Women travelling to Egypt safely

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  • edited 2:12AM
    I'm still really confused as to what I'm supposed to be wearing in the streets and in the hotel grounds when I'm in Egypt!
    I'm staying in a 5* Hotel in Luxor mid July for a week, and I know I definately wouldn't be able to walk around in jeans in that heat. I'm still very young, and most my holiday clothes I own are tank tops and shorts, with a few mid-length skirts. I'm going with my fiance who does look very intimidating so I'm hoping I won't have too much trouble! But I need to know - are shorts and strappy/tank tops allowed when visiting the towns, etc? There seems to be mixed opinions on here. I will definately be covering up in religious buildings though, I am not that disrespectful.
    Also, I always carry shoulder bags and I'm really worried about theives in the market areas. Are there a lot of theives in Luxor?
    One last question - will we definately be able to get Visas when we get to the airport? Thanks.
  • edited 2:12AM
    El - my answer to your questions: its going to be hot so jeans will be uncomfortable ... but wearing what you propose will also make you uncomfortable when you get looks or cat-calls. A good plan is to wear a loose, light cotton dress that will keep you cool and covered. Re shoulder bags - just keep your valuable stuff in the hotel safe and make sure the bag is zipped up and worn across your body. Luxor is NOT filled with thieves, but there probably will be the odd pickpocket. Finally, Yes, you can defiantely get the visa on arrival at the airport.
  • edited 2:12AM
  • edited 2:12AM
    hi all hope someone can help me i have a boyfriend in egypt we both want to marry i met him online we talk everynight,anyway im woundering can anybody out there help me or give me advise,im a little unsure of what documents we need to be married in egypt do i need to go to my irish embassy here in ireland or the egyptian embassy,im flying over for a holiday in july for a week but he wants me to stay for a month til paperwork finishes and im a bit sceptic i would appreacate some advice thanks irish eyes bye
  • edited 2:12AM
    hello - since you are from Ireland, my information may be a little off for your situation. But I can tell you that in the US, the best way is to apply for a fiance visa. Bring him to the states and THEN marry him. If you marry in Egypt, you are subject to the Egyptian marriage laws, which are not the best for women. At the very least, they are not as "equal" for men and women as they are here in the USA. What paperwork do you need to do in Egypt? You should not sign ANYTHING while you are there except for your visa when you arrive at the airport. Please get an attorney and at the ver least get a good consultation from an IMMIGRATION attorney. Not all attorneys practice immigration law. But I can promise you, the attorney fees will be well worth the avoided hassle and headaches. You should register with your embassy with your itinerary in case something should happen to you. In the US we can register online. You should provide dates and addresses of where you will be staying, etc. This is also helpful if something should happen back home and someone should need to reach you. I would make a photocopy of both your ID AND your passport. Keep them in a separate place in case you should loose your passport, etc. You can take the copies to the embassy and this will help you get back home and replace your passport etc. Also, you should consider a pre-nuptual agreement. Speak with an attorney about this. You will need to decide what happens with any future children in case of a divorce, etc. Just cover all of your bases. But do NOT sign anything while you are in Egypt. I know that if I married a man in Egypt, it would actually take longer for me to bring him to the US than it would if I brought him to the US FIRST on a fiance' visa. Get competent legal advice, and don't rush.
  • edited 2:12AM
    I am a Canadian I'm planning on going to Egypt around Nov.'09 to meet a very good friend I met online, but not sure about travelling to Egypt alone for the first time. I was wondering if there is someone out there who is also planning on going to Egypt maybe around the same time and interest to have a travel company (woman/women please).
    thank you very much and I find this site very useful.

    sincerely,
    Asian25
  • edited 2:12AM
    In October 2009, I will be traveling throughout Egypt with a 2 weeks tour. Could you please let me know what type of weather to expect and how to dress appropriately.

