Facts to assist you when travelling to Egypt



  • The Egyptian population stands at 108 million (2023).


Capital and Largest City

  • Cairo is the capital city of Egypt.


Official Language(s)

  • Arabic is the official language in Egypt in which all formal communications, teaching, and governmental practices occur in.



  • The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound.


Office Hours

  • Office Hours in Egypt are usually 8 hours a day, from Sunday to Thursday.



  • Weekends in Egypt are usually Fridays and Saturdays, owing to the fact that it is a Muslim Majority country.


Time Zone

  • UTC+3. Eastern European time.


Calling Code

  • +20.



  • Tipping in Egypt is called ‘’Baksheesh,’’ and it is common and expected. To some, it is considered a second income, and therefore you should tip all people in the service industries. The general tipping amount at restaurants is 10% of the total bill, but this is for the restaurant, not the waiter, so please be sure to tip the waiter separately.



  • Egypt hosts 140 total embassies. However, none of them are located in Cairo, its capital.



  • Egypt has a multitude of political parties, but as of a coup that had occurred in 2011, the political party in power is the Nation’s Future Party.



  • Egypt has a hot desert climate and is generally extremely dry all over the country except on the northern Mediterranean coast which receives rainfall in winter. In addition to rain being scarce in this region, extreme heat is common during summer months. However, daytime temperatures are more moderated along the northern coast.



  • Transport in Egypt is centred in Cairo and largely follows the pattern of settlement along the Nile. The Ministry of Transportation and other government bodies are responsible for transportation in Egypt by sea, river, land or air.



  • Since the 2000s, Egypt has been moving towards a more market-oriented economy, which prompted increased foreign investment. The reforms and changes in policies over the years have strengthened macroeconomic annual growth results. Egypt saw its economy healing, and other prominent issues like unemployment and poverty began to significantly decline. The country benefits from its recent political stability, its strong currency, its proximity to Europe, and increased exports.



  • Hospitality has a deep meaning in Egypt and is considered a fundamental characteristic in the culture of the country. Egyptians are caring and warm-hearted towards their guests, and ensure that their guests feel welcome. In Egypt, everyone generally takes care of each other. If you are at an Egyptian’s home, they will make sure their guest has enough of everything, whether food, drinks, or even warm water for showers.



  • The most common greeting in Egypt is the Islamic greeting, ‘’ Assalām ‘aleykum.’’ Men usually shake each other’s hands, and close friends and relatives will tend to kiss one another on the cheeks. This is the same for both men and women. However, a man should not shake a woman’s hand unless she extends her hand first. Hugging and kissing the opposite sex is unacceptable unless it is a relative you are greeting.



  • Egypt’s official currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP). One Egyptian pound is made up of 100 piastres. The smallest denominations are 25 piastres and 50 piastres. Although the official language of Egypt is Arabic, notes are bilingual and have the amounts written in English on the one side. Imagery reflects the country’s ancient history. The 50 piastres note depicts Ramses II, while the one, and 100 pound notes depict the Great Sphinx of Giza.



  • The Nile is central to the country’s transport system. The Nile River system and the principal canals are important locally for transportation. People still travel via the Nile, mainly between Cairo and Aswan. With regards to rail, air and waterway travel, the main line of the nation’s rail system follows along the Nile River and is operated by Egyptian National Railways. Egypt Air provides domestic air service to major tourist destinations from its Cairo hub. With regards to driving, Egypt has one of the highest incidents of road fatalities, per miles driven, in the world, and traffic rules are routinely ignored by impatient drivers.



  • The Egyptian police will do their best to secure every part of the city. While there is not a large prevalence of violent crimes in Cairo, tourists should be aware of petty crimes, such as purse-snatchings, and pickpocketing. Expats are advised to always be aware of their surroundings when in public. It is recommended that tourists who are women should not travel anywhere alone as they may become victims of verbal abuse or sexual harassment.



  • Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations in the world. For millennia, Egypt developed strikingly unique, complex and stable culture that is loved and recognised around the entire world. Approximately 85-95% percent of Egypt’s population is Muslim, with a Sunni majority. Sunni Islam sees Egypt as an important part of its religion due to not only Quranic verses mentioning the country, but also due to the Al-Azhar University, one of the earliest of the world universities. About 5- 15% percent of the population is Coptic Christian.



  • Egypt has lots of modern malls and shopping centres such as City Stars Mall, Mall of Arabia Cairo, and Cairo Festival City Mall. However, to truly experience the culture of the country and its people you might want to visit one of Egypt’s vibrant markets, or ‘’Suuqs.’’


To read more exciting blogs, please click on the link below:


Written by Saudika Hendricks

Edited by Eloise Williams

Egyptian B2B e-commerce marketplace MaxAB has secured seed funding of $6.2 million, one of the largest ever seed rounds raised by a MENA startup. The round was co-led by Beco Capital, 4DX Ventures and Endure Capital, with participation from 500 Startups, Outlierz Ventures and other local investors.

MaxAB connects informal food and grocery retailers with suppliers in Egypt’s under-served areas via an easy-to-use app. With this new injection of capital, the company expects to reach 50% of Egypt’s population within the next two years before expanding across different markets.

