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Arab Republic of Egypt > Details

Country Name
Arab Republic of Egypt
Geographical Area
1,001,450 square kilometers (386,662 square miles)
Population
83,688,164 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
Cairo
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People   Egyptian 98%, Berber, Nubian, Bedouin, and Beja 1%, Greek, Armenian, other European
Language   Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes.
Religion   Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%
Government   Currently a republic under military rule
Head of Government   President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; Prime Minister: Ibrahim Mahlab
Embassy   American Embassy Cairo 5, Latin America St. Garden City, Cairo, Egypt Tel: (20)(2) 797-3300
Visas   Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt. A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Egypt. Tourists can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports for a 25 USD fee. Please be sure to have exact change.
Health Risks   Typhoid, Hepatitis A and polio immunization is recommended. Come prepared to beat the heat with a high factor sun block, and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water. Traveler’s diarrhea is the most common form of illness for travelers; visitors should only eat thoroughly cooked food and fruits they have peeled themselves. The waters of the Nile are contaminated and should not be consumed or bathed in.
Medical treatment can be expensive and standards vary so insurance is strongly advised, including evacuation. Medical facilities outside of Cairo can be very basic.
Clothing Suggestions   Egypt is a conservative country and visitors should respect this attitude. No topless or nude bathing is permitted.
Wear loose and flowing garments, which are not only modest, but practical in a hot climate
Bring comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and temple floors are far from even. In summer, wear a hat to protect yourself from the heat of the Egyptian sun.
Sunglasses are a must as the sun is very strong in Egypt.
On the practical side, leave your synthetics at home as they will prove to be too hot in summer and not warm enough in winter - bring materials that breathe. It is advisable to wear cotton in summer as the heat can be like a furnace. In winter wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings.
MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES Men must wear full-length pants in mosques. Women have less leeway. Reserve shorts, sun suits, low-cut tops, and bralessness for the resorts. Even on popular public beaches such as those in Alexandria, wear conservative swimsuits. For visiting monuments, long loose pants are fine, but cover your arms—a long-sleeved cotton shirt is sufficiently modest and protects you from the sun. Both men and women should always keep their shoulders covered. A hat preserves your modesty by covering your hair and will help keep you cool. In outlying areas, Egyptians are used to seeing foreign women in jeans and shirts. With the exception of the Sayyidna Al-Hussein in Cairo, major mosques are open to the public unless services are in progress; the main service is Friday at noon. All visitors to mosques, mausoleums, and madrassas (theological colleges attached to non-congregational mosques) must remove their shoes. You can take them with you (carry them in your left hand) or check them at the rack by the door. Mosques that are major visitor attractions provide canvas overshoes; give a small tip to the people who put them on for you. Women must cover bare arms; if you wear sleeveless shirts (and it's not recommended that you do), carry a scarf to use as a shawl.
Time Zone:   Egypt time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time, or 7 hours ahead of New York and Montréal, 1 hour behind Moscow, and 7 hours behind Tokyo. Egypt observes daylight saving time from May until October.
Banking / Exchange   Banking hours for the public are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday Banks are open 8:30 AM–2:00 PM, Sunday–Thursday, and closed on Friday and Saturday.
Currency   Egyptian Pound (L.E.) = 100 Piasters
The US dollar is widely accepted and used in Egypt. You will need to change your dollars into local currency while in Egypt.
Electric Current   The electrical current in most areas is 220 volts, 50 Hz AC, although some rural areas still use 110–130 volts, 60 Hz AC. Plugs are the two-pin European style. Visitors from abroad who wish to operate personal small electronic items should bring a plug adapter and a transformer (these can be difficult to find in Egypt).
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   Credit cards are accepted by larger hotels, restaurants and shops—especially those which cater to tourists—but cash is still the preferred method of payment. Traveler's checks can be changed at most banks and are accepted as payment at many tourist shops, hotels, and restaurants. Don't forget to take your passport when exchanging money. There is a shortage of small change in Egypt. Be sure to ask for plenty of coins in small denominations when changing money.
Shopping   Shopping hours vary by the season. In winter, stores are generally open 9 AM–6 PM (sometimes later). In summer, store hours are 9 AM–12:30 PM and 5 PM–8 PM Saturday through Thursday. Though most stores are closed on Sunday, some are also closed on Friday.
Weights & measures   The metric system is standard throughout the country.
How to shop Tax Fee  
National Airport   Cairo (CAI),Hurghada (HRG), Aswan (ASW), Luxor (LXR), Sharm el Sheikh (SSH)
Major Tourist Attractions   Sphinx, Pyramids, River Nile, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan
Tipping Suggestion   Tipping (called baksheesh in Egypt) is common practice for most services, regardless of how inconsequential. In hotels and restaurants, a service charge of about 12 percent is added to the bill, but an extra 5 percent tip is customary. Taxi fares often include a tip, but if your driver has given especially good service, tip about 10 percent; tips for porters and bellhops is about a pound. Many people rely on tipping to supplement their incomes, so it is important to be aware of the practice and to remember to carry small change. It is customary to tip tour guides $6 to $8 per person per day on multiday tours and drivers $3 to $4 per person per day. The suggested tip for day tours is $10 to $20 for the guide and $5 for the driver.
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