Egypt, which has been a republic since
1953, is an Islamic state with a
The president is elected for a six year
term of office by referendum, having been
proposed by the People's Assembly, and he
holds most of the executive power.
He is assisted by a Prime Minister.
The present president is General Mohammed
He has been in power since the 14th
The Prime Minister is Mr Atef Ebeid since
the 5th October 1999.
plays a major geo-political role in the
Middle East, due to the fact that it
controls the Sinai peninsula and the Suez
Canal, which is the shortest route between
the Indian Ocean and the Meditarranean,
and is next to Israel.
official name of the country is Jumhuriyat
Misral-Arabiyah. The capital is
country is divided into 26 administrative
Al Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al
Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al
Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah,
Al Jizah, Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al
Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid,
Ash Sharqiyah, As Suways, Aswan, Asyu't,
Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub
Sina, Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina,
Shamal Sina, Suhaj.
The judiciary system is based on English
civil law, Islamic law and the Napoleonic
code. Judiciary decisions are revised by
the Supreme Court and the State Council,
which check the validity of administrative
decisions.The voting age is 18, voting is
universal and obligatory.
Egyptian government is led by President
Mohammed Hosni Moubarak, sworn in office
on 14th October 1981, 8 days after
President Anwar Al Sadat was
The Cabinet is organized by the
The People's Assembly (Majilis al Cha'b)
is made up of 454 members, 444 of whom are
elected for five years by general
election, and 10 who are appointed by the
President for a five year term of
30 seats are reserved for women. Half of
the representatives must be workers or
The Council (Majilis al-Shura) is made up
of 264 members, two thirds of whom are
elected and one third appointed by the
Judiciary power is represented by the
National Democratic Party
New Wafd Party
Socialist Labour Party
National Progressive Party
Socialist Liberal Party
Democratic Unionist Party
Misr al Fatah Party
Democratic Nasserist Party
NB : A political party can
only be formed with the government's
A few historical dates :
1856 : Beginning of the building of
the Suez Canal
1948 : Conflicts with the new State
1951 : Unilateral termination of
the 1936 treaty with England.
Farouk is appointed to the thrones of
Egypt and Sudan
1952 : King Farouk is dethroned
following a revolution of young
1953 : General Neguib is appointed
Head of State by the 'free officers'
June 1953 : Egypt becomes an
1954 : Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser
dissolves the government and takes
1956 : Nasser is elected President
The Suez Canal is nationalized.
1958-1961 : Egypt and Syria unite
to form the United Arab Republic
The Assouan Dam is built, financed by the
5-10th June 1967 : The Six Day War
1970 : Death of Nasser, President
Sadat takes power.
1971 : New attempt to unite Egypt,
Libya and Syria.
6-22nd Oct. 1973 : The Yom Kippour
war against Israel.
1974 : Infitah, Egypt sides with
the western powers
Nov. 1977 : President Sadat visits
1978 : Start of peace negotiations
6th Oct. 1981 : Assassination of
President Sadat, he is replaced by M.
1982 : The Sinaï is given back
to Egypt by Israel.
6th Oct. 1987 : Re-election of
6th Dec. 1990 : Legislative
elections won by M. Moubarak.
1993 : Attacks against the
authorities and tourists.
26th June 1995 : An Islamist attack
against M. Moubarak.
Legislative elections, the President's
party wins a clear majority
is situated on the north eastern edge of
Africa (Sinai), between Sudan (with 1273
kms of shared borders), Israel (255 kms),
Palestine (11 kms) and Libya (1150 kms).
The Red Sea is on the east and the
Mediterranean is on the north (2450 kms of
The total surface area of the country is
1,001,440 square kms (1.8 times the size
country is an immense desert, cut down the
middle by the Nile. The Nile valley and
delta, which are vastly overcrowded
(approx. 1200 inhabitants per square km)
only covers 5% of the territory.
The Nile measures 6671 kms and crosses
1500 kms of Egyptian territory. It is
The Mediterranean coastline stretches for
1000 kms. The Suez Canal links the longest
river in the world to the Mediterranean
and the Red Sea.
Vegetation grows on the lands bordering
the Nile and around the dams of Assiout,
Assouan, Esna and Zifta. The Assouan dam
produces 10 billion kWh a year but is a
source of problems : there is no longer
enough silt in lower Egypt, bilharzia is
spreading and so are rodents.
In the Arabian desert there are the Etbai
Mts, which climb to an altitude of over
1500 m and up to 2000 m (2187m for Sheyb,
2641m the Jabal Karina). There are
numerous oasis (called oueds).
