FACTS ABOUT EGYPT

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  • Official language – Arabic (English second language)
  • Religion – Predominantly Muslim
  • Currency – Egyptian pound
  • Credit cards widely used
  • Transport – Metro best for movement within Cairo.
  • Electric power –  220 volts.  Two prong rounded plugs.
  • Popular food – Koshary (traditional pasta dish)

Egyptian Culture & Traditions

Egypt is mainly cosmopolitan boasting a rich blend of culture and ethnic tradition.  Her people are friendly, charming and hospitable. Her excellent tourist attractions and cultural ambiance have a lasting impact. 

The populace is about 90 million. 81 million are Sunni Islam and the remaining 9 million are Coptic Christians. Muslims and Christian’s alike regard family matters highly and are not accustomed to drinking alcohol and thus if consumed, it should be taken in moderation. Consumption of pork is not that common but there are designated places where it is readily available.

Code of Dress

  • Egypt is naturally conservative (unlike the Gulf States or Saudi Arabia) thus people are careful what they wear. 
  • When entering major mosques,  women are required to cover up. Shoes must be left outside but one can walk in with socks. 
  • Winters can get cold at night and its often warmer in the street than inside buildings, so a casual jacket or shawl are highly recommended. 
  • Buildings are designed to be cool so it is rare to have central heating or central air conditioning except in big hotels and other high class places.
  • While traveling by road between destinations (with police check points, petrol stations, etc.) it is advisable to be more covered and for women  not wear too much makeup. 
  • For comfort while on the move, strong, closed shoes are the best option (sneakers/trainers or good leather shoes).

More specifically:

Men

  • Normal trousers , and shirt or T-shirt in town
  • Shorts when at the seaside/beach or places like Sharm El Sheik and Hurghada.
  • Trousers in market area in Hurghada or restaurants.

Women

  • Loose linen/cotton trousers or a below knee skirt and sleeved blouse.  
  • Avoid tight, transparent clothes and low necks.
  • Smart clothes and a shawl to cover bare shoulders for dinner or cruise boats in the evening. Not necessarily formal but casual and neat.
  • No swimsuits on cruise