    Thanks
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi KA, Egypt is very moderate to travel from Oct till April.
    Wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings.
    Bring comfortable shoes. You will be doing SOME walking and temple floors are far from even.
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi My name is Kate and i am planning to go to see a wonderful egyptian man i have also fallen for online, i have checked everything i can about him, im very excited and i am from new zealand and am very wary but i love him so much can anyone make suggestions on what may be red flags that im may be being led astray

    Thanks
    please anyone whos been in my situation and has advice for me feel free to email me on Flipsid3@msn.com

    katey
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi, I am British and have booked a holiday to Sharm for two weeks in August - its a 21st present for my daughter who wants to scuba dive - I was told the Red Sea was the best place to do it! I have read through the letters on the forum and feel quite concerned as I will be alone for the days that my daughter is doing the scuba diving course. I am 58 (but am taken for about 10 years younger) and have travelled quite extensively, but am slightly concerned about being hassled constantly as I hate that. Also will I be safe to sunbathe alone at the hotel whilst my daughter goes scuba diving? I have also been advised to take British pounds and convert my money once in Egypt - would you recommend that and is it safe to leave money in hotel safes?
    Thanks, Sue
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hello,

    I'm Amy, 25, fresh out of med school, married to an Egyptian lawyer, 2 years older than me. We're both Muslims, so religion was not an issue for us, however since I'm European, all the missing and the traveling and the bad quality phones were a huge ''love tax''. We live at my place till i get my degree this autumn, and the future is still something we openly discuss about. My parents were not so thrilled about my idea to marry him, exactly because of all the bad things you always hear about Arab culture, Arab men, their many wives and everything else. His parents also not happy about the marriage about all they heard about western women, outspoken, open minded, not so obedient, not willing to cover up or change their dress code or have the same respect towards the family idea..

    Let's get to the point:

    *Marriage to an Egyptian citizen:
    ---------------------------------------
    Before we got married, my parents insisted that we get married in Europe, so in case something goes wrong i could divorce by the laws of my country. I explained this to him, and he said ok, and so we did, but he also made me read all the laws concerning the marriage to an Egyptian citizen, and it was clear that in the event of a divorce Egypt doesn't care less where you got married, if one of the spouses is Egyptian, then the Islamic, Egyptian law applies. I read the entire laws in English and we discussed extensively on them because he wanted me to know such things before we get married and not discover them later and feel deceived.

    * About him not being already married:
    ----------------------------------------------
    When we got married, among the million papers that we needed, he was required to get to the Egyptian Embassy here a paper concerning his civil status - single, married, divorced, widowed.. since here more wives are not allowed, so with the approval he got at the embassy we went to the marriage office and still, when they were checking our files, they called in front of us the embassy to confirm. And also if a man is married and to whom is stated on the plastic Egyptian ID card that every body has.

    Dress code in Egypt:
    ------------------------
    Please be decent and have common sense. It's a Muslim country, accept the idea that you must be more conservative if you don't want to be stared at. If you want to show off, visit Holland, or someplace like that. As for the heat concern, I'm sure that if you want to find a solution, you will. Like said previously, you'll get baked in jeans, so go for a longer dress and if possible with some degree of sleeves, not spaghetti straps! They basically live out of tourism, so they'll tolerate you, no matter what you wear, but is it really that hard to make a compromise?

    Money issues:
    ----------------
    If possible go with US dollars. First time I went there I asked my now husband what he would advise, since here we deal with Euros, but I could also make a trip to the bank and have Egyptian pounds (EGP) on hand. He said US dollars. Best advice ever. Changing to EGP from your home is going to be a bad idea because of the poor rate you'll get at the bank and for Euros or British pounds... they don't care so much. Whenever we traveled, we always left money and valuables in our hotel room, and never had any issue, but then again we never allowed any room service unless we were there. We always left the do-not-disturb sign on the door..

    jigsue - you will be ok sunbathing alone, especially since you will go to a touristic resort. And your daughter will be ok scuba diving also.

    All in all, just take any common sense traveling precautions wherever you might go on this Earth, go with an open mind and an open heart and will return home with both of them filled with great memories.

    Also another little tip: whenever I go to a foreign country I try to learn the words for ''Thank you'' (Shoo-kran) and ''Please'' (Lau-sah-moth). Even if you don't pronounce them correctly in Egypt it will still make the other person smile.


