Egypt

From Halal Explorer

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The Arab Republic of Egypt (Arabic: مصر, màSr) is in north-eastern Africa. Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its art, temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and above all, its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt's Coptic Christian and Muslim legacy, with ancient churches, monasteries and masjids dotted across the landscape. Egypt stimulates the imagination of Muslim tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.

Contents

An Introduction to the Region of Egypt

  Lower Egypt
The northern Nile delta, and the Mediterranean coast; Cairo, Alexandria
  Middle Egypt
The area along the Nile where the historical Upper and Lower kingdoms met
  Upper Egypt
A string of amazing temple towns located on the southern stretch of the Nile
  Western Desert
Location of the Western Oases: five pockets of green, each with their own unique attractions
  Red Sea Coast
Luxury beach resorts, diving and marine life
  Sinai
Rugged and isolated peninsula, with fascinating relics of the past, high mountains and great scuba diving

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Egypt

  • Greater Cairo — the capital of Egypt, home to the Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum and fabulous Islamic architecture
  • Alexandria — Egypt's window on the Mediterranean, with still-palpable glimpses of the past
  • Aswan — a more relaxed option than Luxor, full of amazing sights
  • Hurghada — a town on the Red Sea, filled with all-inclusive resorts and numerous diving options
  • Luxor — gateway to the Valley of the Kings, amongst other fabulous attractions, and hassle capital of Egypt
  • Port Said — the centre of the third largest metropolitan area, has a cosmopolitan legacy, home to the Lighthouse of Port Said
  • Sharm el Sheikh — a hugely popular resort city on the Sinai peninsula, with some of the best scuba diving in the world
  • Quseir — a historical town with a old Fort and Down Town at the Red Sea coast, with some of the best diving spots and holiday destination in Egypt

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Egypt

  • Abu Simbel (Arabic: أبو سمبل) – a very remote town in the far south, with some impressive ancient temples and distinct history
  • Dahab (Arabic: دهب‎) – at Sinai, east of Sharm el Sheikh, a backpacker central, with excellent scuba diving
  • Karnak - scattered temples built with an emphasis on size, an impressive avenue of ram-headed sphinxes runs through the middle
  • Memphis (Arabic: مَنْف‎, Manf) and Saqqara (Arabic: سقارة‎) – both filled with relics and ruins of ancient Egypt and they're often combined as a day trip from Cairo
  • Siwa (Arabic: واحة سيوة‎, Wāḥat Sīwah) – a stunning remote oasis near the Libyan border
  • St. Katherine (Arabic: سانت كاترين‎) – home to the oldest continually inhabited monastery, Mount Sinai and Mount Katherine (highest mountain in Egypt) and truly Bedouin culture
  • Taba Heights (Arabic: طابا,‎ Ṭāba) – purpose built resort with views of Jordan and Saudi Arabia
  • Valley of the Kings (Arabic: وادي الملوك‎, Wādī al Mulūk)

Egypt Halal Explorer

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Egypt also extends into Asia by virtue of holding the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is bordered by Palestine and the Gaza Strip to the north-east, by Sudan to the south and by Libya to the West. The country is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas (to the north and east respectively) and geographically dominated both by the Nile River and its fertile well-watered valley, and by the Eastern and Western deserts.

While Egypt is primarily known as a tourist destination and for the pyramids, it is also notable as having the largest population in the Arabic-speaking world, and the second largest economy in Africa after South Africa.

History of Egypt

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose around 3200 BC and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 BC, who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste and the Mamluks, took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Islamic Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Islamic Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Egypt gained partial independence from the UK in 1922. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honoured place of the Nile River in agriculture and the ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to prepare the economy for the 21st century through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.

How is the Climate in Egypt

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Egypt's climate is generally classified as desert. It is an extension of the great Sahara that bands North Africa, and except for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive there. As the ancient Greek historian Herodotus stated: "Egypt is the gift of the Nile".

Beware that from March till May, sand storms may occur, particularly during daytime. These storms not only make the air sandy and very dry, but also temporarily raise the temperature. Sand storms at other times of the year can still erupt but rarely and in winter, usually they won't raise the temperature.

Generally and the summers are hot, rainless and #Sun|extremely sunny, but the air can be humid at the coasts and very dry at the south, away of the coasts and away of the Nile Delta. The winters are moderate. November through March are definitely the most comfortable months for travel in Egypt. Only the north coast (stretching from the sea to 50 kilometers southwards) receives a little rain in winter; the rest of Egypt receives negligible or no rain.

Thunderstorms along with heavy rain showers that often last several hours are not uncommon in Alexandria, Marsa Matruh and all other northern coastal areas, and even the Delta. In some years the rainstorms can last for a whole day or so, though the rain tends to be lighter. Hail is also not uncommon, especially out in the desert where the weather is usually colder and allows for soft hail to fall and even frost to form on non-rainy days.

In the Sinai Mountains and also the Red Sea mountains, which stretch along the east side of the nation along the shore of the Red Sea and there is generally more rain than the surrounding desert, as rain clouds tend to develop when warm air evaporates and rises as it moves across higher terrain. Floods in these areas are a common weather phenomenon as so much rain can fall in a very short amount of time (often a day or two), with thunder and lightning as well. Because of the desert and lack of abundant vegetation and the water from the rain quickly falls down across the hills and mountains and floods local areas. Every year there are stories in the local newspapers about flash floods in areas of the Sinai and also in Upper Egypt (southern Egypt) such as in Assiut, Luxor, Aswan, and Sohag. These floods, however, only generally happen two or three times a year, and do not happen at all in some years. When they happen, though, it is often in early times of the season such as in September or October, or in late winter such as February. Because of this risk, one should be careful when venturing out into the desert or camping in certain areas, as water can suddenly rush down from the nearby mountains and hills. It can sometimes carry a quite strong current that has been known to break down homes of rural people who build their homes from mud, bricks, and other weak materials. Poor people might drown in the floods, which is strange for a desert country that doesn't receive much precipitation.

Also, in higher elevations such as on top of the Sinai mountains, temperatures can drop much more than the surrounding areas, allowing for snowfall in winter months, since temperatures can drop down to below freezing, as well as formation of frost even in the low lying desert areas where the temperatures are generally several degrees colder than in the cities.

December, January and February are the coldest months of the year. However, winter days of southern places at the Nile Valley are warmer, but their nights are as cool as northern places.

Visitors should be aware that most houses and apartments in Egypt do not have central heating like countries with colder climates, because the main weather concern in Egypt is the heat. Therefore, even though the weather might not be so cold for a westerner, inside the apartment it might be colder at day but the temperature indoors is more stable than outdoors. In Cairo, in indoor buildings without air-conditioning, temperatures are about 15°C (59°F) in the coldest winter days and about 34°C (93°F) in the hottest summer days.