The capital is Cairo, with 8,920,000
inhabitants and other main towns are
Alexandria, Port Said and Suez.
term interest rate
in billions of dollars
in billions of dollars
external debt in billions of
which the short term debt
on the debt/exports
power parity (PPP)
per capita per annum
with PPP +$3000 per
with PPP + $15000 per
with PPP -$5000 per
of investment 1990-97
economy took an important step forward in
the 70s and 80s, but in 1986 the drop in
the world price of petrol and the rise in
the national debt obliged Egypt to start
negotiating for economic aid. Since 1991
the government has made a lot of progress
in its administrative reforms (the
liberalizing of the exchange rates and
interest rates) and its programme of
structural changes has contributed towards
improving conditions for economic growth.
Egypt's role as regional mediator puts it
in a privileged position, ensuring
political and financial support from the
the economic growth has managed to stay at
5%, thanks largely to the revival in the
tourist industry. The terrorist attacks
have stopped and the tourist revenue has
increased (+50% in 1999), a necessary
income for the country.
The near-balance in public finances is one
of the most remarkable results of the
structural changes plan which has been
managed with the help of the IMF. If the
debt ratios reflect a moderate increase in
the external debt, the financial situation
remains comfortable and the risk of
non-payment remains low. Unfortunantly the
public sector still predominates the
economy and the weight of the
administration slows down reforms. (In the
port of Alexandria, the biggest port in
the country, you need no less than thirty
signatures to get merchandise through the
customs.) Important privatizations are
expected in 2001, amongst which the sale
of 20% of the capital of Egypt
country is going through a cash shortage.
To deal with it, the president has asked
the State to reimburse its debts in order
to inject 7.5 billion dollars into the
economy. Over one year the Egyptian
reserves have gone down by 25% and the
public debt, which stands at 4 billion
dollars, equivalent to 40% of the GDP,
soaks up most of the cash. Egyptian banks
have hardly any funds left.
country has diversified sources of foreign
currency : the biggest one is money sent
in by Egyptians abroad : 5 billion
dollars, then comes tourism : 4.2 billion,
thirdly the Suez Canal which brings in 1.9
billion and in fourth place petrol with
less and less public investment, the
private sector is expected to deal with
new infrastructural investments in several
sectors : energy, transport, provision and
treatment of water. The new Prime Minister
has announced tax reforms and the
continuation of privatizations, but the
weight of the administration discourages
both private and foreign investment. In
spite of that, the private sector
participates to an equivalent of 70% of
The strong demographic growth is a source
of worry for President Moubarak : 1.2
million more people every year add to the
62 million already concentrated on the 5%
strip of agricultural territory around the
Nile. Opposition movements feed on the
large social inequalities. With a GNP per
capita of 1480 dollars a year, Egypt is a
fairly poor country. The 3% yearly growth
in the labour force (600,00 people) makes
it nearly impossible to decrease the
unemployment figure, which is very high,
at least 20%, although the official figure
country imports a lot of equipment and
machines, foodstuff, fertilizer, wooden
articles and consumer goods. Its main
partners are the European Union (41.5%),
the United States (15.7%), Japan (5.4%),
North Africa and the Middle East
4% of the land is farmed, this is due to
the fact that the only land which is
regularly watered is in the Nile delta.
98% of the country's water is supplied by
the Assouan dam.
country cannot afford to import the
foodstuffs necessary to feed its
constantly growing population.
- Fishing - Forestry
of tons, head, and m3 for
The agricultural sector employs 36% of the
working force and contributes 18% of the
GNP. 18,000 hectares of new land are
created every year, but the urban growth
covers 13,000 hectares a year. In 1962, to
win over the support of the small-scale
farmers and to weaken the landed property
owners, Nasser imposed a low rental price
on agricultural lands and gave farmers'
children a right of possession which was
nearly hereditary. This law was revised in
1997, since then rents have tripled and
families occupying the land can be
expelled with only a year's notice : 87
people have died, nearly 800 have been
arrested and there are now 420,000
landless peasants. At present the
government doesn't have any available land
to allocate to them - it is counting on
the Tochka canal project (200 kms) to make
25% of the country suitable for
cultivation. It will mean the total
creation of a second delta in the southern
part of the country. Egypt will then have
the most power pump in the world : it will
pump 25 million cubic meters of water from
Lake Nasser to irrigate 225,000 hectares.
environmental questions are :
- the loss of arable land due to both
urbanization and the advancing desert
- the large amount of salt in the soil
below the Assouan dam
- the water pollution due to pesticides
and industrial waste
- the lack of drinking water in the areas
away from the Nile.
resources are petrol, natural gas, iron
ore, phosphates, manganese, lime, gypsum,
talc, asbestos, lead and zinc. The only
minerals exploited are phosphates and
Industry contributes 25.9% of the GDP and
delta contains important natural gas
reserves (the government expects to make
from 1.5 to 3 billion dollars a year from
them). There is a project being studied to
build a pipeline along the coast to
Turkey. The crossing of Israelian
territory is presently under
The first Egyptian natural liquid gas
processing factory could be set up in 2004
with English financing.
other hand the petrol industry seems to be
declining : production has gone down and
the last interesting discovery was 20
years ago. Petrol still represents 40% of
the export revenue but the projects only
concern off-shore drilling.
