Sports in Egypt have played an important part in Egyptian history and social life. Popular sports include football (soccer), martial arts, badminton, golf, soccer, beach handball, and a host of other activities.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Cairo, as in much of the world. The Egypt national football team is known as The Pharaohs. They were the first African team to participate in the World Cup in 1934.
The Egyptian Premier League consists of sixteen clubs. The two most popular Egyptian clubs are Al-Ahly and Zamalek SC. This is one of the most competitive leagues in Africa. The season runs from September to May and is played at Cairo International Stadium. It is administered by the Egyptian Football Association.
The Egyptian squash team is one of the fiercest teams worldwide. The Egyptian Squash Association administers the teams and competitions.
Cricket has been an active sport among expats in Egypt since the English brought it over. Since that time, interest has ebbed and flowed. Influence of current Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and British expatriates has led to a resurgence in interest.
Tennis has been slow to catch on in Egypt, but more and more clubs are opening and professional players are coming onto the scene. The Egyptian Tennis Federation manages the growth, development, and promotion of the sport.
Horseback riding in the desert is a pleasant activity and there are several stables to choose from. FB Stables (Karim +20 (0)16 507 0288) offers a chance to view the Pyramids from the desert.
Cairo is unfortunately lacking in parks and green spaces. There are few places for children to play on public property. This is changing as the city tries to encourage more park development.
Al-Azhar Park is one of the most popular parks in Cairo. It also offers an exotic settings with cafes and restaurants. The park is located on Salah Salem Street, and is accessible by bus or metro.
Wadi Digla Protected Area is a 60 square kilometer park near Ma'adi that allows city dwellers some green space. You can trek, jog, rock climb, and cycle. People also go to Wadi Degla to bird watch and observe nature.
Hadiqat Al Azbakiya is located in the Azbakiya area of Cairo. It is a nice park to stroll and relax.
Genenet El Asmak is a park located in Zamalek. It includes several large caves and an aquarium.
Orman Botanic Garden offers a fine botanical garden.
El Hadiqa El Dawliya (The International Garden) is located in Nasr City district. Recently opened, it contains copies of famous buildings from around the world like the Eiffel Tower of Paris, The Great Wall of China, The Windmills of Holland, etc.
Gyms can be found in sport clubs as well as major hotels. They are members only and charge a fee by month, several months, or yearly. Fees are high as many cater to internationals. Expect to pay about 4,000 LE per year.