Public Holidays in Egypt

Banks, shops and businesses close for the following Egyptian national holidays (civil and religious), and public transport may run only limited services:

  • 7 January (Eastern Orthodox Christmas)
  • 25 January (Egyptian Revolution Day)
  • 25 April (Sinai Liberation Day)
  • 1 May (Labour Day)
  • 23 July (July Revolution Day)
  • 6 October (Armed Forces Day)
  • 1st Shawwal and the 10th Hijri month (Eid al Fitr, "Breakfast Feast")
  • 10th Dhu al Hijjah and the 12th Hijri month (Eid al Adha, "Sacrifice Feast")
  • Working for shorter day hours for 29 or 30 days of Ramadan

Since Islamic holidays are based on the lunar calendar and their exact dates vary between years

Ramadan 2025 in Egypt

Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which may last several days, usually three in most countries.

The next Ramadan shall be from Friday, 28 February 2025 to Saturday, 29 March 2025

The next Eid al-Adha shall be on Friday, 6 June 2025

The next day of Raʾs al-Sana shall be on Monday, 19 July 2024

The next day for Mawlid al-Nabī shall be on Monday, 16 September 2024 Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most important month in the Islamic Calendar for Muslims and the majority religion in Egypt. Commemorating the time when God revealed the Qur'an to Mohammed, during this holy month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking or smoking until after sundown on each day. Although strict adherence to Ramadan is for Muslims only, some Muslims appreciate that non-Muslims do not take meals or smoke in public places. During Ramadan, some Halal restaurants and cafes won't open until after sundown. Public transport is less frequent, shops close earlier before sunset and the pace of life (especially business) is generally slow.

Terrain

Egypt consists of vast desert plateau interrupted by the Nile valley and delta, along with the Sinai peninsula. Portions of the Nile River valley are bounded by steep rocky cliffs, while the banks are relatively flat in other areas, allowing for agricultural production.

How to visit and travel to Egypt

Egypt is one of only three Middle Eastern countries that tolerate Israeli settlers in their country.

Visa & Passport Requirements to enter Egypt

As a major tourist destination whose economy is dependent upon tourist money, Egypt is relatively easy to enter and/or obtain visas for if necessary. There are three types of Egyptian visa:

  • Tourist Visa - usually valid for 3 months or less and granted on either a single or multiple entry basis
  • Entry Visa - required for any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, e.g. work, study. The possession of a valid Entry Visa is needed to complete the residence procedure in Egypt.
  • Transit Visa - rarely needed and only for certain nationalities

Entry visas may be obtained from Egyptian diplomatic and consular missions abroad or from the Entry Visa Department at the Travel Documents, Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). Non-Egyptians are required to have a valid passport.

Visa on arrival is available for many GCC countries; see below. Citizens, however, of the following countries are required to have a visa before arriving, which must be applied for through an Egyptian consulate or embassy outside of Egypt:

Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border crossing at Taba or at Sharm el Sheikh airport can be exempted from a visa and granted a free fourteen day entry visa to visit the Aqaba coast of the Sinai peninsula, including Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and St. Catherine's Monastery. Visitors wishing to leave the Sinai peninsula and to visit Cairo and other Egyptian cities are required to hold full Egyptian visas, although strictly speaking there is a small possibility no one will check for this unless you attempt to exit the nation. These are not issued at the Taba border crossing and must be acquired in advance either in the nation of residence, at the Egyptian consulate in Eilat or airport upon arrival. Visitors on organized tours often may be able to have their visas issued at the border, but should verify in advance with their travel agent or tour operator if this option is available. Those in possession of a residence permit are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the nation and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less.

Tourists visiting Sharm el Sheikh who are planning to undertake scuba diving outside local areas (i.e. Ras Mohammed) must obtain the tourist visa in order to leave the Sharm el Sheikh area. Officials on boats may check dive boats whilst on the waters so you are advised to obtain the visa beforehand: there may be fines involved for you and the boat captain if you are caught without the appropriate visa. Most reputable dive centres will ask to see your visa before allowing you on trips.

Egypt has peaceful relations with but the degree of friendliness varies, and with it and the direct connections between the two countries. A direct air service between Cairo and Tel Aviv is operated by EgyptAir under the guise of "Air Sinai". Bus service seems to continue, as described below. In any case, verify the situation as you plan, and again at the last minute.

Visa on arrival

Muslims visitors of Bahrain, Guinea, South Korea, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen receive a 3-month visa on arrival. Muslims visitors of Kuwait can obtain 6-month Residence Permit upon arrival. China and Malaysia citizens receive a 15-day visa on arrival. Muslims visitors of China (only Hong Kong and Macau SAR) may have a 30-day visit without visa.

Muslims visitors of UK, EU, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Macedonia, South Korea, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and USA may also obtain a visa on arrival at major points of entry.

The visa on arrival is US$25 for everyone. You will not necessarily need US dollars, most major currencies, down to small notes ($1, €5, £5), are accepted and exchanged by the visa fee collecting officer at a more than fair rate. The officer will also put the visa fee sticker into you passport, with which you will have to pass through passport control.

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Egypt

  • Cairo International Airport IATA Flight Code: CAI This airport is the primary entry point and the hub of the national carrier, Egyptair.
  • Borg el Arab International Airport IATA Flight Code: HBE All flights into Alexandria now use this airport.
  • Alexandria El Nouzha Airport IATA Flight Code: ALY
  • El Nouzha Airport - Closed indefinitely.
  • Hurghada International Airport IATA Flight Code: HRG - Nowadays, a major airport for budget tourists coming into Egypt and staying along the Red Sea most of the time. Many airlines to Hurghada can be booked without paying for a holiday package.
  • Sharm el Sheikh International Airport IATA Flight Code: SSH - Like Hurghada, well frequented and one of the cheapest options to get into Egypt.
  • Luxor the international Airport IATA Flight Code: LXR - This airport is now receiving an increasing number of international scheduled flights, mostly from Europe, in addition to charter flights.
  • Aswan International Airport IATA Flight Code: ASW
  • Marsa Alam International Airport IATA Flight Code: RMF

Book a Halal Cruise or Boat Tour in Egypt

Ferries run regularly from Aqaba across to Nuweiba on the Sinai peninsula, bypassing Palestine and the sometimes complicated border arrangements. Generally there is no visa fee for entering Jordan through Aqaba since it is a part of the free trade zone. The line to Nuweiba is operated by AB Maritime. It is also feasible to travel from Saudi Arabia to several Red Sea coast ports.

A weekly ferry also runs between Wadi Halfa, Sudan and Aswan, connecting with the train from Khartoum.

How to get around in Egypt

Ramses Station

Buy a Flight ticket to and from Egypt

Overland journeys between cities in Egypt are often long, hot, bumpy, dusty, and not altogether safe. There is a good domestic air network, and advance fares are not expensive, so flying internally is often an excellent option. Obvious exceptions are Cairo - Alexandria and Luxor - Aswan, both only 220 kilometers apart so ground transport will be quicker, and you'd only fly between them to connect onto another domestic or international flight.

Cairo has direct connecting Flights to every other major city, including Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, Marsa Alam and Kharga oasis. These run at least daily, and the main cities have several Flights a day. There are also daily flights directly between Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.