The main industries are textiles,
foodstuffs, tourism, chemical products,
building, cement and metals.
The manufacturing industry, which is quite
diversified, suffers from a lack of
infrastructures for exportation,
particularly agricultural products with a
high added value. Cairo airport, in the
hope of reducing losses has decided to
install a cold room for storage. Also, a
container terminal is being built near
Port Said, which will have a capacity of
700,000 units a year. At the moment Egypt
only exports 20% of its manufactured goods
but is looking for new outlets. At present
44% of its exports go to the European
Union but bilateral agreements have been
signed with Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan
and the main objective is to create an
Arabian Common Market in 2008.
developement of transportation means has
also been encouraged : the second part of
the Cairo underground has just been
completed (2 million people use it every
day), a new 38 km highway connects the
town centre to the new town called the
'6th October' which has been installed in
the middle of the desert.
Egypt has an important energy production,
it has a surplus of over 30 million TOE
per year. However the petrol crisis
considerably affected its exports.
Industry is still 70% state-owned. The
electricity production was 57.656 billion
kwh in 1997, with a per capita consumption
of 611 kwh.
privatization of foodstuff industries has
resulted in a rise of 15% in equipment
importation for this sector (250 million
Pasta production covers 80% of the demand.
Meat and fish processing is developing,
although still in an artisanal way, mostly
developing sectors are equipment and
intermediary goods, the material industry,
the textile and foodstuff sectors, and
also cosmetics, home decoration and
furniture. The continual valuation in the
exchange rate has progressively worn away
Egypt's price competitiveness.
Tourism went down slightly in the last
quarter of 2000 due to the regional
tension caused by the Palestine-Israel
confrontation. For the moment it is mainly
Israeli tourists who have stopped visiting
Egypt (150,000 a year), but a continuation
of the violence could seriously affect the
government's objectives are to increase
the receptive capacities and the
infrastructures and to develope
law n°8 guarantees the transfer and
the repatriation of capital and offers
national and international investors tax
rebates which accumulate over the years,
with the choice of installation in the new
industrial towns and those of the high and
medium Nile valley.
well represented in Egypt : the
underground in Cairo is one of the most
prestigious contracts that the French
Some French companies have been set up in
the north east of Cairo, in "10th of
Ramadan", a modern city where tax rebates
and land prices have attracted
Schneider has been producing and
assembling electrical apparatus and
equipment there for 10 years, dealing
particularly with medium and very high
tension machines. The factory employs 340
people, treats 600 tons of sheet metal and
produces 1400 electrical boards per
are 62 million inhabitants in Egypt, the
population density is 62 inhabitants per
47% live in towns.
0-14 year olds : 35.89%
15-64% : 59.67%
65 years and over : 4.43%
Life expectancy is 66.54 years.
demographic growth 1997 - 2015 : +1.5%
energy consumption per capita TOE :
Population without drinking water :
population without sanitary installations
n° of doctors per 1000 inhabitants :
telephone lines per 1000 inhabitants :
mobile phones per 1000 inhabitants : 1
private cars per 1000 inhabitants : 23
n° of computers per 1000 inhabitants
adult illiteracy : 47%
secondary schooling/age group : 75.3%
graduates/age group : 23%
The various ethnic groups are made up of
the oriental Hamitic group, (Egyptians,
Bedouins, Berbers), which make up 99% of
the population, Greeks, Nubians, Armenians
and Europeans (Italians and French).
official language is Arabic, but English
and French are spoken. 53% of the adult
population can read and write.
of the population are Muslim, mostly
Sunnites. Christian Copts number about 7
million. Other religions practiced are
Roman Catholic, Orthodox Maronites, Greek
Orthodox, Protestants and Jewish.
metric system is used.
Electrical current : 220 V., plugs are the
currency is the Egyptian pound, made up of
1FF = 0.5
£ (approx). 1 $ US = 3.4 £
1 euro = 3.5165 £
1 £ = 1.97 FF
cards are not very widely accepted. They
can mainly be used in international hotels
and to obtain cash in a bank. It is
advisable to change money little by
little, in small notes.
