Has anyone lived in Cairo as an expat?

butterfly
By butterfly

I'll be off to Cairo in the next three or four weeks, since my husband has been transfered there for two years?

Did you love living in Cairo, or hated it? Why? How does it compare to Qatar? Tell me about it...

(Desperately trying to find a Cairoliving website!)

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By aymanfgf• 10 years 9 months ago.
aymanfgf

Cairo forever ... the nicest place to my heart

By sasa412• 12 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
sasa412

Hi  Happy you did so well thanks for you , i think you forget i lives in Maddi for almost 30 years now born and married in Maddi coz i can not stay in any other place

 

Maddi is a nice place but for 1500$ it is very hard to find a Villa for rent in a good  location , but for an apartment i think you can

 

if you decided to stay in Maddi  I'm leaving  after 7 days for short holiday so i can get you the price for Villas and apartment as well ,also you can try this web site

 ttp://www.coldwellbanker-eg.com/index.html

 feel free to ask if you need any help

regards 

By Happy Happy• 12 years 8 months ago.
Happy Happy

I'm glad you're  settled  by now. And don't love the City too much...it's mine..:))))Oh well, Egypt embraces everyone; Egyptians and Non-Egyptians. Great mother undeniably. Ma'salama 

By butterfly• 12 years 8 months ago.
butterfly

I've fallen in love already with this fascinating city. Adios Qatar and QL!

By Vyker• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Vyker

When I was in Cairo for 4 months in 2007, I was given a villa in 6th of October city. It's a clean, modern and efficiently managed and run town.

As for Cairo itself, it's a great city. It will take time to get used to it and at times you'll see some shocking things but it's all a part of the experience. Egyptians are hospitable people and very welcoming and you'll soon find your way around. You're lucky that your husband is already out there which will give you a head start.

Cairo compared to Doha. Well I've been in Doha for little over 2 months and even though I'm enjoying life here, I would actually prefer my company transfer me back to Cairo. There's plenty life and soul there. Despite its problems (e.g. polution), it's an infectious place that you're bound it be fascinated by.

So there you have it, an expat who lived in Cairo who was very happy with his experience.

p.s. one thing you will learn in Egypt is that there's a lot of red tape to deal with. Also you'll become very familiar with the importance of having a 'wasta'

By Makdessi• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Makdessi

Maadi is Cool but it depends on where your husband's work place

If I think you will find better places closer to his work at Giza ;)

By Makdessi• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Makdessi

First it is really very difficult to live in a city like Cairo as exp, Noise, Pollution and the Law of "NO LAW" ... you cannot drive with one and half million of Crazy drivers ..

But the positive is:

Very Friendly, Helpful People

Night life (10.000 times better than Doha)

more open minded people

more places to go

Alcohol allowed and available

and many more

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Happy Happy

Your last line struck me deep! "live carefully but not with a constant fear and keep in mind that you are no longer in the Gulf and people have a lot less"

Cannot put it more politely and decently than you did, to explain the dire economic conditions the common Egyptian suffers from.

Thanks

Salaam

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
celestvile

am glad you decided on maadi, I live there when i am in egypt and street 9 is really lovely. You will enjoy the walks but make sure you try to live around old maadi (maadi saraya) not new maadi. its more expensive but for your budget it should be ok. And with the new brige open, giza is not far (though traffic is bad in general, so you are lookign at 45 mins to get to giza). But maadi is a must

And tryt o gou outlate at night and drive and go for a drink overlookign the Nile and you will fall in love with this city. Go to Hyatt and absorb teh view

of one thing we all agree cairo is not doha

if you need any help finding a place in maadi do please let me know

By angels123• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
angels123

I lived as an expat in Cairo for three years. I agree that daily life can be difficult, emotionally and physically, but it is a wonderful city and beautiful country. The people are extremely warm and friendly for the most part-learning a bit of local dialect arabic will be helpful and appreciated by the locals. We lived in an apartment in Maadi, actually not that far from the French School. Great place for walks, etc with children and while very green with tree-lined streets and flowers, parks and open green space are not readily available. Lots of good restaurants, coffee places, etc. I believe they even have a big supermarket (Carrefour) now-not in existance when we were there. Go with an open mind, enjoy your time there, live carefully but not with a constant fear and keep in mind that you are no longer in the Gulf and people have a lot less.

