VISAS, ENTRY RULES, CUSTOMS REGULATIONS in Egypt
Entry to Egypt for Russian tourists is visa-free. A single entry visa for up to one month is issued upon arrival at any of the Egyptian entry points. To enter, it is enough to have a foreign passport (which must be valid for at least 3 months from the date of return from the trip), into which a visa stamp is pasted at the airport (it costs $15).
Multiple entry and transit visas can be obtained from the embassy. In this case, you must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the end of the trip. Visa-free transit is prohibited. Children under 16 fit into the visa of the parents (mother).
Travelers arriving in South Sinai by air can obtain a visa for a stay of up to 14 days upon arrival, on site and free of charge. To obtain such a visa, it is necessary to stay in the territory of South Sinai until the end of the trip. Departure to any other area of Egypt for holders of such visas is prohibited.
There are no restrictions on movement within the country for Russian citizens, however, the movement of individual tourists and groups in the areas of Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said, as well as border areas with Libya, Sudan, in the demarcation line with Israel and in the southern part of the Red Sea is recommended only in accompanied by local security. Solitary trips to the south of the country, especially to Luxor and Aswan, are highly undesirable.
Import and export of foreign currency is not limited, but must be declared. Import and export of the national currency is limited (no more than 20 pounds per person). At bank branches at airports, working around the clock, when leaving the country, you can change Egyptian pounds for dollars by presenting exchange receipts
Duty-free import of personal items is allowed, and tourists over the age of 15 years old can bring with them – 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, over 20 years old up to 1 liter of alcoholic beverages and 2 liters of beer.
Video cameras are subject to declaration (cameras and accessories to them are not required to be indicated in the declaration). In this case, the brand and number of the camera are recorded in the passport.
In case of violation, a fine of up to 100-200% of the value of the items is paid.
It is strictly forbidden to export shells and pieces of coral reefs from the country. For the Egyptians, coastal reefs are a national treasure and the main attraction. If something like this is found on the way back, a fine will have to be paid under a thousand dollars. The transit of narcotic substances, weapons and antiques, antiques and art, corals and ivory is prohibited. Any item that falls under the definition of “antiquity” requires a whole package of documents confirming the legality of its acquisition. It is forbidden to import video recordings, films and printed publications that are contrary to the norms of Islam, morality and ethics, and may also damage the country’s security and public order.
Embassy in Egypt
Egypt, embassy in Moscow
Moscow, Kropotkinsky per., 12 Tel. (095) 246-30-96/02-34 Fax: (095) 246-10-64.
Egypt, Russian Embassy in the country:
Cairo, Dokki, Giza str., 95, Egypt
Phone: (8-10-202) 348-9353, 348-9354, 348-9356, 348-9744
Contact in Egypt
The most economical way to make international calls in Egypt is by calling with a phone card. There are cards for 20, 30 and 50 Egyptian pounds. Cards for 20 pounds are enough for 2-3 minutes of conversation with Russia. Phone call from Hurghada, El Gouna, Makadi and Soma Bay, Safaga 8-10-20-65 Moscow phone number,
Call from Sharm el-Sheikh 8-10-20-69 Moscow phone number. It must be remembered that in the resorts not all street payphones have access to an international line. You can call to Russia directly from your hotel room (the cost of a call is about 20 pounds per minute). You can call from the hotel lobby, where there are special rooms with telephones (13 pounds per minute).
Maybe not the cheapest, but the most convenient connection with Russia is cellular. In this case, you need to check the possibility of roaming with your mobile operator.
Local telephone calls can be made from pay phones, which are abundant in large cities, or from post offices.
Emergency Phones in Egypt
Ambulance – 123
Fire Department – 125
Police – 122 or 02/303-4122
Tourist Police – 02/390-6028
HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS
Official holidays established by law are:
January 1 – New Year
April 25 – Day of the Liberation of the Sinai Peninsula in the October War of 1973
May 1 – Labor Day
June 18 – the anniversary of the withdrawal of the British occupation troops from Egypt
July 23 – the anniversary of the 1952 revolution September 23 – Day of
Victory over Israel in 1956
October 6 – National holiday – anniversary of the Yom Kippur War
October 24 – Capture of Suez by the Egyptian army in 1973
December 23 – Capture of Port Said by the Egyptian army in 1956
Sham El Nessim is one of the most popular holidays in Egypt, which is loved not only by Muslims, but also by Copts. It is celebrated on the first Monday after Easter. On this day, all Egyptian families go to nature.
On these days, the Egyptians do not work, with the exception of those who are employed in the tourism business.
Before traveling to Egypt, it is advisable to get vaccinated against hepatitis A. You should take activated charcoal, stomach medicines, disinfectants, and sunscreen with you.
In Egypt, you can not drink tap water without first taking steps to sterilize it. Drinking water is sold in the city. It is useful to take a water heater or electric kettle from home. The voltage of the electrical network and the shape of the outlet in Egypt correspond to Russian ones.