Egyptian pound is linked to the
The bank rate is the official one, but
foreign currency is difficult to obtain,
the central Bank injects dollars onto the
market if the situation becomes
Transferring and repatriating capital is
Cairo is the capital of Egypt, a cultural
centre and the African town with the
highest population. It has also become the
biggest town in the Middle East. There is
an amazing mixture of lifestyles in Cairo
and a never ending bustle. The minarets,
citadels and church bell towers dating
back to the first epochs of Christianity,
dominate the city where everything spreads
out around them. In the "Mother of the
World", thus named by the inhabitants of
the town, the poorest part of the
population have taken refuge in the
cemetery. Thousands of people "squat" in
the abandonned tombs. The city of the dead
has become the city of the living to the
point where the government has had to
recognize these 'residences' and install
In town you have to visit the big popular
Khan el-Khalili souk. Hidden behind the El
Azhar mosque are the houses of Zeina
Khatoum and Harawi, which have been
splendidly restored by the French
Compagnons. There is no way you can miss
the Egyptian museum . Built under the
leadership of Gaston Maspera and
inaugurated in 1902, it exhibits, amongst
so many other marvels, the treasure of
Tutankhamon. It is impossible to leave the
"light of the Orient" without paying
hommage to the sole survivor of the 7
wonders of the world : the pyramid of
Cheops, flanked by its sisters Khephren
and Mykerinos and just behind the Sphinx,
whose head on a lion's body has been
turned to the rising sun for five thousand
It is Egypt's biggest port and an major
Mediterranean sea resort,called the "pearl
of the Mediterranean". Alexandria's 30 kms
of golden sand can be enjoyed in its
pleasant climate all year long.
Among the many monuments to see in the
town are the Al Montazah Palace which has
been reconverted into a hotel, the Quayet
Bai Fortress and the Greek and Roman
museum which contains 40,000 articles,
some of them dating from the 3rd century
In ancient times, it was called Syena,
from the pink granite : Syenite. Assouan
with its pleasant climate is a perfect
spot for a winter stay.
Luxor is the Arabic name of Thebes,
the town of a hundred doors.
Ancient capital of Egypt until 750 BC,
Luxor displays its grandiose vestiges of
the past and the unique beauty of its
is a slight climatic variation between the
north and the south of Egypt with big
temperature changes between the day and
the night in the desert regions.
There is a windy season in the spring,
between March and April. The Khamesin is a
strong local wind.
short, and the temperatures mild. The sea
temperature only falls to about 17°C
from January to March.
Summer is extremely hot, especially in the
north, the south is torrid, but the
dryness of the air is harder to stand than
the actual heat. The sea temperature
during August goes over
winter are the most pleasant seasons for a
(during the summer), serpents and
scorpions (in the desert during the
summer), parasites in the Nile and the
in the country
are 36 million people in the country's
36% of them are employed in the
government, public works companies and the
armed forces, 34% work in agriculture and
the private sector and factories employ
Some 2,500,000 Egyptians are expatriated
(mainly in Saudi Arabia and in other Arab
states in the Gulf), and the country lacks
The language :
It is advisable to take Arab (or at least
English) lessons or improve your level.
The possibility of finding a good job will
depend on how well you speak the
There are several language institutes in
France which can quickly bring you up to a
to be completed if you are working for a
French company :
If your employer is a French or
international company you don't have to
worry about formalities.
Usually the administrative services deal
with all the formalities concerning the
Unless you are the only representative of
your company in the country (sales
representative, or in charge of a liaising
office ...), in this case you will have to
deal with the formalities
for your departure and looking for a
You can start searching for information by
writing to French associations established
in the country, economic expansion
services, commercial services of foreign
banks in France and French banks
consulate usually has a service dealing
with jobs and training, student grants and
reinsertion in France, and they can put
you in touch with local enterprises who
are willing to accept French
also in the Practical Guide for the
The French Chamber of Commerce also offers
information about the job market, the most
dynamic sectors of the economy, and edits
a bulletin for French companies and local
You could publish a job application in
Commission in Cairo, or the CFCE in Paris
can furnish you with a list of French
companies established in Egypt.
about the country are usually available in
the cultural service of the Egyptian
Embassy in Paris.
however prepare your trip in a more
precise manner by making a personal
appointment with the Franco-Egyptian
Chamber of Commerce in order to complete
your information and get professional
are hunting for information you could
contact companies directly by sending a
spontaneous candidacy proposing your
international departments of the Chambers
of Commerce and Industry often have
information about the country available.
