Cost of Living in Egypt
Egypt is known among tourists for its history and archaeological discoveries. For expats, it's all about fresh beginnings surrounded by mystique that makes moving more exciting.
Although you can use dollars when shopping or paying bills, money in Egypt comes in the form of the Egyptian Pound or LE, which is equivalent to one hundred pilasters. The value of the LE against the US dollar has been rather dynamic over the years, sometimes reaching 8 LE against the dollar.
Cash is the usual mode of payment for nearly all purchases, but in hotels and a few selected grocery stores, restaurants and shops, credit cards are accepted. Although sometimes possible, check payments are rare. When handling money in Egypt, it is best to be prudent. The present political situation in the country has led to several kidnappings and terrorist attacks, and expats are advised to be careful and alert when in the country.
Housing and Utilities
A furnished 2-bedroom apartment in a good area in the major cities costs about E£2,064- E£ 53,680 monthly. Newly arrived expats who want to get a feel for the area before committing to a property can get a room in a shared apartment for about E£784 - E£ 2,900 per month. In Egypt, it's not unusual for a landlord to increase the rent after only a month of tenancy.Other household costs might include garbage fees of about E£7 monthly while an electricity bill can cost anything from E£38 to E£137 depending on usage.
A luxury apartment in the tourist center of Hurghada can be bought for E£21370 - E£34345 while those in suburban areas are naturally cheaper. It can be a challenge for expats to look for accommodation at present, since Egypt is going through civil unrest. Locations such as Dakhla, Farafra and Bawati have armed groups roaming around, and even major cities such as Cairo are going through terrorism attacks.
Food in Egypt can be cheap, especially using fresh ingredients from the wet market for home cooking. For those choosing to eat out, the options are varied. A decent daily menu is about E£15 to E£22 at eateries. Global fast-food chains like KFC and McDonald's provide a meal for around E£ 30 - 40.
A local meal with a famous Egyptian seafood specialty, calamari (fried octopus) can be a bit pricier at around E£91. In the more sophisticated restaurants, a sumptuous dinner costs E£76 to E£206 without alcohol. When dining at up market restaurants or hotels, expect to pay a E£76 to E£114 service charge plus value-added and municipal taxes, which means the price on a menu is only part of the story, and you could end up paying 25% more.
Getting around Egypt can be cheap- a middle-class 10-hour train ride from Luxor to Cairo costs a mere E£45. Whether you travel by bus, minibus or shared taxi, fares always cost about E£6 per 100 kilometers. Private taxis can be quite expensive, but are the safest way to get around the cities. In Egypt, anyone who performs a service usually expects a baksheesh or tip.
Although life in Egypt can be an enriching experience with sights such as the Pyramids or the Luxor temple or the Valley of the Kings, expats who are planning to relocate to the country are advised to be wary. Embassies recommend that all travelers to Egypt take great caution when in the country, and contact travel companies that can provide better security and assistance for getting around.
Expat Services in Egypt
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