- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals 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 a non-Egyptian 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 man-made 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 takes a bit of searching.
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: Can sometimes be difficult to adjust to
The overtly 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 rather 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 is taught in Arabic. For this reason, most expats prefer to send their children to international schools.
+ PRO: Range of international schools
A variety of international schools can be found spread out over 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.