Directories and useful dossiers from the
country can be helpful in getting
information on sectors of activity and the
local economic life.
to find job offers :
In the French press :
Le Monde, Le France Soir, Figaro, Moniteur
du Bâtiment, ... for French
companies sending people
local press :
Al Ahram, Akhbar Al-Yom, Le Journal
international press, in nearly all the
bigger dailies there exists a page or a
selection of job offers (The European, The
Guardian, Vacature, Coriere della Sera,
The Geneva Tribunal ..)
recruitment bureaus in Europe, and interim
companies sometimes offer international
several data banks specializing in job
offers abroad on Internet which are easily
Writing your CV and covering letter
dossier is a determining element towards
being recruited, it is the first step
towards obtaining an interview.
should be very clear, typewritten,
detailled, preferably written in the
language of the country and it should be
accompanied by a handwritten covering
countries do not accord much importance to
handwriting, but it is advisable to write
the letter by hand whichever country it is
company is French or the subsidiary of a
French company, the CV and the covering
letter should still be written in the
language of the country.
forget to attach a recent photo,
preferably one where you are
CV should be detailled, and have the
addresses and phone numbers of
ex-employers on it so that the company can
easily verify the main points of your
This can save you from sending a pile of
photocopies and documents with it. You can
always present these documents later
during an interview if
If you are
thinking of sending a false CV, you should
know that a study from the Florian
Mantione Institute shows that 45% of the
employers check up on CVs, that 34% of the
candidates are eliminated during this
verification and that 60% of the
verifications are made with the previous
Whatever your reasons for 'adapting' your
CV to suit the ad, be warned that it won't
help you during the interview and could
even cause you prejudice.
questions to ask yourself before an
exactly is the job?
What is the length of the contract?
Is it for the whole family or with
What kind of life will you have
Have you thought about when you get back,
how you will manage financially to fit in
Do you have the necessaries qualities to
be an expatriate?
you need to succeed :
emotional stability (so you can react
quickly in any situation)
autonomy (you can make decisions on your
own in any circumstance)
being mobile and being available for your
job, being able to relocate quickly
being good at meeting people (don't forget
that the expatriate is also an ambassador
for his country whether in his
professional or his social life.
being adaptable (you can easily adapt to
different cultures, climates and life
being able to accept and understand
different cultures and cultural
tolerance and respect of other people's
way of life and way of living should be a
natural part of your character.
family and recruiting :
Your partner should have the same
ambitions as you. It is often an important
factor in choosing an expatriate.
In fact some recruitment bureaus or big
firms when they are recruiting, specially
for long term projects, insist on having
an interview with the wife to check that
there are no problems in the couple which
could get worse abroad and maybe disturb
Companies often propose that the whole
family goes together so that a good family
balance is kept.
the recruiting :
Punctuality and precision are
appreciated everywhere. Be on time for
Be well dressed for your interview,
whatever kind of job you are trying for.
Your appearance will weigh with the
First interviews are often very short but
can last several hours if your candidacy
is interesting, depending on the post
offered, and if you have to do any
psychotechnical (graphological analysis)
or aptitude tests.
Be careful not to appear pretentious about
your know-how and don't exaggerate your
Don't forget that nowadays the job market
is a chronic problem nearly all over the
world, so take an interview appointment
seriously, jobs are not easy to come
Emphasize your real competence, your ease
of adaption, your mobility, your ability
to work in a team, your readiness to pool
company and the expatriate :
A lot of countries abroad like to
have, and to show that they have,
expatriates on their staff.
International personnel often bring in
experience and knowledge which can be very
advantageous for a company.
- Salary requirements :
If the candidate doesn't know the
prospective country, it isn't always easy
to negotiate a salary, especially if the
amount has already been mentionned on the
However, there is nothing to stop you from
showing your previous salary and from
discussing the salary offered. The
recruiting agent or the employer may
appreciate knowing what for you is the
It is often difficult to compare salaries
with European ones.
The standard of living that you find
abroad is not always similar to the one
you know in Europe and sometimes if the
salary is much higher you will find that
the cost of living is also.
This is one of the reasons, and there are
several, including social security
conditions, why it is better to go abroad
with a European company.
French companies sending people overseas
budget for differences in the cost of
They can reassure the expatriate that his
purchasing power will at least be the same
as in France.
The 'basic French salary' can be paid
either in France or abroad, it is usually
a choice, and an allowance is paid for
living expenses (accomodation,
This compensation is based on the cost of
living in the country.
(see the page in the expatriate
If you are employed locally you will have
to pay taxes in the country.
If you have an international contract your
salary can be negotiated free of
In some countries income tax is deducted
at source by the company.
Accomodation - company car - other
fringe benefits :
It is nearly impossible to negotiate for a
company house if you are employed locally.
Getting a car depends on your job and your
level in the company.
In a local company it will be very
difficult to negotiate a paid return
ticket to France every year.
There again, if you are an expatriate
working for a French company you will get
fringe benefits, a house, car, travel
allowance, return flights to France
Usually international contracts give 15
days leave in France every 3
These are the local ones with all the
attenuating advantages and disadvantages
if you are working for a local
The expatriate is often considered as an
immigrant and has to deal himself with the
On the administrative side the expatriate
does not have to worry about the
formalities concerning the police,
customs, immigration, income tax, visa or
French or European companies abroad always
have an administrative department which
completes all the formalities for its
personnel and deals with any problems
which could arise.