Angels123

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Happy Happy

And don't worry about the gym, chasing after your kids at home is one heck of an exercise.

Give me a shout whenever you feel like it.

Salaam

By butterfly• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
butterfly

You have been so helpful!

Actually, my husband has been asking to his egyptian colleagues at work and looks like we could afford a flat in Maadi. Everyone shouts Maadi as the nicest are to live, so that's where we will be looking once we get there...and I think that the french school is there too, so even better because my daugher shall start school in September when she will be three.

Forget about the gym, I don't work out! Just for as long as I can walk to places I will be happy happy :).

Thank you again, you have described Cairo with such passion, I can't wait to get there.

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Happy Happy

Your response about Cairo, is very precise and sufficient..:))

"Cairo is fantastic, crazy but fantastic"

Salaam

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
Happy Happy

Maadi is perfect for walks with kids and pets as well. No worries about that.

About renting, cannot lie to you and say I know it all. I have to go back and ask my friends there.

You're also lucky because there is a very good training center (Gym) by the name of "Nevien Alloba", expats love to go there for workouts, and it is in Maadi.

Always ask me as many questions as you like. If I don't know the answer, I'll consult someone and get back to you.

I'll do my best to put you in contact with someone who currently lives in Maadi. After you ok that of course.

Salaam

By butterfly• 12 years 9 months ago.
butterfly

No! Go on, don't stop. I need as much information as possible, as I cannot find much on the internet about life in Cairo as an expat.

You see, I think you misunderstood my initial post. Actually I will be leaving Doha for good in the next few weeks, as my husband has been transfered to Cairo, where we will spend the next two or three years!

You say that is almost impossible to walk in Cairo, due to the traffic? Is that the same case in Maadi? That's because I love going for walk with my babies and look forward to a place where I will be able to do that. Also, you think USD 1500 will get me a nice place in Maadi? Having visited some websites, prices there seem really high!

Thank you so much for your comments, already feeling less stressed out about the move

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Happy Happy

I hope your hotel is downtown and not close to the airport, to save you two-three hours of heavy traffic.

Ok, places you must visit are:

- 3 Pyramids and Sphinx. You can also go inside the pyramid if you’re not claustrophobic. The Camel rides are incomparable and spooky!. The Obrai hotel there is a master piece from inside (As black Prince QLer told you)

- Citadel

- Coptic Egypt

- Egyptian museum

- Khan Alkhalili (the oldest shopping area in Cairo, dates 500 years back)

- If you have one day to visit Alexandria back and forth, it would be a nice experience. You will get to see the most ancient library in the world; the Bibliotheca.

- If you are living at the Marriot hotel, Zamalek pubs will be so close to you, visit some there. There is one called pub 21.

- For Egyptian food and very cheap leather shoes and bags, visit downtown of Cairo. “Felfela” restaurant specially serves “foul, falafel, koshri and other Egyptian food specials.

- Nile cruise is one of the most lovely things to do in Egypt. Or at least have a meal on one of the floating/moving boats in the river Nile.

Cairo is now much colder than Doha, have a heavy jacket with you.

If you are planning to take taxies, make sure they do not rip you off. Try to settle for the fare before getting into the taxi. Literally negotiate with the driver from outside about what he expects from you.

The traffic and drivers’ maneuvering is the Egyptians’ game! Crossing the road, even for me!! Is mostly impossible. I take a cab easier.

Cairo is a little dusty, and do not expect it to be very clean.