Since the climate in Egypt is hot, you need to prepare clothes from natural silk, cotton, light woolen fabrics for the trip.
Women, as in any Muslim country, are undesirable to appear on the street alone. On the territory of the hotel you can dress at your own discretion, but when going out into the city, remember that Egypt is an Islamic country, people here are believers, traditions are puritanical. Bare shoulders, tight jeans and mini skirts are not very appropriate for street walks.
An Egyptian may be late for business meetings. In Egypt, everything is done slowly, including the decision-making process. There is always expression and exaggeration in the behavior of an Arab. Muslims do not consume alcoholic beverages, although they usually do not mind when others do.
According to ehuzhou, there are no specific opening hours for shops in Egypt. In winter, shops are usually open from 9.00 to 20.00, with a lunch break from at least 12.00 to 14.00. Supermarkets are usually open longer. In summer, the lunch break usually lasts from 14.00 to 16.00. Many shops close only at 21.00-22.00 hours. In Egypt, you can find many souvenir shops offering jewelry made of gold, silver, semi-precious and precious stones, carpets, spices, perfumes, aromatic oils and essences, fine perfume bottles, cotton and silk fabrics, straw hats, leather goods crocodile, cobra, cow, camel, dried dates and dried hibiscus flowers, books, postcards, various spices. In major cities such as Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, you can find stores of world famous companies, in which prices are quite reasonable. Markets are everywhere. In resort areas, the vast majority of shops and shops do not have fixed prices. In the East, it is customary to bargain and the more firmly you insist on your price, the more respectful the attitude.
An integral part of Egyptian life is tipping for minor services. Here they are called “baksheesh”. Its size is usually within a pound. It is customary to give baksheesh to a boy who opens a car door, a hotel clerk who brings a suitcase (this is a common practice), a self-proclaimed guide in an ancient temple, maids (daily or about 10 LE per week), cleaners in toilets 50 piastres, attendants (1 – 2 LE), whose assistance to the guest in some way went beyond his direct official duties or when they were performed very well.
Restaurants are another matter. There are already real tips, not baksheesh. Usually the waiter is given change from one to five pounds, rounding the bill up.
Ministers in museums and temples, camel owners also build tactics of their relations with visitors based on baksheesh. Some do it delicately, they can give some advice, provide the necessary service, for example, suggest an advantageous angle when photographing. This does not mind a couple of pounds. Others are persistent to the point of insolence, and one must hold firm with them.
When deciding to ride a camel, you need to remember: you can sit on it for free, but to go down, you have to pay.
Some Egyptians demand money for being photographed. A self-proclaimed guide at the pyramids or in the temple, dissatisfied with the amount received, may ask for more.
In the end, you need to pay those who really deserve a tip. And in order not to overpay, you need to have a trifle with you.
The Muslim faith determines the rhythm of life of the Egyptians. This is noticeable by purely external signs: for example, five times a day, the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer through a loudspeaker. And in the month of Ramadan, the night becomes day. Muslims fast all day and break the fast only after sunset. At this time, public life freezes, state institutions work only from 10.00 to 14.00.
A tourist, of course, will pay attention to the features of the national costume of the Egyptians, which are primarily manifested in the countryside, but not alien to the city. The Egyptians wear loose-fitting shirts, and ordinary people prefer white to black, enlivening the outfit with brightly colored elements, sometimes wealthy people dress with jewelry.
Turning to Muslim values, more and more women – often at the insistence of a husband or family – are again beginning to wear a higab (hijab), a type of burqa that does not hide the face, but only covers the hair, and a long, wide dress – a galabey. The inhabitants of Egypt truly know how to enjoy life and never fall into despair.
Now in Egypt there is a state insurance for all incoming tourists. As a rule, travel agencies offer insurance in Russia. However, in case of contacting a doctor, you will have to pay for everything yourself, and only upon return, through the insurance company, will the money be returned.
Medical care outside big cities often does not meet European standards. With a slight indisposition, the hotel administration will offer a doctor, and with a severe case, you will have to go to Cairo.
Pharmacies are everywhere, drugs are most often dispensed without a prescription and they are quite cheap. According to the law, every district must have a 24-hour duty pharmacy. For a trip to Egypt, it is recommended to be vaccinated against polio and tetanus, and when traveling through the desert and oases – preventive vaccinations against malaria and hepatitis A. Certificates of passing AIDS tests are required from everyone who stays in the country for more than 30 days.
In Egypt, there is a high risk of disease if basic hygiene rules are not followed. It is not recommended to drink tap water.
It is especially important to have a travel first aid kit with you when traveling away from major cities. It must contain sun cream, antipyretics and painkillers, insect bites, medicines for intestinal diseases and circulatory disorders, disinfectants. When traveling through the desert, it will be useful to take anti-snake serums with you.
You can not swim in the Nile, walk barefoot along the channels or stagnant ponds, or wash your hands in them.