Foreign companies remain subject to the
laws of the country.
passport must be valid for at least 6
months after the date of your return. You
need a visa, you can get it either at the
Egyptian consulate in Paris (25 euros in
cash, 2 photos) or at the airport in
You can renew your visa in the main towns
in the central police stations or at the
Ministry of the Interior in Cairo. (an
identity photo + 12 Egyptian pounds).
vaccine is obligatory, but we recommend
that you get vaccinated against hepatitis
B and follow an anti-malaria treatment.
Nivaquine still works in Egypt.
Avoid drinking tap water and getting sun
stroke. Don't bathe in the Nile, there is
Air France, TWA do regular flights from
Paris and Marseilles.
The distance Paris - Cairo is 3210
The flight last about 4h 30mn.
2 Midan Talaat Harb
Tel (2) 743 300
It is possible to get to Egypt by sea with
the 'Adriatica' company from either Italy
Boats go to Alexandria from Italy, with
stopovers in Piraeus and Heraklion, it
takes 4 days.
flight between Cairo and Assouan (899
The network stretches over 4895 kms.
The main lines are : the line down the
Nile valley (Cairo - Assouan, 4 trains a
day), the Canal line (Cairo - Port Said),
the Delta line (Cairo - Alexandria), the
(Alexandria-Mersa-Matrouh). There are
Internal waterways total 3500 kms,
counting the Nile, Lake Nasser, the
Alexandria-Cairo passage and several
smaller canals in the delta. The Suez
Canal is 193 kms long.
420 ships in the navy.
The three main ports are Alexandria, Port
Said and Port Suez.
The other ports are Al Ghurdaqah, Aswan,
Asyut, Bur Safajah, Damietta, Marsa
River cruises : 200 boats with from 20 to
105 cabins, some are extremely
around in Cairo :
is an underground which is very
Taxi fares are divided by the number of
passengers. You can rent a taxi for the
day (approx 100 FF for 2 people).
There is a good bus service and between
the towns, the train is very cheap, but
the service on the whole is very
GMT + 1 hour. In summer the time is the
same as in France
towns (Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah,
Ismailia Suez and Tanta) are connected by
coaxial cables and relay micro wave
the system works with 2 satellites,
INTELSAT and ARABSAT and a land station
INMARSAT, there are 5 underwater coaxial
cables with micro wave stations to Libya,
Israel, Jordan and Sudan.
To phone Egypt from France : Dial 00 20 +
the town code + the local number (6
Cairo : 2, Assouan : 97
France from Egypt : dial 00 33 + the 9
numbers of your correspondent
(See addresses in the Useful Addresses
Ahram », a daily, 600,000 copies
« Akhabar Al-Yom », a daily
« Le Journal dEgypte », a
daily 10,000 copies
« Al-Mussawar ».
country has 91 airports, of which 3 are
international : Cairo, Alexandria and
Assouan. 11 airports have more than 3 kms
of tarmac landing strips.
The national airline company is
In Cairo the airport is Heliopolis, which
is 23 kms from the centre.
The Assouan airport is 22 kms to the south
of the town in the desert.
The Louxor airport is 15 minutes from the
centre of town.
negotiate your taxi fare before you start
has several offices in Egypt :
Alexandria : Cecil Hotel 202 483 7173
Cairo : airport 202 265 2429,
Nile Hilton Hotel 202578 0321,
Meridien Hotel 202362 1717,
Meridien Heliopolis : 202290 5055
Hurghada : 202 065 447400
Sharm el Sheih : Sonestra Hotel 202 62
cars are completely equipped, have done
less than 15,000 kms and have an average
age of 3 months. The vehicles are
carefully prepared and checked between
each rental using a procedure containing 7
obligatory control points.
The cars are rented with a full tank.
Renting from Avis automatically means that
the car passengers, renter and/or driver
are covered by a third party insurance as
well as an insurance covering repatriation
and the immobilization of the vehicule in
case of an accident.
reserve a car :
- from your travel agent
- from the international reservation
centre at 0 820 05 05 05
- or from any Avis agency
Avis has an interactive network worldwide,
a client can reserve a car instantly from
anywhere in the world.
recommend that you pay your rental using
your accredited Avis card or with another
credit card accepted by Avis : American
Express, Visa, Mastercard, Diners.
Through a simple free membership system,
Avis gives identity and/or payment cards,
which are a real help for a rapid and
: No on-line payment, you can pay Avis
directly at the agency when you return the
RAPID : Avis has the quickest car rental
reservation service on the web
ECONOMICAL : The cheapest rates on the
market are available on the Avis
COMPLETE : You can rent a car anywhere in
The Avis network : 5000 agencies in 172
countries, is now on-line!