Most flights are operated by the national carrier, EgyptAir. This is the first place to go looking. Some internet booking sites (e.g. Expedia) don't offer their flights - it'll appear as if you need to fly via Istanbul or similar nonsense. If you don't have internet access, Egyptair doesn't do phone sales, but they have lots of downtown booking offices - your hotel can point these out.

There are rival airlines such as Nile Air and Al Masria. Nile Air has Flights from Cairo and Alexandria. Al Masria flies to Cairo from Hurghada, and Sharm El Sheikh. Foreign package airlines (e.g. TUI) sometimes fly an internal route, but that's to move their clients around on multi-centre holidays, and they're not available to book as point-to-point domestic flights.

Travel by train to Egypt

Egypt's mainline railway follows the Nile: from Aswan north through Luxor to Cairo and Alexandria. Branch lines fan out across the Nile delta, as far east as Suez and Port Said, and west along the coast through El Alamein as far as Mersa Matruh. Train is an excellent way to travel between Cairo and Alexandria, and between Luxor and Aswan, with frequent daytime services taking 2–3 hrs. Trains also run between Cairo and Luxor and Aswan, both daytime and overnight. There are no trains to the Red Sea resorts or to Siwa oasis.

Almost all trains are run by the state-owned company Egyptian National Railways (ENR) (the exception is the Cairo-Luxor-Aswan sleeper run by Watania, described below). Express trains have air-conditioned classes called AC1 and AC2 (1st and 2nd class). They are clean and comfortable. For ordinary trains the classes AC1 and AC2 are likewise available, with A/C sometimes in AC1, but never in AC2. Fares are very affordable by GCC standards, even the priciest Cairo-Alexandria single ticket is only about LE51 (Oct 2022). It is half that for slower trains, and half again for AC2, respectively. Punctuality could be described as "not bad for Egypt": trains generally start out from their first station on time but pick up delays along the way. Delays of up to an hour are not uncommon, especially between Cairo and Luxor. So, if your train is coming from somewhere else, do not expect it to be on time.

In addition, local 3rd class trains are a great way to explore attractions in the surrounding area. They can also be used for longer distances if you want to connect with the local residents and are on a tight budget. 3rd class sounds worse than it actually is—the chairs are wooden but the interior is sometimes painted well. They are dirt cheap, LE1.50-4 for 50 kilometers, but make sure you have small notes or coins available—even a LE5 note can be a problem. The local train schedule is not available online, so you need to make enquiries at the station. Be insistent and they might just tell you the regular train schedule that you already know from the ENR website, expecting that you would not want to use anything beyond AC2 or even beyond AC1. Also, information can sometimes be very hard to confirm; which time, which platform, which stops. It is best to ask several people/officers and find out what they say. Or have a look at the station departure board a day or so before your intended travel, chances are trains run same time every day. Some local trains can get quite full, but mostly only the ones that travel far.

Travel by foreigners can be subject to security restrictions, but (in early 2023) there were no genuine restrictions. If you get told that a train is not running, it might simple be due to the expectation, e.g. by station personal, or that it cannot be booked online, e.g. by a travel clerk.

Tickets

The best way to buy tickets for express trains is online, in advance, from ENR. This incurs no add-on charges, guarantees your seat and will save much hassle at stations or booking offices. The site content is in English and Arabic. First register with the site and then purchase is clunky but straightforward. Tickets go on sale 2 weeks ahead of departure - they are usually still available on the day of departure, but trains can book out at busy times. The site will only book expresses, i.e. 1st and 2nd class, and only for the main cities. You will need to file passport details for all the travellers in your group. The ENR site accepts payment from most major credit and debit cards. If you cannot print your ticket immediately, be sure to record the confirmation number so you can retrieve it later - ENR does not send you email confirmation. (Landscape printing is best, as portrait may crop the confirmation number.) The main details of the confirmation are in English, amid a welter of Arabic small print. Other websites, and travel agents offices, will simply sell you what is available on ENR or Watania and will charge extra for doing so.

Otherwise, you can queue at the station—make sure you are aiming for the correct window, and sort your money first to avoid exposing wallet and passport. Or you can board without a ticket and pay the conductor on the train. There is a extra charge of LE6 for this, and platform security do not seem to mind if you do not have a ticket, even for expresses that are supposedly reservation-only.

The self-service ticket machines at the main stations offer service in Arabic and English. If the machine tells you that the "Journey [is unavailable", try at the ticket window - you may still get tickets there (Oct 2022).

Buy tickets in advance, since at peak travel durations, trains may be fully booked, especially the affordable ones. Except during busy holiday periods, it's not normally difficult to purchase tickets on the day of travel or the day before. To avoid complications, book as far ahead as feasible.

The sleeper service Cairo-Luxor-Aswan is run by Watania, a private company.

Travel on a Bus in Egypt

Egypt has an extensive long-distance bus network, operated mostly by government-owned companies. Among the largest companies are Bedouin Bus, Pullman, West Delta, Golden Arrow, Super Jet, East Delta, El Gouna, Go Bus and Upper Egypt Bus Co. Popular routes are operated by more than one company. Some bus companies allow you to book seats in advance; some sell spots based upon availability of seats. Online ticketing are available via some companies too.

Beware buying tickets from bus agents on the street or outside your hotel. The smaller companies are sometimes unlicensed and can cut corners with safety. If you are a passenger in a vehicle that is travelling at an unsafe speed you should firmly instruct the driver to slow down.

Road accidents are very common in Egypt, mainly due to bad roads, dangerous driving and non-enforcement of traffic laws. Police estimate that road accidents kill over 6,000 people in Egypt each year. Other estimates put the figure far higher.

Best way to travel in Egypt by a Taxi

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In bigger cities, especially in Cairo, main streets often become congested at peak times and that may double the time needed to reach where you want to go.

In the cities, taxis are a affordable and convenient way of getting around. Although generally safe, taxis drive as erratically as all the other drivers, especially in Cairo, and there are sometimes fake taxis travel around. Make sure they have official markings on the dashboard or elsewhere; the taxis are always painted in special colours to identify them, as the taxi mark on top of the car. In Cairo the taxis are all white (rarely with advertisement on sides), those ones are preferable as they have a digital counter to tell you how much to pay and you shouldn't pay more than what the meter tells you, you can tell the driver in advance that you would only pay what the meter displays. Other older taxis are black and white and there are also the rarer Cairo cabs, all in yellow, also with the meter. In Luxor they are blue and white, and in Alexandria yellow and black. In Cairo and Luxor it is often much more interesting to use the taxis and a good guidebook instead of travelling around in a tour bus.

