raise babies or young children, but people manage. There are some nice parks for parents to take their children and most shopping centers also have playgrounds. Finding a reliable child care provider or babysitter usually depends on the area. Neighbors and colleagues are excellent resources for recommendations. Cairo is a safe environment for children, but children should always be accompanied and supervised by an adult and should never talk to strangers.
Some fun and fun places that children love to go to in Cairo are: Dream Park, Fagnoon Park, Aqua Par, Citi Stars, Giza Pyramids and Cairo Tower. Most schools offer extracurricular activities, such as competitive sports teams and various special interest clubs. They also like to go to the movies, games and games with friends. And they like to hang out with their friends in the homes of others. Being a teenager in Cairo is similar to other places. As mentioned earlier, they love spending time with their friends and doing fun things.