Egyptians are overly warm and hospitable, if you stop someone to ask about an address, they will try to show or guide you, even if they originally were not sure of the address themselves. They would try to wreck their brains, or ask others, just to try to make sure you will get to your destination. Barely anyone will stand up and say “sorry I don’t know the address.” Wrong strategy but intentions are good!!

Do not show your money out obviously, save your money in a belt around your waste? Don't put all of your money in the purse ( I just checked your profile on QL, you'are a lady…:) I watch out carefully for my purse under my arms.

If you have any questions let me know, I have no problems at all. If I remember something else, I will sure write to you, if that’s ok with you??

M'salama..:)

Butterfly: If I'm Cramming You with Info, Please Ask me to Stop, alright?

By Happy Happy• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Happy Happy

You said your visit is only for 3-4 weeks. You might be culturally shocked. But it will be an exploring journey without a doubt.

To answer you questions, the metropolitan city of Cairo is crowded, full of poor people (that will break your heart), full of beggars, unclean in many areas. (But not worst than some touristy Asian countries)

If you look very different (than most Egyptians) you will be looked at, not stared at.

Compared to Qatar? not a bit of resemblance.

CairoLiving website: None. For almost 20 m population city, that site wont be practical.

People are extremely warm and harmless! people help for no reason! and if you yell loudly at someone in the street (for any reason) ,hundreds will come for your rescue.

Watch out for your money/purse! it is not advisable to show the dollars!! very poor people and greedy too! We have this thought in Cairo, that expats should be ripped off, simply because “they are very rich, what’s the problem with paying extra bucks!)

I will not talk about how you can get busy in Egypt (Cairo, Alex Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea), visiting and exploring, you wont find time for meditation! nor to rest at home!

Yes, Maadi is a very good choice. 96% of my expat friends live there.

I beg to differ with PM, I have seen reasonable amount of exapts who, in a way, shed a tear upon their leave from Cairo. Some had bad experiences, but when they got used to the culture in the longer run, some literally cried! (no exaggeration).

Oh, and you’ll find my heart their, every where you go..:)

Salaam

By okamalo• 12 years 9 months ago.
okamalo

http://www.culturewheel.net/

http://www.cairodining.com/

http://www.cairolive.com/

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
celestvile

I think you mean edgeware road? I lived in London too :)

cairo is the kind of place which arouses great emotions: either you hate it or love it. It is impossible to be indifferent to the place

By Adorman• 12 years 9 months ago.
Adorman

well for me i was studying in cairo for 9 months actualy for young african guy ( i was 17) living alone there nah its not good place for me. but if u r just visiting there for less than a month yea its cool.

ok 1 second i didnt said i hated it no actualy its good place but not for me :D

By butterfly• 12 years 9 months ago.
butterfly

No, I have never been in Egypt before, so you are right, I'm sooo looking forward to visit the museums, churchs, islamic town and of course the piramids once I'm settled.

I have asked so many people about life in Cairo, and noticed that some love it to the point of being obsessed with the city and others hate it so much that wouldn't dare the idea of spending a week there, let alone two years...so I can't really make my mind up until I land there.

Omari, great, I'll visit that website right away...By the way, I loved living in London, and I lived in Hounslow which is not so nice and in (oh my god, I just had a blank!)...where did I live? the area where the arab community is based, right in the centre of london.

By Omari• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Omari

dont worry, 6 october is really nice and you can get villas there. as for being ripped off, you will of course but you need to have some perspective. I have just moved to doha having lived n London for 30 years and i have seen the violence and gang culture changing the culture of London to such an extent where people dont feel safe (and i lived in Kensington which is a nice area). so every city has its problems but cairo is a dazzling city. And i guarantee you, you will never get bored! the city never sleeps

as for websites, the best one is egypttoday.com

please let me know if oyu need any more info

By skdkak• 12 years 9 months ago.
skdkak

Sorry for barging into the discussion.