EFFICIENT : Find your town (you don't have
to fill in the country), enter the date
and click on estimate
PRACTICAL : You only have to fill in 4
boxes and you will receive an e-mail
confirming the reservation.
You can even rent a vehicle at the last
minute just round the corner or ... on the
other side of the world.
Sidi Abdel Rahman El Dabaa
Centre North Coast, Al Alamein.
Tel : (20/3) 492 1228, Fax (20/3)
Opposite the Mediterranean, 127 kms from
Alexandria. Airport El Nouzha.
Montaza Palace, Alexandria.
Tel (20/3) 547 3500
Fax (20/3) 547 3378.
Saad Zaghloul Square
Tel (20/3) 807 055
Fax (20/3) 807 250
544 El Geish St, Sidi Bishr
Tel (20/3) 866 111
Fax (20/3) 431 1690.
Corniche Rd, Montazah
Tel (20/3) 548 0550
Fax (20/3) 540 1331.
Sahria Gama and din Yassin
Tel 97 40 05 08 fax 97 40 05 10
PO Box 62
Tel (20/97) 323 455 Fax (20/97) 323
Abtal El Tahrir St
Tel (20/97) 323 222 Fax (20/97) 323
2 El Gezaira El Wosta Street
Tel (20/2) 340 0815 Fax (20/2) 340
Corniche El Nil Garden City
PO Box 2288
Tel (20/2) 362 1717 Fax (20/2) 362
Alfi Bey restaurant.
Felfela Garden Restaurant.
Amoun, next to the Souk.
very light clothing with a sweater for the
evenings and the air conditionning.
Women should avoid wearing short skirts,
low cut blouses or shorts. Take along
rather wide trousers and long sleeved
shirts to avoid being bitten by mosquitos
or getting sunburn. A hat and suncream are
monasteries it is forbidden to wear short
the tombs don't forget to bring along a
torch (and spare batteries).
Lycée français du Caire,
Alexandria University, Hadara,
American University, Cairo
Ministry of Higher Education, Cairo
Ain Shams University,Cairo
Cairo University, Cairo.
International centre of agriculture,
Regional centre of adult education
(See the addresses in Useful
in the Souks :
in copper, in silver, painting on papyrus,
carpets, jewelry, embroidery, turquoises,
lapis-lazuli, articles in leather,
snakeskin and crocodile, antiques, spices,
coral, khol ...
expected to haggle both in the souks and
You can expect to be pestered by both
beggars and children when you walk in
Egyptian cooking is oriental. Some
regional dishes :
grilled fish from the Red Sea, stuffed
pigeons, chawarmas, kofta, kebabs, foul
made with brown broad beans and lentils,
meloukhia, a clear chicken soup with
herbs, fattha, a salad with lamb and
curds, shish tawok, a chicken with spices,
giant prawns from Alexandria.
made with semolina,
cakes, raisins, almonds, dates
Turkish coffee - infusion of red flowers,
karkadé - wine
day is the 23rd July 1952, which is the
anniversary of the revolution. The
constitution was established on 11th
The flag is 3 horizontal strips, red,
white and black with the national emblem
in the middle : the seal on a golden eagle
facing a scroll with the country's name
written in Arabic.
January : New Year's Day
1st May : Labour Day
25th April : Anniversary of the liberation
of the Sinai
18th June : anniversary of the
23rd July : Revolution Day
6th October : Army Day
23rd December : Victory Day
celebrated, depending on the lunar
(end of Ramadan)
Tabaski (sheep celebration)
Tamxarit (a Muslim religious day)
religious celebrations which are not
The Magal at Touba (which is the Mecca of
The Gamou (pilgrimage to Mecca of the
Tdjanes, to the north of Thiès)
The Christian pilgrimage to Popenguine
(Monday of Pentecost)
the hotels and restaurants, you can tip as
On cruises it is normal to tip $3 a day
To visit the tombs don't forget to bring
along a torch.
will find the following banks in Egypt
Hermes, 55 Charles de Gaulle St, Giza,
National Bank of Egypt, Tower 1187,
Corniche El Nile, Cairo.
Misr Exterior Bank, Cairo Plaza Building,
Cornich El Nil.
Lonely Planet Egypt/Sudan.
Marco Polo maps from the National
Trade Commission notes available in Paris,
at the Librairie du Commerce
International, 345 FF
réglementation et assurance
qualité en Egypte (Feb. 1996, 50
-L'industrie du ciment en Egypte (Oct.
1996, 23 pages).
-L'industrie des engrais chimiques en
Egypte (Oct. 1996, 20 pages).