Led by Egyptian and Libyan entrepreneurs Belal El-Megharbel (previously at Careem) and Mohamed Ben Halim (Previously at Aramex), the 270-strong MaxAB team has built a stock list of over 600 products, including groceries, beverages, dairy, confectionery and non-food products.

Simplifying Egypt’s FMCG market

Using technology to close the gap between traditional retailers – over 400,000 in Egypt – and FMCGs, the Cairo based startup leverages technology to connect brands to retailers via its Android app. It is working to automate and simplify Egypt’s $45bn FMCG food retail market and has recorded 50% month-on-month growth, with 9,000 activated retailers on the platform already.

Brands using MaxAB have access to real-time demand monitoring and business intelligence tools, which improve end-to-end supply chain control, and better forecasting. Retailers in remote and under-served areas will have access to a wide variety of products, the convenience of ordering stock online in addition to second-day deliveries not to mention the added benefit of access to credit facilities.

Belal El-Megharbel, co-founder and CEO at MaxAB, says: “Nobody has addressed the underserved retailers before; retailers are faced with a limited assortment of products, the hassle of dealing with multiple wholesalers and restricted access to credit facilities. At the other end of the supply chain, the FMCGs have limited visibility on market trends, demand patterns and retailers’ business needs – leading to losing potential revenue opportunities.

“We are using data and analytics to understand purchasing and retail behaviours, as well as make the end-to-end process of brands seamless and convenient. This will enable FMCGs to make informed decisions about their purchasing, which will ultimately have a positive effect on their bottom line and catalyse one of the biggest markets in Egypt. This investment round will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and develop new products and services throughout North Africa using the first of its kind B2B e-commerce platform.”

Redefining the grocery supply chain

Yousef Hammad, managing partner at Beco Capital, says: “‘This is Sparta’ was the first impression I got when I met this team of warriors, battling one of the biggest inefficiencies on the country’s balance sheets. By leveraging technology, MaxAB is redefining the grocery supply chain in Egypt to fit the requirements of the micro retailers who make up 90% of the grocery market. The metrics they have recorded in such a short period are impressive, and we expect to continue to see double-digit growth as they scale.”

Peter Orth, co-founder and managing partner at 4DX Ventures, says: “We’ve been consistently impressed with how Belal and the rest of the team have executed, and achieved significant traction in a very short period of time. We believe that their B2B e-commerce model is the right way to serve this significant market, and we’re really excited to partner with the team to drive the next phase of growth.”

To learn more about MaxAB, and what they’re doing in the Egyptian FMCG industry, click here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

The World Bank (WB) has approved the allocation of $200 million for backing entrepreneurship and SMEs in Egypt, giving top priority to women-run projects, the country’s Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.

It has been widely proven that companies run by women are one of the fastest growing small sized companies, she added.

The Investment Ministry seeks encouraging businesswomen to make investments, as well as empowering women to get funds, Nasr said while addressing a session of the World Bank spring meeting under the theme “A New Economy for the Middle East and North Africa”.

She highlighted the importance of boosting support offered by the bank to the private sector, along with encouraging innovation in the Arab region.

Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) fund plays a key role in supporting women-run projects like “Mastora” project which targets breadwinning mothers, Nasr said, pointing out to the ongoing coordination between her ministry and the SMEs development program.

Meanwhile, World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj praised progress achieved by Egypt in the domains of empowering women and supporting SMEs, along with the domain of communication and information technology.

Belhaj also commanded the digital conversion adopted by Egypt’s government bodies along side efforts of the government to turn itself into a digital one through creating a digital participatory environment among state ministries and institutions.

Meanwhile, the two sides asserted the importance of joint regional cooperation with the aim of enhancing the regional economic integration that targets improving the pro-emerging projects business climate.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Benban Solar Park is a photovoltaic power station currently under construction in Benban (around 650 km south of Cairo, Egypt), with a planned total capacity of 1650 MWp, which corresponds to an annual production of approximately 3,8 TWh. Once completed, Benban will be the largest solar installation in the world.

Until recently, Egypt’s government spent more on electricity subsidies than it spent on education, health care, and social welfare combined. But three years ago, officials launched a World Bank Group-supported program designed to reform the power sector and encourage investment from private companies.

Six million solar panels later, the Benban Solar Park—more than 32 contiguous solar projects across 36 square kilometers of Egyptian desert—is poised to become the largest solar installation in the world. It will generate over 2,000 megawatts of power a year, lighting up hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Once operational, Benban is expected to avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road. will create 4,000 jobs in southern Egypt, where unemployment is high, especially among young people.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, spearheaded the financing package, marshalling $653 million in loans from a consortium of nine international banks.

The World Bank supported reforms to Egypt’s electricity sector and provided the country with a $3 billion loan, while the Multilateral Investment and Guarantee Agency (MIGA), another institution of the World Bank Group, provided $210 million worth of political risk insurance to encourage private lenders to invest.

IFC has also been managing the requirements of such a transformational initiative. Its Environmental and Social Performance Standards have guided occupational health and safety measures, transportation risk, labor, solid waste and waste water management, and water management. It has supported the capacity-building of individual sponsors, their contractors and subcontractors, and the company responsible for providing operational services for the park.

For more information about energy in Egypt, click here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].