    I don't know what more to tell you guys, but if you have questions, please feel free to leave a message and I'll try to help out.

    Best regards,
    Amy
  • edited 2:12AM
    One other thing: we also met online and were friends for a long time and I was very oblivious to the signals he was sending me as to get more romantically involved. I was used to more direct approaches and pick up lines that chivalry an courtship. But eventually I got it.

    Before I first went to Egypt I left my family all the possible and impossible information about him, like his phone number, his address, his parents' numbers, address, embassy address and numbers, police, information... basically everything I could think of, and I left there with as many emergency information as possible since there had been some tourist incidents at that moment and my family was more than a little concerned. All in all, so far the Egyptian men I've known were gentleman and the women very polite and friendly. And most everybody speaks English in services and tourism. I'm learning Arabic now, but it's... not so easy, and I do speak 8 foreign languages... Still, English is your friend!

    Visa:
    ------
    You get it at the airport, costs 15 US dollars, have them ready.


    Amy :)
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi Asian, Egypt is so safe & its people are very welcoming, friendly & helpful. If you like to enjoy your time in Egypt, You should have an arranged trip through a trusted travel agent to make all reservations concerning accommodations, day tours, all transfers inside Egypt & all excursions you may need to make.
    Best of Luck,
    Antoinette
  • edited 2:12AM
    hI,
    My query is similar to the others.
    I am a 26 year old irish female and am going on holidays to cairo and luxor with 3 friends. however im on a later flight on my own and was wondering would i get much hassle being on my own in the airports? also the hotel will arrange a taxi to collect me at cairo airport and was wondering is it safe to be on my own in the taxi or should i get my friends to collect me. my other option is cancel my flight and book the same one as them.
  • edited 2:12AM
    I am a single asian female from California and have been to Egypt by myself years ago. I was lucky to have gotten a name from the Let's Go Egypt guidebook and I called Mohamed and he made all the arrangements for my 1 1/2 weeks in Egypt for under $1000 USD. I was treated like royalty in Egypt. Mohamed greeted me at the airport and took me to my hotel. All the hotels that I stayed at in Egypt were all very nice and clean...Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria. Mohamed made arrangements for private guided tours daily. He also accompanied me to the train station for my train travel from Cairo to Luxor. I had a private felucca sailboat for the Nile River excursion. I had a fabulous time in Egypt and not once did I feel unsafe. The Egyptian people are very hospitable, kind and gracious. Please do dress conservatively when in Egypt and do not disrespect their culture. Egypt was one of my most wonderful, memorable travel experiences.
  • edited 2:12AM
    Egypt was a disaster for me and my husband. I am Brazilian, he is Spanish - with very Arabic features apparently. I say that because many people approached us speaking to him in Arabic.

    Anyway, we were in Cairo for 7 days and spent 4 in the hotel room because of the aggressive attention from the men - even with my husband standing right there with me! The first day, I wore a long sleeve button-down shirt and long skirt with sandals, but I got stares. The next day, I tried shirt, blazer, jeans and closed-toe shoes... same unwanted attention. I saw many young girls moving about without covering their hair, but I covered mine just to make sure not to offend.

    My husband and I like to mingle with the locals when we travel - we don't like the watered-down Westernized versions of the local culture found on resort compounds - but we were unable to move around Cairo - my presence caused traffic to stop. Men walking on the streets actually stopped to stare at me/us! At one point, we stopped at a 'you are here' sign in the park and a crowd began to gather! We hailed a taxi and returned to the hotel with me in tears.

    Even in the taxi cabs, I could see the drivers trying to make eye contact with me. Not in the 'I think you're pretty way' - more in a dirty way... very ugly and weird.