-Le marché des parfums et
cosmétiques en Egypte (Oct. 1996,
on individual sectors (in French)
Alexandrie : aperçu sur
l'économie de la seconde ville
d'Egypte (Feb. 96).
- La consommation des ménages (Feb.
- Le régime et la protection des
investissements en Egypte (Mar. 96).
- Le marché du bois de sciage
- Le Secteur du papier et du carton
- Le marché des piscines (June
- Le marché égyptien des
eaux minérales (June 1996).
- Le contrat d'agence commerciale
- Le secteur avicole en Egypte (June
- La filière maïs en Egypte
- La restauration rapide en Egypte
- Le secteur médical (Aug.
- Le marché automobile (Sept.
- Le marché du meuble (Sept.
- Les zones franches en Egypte (Oct.
- Le marché de l'outillage (Oct.
- L'élevage bovin en Egypte (Oct.
- Le marché du poisson
importé en Egypte (Oct. 96).
- Le marché des produits laitiers
en Egypte (Oct. 96).
- Le développement du machinisme
agricole en Egypte (Oct. 96).
- Le marché de la poudre de lai et
du butteroil (Oct. 96).
offers an entire palette of sites to visit
and colourful things to do. With its
marvelous climate and its friendly people,
Egypt still charms with its 70 centuries
of culture and history. Travelling in
Egypt necessitates a certain patience and
indulgence, as the structures are not
always as organized as in Europe. In fact
it is better to travel via a known travel
agent and avoid losing time in this
country where the bakchich is the rule and
the regulations are sometimes not very
Cairo museum, the Pharaohs' treasures.
The Museum of Coptic Art
The Mosque of Sultan Hassan
The Pyramids of Gizah.
The Pyramids of Saqqarah. The pyramid
built by King Djoser is built in 6
graduations. The statue of Djoser near the
The statue de Ramses II at Memphis
The fortress of Trajan
The citadelle of Saladin from the Ayyubide
The town of Fcotat, the first capital of
Elephantine island (mausoleum of the Aga
Khan, Kitchener's Island), sail in a
Abu Simbel and Philae.
The Nilometer on Rodah island, end of the
in a sea of sand, sprinkled with little
islands, the oasis are typical of Egypt
and you have to see them: - the Siwa
oasis, a sacred place dedicated to the god
- Farafra "the white", mineral statues
sculpted by the wind in the sand
- Kharga, with its warm water used for
- El Fayorem, inhabited since prehistoric
on the Nile
Nile is the longest river in the world.
Over a period of three thousand years
people built temples and tombs along its
banks, developed writing, agriculture,
discovered geometry and arithmetic. A
cruise on the Nile between Luxor and
Assouan is both a trip through time via
the monuments of ancient Egypt, and also a
discovery of fascinating
the time of Moses, the people of the
Mediterranean owe a part of their origins
and their religion to the Sinai desert. In
the north the desert is edged with dunes,
the coast is a forest of palm trees and
tamarisk, the interior is made up of ochre
chalk cliffs in the middle of arid
region has become legendary for divers.
The underwater fauna and flora are the
most extraordinary in the world,
particularly the variety of corals. It is
friendly, well organized and there is good
diving material available, all set up in a
perfect tourist infrastructure.
Excursions : discover the sea beds with a
sub-marine, safari in a 4-wheel drive in
the desert or the mountains, visit a
Bedouin camp, take a camel ride, a boat
ride to Giftun island...
on the southernmost point of the Sinai
peninsula, this town has become a
fashionable sea resort. Hotels,
restaurants, handicraft boutiques are
grouped together at the foot of the Sinai
Excursions : safaris in a 4-wheel drive
crossing the wadi and the coloured canyon,
the St Catherine monastery, climb Mt
Moses, ride a camel in the mountains where
the Bedouins live, take a boat to Bas
Mohamed, a natural park on the south point
of the Sinai...
temple of Amon-Râ
Karnak, the biggest pillared temple in the
world (134 columns). An alley way of
sphinxes leads up to the monumental entry
of the temple
The colosses of Memnon, 20m high statues
which represent the pharaoh
Valley of the Queens : 80 tombs from 1300
to 100 BC
Valley of the Kings : tombs of Ramses
I,II,III, Tutankhamon, etc
The sacred town of Denderah, with its 3
The town of Abydes, dedicated to the cult
Simbel, on the banks of Lake Nasser is the
temple of Ramses II, next to it is the
temple of Hathor, dedicated to his wife
Kalabsha, the ancient city of Talmis
Philae, a temple dedicated to Isis,
rebuilt on the island of Agilkia after the
flooding of the valley.
tennis, squash, diving
in old Cairo followed by a medieval
Dance of whirling dervishes in the El
Ghuri palace in Cairo
Dance of Arab pure-blood horses
Son et lumière in the temples of
Philae, in Karnak, or a classical music