- Download our Moving to Egypt Guide (PDF)
With so many things to consider when moving abroad, it's all too easy for future expats to become overwhelmed. Being fully prepared in terms of what to expect can make the transition a bit less jarring. To give expats-to-be a jumpstart on this process, here are our pros and cons of moving to Egypt.
Accommodation in Egypt
+ PRO: Lots of options
From sprawling villas to upmarket studio apartments, there’s plenty of variety in Egypt’s property market. Families and single expats alike should have a fairly easy time finding something that's right for them and that fits into their budget, particularly if they're being paid in foreign currency like US dollars. Those earning in the local currency will have fewer options, but with a little effort should be able to find something suitable.
Lifestyle in Egypt
+ PRO: Incredible sightseeing opportunities
From the manmade wonder of the pyramids of Giza to the awe-inspiring Sphinx, expats in Egypt have some of the world’s most sought-after tourist attractions right on their doorstep.
- CON: Not a particularly lively nightlife scene
Due to the prevalent conservative culture of Egypt, partying and drinking isn't a big part of the social scene. While there certainly are nightclubs and bars to be found, these are few and far between, so it can take a bit of searching to find a good spot.
Culture in Egypt
+ PRO: Friendly locals
Egyptians are known for being welcoming to strangers and will always be up for having a chat or helping someone out. It follows that expats who are similarly open and kind will likely make fast friends with locals.
- CON: It can be difficult to adjust
The patriarchal culture prevalent in Egyptian society can be a shock to expats. Western women in particular often have a hard time adjusting to this as they find themselves the object of stares and catcalls in Egypt. Generally, the best way to deal with this is to ignore it. In a case where an expat woman feels unsafe, she shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help from a local woman.
Getting around in Egypt
- CON: Chaotic driving
With one of the world’s highest road accident casualty counts, Egypt is a dangerous place to drive. Local drivers are often unpredictable and will often act without signalling, making it difficult for other drivers to react in time. Rather than braving the chaos of driving in Egypt, we recommend expats instead make use of taxis and public transport or hire a personal driver.
+ PRO: The Cairo metro
Though much of Egypt’s public transport can be uncomfortable, the metro in Cairo is efficient, fast and well priced. Those outside of Cairo are out of luck when it comes to this convenient public transport experience, as this is the country’s only metro.
Education in Egypt
- CON: Local education unlikely to be an option for expats
Public education in Egypt is generally of a low quality, and the language of instruction is Arabic. For this reason, most expats prefer to send their children to international schools.
+ PRO: Range of international schools
A variety of international schools are spread throughout Egypt’s major cities, offering parents some choice when it comes to selecting their preferred curriculum. Giza and Cairo in particular have a large selection of international schools.
- CON: High fees and extra costs
Aside from already-pricey annual school fees, parents will often be expected to shoulder additional costs for things such as uniforms, extra-curriculars, textbooks and school excursions.
►To read interviews from expats already in the country, have a look at our page of Expat Experiences in Egypt.
"My quality of life was very good. I had an enormous apartment with three balconies and three bedrooms in a very trendy part of town. You could take a taxi wherever you want and it would cost nothing. Food, produce and meat from the grocery store was also ridiculously cheap. Everything could be delivered to your house… Even beer." Read more about Marc, a Canadian expat, and the ups and downs of life in Egypt.
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
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.
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.