    We spent the remainder of the trip in the hotel and going to the pyramids with a guide. So much for mingling... When we returned to Spain, we learned from an Iranian friend that my husbands features (Arabic) meant that we were quite a scandal in Cairo. It seems it is taboo for an 'Arabic' man to be with a black woman. I would love to visit Alexandria, but after that experience, I doubt I'd ever set foot in Egypt again... I just found Cairo so heartbreakingly disappointing - after 2 years I still get teary-eyed thinking about it....
  • edited 2:12AM
    I am a black woman married to an Egyptian living in Cairo. Unfortunately it happens to all races of woman.
  • edited 2:12AM
    I am an english woman married 25 yrs to middle eastern muslim man not egyptian we live in Cairo very friendly people anyone with any sense will wear clothing that is below the knee and covering shoulders its called respect if you want people to respect you and your culture then you must respect them and their culture
    to all the ladies who have met their lovelies on the internet beware be careful i have heard a million of these romances most ending in heartbreak and it you are marryiing and having children look up the laws on what happens to the children when a marriage breaks you will ve VERY lucky if you are allowed to take them back to your country it happens all the time
  • edited 2:12AM
    I recently returned from a trip to Sharm Egypt visiting an English friend that has a business there. I am a single, English woman living in America. This trip was one of the most wonderful of my life. The Egyptian people in Sharm are mostly from Cairo, they leave their families behind to work as there isn't enough work back home. I found the people in Sharm friendly and warm, a little persistent at times but never scary or aggressive. I took a local bus to Cairo with one of my friends staff from the bar as I didn't want to leave Egypt without at least visiting the pyramids. We got the middle of the night bus to Cairo, only commuters/workers are on this bus and it's much cheaper than the ones you get from the hotels. We walked through the early morning streets of Cairo for part of the way and a small bus the rest of the way. No one stared or made me feel uncomfortable. The pyramids were awesome though there are a lot of locals trying to get your attention to sell you something, it just made me a little sad that they are so desperate for a few dollars. We traveled back through Cairo by taxi to the Museum, then a short Nile boat ride, then back to my companions Parents house for dinner in old Cairo via MetroRail, taxi and tuk tuk. His mother and father and sister treated me like a queen. We went for a walk in the old streets of Cairo and again, at no point did I feel threatened or scared. This is a most amazing country, as are it's people, if you treat people and your environment with respect, you wil reap the rewards. After reading this blog have thought about putting a trip together for single women that would like to travel together to Egypt. Let me know if you would be interested janetpbg@live.com
  • edited 2:12AM
    I'm just heading from Istanbul to Egypt for a month. No agenda other than to spend some time in the archives in Alexandria, where my mum grew up in the Benakis orphanage. On a bit of a mission to find my roots. Started in Australia, went to Greece, found myself in Turkey and heading to Egypt on Sunday. Been travelling through Greece and Turkey since August, mostly alone. I'm definitely middle aged - a granny, and I'm trying not to let your forum freak me out, but I've managed so far. It seems that every young man in Turkey has been in love with me, old enough to be their mother, and in Greece, no attention whatsoever other than rudeness and disrespect of a different nature. I like all the comments about respect. I've found that telling men to back off respectfully and tactfully is best. Only once have I had to put my hand up in someone's face and tell them to "go away". It worked a treat. My good friend Kerry, who takes tours to Egypt, tells me that women should avoid making eye contact or smiling at Egyptian men unless they have business with them. These basic western pleasantries can be considered to be come ons. So, I venture forth in trust and innocence as I have since I left Australia. I'm planning to have an amazing time and find out lots about my family. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd like to know. elizabeth@acr.net.au
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi All,

    Nice to see all such great inputs about Egypt and people thr. just to introduce myself i am a student from india and right now i am doing a study on the hair oil market in Egypt. it will be great if anyone here can help me answer some questions that i could not find an answer to, this will help me complete the project successfully.

    1. Which are the hair oil brands/products available in Egypt, please mention as many as you know (branded/unbranded)?
    2. What kind of hair oil (Olive or Argan or Coconut etc.) do Egyptians use more often?
    3. What are the different packaging (sizes – 25ml/50ml/100ml etc.) available for the hair oil brands/products? Which one,do the consumers generally buy?
    4. What is the price range for the available packaging (sizes)?
    5. How often do Egyptian males and females use hair oil – daily/once in a week/twice in a week/others (please mention)
    )

    This will be a real great help to my study, hope to get some response from ppl here :) .......you can even mail me the response on my e mail id devesh.mundhara@gmail.com