Seemingly, Cairo is alone in Egypt with having a sizeable population of modern metered cabs. Since Jan 2009, in Sharm El Sheikh all airport taxis have meters fitted and they must be used. Generally the best way is to ask at your hotel or someone you know from Egypt for the prices from point-to-point. You could also ask a pedestrian or policemen for the correct price. The best way to hire a taxi is to stand on the side of the road and put out a hand. You will have no trouble attracting a taxi, especially if you are obviously a Westerner. It is generally advisable to take white taxis that use the meter because the black and white taxis usually involve haggling at the end of the ride, some white taxi drivers don't start the meter unless you ask them to, if they say the meter is broken it's better to ask the driver to drop you off before you get far. It's important to #Buy|have some change with you (a couple of fives and a ten) because some drivers say that they don't have change to drive off with the rest of your money.

If riding a black and white taxi negotiate a price and destination before getting into the car. At the end of the journey, step out of the vehicle and make sure you have everything with you before giving the driver the payment. If the driver shouts, it's probably OK, but if he steps out of the vehicle you almost certainly paid too little. Prices can be highly variable but examples are LE20 from central Cairo to Giza, LE10 for a trip inside central Cairo and LE5 for a short hop inside the city. Locals pay less than these prices for taxis which don't have the meters; the local price in a taxi from Giza or Central Cairo to the airport is LE25-30. Do not be tempted to give them more because of the economic situation; otherwise, ripping off foreigners will become more common and doing so generally tends to add to inflation. The prices listed here are already slightly inflated to the level expected from tourists, not what Egyptians would normally pay. You can also hire taxis for whole days, for LE100-200 if going on longer excursions such as to Saqqara and Dashur from Cairo. Inside the city they are also more than happy to wait for you (often for a small extra charge, but ask the driver), even if you will be wandering around for a few hours.

Taxi drivers often speak enough English to negotiate price and destination, but only rarely more. Some speak more or less fluently and they will double as guides, announcing important places when you drive by them, but they can be hard to find. The drivers often expect to be paid a little extra for that; however, do not feel the need to pay for services that you have not asked for. If you find a good English-speaking driver, you may want to ask him for a card or a phone number, because they can often be available at any time and you will have a more reliable travel experience.

A new line of taxis owned by private companies has been introduced in Cairo. They are all clean and air-conditioned. The drivers are formally dressed and can converse in at least one foreign language, usually English. These taxis stand out because of their bright yellow colour. They can be hailed on the street if they are free or hired from one of their stops (including one in Tahrir square in the downtown). These new taxis use current meters which count by the kilometre, which starts from LE2.50. In general and they are marginally more expensive than the normal taxis; you can call 16516, two hours in advance, in Cairo to hire a taxi.

If you do not want to be bothered by police convoys, tell the police at check points that you work in Egypt. They will demand your passport but actually most cannot read Roman letters and identify anything. Police convoys are more a psychological sooth for tourists instead of real protection—it draws more attention than when you use a local taxi.

By car

Gas is affordable in Egypt, prices are heavily subsidized: LE6.25 per litre in March 2017. If you decide to hire a car, you will not add significantly to the cost through gas. Car rental sites require you to be at least 21 years old. Driving in Egypt is very different than in a Western country and is not for the faint of heart; unless you really need this option it is just as easy and probably cheaper to travel by taxis and around the nation by air, train or bus. As you will see shortly after arrival, obedience of traffic laws is low and there are very few signs indicating road rules. You might also become a target for Egyptian police seeking a bribe, who will pick some trivial offence you have committed and which in reality you could not have avoided.

Also read the note at the end of the last taxi chapter on pretending to be working in Egypt to avoid travelling in convoys.

By metro

Three metro lines serve Greater Cairo, see Cairo#Get around.

What to see in Egypt

جامع الحاكم بأمر الله Al-Hakim Mosque

Highlights of any visit to Egypt include famous archaeological sites from both Lower (North) and Upper (South) Egypt. The most famous are:

Greater Cairo:

  • Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
  • Egyptian Museum
  • Red, Bent and Black Pyramids of Dahshur, neglected but a great alternative to Giza with the oldest known pyramid
  • Citadel of Salah El Din and Mosque of Mohamed Ali
  • Khan al Khalili bazaar and al Hussein Mosque
  • Pyramids and temples of Saqqara, just north of Dahshur
  • Memphis, with some relics of ancient Egypt - including a huge statue of Ramesses II, evoking the image which inspired Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Ozymandias

Alexandria is the nation's main summer attraction for Egyptians escaping the summer heat and looking for a place to spend vacation. The city has several Roman and Greek sights:

  • the stunning new Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Qa'edbay's Castle
  • Colonial and Roman buildings
  • Qasr El Montaza (El Montaza Palace), Aswan, NE - Aswan next to the Nile

Aswan is a great alternative over the hassling and overrated Luxor. Here, you can equally see impressive temples and ancient monuments, but at the same time relax and enjoy the authentic and large souq, and:

  • Tombs of Nobles, with a great view of Aswan and some fine paintings inside the tombs.
  • Abu Simbel, near the border with Sudan at Lake Nasser, one of the most impressive sights in Egypt besides the pyramids.
  • Geziret El Nabatat (The Island of Plants), an island in the Nile River of Aswan which was planted by rare species of plants, trees and flowers.
  • Perhaps the most popular activity in Luxor and Aswan is to do the Nile Cruise on a ship between both. It enables you to stop at each location along the Nile where you can see all the famous ancient monuments, including the neglected Kom Ombo, as well as experience being in the Nile River inside a five-star hotel boat.

Luxor:

Also not to miss:

  • The Red Sea resorts at Sinai peninsula, including Dahab, Hurghada, and Sharm el Sheikh, with some of the best dive locations in the world.
  • The sights of the Sinai peninsula, including Saint Catherine and Mount Sinai.
  • The western desert and the oases there, including Siwa,

Top Muslim Travel Tips for Egypt

There is a lot to do for the foreign traveller in Egypt. Apart from visiting and seeing the ancient temples and artefacts of ancient Egypt and there is also much to see within each city. In fact, each city in Egypt has its own charm of things to see with its own history, culture, activities, and people who often differ in nature from people of other parts of Egypt.

Modern Cairo

If you want to see modern Cairo, try walking in the streets of Zamalek, Maadi, Mohandiseen, or Heliopolis where you will see some of the more modern buildings and get to experience the way of life in Egypt.

Local cafés, coffeeshops and restaurants

For social times, try sitting in one of the local cafes restaurants where you can meet and interact with fellow Egyptians. There are numerous coffeeshops/cafes and restaurants all over Cairo all catering for different tastes and backgrounds and range from the very budget to the very expensive.

Local chains include Coffee Roastery, Cilantro, Grand Cafe, and Costa Coffee. Generally each area of Cairo has its cafés and restaurants.

Sporting and recreational clubs:

If the heat is too much, you can go to one of the famous sporting clubs such as the Gezira Club located in Zamalek, or the Seid Club (otherwise known in English as the Shooting Club) located in Mohandiseen, where you can obtain a dip at the swimming swimmingpool or otherwise enjoy sitting in the shade and comfort of lush trees and gardens. Entrance for Foreign Muslims can be gained by buying a one-day ticket for LE20-30 which enables the person to enjoy all the facilities of club including playing any sports. There are of course changing facilities and restaurants inside the club where one can enjoy a meal or a drink after engaging in any activity.

