Relocate to Egypt
Living in Egypt
Egypt is in the continent of Africa with the highest population in the Arab world. It is recognized as one of Africa's leading economies. It is regarded as a hotspot for international tourism.
Egypt is a Muslim country which is not as conservative as its other counterparts in the region. Cairo's lively night life is similar to other western cities.
It is termed as 'The Gift of Nile' by the Greek historian Herodotus. Most of the Egyptian cities, including the capital Cario, are located on the banks of the Nile. It is also referred as the land of Pharaohs.
It would be fascinating to settle at one of the oldest civilizations. The challenges which a new place throws are compensated by its enriching experiences.
Expats rent a property in Cairo's popular expat areas. They usually occupy apartments or villas. The bustling capital offers a good selection of international schools. It also provides a comfortable lifestyle for expats with a low cost of living.
Of late due to political unrest, property prices and rents have dropped considerably.
The groceries available locally are cheap, however, those at the western-style super markets rates are expensive.
With all its perks, the stifling desert heat can take a toll if you are moving from cold countries.
General rules of Egypt...
- 'Baksheesh' is a tipping practice across the country. You may be bombarded with rude requests for ‘Baksheesh’ at most places you go.
- Beware, reluctant negotiators. Your shopping can cost you oodles because the price for goods often starts at double their value.
- Unwelcome advances from Egyptian men are common for expat women. During night hours, expats women should go out only in groups and avoid smiling or making eye contact with locals.
- It is considered illegal to photograph military building without permission. It is considered offensive to import anything which is against Muslim culture. Alcohol is subject to extremely high import duties.
Learning Arabic will be helpful in your everyday life. Here are some of the key phrases in Arabic...
- Hello- Salam
- Good evening- Masaa el kheer
- Goodbye- Maa as-salaama
- How are you?- Kaifa haloka (male), Kaifa haloki (female)
- Thank you - Shukran
- Yes- Na’am
- No- La
- Do you speak English?- Hal tatakallam ingliziya?
- Can you help me?- Hal beemkanek mosa dati?
- I’m sorry- Ana a’asef
How do you keep in touch in Egypt?
For landline, Egypt Telecom is the only player in the market which is facing fierce competition from expanding mobile industry and internet services.
For Mobile, the providers like Etisalat Egypt, Orange Egypt, and Vodafone Egypt are the market kings. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) is authorized to register all the mobile phones in Egypt.
Internet speed is way slower than you can imagine.
What about healthcare facilities in Egypt?
As compared to western countries, public healthcare standards are lower in Egypt. For expats, it would be a wise decision to take out medical insurance and use private hospitals.
Politics in Egypt
The Egypt politics is based on republicanism, which means it is not governed by monarchism.
It has a semi-presidential system of government which is established after the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
It is declared as the Arab Republic with a democratic system. It implies that executive power is divided between an elected President and Prime Minister.
These authorized representatives, along with the elected parliament members, run the country like a democracy.
The President is appointed for a four-year term which is renewable once. The semi-presidential system does not equip President with extensive powers.
The President's decisions needs the approval of the Parliament.The Parliament can challenge president's decision with a two-third majority of votes. Later a public referendum will decide whether to carry on with president decision or not.
Economy in Egypt
Egypt economy relies on agriculture, media, petroleum exports and tourism. With its arable land, farming is an important part of the economy.
Egypt is a major Middle Eastern international business player. The business traveler around the world come here for trading.
The state-owned companies and industrial monopolies have gripped the economy of the country. Over-dependence on agriculture and tourism is also impairing the growth of the economy.
This has resulted in high rate of unemployment amongst the educated young people. This problem has encouraged the government to take steps towards privatization of industry and make economy market-oriented.
Buying and renting property in Egypt
There are restrictions on expats for owning their real estate in Egypt.
Egyptians have made it very clear that no foreigner can own more than 2 property estate and that should be within the expanse of 4000 square meters.
The process of buying a property is very complex in Egypt. It would be recommended to hire a legal advisor and draft your contract documents in both English and Arabic.
While renting a property take care of these aspects
- Don't enter into any verbal agreement.
- Ask for the English version of the lease before you sign it.
- Ambiguities in the contract should be avoided
- Look for the clauses that forbid overnight guests.
Visa and Immigration
Education in Egypt
Egypt has the largest education system amongst the Middle East and North Africa. The Government is further working towards improving the schooling standards.
Egypt's education system is divided into secular and Islamic education.
Secular education is spread across public, private and international schools.
Islamic education covers traditional studies with Islamic and Quran subjects added to the curriculum.
If you consider secular education, its branches have their unique attributes. Let's describe each one of it briefly.
1. Public schools are of two types- Arabic schools and Experimental Language schools. Expats generally go for private and international schools.
2. Private schools are categorized into 4 types- Ordinary schools, language schools, religious schools and international schools.
3. International schools are expensive but they have an edge over other varieties. They are equipped with better facilities and teachers than private or public schools.
These schools teach western curriculum both in English and in their mother tongue. They have incorporated British, American, French, Canadian and International Baccalaureate curriculum into their education system.
Weather in Egypt
Egypt experiences arid desert climate. Its coastal region that borders the Mediterranean are cooler, rest of the country bears hot and dry climate year long with some rain in winter.
Summers are unbearably hot with the temperature of 30 degree Celsius which sometimes soars to 50 degree Celsius. The peak summer months falls between June and August.
Winters are mild with the temperature falling to 14 degree Celsius. Winter falls between November and January.
Cairo, the capital of the country experiences the hottest summers with the temperature of around 35-degree Celsius. It's location near to Nile Delta and the coast makes the city exceptionally humid.
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