But I was tempted to mention that here in Qatar we have QL to work for... what other work do you think is more hard working.

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By anonymous• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

You Know the good thing in cairo evrybody work not like here some ppl work hard and other they just enjoying to spend money and make joking for other like PM

By butterfly• 12 years 9 months ago.
butterfly

for your responses.

Celestvile, sounds like all the expat community lives in Maadi, and whilst I have heard that it is a quiet area with lots of greenery, I doubt it's convinient for us to live there as it is quite a ride from Giza, where my husband works. We shall see...we heard 6 October area is also nice?

Besides, our housing allowance will only be $1500, which I think doesn't strech for a place in Maadi, and after living in a small flat for the last three years, I'm looking forward to a big place with a garden.

By the way, do you have any idea where the french school is located?

Dweller, oh god, now you worried me...with that kind of money I could live anywhere . Wonder why your son didn't like it.

PM, yes I noticed that too (The $ sign), sounds like I will get ripped off quite often, then. So your friends dislike living in Cairo?

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
celestvile

Cairo is not easy to like and life is certainly not as comfortable as the Gulf, but one cannot doubt its charm and the fact that it is right at the heart of the arab world. There is a depth in egypt which can produce nobel prize winners, which you simply dont find in the gulf

But it is not an easy place to live, admiteddly.

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
celestvile

Cairo is not easy to like and life is certainly not as comfortable as the Gulf, but one cannot doubt its charm and the fact that it is right at the heart of the arab world. There is a depth in egypt which can produce nobel prize winners, which you simply dont find in the gulf

But it is not an easy place to live, admiteddly.

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
celestvile

Cairo is not easy to like and life is certainly not as comfortable as the Gulf, but one cannot doubt its charm and the fact that it is right at the heart of the arab world. There is a depth in egypt which can produce nobel prize winners, which you simply dont find in the gulf

But it is not an easy place to live, admiteddly.

By dweller• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
dweller

worked in Cairo and left after 10 months as he didn't like it.

He had lived in the Gulf from age 8 so he knew roughly what to expect.

It must have been bad as he was on £100,000 plus housing & school fees.

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
celestvile

Well they (who is they exactly ?:)) say cairo is umm al-dunya!

I am egyptian

By ashahhat• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
ashahhat

oh Cairo.........

i never seen one who visited Cairo and didn't love it

execluding the traffics Cairo is perfect

By anonymous• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
anonymous

I am from egypt and i really miss it so much

here evry thing is samiliar or better that Doha

yes more crawded but nice ppl not like qataris and they respect the expats , when they see that u expat, so you will have advantage than the Eqyptian and they will help you$ even without your asking,

but here the qatari ppl qo 1st in evry thing except the work, and when they saw expats so he is thier slave who came to collect thier money

really you are lucky i want to find good job in cairo so i can go back to my home

By ashahhat• 12 years 9 months ago.
ashahhat

celestville wher r u from????

i'm egyptian

By celestvile• 12 years 9 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
celestvile

The one thing you can be certain of is that Cairo is not Doha!!! We are talking about a city of over 12million where the traffic is so bad (if you think Doha is bad...just wait) its actually comical. There is also no system and it is one of the most frustrating places to live in. Hope you are based in Zamalek or Maadi which are the nicest parts. But the lack of a system and the 'pushiness' of the egyptians will make you angry and frustrated.The poverty is also striking.

And yet, and yet, in one street of Cairo you will find more charm, more magic and more life than the whole of Doha. It is a crazy place but a place which loves music and a place which is confident of itself (not surprising given its ancient history). It has the soul which Doha so lacks and because of that you put up with the traffic and frustrations.

Egypt is a beguiling country which captured the heart of more than one roman emperor and many kings. Keep that in mind as you deal with the settling in period and once you get used to the tempo of this mad city, you will end up loving it so much you will never want to leave.

Enjoy... you are in for a memorable ride!

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