Desert adventures:

For other adventures, try going to the Haram District of Cairo, and look for any horse-riding stables. There, you can rent a horse for a few hours and ride, or even ride a camel out in the desert by the pyramids and the Sphinx. The best time to do this is at night when you can see all the stars shining together in the sky and capture the magical feeling of the place. You will be with a local guide riding with you on another horse or camel, or you might even be joined a group of other individuals or groups of friends who enjoy riding horses in the desert by the pyramids like yourself.

Nile boat:

Try renting a Feluca boat (small boat that can carry up to 20 individuals) in the Nile of Cairo. There you can experience the beauty of the Nile and the surround scenery, where you can see the city and its buildings and streets from within the water around. Depending on the weather, you can do this either day or night, but you will need to go to the Giza District and walk along the corniche area of the Nile and ask any of the local residents for renting this boat.

Islamic Cairo/Fatimid Cairo:

For those interested in the Islamic architecture and history, try going to Islamic Cairo (el Gamalaya neighborhood) or Khan El Khalili. There you will see numerous buildings and some masjids and see how buildings and houses were built in the Islamic Era of Egypt. There is also a Souk or (Bazar) where you can buy lots of different souvenirs and items.

Alexandria: Since Alexandria was founded in 332/31 BC by Alexander the Great “the pearl of the Mediterranean” has been one of the major sites of Egyptian history. After the death of the Macedonian king the city developed under the Ptolemies into the intellectual and cultural center of the entire Hellenistic world. Great scholars lived and worked in the Museion

Local Language in Egypt

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Egypt

Hoard your small notes!|Egypt has a perpetual shortage of small notes and coins: even banks are reluctant to break too many notes. Vendors will also perpetually say they do not have change. Hoard your small bills as much as you can, be prepared to frequently visits banks for change, and break your notes in the easiest situations such as large supermarkets.

What does it cost? Sometimes (fruit and vegetable) market stands have price signs, quoting in Piastre per kg. Thus, it is of great advantage to understand the Eastern Arabic numbers. They will tell you the price is for half kg, because they see that you are a tourist, but that is a lie. Best to just demand the weight of what you desire and give the (almost) right amount—leaving the impression of you knowing the situation. In the following some common prices.

  • Oranges: LE5/kg
  • Tangerines: LE3.5/kg
  • Bananas: LE8-10/kg
  • Large fresh juice (orange, pomegranate, sugar-cane): LE10
  • Coke 0.33 l: LE3
  • Water 1.5 l: LE5
  • Decent falafel sandwich: LE5
  • Tiny falafel sandwiches in white pita: LE2.5
  • Single falafel: LE1-1.50
  • Portion Baba ghanoush or Tahini/hummus: LE5-8
  • Large pizza: LE30-40
  • Large shell (souvenir): LE15

Money Matters & ATM's in Egypt

The local currency is the Egyptian pound (ISO code: EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. The currency is often written as LE (short for French livre égyptienne, or by using the pound sign £ with or without additional letters: E£ and £E. In Arabic and the pound is called genē [màSri / geni [màSri (جنيه [مصرى]), in turn derived from English "guinea", and piastres (pt) are known as ersh (قرش). uses the "LE" notation for consistency, but expect to see a variety of notations in shops and other businesses.

  • Coins: Denominations are 25pt, 50pt and 1 pound. You won't really need to know the name piastre, as the smallest value in circulation as of 2014 is 25 piastres, and this is almost always called a "quarter pound" (rob` genē ربع جنيه), and the 50 piastres, "half pound" (noSS genē نص جنيه).
  • Paper money: The banknote denominations are 25 and 50 piastres; 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pounds.

In Egypt and the pound sterling is called, genē esterlīni (جنيه استرلينى).

The Egyptian pound has been devaluing gradually over the last several decades. In the 1950s and 1960s and the Egyptian pound was valued almost the same as the British pound sterling. Since 2011 and the exchange rate has become relatively unstable and inflation sped up. On November 3, 2016 and the central bank decided to devaluate the Egyptian pound to an exchange rate similar to that of the black market.

Exchanging money and banks

Banks and exchange offices or anyone who would exchange currencies, would slightly extra charge you for the official exchange rate. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at exchange offices or banks, so there is no need to resort to the dodgy street moneychangers. Many higher-end hotels price in American dollars or euros and will gladly accept them as payment, often at a premium rate over Egyptian pounds. ATMs are ubiquitous in the cities and probably the best option; they often offer the best rate and many foreign banks have branches in Egypt. These include Barclay's Bank, HSBC, CitiBank, NSGB, BNP Paribas, Piraeus Bank, CIB, and other local and Arab banks. Bank hours are Sunday to Thursday, 8:30AM Monday - 2PM.

Counterfeit or obsolete notes are not a major problem, but exchanging pounds outside the nation can be difficult. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but only bigger hotels or restaurants in Cairo and restaurants in tourist areas will readily accept credit cards as payment. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged in any bank, but it could take some time.

Before leaving Egypt, even if travelling to neighbouring countries in the Middle East, convert your currency to euros, British pounds or US dollars. Money changers in other countries will give you 30% to 50% per Egyptian Pound than the rate you will get in Egypt, if they accept Egypt's currency at all. Converting to and from US dollars, euros or British pounds has a relatively small spread, so you will only lose a few per cent.

Tipping

90% of people who work in the service/hospitality industry try to make their main source of income from living off of tips. You don't have to pay huge tips as often smallest notes are appreciated. However, you do not have to tip if you feel that you haven't received any service or help at all or if you feel that the service was bad. Nobody will ever take offence or be disrespectful if you did not tip them.

Most public toilets are staffed, and visitors are expected to tip the attendant. Some toilet attendants, especially at tourist sites, will dole out toilet paper based on the tip they receive. Foreign Muslims may be especially susceptible to this, and although some local residents ask or demand tips and they are often not warranted.

There is no rule for what is considered tip-worthy, so one must be ready to hand out an Egyptian pound or two just in case, to use a toilet, for instance. For services such as tour guides or translators, a tip of 20% or more is generally expected. Taxi drivers provide service based upon agreed prices rather than the more objective meter system used in some other countries, so tipping is not expected when using a taxi service, though tips are certainly accepted if offered. Tips are expected at restaurants, and can range from a few pounds to 15%.

If you ask a stranger for directions, tips are not necessary and may even be considered offensive. Officials in uniform, such as police officers, should not be tipped. Remember that bribery is illegal, but it is likely that nothing will happen to you. Be aware that as a foreign tourist, you are seen by many as easy money and you should not let yourself be pressured into tipping for unnecessary or unrequested "services" like self-appointed tour guides latching on to you.