    Thanks and Regards
  • edited 2:12AM
    Salaam my name is Lisa, I'm an American and live in the USA, I met an Egyptian man approx 7 years ago online, since then we have communicated daily, we have fallen in love with each other, I've spoken to all his family cam to cam, I finally have the opportunity to visit Egypt this summer and meet my friend, I have heard all the opinions from people that have commented about meeting people online, well things can happen also meeting them face to face, I respect their concerns, I am truly looking forward to visiting Egypt and also to meet my friend, I would never disrespect any other culture by the way of dress or any other way in a foreign country. I have respect for people and for myself, also my friend is very aware that if he comes here he knows there is consequences if he breaks any rules here and ESPECIALLY if he breaks any of my rules! I'm far away of being naive, I just want to wish all the women who have met an Egyptian man online good luck and I hope everything works out for all....and I also believe there are some good honest people out there you just have to get to know them a little more than 1 month or maybe 1 year :) you really dont know someone until you actually live with them.
  • edited 2:12AM
    Elizabeth I am certain if you have been to Turkey alone then Egypt will be a doddle i live there and i am out alone a lot and you are perfectly right about the eye contac t you can still be friendly and polite without obvious flirting good luck with your search it sounds very interesting

    Lisa good luck it will be good for you to see the real Egypt the streets of cairo you will not experience the way of life here until you are no longer a guest as with all middle ease north african countries there is a certain way to treat guests i know i was once a guest good luck i really hope it works out for you just bear in mind life here is very different when you actually live here and when you are married you have to respect and stick to the family rules best tip is to look at the women in the family and see how they are living and what their duties etc are
  • edited 2:12AM
    Tracey...many thanks i appreciate your input :)
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi all,

    I'm an Asian-American, an exchange student from UCLA studying in Madrid, Spain right now and I want to visit North Africa/Egypt over the winter holidays.

    First of all, does anybody know what the temperature will be like during that time? I assume I would be traveling sometime after Christmas/New Year's, still haven't decided if I want to stay in Madrid for New Year's or not.

    Also I want to travel by myself through N. Africa but I've been told by many that I probably wouldn't be able to handle all the male attention, that it would be overbearing. Does anyone know if they treat Asians at all differently (because I know in Spain they do...) and I prefer the backpacker lifestyle, but I don't know if it's just safer or more convenient to go with guided tours/packages?

    Thanks all :)

    If anyone wants to email me directly it's robin.tk.nguyen@gmail.com.
  • edited 2:12AM
    has anyone got some advice for me i am a single woman traveling to hugadha in a few weeks with my 2 children i am wery of the unwanted attention and nervous as this is the first time i am traveling alone with my children.

    all advice welcomed
  • edited 2:12AM
    Kaz: 1st I am a staff member in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, Egypt
    2nd, For you it is quite safe to come to Egypt with your children (It would be better than come alone)...u will be watching egyptian people here paying attention (not unwanted) for your kids...something like caring for them.....protecting them...
    3rd: Hurghada is one of the best places in Egypt (I spent my Honey-moon there in Mariott Hotel) and it is primarily a place for tourists and newly married.....So all the time, you will be surounded either by tourists, couples or very very kind hurghadian original people...
    I hope you can come and enjoy your time safely in Egypt......
  • edited 2:12AM
    Thank you Dr_Ayman
    You have helped me feel abit easier about my forcomming holiday
    take care
    kaz
  • edited 2:12AM
    To KAz:
    you will be welcomed in Egypt...
    This is my e-mail "dr_ayman78@yahoo.com"
    If u needed any help during your stay in Hurghada, just contact me
    I knew many people in Hutghada that may help u
    Sorry for not attaching my cellular number 'coz I am afraid to put it here
    but i can do it on e-mailing me....
    Have a nice stay and good luck
  • edited 2:12AM
    Hi! Im Filipino guy working in Saudi. I have a training on Egypt for 3 mos. I want my girlfriend to come with me on Egypt for 1 month and she will be travel from Philippines. Any advice how she will get a tourist visa? a room/flat for rent? Dress code? and can we allowed to stay together in 1 room? Thanks.

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