Practical Life in Cairo


Shopping in Cairo


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Shopping in Cairo offers a world of opportunities, and frustrations. From modern international stores to flourishing year-round markets, Cairo has amazing goods for purchase.

Shopping Norms

Opening Hours

Normal opening hours are Monday to Saturday from about 9:00 to 20:00. In summer, stores may close between 12:30 and 16:00. Tourist shops often stay open later. During Ramadan, stores may close for Iftar (breaking the fast) and stay open later in the evening.

Haggling

Haggling is not just expected, it is necessary. In bazaars and markets you should expect prices to be inflated (especially for obvious visitors) and they expect for the price to be bargained down. If the final price is between half and two-thirds of the original asking price, both parties should be happy.

    Tips for a great deal:
  • Feel free to accept tea from the shopkeeper if it is offered, it doesn't obligate you to buy
  • Offer half the asking price and bargain from there
  • Be polite and have a sense of humor while bargaining
  • Walking away is an way to get the price down
  • Pay what you think the item is worth and don't worry if you could have paid less
  • There are always more opportunities

Service

The standard of service can seem quite inferior to some expats. It is common to be ignored or overcharged so try not to take it personally. By speaking Egyptian Arabic and/or frequenting the same businesses and building a relationship you can hope to avoid these issues.

On the other side of service, many businesses offer home delivery for practically everything. Groceries, services, and goods can be delivered directly to your home.

Specialties

An-Nahassin - The Street of the Coppersmiths offers finery in the form of brass and copperware. Gold and silver are also widely available.

There are jewelry shops on Sharia Abdel Khalek Sarwat and on Sharia al-Muizz li-Din Allah.

Khan Misr Touloun - (Address: 4, road 21, Maadi at CSA - Community Services Association) Speciality shop selling wooden chests, bowls and plates, blown glass, clay figurines, scarves and woven clothing.

Souqs

Cairo is home to many souqs (bazaar & flea market). Offerings range from true antiques to kitschy souvenirs, the souq is an attraction in itself. Browsing and bargaining are part of the experience. Look for items like jewelry, carpets, perfume, leather goods, brass and copper items, and herbs and spices. Leave your valuables behind as souqs can be rich pick-pocketing grounds.

It is illegal to export genuine antiquities without a licence.

Khan al-Khalili - This is the city's main market and one of the world's oldest bazaars. Some visitors do not actually break into the interior as there is so much to see even on the outskirts. However, locals shop within the interior. Silks, jewellery, spices gellibayas (long robes), and perfume can all be purchased here.

  • Souq as-Sagha - Goldsmith's Bazaar
  • Sharia Muski - Household essentials like towels, toys and crockery.
  • Souk al Fustat - Located at Sharia Mar Girgis in Old Cairo
  • Wekalet al-Balah - Best for fabrics, including Egyptian cotton
  • Tent Makers's Bazaar - Offers excellent applique-work
  • Souq al-gamal - This unusual market is the camel bazaar. Held every Friday beyond Sharia Sudan in the west of city, you may not want to buy but you will certainly want to visit.

Supermarkets

As Egypt is primarily Muslim, pork is not sold in the main grocery stores. It can be purchased at speciality shops along with many other Western products. Imported goods are much more expensive than local fare and supply can be inconsistent.

    Supermarkets:
  • Hawary Supermarkets
  • Carrefour
  • Hyper1

Shopping Centers

There are several malls to suit your needs.

  • Citystars - Egypt's premier shopping mall. International brands and food chains, a cinema and an amusement park.
  • The First Mall

Update 29/03/2017



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