Some general guidelines
  • Bathroom attendants: LE3
  • Cruises: LE30/day, to be divided by all staff on board
  • Guide: LE40/day
  • Hotel bellman: LE10 for all bags
  • Hotel doorman: LE10 for services rendered (such as flagging down taxis)
  • Restaurants: In fancier restaurants, a service charge (10-12%) is added to bills, but a 5-10% tip on top of that is common. In fast-food places, tipping is unnecessary
  • Taxi drivers: not necessary especially if you agreed the fare in advance, not more than 10% of the metered fare
  • Site custodians: LE5 if they do something useful, none otherwise
  • Tour drivers: LE10/day

Muslim Friendly Shopping in Egypt

Egypt is a shopper's paradise, especially if you're interested in Egyptian-themed souvenirs and souvenirs. However and there are also a number of high quality goods for sale, often at bargain prices. Some of the most popular purchases include:

  • Alabaster Alabaster bowls, figures, etc are common throughout Egypt.
  • Antiques (NB: not antiquities and the trade of which is illegal in Egypt)
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Cotton goods and clothing Can be bought at Khan El Khalili for around LE30-40. Better quality Egyptian cotton clothing can be purchased at various chain stores including Mobaco Cottons and Concrete which have many branches throughout the nation. The clothes are expensive for Egypt (about LE180-200 for a shirt) but affordable by GCC standards given the quality.
  • Inlaid goods, such as backgammon boards
  • Jewellery Cartouches make a great souvenir. These are metal plates shaped like an elongated oval and have engravings of your name in hieroglyphics
  • Kohl powder Real Egyptian kohl eye make-up (eye-liner) can be purchased at many stores for a small price. It is a black powder, about a teaspoon worth, that is generally sold in a small packet or a wood-carved container and it is generally applied liberally with something akin to a fat toothpick/thin chopstick to the inner eyelids and outlining the eye. Very dramatic, and a little goes a very long way Cleopatra would have had her eye make-up applied by laying on the floor and having someone drop a miniature spoonful of the powder into each eye. As the eye teared up and the make-up would distribute nicely around the eyes and trail off at the sides, creating the classic look. However, beware that most of them contain lead sulphide, which is a health concern. Ask for a lead-free kohl.
  • Lanterns (fanūs; pl. fawanīs) Intricately cut and stamped metal lanterns, often with colourful glass windows, will hold a votive candle in style.
  • Leather goods
  • Music
  • Papyrus (bardi) However, most papyrus you'll see is made of a different type of reed, not "papyrus", which is extremely rare. Know what you are buying, if you care about the difference, and haggle prices accordingly. If in doubt, assume it is inauthentic papyrus you are being offered for sale.
  • Perfume - Perfumes can be purchased at almost every souvenir shop. Make sure that you ask the salesman to prove to you that there is no alcohol mixed with the perfume. The standard rates should be in the range of LE1-2 for each gram.
  • Water-pipes (shīsha)
  • Spices (tawābel) - can be purchased at colourful stalls in most Egyptian markets. Dried herbs and spices are generally of a higher quality than that available in Western supermarkets and are a fifth to a quarter of the price, though the final price will depend on bargaining and local conditions.

When shopping in markets or dealing with street vendors, remember to bargain. This is a part of the salesmanship game that both parties are expected to engage in.

You will also find many western brands all around. There are many malls in Egypt and the most common being Citystars Mall, which is the largest entertainment centre in the Middle East and Africa. You will find all the fast food restaurants you want such as McDonald's (Please do not support McDonald's as McDonald's supports Israel. Shun this restaurant group and go for altertative brands and if possible for a Muslim owned restaurant), KFC, Hardees, and Pizzas Hut, and clothing brands such as Morgan, Calvin Klein, Levi's, Facconable, Givenchy, and Esprit.

مسجد محمد علي بالقلعه

In Egypt, prices are often increased for Foreign Muslims, so if you see a price on a price tag, it may be wise to learn the local Eastern Arabic numerals:

Shopping in Egypt ranges goods and commodities that represent souvenirs of Egypt's ancient as well as modern things. These include items such as small pyramids, obelisks and souvenir statues which can be purchased at more tourist areas such as Khan El Khalili and Islamic Cairo.

The modern shopping malls, City Stars, Downtown and Nile City, sell designer brands such as Guess, Calvin Klein, Armani and Hugo Boss.

Halal Restaurants in Egypt

Egypt can be a fantastic place to sample a unique range of food: not too spicy and well-flavoured with herbs. For a convenient selection of Egyptian Halal cuisine and staple foods try the Felfela chain of restaurants in Cairo. Some visitors complain, however, that these have become almost too tourist-friendly and have abandoned some elements of authenticity. A more affordable and wider-spread alternative is the Arabiata restaurant chain, Arabiata is considered by local residents to be the number one destination for Egyptian delicacies as falafel and fūl too.

Beware of any restaurant listed in popular guidebooks and websites. Even if the restaurant was once great, after publication and they will likely create a "special" English menu that includes very high prices.

As in many seaside countries, Egypt is full of fish restaurants and markets so fish and seafood are must-try. Frequently, fish markets have some food stalls nearby where you can point at specific fish species to be cooked. Stalls typically have shared tables, and local residents are as frequent there as tourists.

Local dishes

Many local foods are Vegetarian or vegan compliant, a function of the high cost of od Meat in Egypt and the influence of Coptic Christianity (whose frequent fast days demand vegan food).

Classic Egyptian dishes: The dish fūl medammes is one of the most common Egyptian dishes; consists of fava beans (fūl) slow-cooked in a copper pot (other types of metal pots don't produce the right type of flavor) that have been partially or entirely mashed. fūl medammes is served with cumin, vegetable oil, optionally with chopped parsley, onion, garlic, lemon juice and hot pepper, and typically eaten with Egyptian (baladi) bread or occasionally Levantine (shāmi) pita.

One should try the classic falāfel which is deep-fried ground fava bean balls (but better known worldwide for the ground chickpea version typically found in other cuisines of the Middle Eastern region) that was believed to be invented by Egyptian Bedouins. Usually served as fast food, or a Snacks.

koshari is a famous dish, which is usually a mixture of macaroni, lentils, Rice and chickpeas, topped with tomato Sauce and fried onions. Very popular amongst the local residents and a must try for tourists. The gratinated variation is called Tâgen.

Additionally, hummus, a chickpea based food, also widespread in the Middle East.

kofta ( Meat balls) and od/halal-poultry-dishes/ Halal Kebab are also popular.

Egyptian Halal cuisine is quite similar to the cuisine of the Middle Eastern countries. Dishes like stuffed vegetables and vine leaves and shawarma sandwiches are common in Egypt and the region.

Exotic fruits

Egypt is one of the most affordable countries for a European to try variety of fresh-grown exotic fruits. Guava, mango, watermelon and banana are all widely available from fruit stalls, especially in local residents-oriented non-tourist marketplaces.

Water

Bottled water is widely available. The local brands (most common being Baraka, Hayat, Siwa ) are of the same price as foreign brand options which are also available: Nestle Pure Life, Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola), and Aquafina (bottled by Pepsi). Evian is less available and is expensive. While safe to drink some may find the local brand, Baraka, has a very slight baking soda aftertaste, due to the high mineral content of its deep well water source.

