- Download our Moving to Egypt Guide (PDF)
- Ancient Egypt, one of the world's oldest civilisations, emerged around 3100 BCE along the banks of the Nile River.
- The Early Dynastic Period (3100-2686 BCE) witnessed the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the pharaoh Narmer.
- The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BCE) saw the construction of monumental pyramids at Giza, such as the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
- Pharaoh Djoser's reign introduced the first step pyramid at Saqqara, marking a shift in architectural style.
- The Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BCE) brought stability and the development of art, literature, and trade.
- Pharaoh Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh, ruled during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE) and expanded Egypt's trade and influence.
- Pharaoh Akhenaten attempted to establish a monotheistic religion cantered on the worship of the sun god Aten during his reign.
- Tutankhamun, a famous pharaoh, ascended to the throne at a young age and is known for his tomb's discovery, filled with treasures.
- Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, reigned for 66 years during the 19th Dynasty and left a significant architectural legacy.
- The Iron Age brought external invasions, including the Libyans, Kushites, Assyrians, Persians, and Greeks.
Ptolemaic and Roman Period:
- The Ptolemaic era (305-30 BCE) witnessed the blending of Egyptian and Hellenistic cultures under the rule of the Ptolemaic dynasty.
- Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, formed alliances with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony in her struggle for power.
- Egypt fell under Roman rule in 30 BCE after the suicide of Cleopatra, marking the beginning of the Roman period.
- Christianity spread in Egypt during the Roman era, and the country became an important centre for early Christian thought.
Early Islamic Period:
- In 641 CE, Muslim Arabs conquered Egypt and introduced Islam, leading to the decline of Christianity and the rise of Arab culture.
- The Fatimid Caliphate (969-1171 CE) established Cairo as its capital and constructed iconic landmarks like Al-Azhar Mosque.
- Salah al-Din (Saladin) became the first Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt in 1174 CE and successfully repelled the Crusaders from the region.
- The Mamluks, a Turkic slave caste, ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1517 CE and defended the region against Mongol invasions.
Ottoman Rule and Modernization:
- In 1517, the Ottoman Empire gained control of Egypt, ruling it for over 400 years.
- Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt in 1798, sparking interest in Egyptology and contributing to European influence in the region.
- Egypt's modernization efforts began in the late 19th century under the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha and his successors.
- Egypt gained nominal independence from the Ottomans in 1914 but remained under British influence.
British Occupation and Nationalism:
- In 1875, Egypt's financial crisis reached a critical point, and Ismail was forced to sell Egypt's shares in the Suez Canal to the British government.
- British occupation began in 1882, with Egypt becoming a protectorate, with the British effectively controlling the country's administration, military, and finances.
- The British occupation sparked resistance movements and nationalist sentiments among Egyptians, which grew stronger over time and eventually paved the way for the Egyptian Revolution in 1919.
- During British control, Egypt witnessed the growth of a national press, the formation of political organisations, and the emergence of intellectuals and nationalist leaders who laid the foundations for future struggles for independence.
- In 1922, Egypt gained nominal independence, but British influence remained significant.
- King Fuad I became Egypt's first monarch following independence, ruling until 1936.
- King Farouk succeeded Fuad I in 1936 and faced increasing political corruption and social unrest during his reign.
- World War II (1939-1945) brought significant changes to Egypt, as it served as an important Allied base and witnessed clashes with Axis forces in North Africa.
- In 1952, the Egyptian Revolution took place, led by a group of military officers known as the Free Officers Movement. They overthrew King Farouk and established a republic.
- The charismatic Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged as a prominent leader and became Egypt's second president in 1956.
- Nasser pursued a policy of Arab nationalism, nationalising the Suez Canal in 1956, which led to the Suez Crisis and military intervention by Britain, France, and Israel.
- Nasser's leadership promoted social reforms, land redistribution, industrialization, and the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
- Nasser played a key role in the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement and sought to unite Arab nations against Israeli aggression.
- Nasser's sudden death in 1970 resulted in Anwar Sadat assuming the presidency.
- Sadat pursued a policy of economic liberalisation, known as the Infitah, which aimed to attract foreign investment and open up the economy.
- In 1973, Egypt launched a surprise attack on Israel in what became known as the Yom Kippur War, leading to initial Egyptian military success and eventually paving the way for peace negotiations.
- Sadat made a historic visit to Israel in 1977 and signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, establishing peace with Israel and securing the return of the Sinai Peninsula.
- Sadat's efforts for peace were met with opposition from radical groups, and he was assassinated in 1981 by Islamist extremists during a military parade.
- Hosni Mubarak assumed the presidency and governed Egypt for nearly three decades, focusing on economic reforms but facing criticism for his authoritarian rule and human rights abuses.
- In 2011, the Egyptian Revolution erupted, driven by widespread discontent, demands for democracy, and opposition to Mubarak's regime.
- The revolution led to Mubarak's ousting, marking a significant turning point in Egypt's modern history.
- Post-revolution, Egypt experienced a period of political transitions, including the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the election of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt's first democratically elected president in 2012.
- However, Morsi's presidency was short-lived, as he was deposed by a military coup in 2013, led by then-Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
- El-Sisi became president in 2014 and has since implemented economic reforms but faced criticism for restricting political freedoms and human rights.
- Egypt continues to grapple with political challenges, social change, and economic development as it seeks stability and progress in the 21st century.
Are you an expat living in Egypt?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Egypt. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance - 10% off any plans bought in November and December 2023
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.