No matter where you buy bottled water from (even hotels are not entirely reliable), before accepting it, check that there is a clear plastic seal on it and the neck ring is still attached to the cap by the breakable threads of plastic. It is common to collect empty but new bottles and refill them with tap water which drinking a bottle of might make you ill. Not all brands have the clear plastic cover but all the good ones do.

Safety of bottled water

It is important not to buy strange brands, as they may not be safe for drinking. In 2019 the Ministry of Health ordered the following bottled water brands to be taken off shelves: Alpha, Hadir, Seway, Aqua Delta, Tiba, Aqua Mina and Aqua Soteir.

As of 2023, some of the previous ones were licensed, but the Ministry of Health warned against other unlicensed brands:

  • unlicensed, unsafe brands: (Safa, el Waha, Ganna, Sahari, Life, el Wadi, Zamzam ).
    (صفا – الواحة – جنا – صحارى – لايف – الوادى – زمزم),

In 2022 and the Ministry of Health stated there are only 17 licensed brands that are safe to drink. These are:

  • 17 licensed safe brands: (Hayah, Safi, Aqua Siwa ,Siwa, Aman Siwa, Organica, Nahl, Aqua Sky, Mineral, Vira, Nestlé, Baraka, Alpha, Aquafina, Tiba, Aqua  Delta, Dasani, Aqua Paris ).
  • (حياه، صافى، أكوا سيوة، سيوة، أمان سيوة، أورجانيكا، نهل، أكوا سكاى، منيرال، فيرا، نستله، بركة، ألفا، أكوافينا، طيبة، أكوا دلتا، داسانى، أكوا باريس)

Of the licensed brands, local residents commonly advise tourists to avoid Baraka if feasible, as it contains a high concentration of mineral salts and has something of an off flavour.

Juices

Tea man

Juices can be widely found in Egypt - àSàb (sugar cane; قصب); liquorice (`erk sūs  عرق سوس); sobya (white juice; سوبيا); tàmr (sweet dates; تمر) and some fresh fruit juices (almost found at same shop which offer all these kind of juices except liquorice may be which you can find another places).

Hibiscus, known locally as karkadē (كركديه) or `ennāb (عناب), is also famous juice specially at Luxor which is drunk hot or cold but in Egypt it is preferred to drink it cold.

Hibiscus and liquorice should not be consumed excessively as they may not be safe for those suffering low blood pressure or high blood pressure. Hibiscus may lower blood pressure, while liquorice may raise blood pressure.

eHalal Group Launches Halal Guide to Egypt

انا الحضارة

Egypt - eHalal Travel Group, a leading provider of innovative Halal travel solutions for Muslim travelers to Egypt, is thrilled to announce the official launch of its comprehensive Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Egypt. This groundbreaking initiative aims to cater to the diverse needs of Muslim travelers, offering them a seamless and enriching travel experience in Egypt and its surrounding regions.

With the steady growth of Muslim tourism worldwide, eHalal Travel Group recognizes the importance of providing Muslim travelers with accessible, accurate, and up-to-date information to support their travel aspirations to Egypt. The Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide is designed to be a one-stop resource, offering an array of invaluable information on various travel aspects, all carefully curated to align with Islamic principles and values.

The Travel Guide encompasses a wide range of features that will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience for Muslim visitors to Egypt. Key components include:

Halal-Friendly Accommodations inEgypt: A carefully selected list of hotels, lodges, and vacation rentals that cater to halal requirements, ensuring a comfortable and welcoming stay for Muslim travelers in Egypt.

Halal Food, Restaurants and Dining in Egypt: A comprehensive directory of restaurants, eateries, and food outlets offering halal-certified or halal-friendly options in Egypt, allowing Muslim travelers to savor local cuisines without compromising their dietary preferences in Egypt.

Prayer Facilities: Information on masjids, prayer rooms, and suitable locations for daily prayers in Egypt, ensuring ease and convenience for Muslim visitors in fulfilling their religious obligations.

Local Attractions: An engaging compilation of Muslim-friendly attractions, cultural sites such as Museums, and points of interest in Egypt, enabling travelers to explore the city's rich heritage while adhering to their values.

Transport and Logistics: Practical guidance on transportation options that accommodate Muslim travel needs, ensuring seamless movement within Egypt and beyond.

Speaking about the launch, Irwan Shah, Chief Technology Officer of eHalal Travel Group in Egypt, stated, "We are thrilled to introduce our Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide in Egypt, a Muslim friendly destination known for its cultural richness and historical significance. Our goal is to empower Muslim travelers with accurate information and resources, enabling them to experience the wonders of Egypt without any concerns about their faith-based requirements. This initiative reaffirms our commitment to creating inclusive and memorable travel experiences for all our clients."

The eHalal Travel Group's Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Egypt is now accessible on this page. The guide will be regularly updated to ensure that Muslim travelers have access to the latest information, thus reinforcing its status as a reliable companion for Muslim travelers exploring Egypt.

About eHalal Travel Group:

eHalal Travel Group Egypt is a prominent name in the global Muslim travel industry, dedicated to providing innovative and all-inclusive travel solutions tailored to the needs of Muslim travelers worldwide. With a commitment to excellence and inclusivity, eHalal Travel Group aims to foster a seamless travel experience for its clients while respecting their religious and cultural values.

For Halal business inquiries in Egypt, please contact:

eHalal Travel Group Egypt Media: info@ehalal.io

Buy Muslim Friendly condos, Houses and Villas in Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza

eHalal Group Egypt is a prominent real estate company specializing in providing Muslim-friendly properties in Egypt. Our mission is to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Muslim community by offering a wide range of halal-certified residential and commercial properties, including houses, condos, and factories. With our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and adherence to Islamic principles, eHalal Group has established itself as a trusted name in the real estate industry in Egypt.

At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Egypt ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Egypt. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Egypt, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

For those seeking luxury and exclusivity, our luxury villas in Egypt are the epitome of sophistication and elegance. Starting at US$ 1.5 million and these villas offer a lavish lifestyle with private amenities, breathtaking views, and meticulous attention to detail. Each luxury villa is meticulously designed to provide a serene and halal environment, allowing you to enjoy the finest living experience while adhering to your Islamic principles. For further details please email us at info@ehalal.io

Muslim Friendly hotels in Egypt

Egypt has a full range of lodging options, from basic backpacker hostels to five-star resorts. Most major hotel chains are represented in Greater Cairo, Sharm el Sheikh and Luxor, at least. You can reserve most of your lodging online or contact a local agent who can organise both lodging and trips.

Walk-in rates give you great discounts over online reservations, e.g. half-price in Aswan. Generally, online reservations are more expensive due to it being used by so many visitors. However, in Egypt most hotels do not have their own website and do not have to commit to the agreement with online reservations sites to offer the same price online as offline. Nevertheless, have a screenshot of the actual online price ready, just in case you encounter a hotel that is willing to overcharge you. In high season, it is best to reserve the first night and haggle for the following night(s). Otherwise, if there is no general shortage of rooms and less than 60 % are booked (usually displayed at the top of online reservation sites) and then check out an area with many hotels and go there asking around. Hotels will also happily accept you cancelling your existing online reservation in person for a discount. When reserving online, often you have the flat price, with tax and fees added. Generally, you will get at least these taxes and fees as discount (10-15%) when cancelling the reservation in person and/or when bargaining.

Some online hotel sites state that payment is required in Egyptian pounds by law. However, most hotels will accept Egyptian pounds at a mostly fair conversion from the online stated rate.

Study as a Muslim in Egypt

Ramses II in Luxor Temple

Egypt can provide good options for learning the Arabic language, as well as history.

There are a number of options for learning Arabic in Cairo, including the Arabic Language Institute, Kalimat and International Language Institute.

Stay safe as a Muslim in Egypt

اليخوت والطبيعة الساحره

Overall, Egypt is a safe and friendly country to travel in. Unless you are visiting Sinai, have something against the local government or are overly disrespectful against Islam, you can freely move around in Egypt and its cities without many concerns. Travelling in Egypt is very much similar to Morocco, Jordan, Palestinian territories|Palestine or Türkiye.

Egyptians on the whole are very friendly—if you are in need of assistance and they will generally try to help you as much as they are able. However, be aware of potential scams especially in overly tourist areas.

There are also many tourism police officers armed with AK47s riding on camels patrolling the Giza plateau. They are there to ensure the safety of the tourists since the Pyramids are the crown jewels of all the Egyptian antiquities, even though very poorly maintained in recent years with no forthcoming investments from within, only outside investment given by countries and historical groups that cannot bear to sit back and see the ruin the local government is letting these sites of wonder become. Some tourists may find it exciting or even amusing to take pictures with these police officers on camel back; however, since they are all on patrol duty, it is not uncommon for them to verbally warn you not to pose next to them in order to take a picture with them, although anything is feasible for financial payment.

Traffic

Traffic in Egypt is reckless and dangerous. Pay particular attention when crossing the road.

Scams and hassle

Scams and hassle are the main concern in Egypt, especially in Luxor. Visitors often complain about being hassled and attempts at scamming. While irritating, most of this is pretty harmless stuff, like attempting to lure you into a local papyrus or perfume shop.

Hassling, while never dangerous, could also be annoying, especially in the main tourist areas. There is no way to avoid this, but a polite la shukran (no thanks) helps a lot. Apart from that, try to take hassling with a smile. If you let yourself be bugged by everyone trying to sell you something, your holiday won't be a very happy one.

Crime

Pick pocketing was a problem in the past in Egypt's bigger cities, particularly Greater Cairo. Many local residents therefore opted not to carry wallets at all, instead keeping their money in a clip in their pocket, and tourists would be wise to adopt this as well. On the upside, violent crime is common, especially for tourists, and you are highly unlikely to be mugged or robbed. If, however, you do find yourself the victim of crime, you may get the support of local pedestrians by shouting "Harami" (Thief) but do not pursue because it's the easiest way to get lost and most criminals carry pocket knives; if the crime happens in a tourist area you'll find a specially designated Tourism Police kiosk.

Medical Issues in Egypt

Fluids

Ensure that you drink plenty of water: Egypt has an extremely dry climate most of the year, which is aggravated by high temperatures in the summer end of the year, and countless travellers each year experience the discomforts and dangers of dehydration. A sense of thirst is not enough to indicate danger: carry a water bottle and keep drinking. Not needing to urinate for a long period or passing very small amounts of dark coloured urine are signs of incipient dehydration.

Egyptian tap water is considered safe by most local residents, but will often make travellers ill. It is not recommended for regular drinking, especially to very local differences in quality. Bottled mineral waters are widely available: see #Water|Drink:Water section. Beware of the old scam where vendors re-sell bottled water bottles, having refilled with another, perhaps dubious, source. Always check the seal is unbroken before paying or drinking from it, and inform the tourist police if you catch anyone doing this.

Sun

In the winter and the sun is generally the mildest, especially in December and is the weakest in northern Egypt. Egypt has a desert climate, which makes clouds almost non-existent in the warmer months, so expect extremely bright sunny days especially from June to August, try to avoid direct sun exposure from 9AM (10AM in the summer) to 3PM (4PM in the summer). Bring good sunglasses and wear good sunscreen, however sunscreen becomes ineffective when the exposed skin sweats. Additionally, wearing a hat can help.

Schistosomiasis

In order to avoid contracting the rightly dreaded schistosomiasis parasite (commonly called bilharzia), a flatworm that burrows through the skin, do not swim in the Nile or venture into any other Egyptian waterways, even if the local residents are doing so. It is also a good idea not to walk in bare feet on freshly-watered lawns for the same reason.

Although the disease takes weeks to months to show its head, it's wise to seek medical attention locally if you think you've been exposed, as they are used to diagnosing and treating it, and it will cost you pennies rather than dollars. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue, making the disease easy to mistake for (say) the flu or food poisoning, but the flatworm eggs can be identified with a stool test and the disease can usually be cured with a single dose of Praziquantel.

Vaccinations and malaria

A low risk of P. vivax malaria exist only in the Aswan area of Egypt. While traveling to Aswan travelers are advised to avoid mosquito bites.

General issues

معبد فيلة ..اسوان

While Egypt is interesting and beautiful, it is full of stress from noise, dust and people hassling you. Especially when not staying at the high end hotels or completely relying on package tours, this will grind your gears. Thus, from time to time take a break from the constant attraction-seeking, bargain-hunting and trip-organising; choose a slower pace, just spend a day in the ho(s)tel or hang around in a park with your headphones on. Also, do not forget earplugs for the night, because often there will be noise even deep in the night or quite early in the morning if you are near a school. Egypt does not seem to rest, but this does not mean you do not have to.

Smoking is allowed virtually everywhere in Egypt, and you will regularly encounter people smoking on the train, in lobbies and at restaurants. While they might sometimes be considerate and sit somewhere away from others, mostly the smoke gets blown in regardless. Unfortunately and there is not much you can do about it.

Telecommunications in Egypt

Egypt has a reasonably modern telephone service including three GSM mobile service providers. The three mobile phone providers are Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat. Principal centers are located at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta. Roaming services are provided, although you should check with your service provider. Also, it is feasible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for the duration of your stay, which usually costs around LE30.

Mobile Internet SIM cards can be purchased for around LE90 per 2.5GB at the airport or for around LE130 per 8GB in the city.

Internet access is easy to find and affordable, and often free. Nowadays, most Coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and other locations now provide free WiFi. Connections can be unsafe and under surveillance, try to use a proxy or VPN for your privacy.

News & References Egypt


Explore more Halal friendly Destinations from Egypt

Cruises to Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey are popular. Egypt has direct land borders with:


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