Working in Egypt



In addition to the thrilling sights, sounds and archaeological wonders, work is something that won't be a problem in Egypt. And every expat can attest to that. 

The economy of Egypt is considered as a middle power and one of the most diverse and largest in the Middle East. Aside from being a highly influential country in terms of politics, military and culture, it also possesses an estimated total Gross Domestic Product of USD 330.765 billion in 2016 which placed it on the 34th place in the list of countries by nominal GDP. Expats with the right skills and experience will most probably find work in Egypt although the country is currently going through economic and political turmoil that have led to societal unrest. Expats looking for employment in Egypt are advised to stay alert and vigilant while avoiding areas such as the border with Libya and the upper area of the Nile. 

Employment Opportunities for Expats 

Those planning to move to Egypt find that the country has a low unemployment rate, which most probably means there's a job waiting for them in any of the diverse sectors that include tourism, agriculture, and energy production. This country also has several prominent universities that are located in Cairo, the capital. Expats who have experience in teaching English have high employment opportunities since many schools have vacancies. 

There are also opportunities such as teaching aerobics at a local gym or packing bags at the grocery. In Zamalek and Maadi, there are a good number of expatriate communities selling services to each other such as manicures, hairdressing, etc. The government has also committed to fixing the country's infrastructure, particularly the railroad system and, aside from that, foreign investors have immense interest in investment opportunities because of the country's recent introduction of economic and taxation reforms. 

How to Find a Job

In Egypt, traditional job advertising practices are not always applied. Instead, Egyptians market and learn about jobs strictly through networking. Sometimes, job listings do land in newspapers, but success is usually limited filling these positions because people are so used to word-of-mouth being the best advertising method. 

"Most employers take care of visas and work permits because dealing with the authorities is a nightmare. Currently, the authorities are being very tough on visas and work permits and on taking hard currency out of the country."- Maryanne Stroud Gabbani, Expat in Egypt

Average Salary and Working Hours 

Jobs in Egypt fall into two major categories: those paid in local currency and those paid in foreign currencies. As of 2014, the national minimum wage in this country is EGP 1,200 or USD 70 per month while the maximum wage for state employees set by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sis is EGP 42,000 or USD 2,300 per month. The average monthly salary, on the other hand, is currently at EGP 8,800 or USD 500 but this figure can still vary depending on the expatriate’s qualifications and job category. 

There are three calendars Egypt uses: the Gregorian, Hegra, and Coptic calendars. This means holiday dates may differ year after year. A full work week in this country is five days a week, eight hours per day from Sundays to Thursdays. Working hours begins at 9 am and end between 4 and 5 pm. During Ramadan, working hours may be reduced to give Muslims time to practice their traditions during these holidays. 

The Egyptian Work Environment 

Aside from the strong influence of Islam, the religion practised by the majority of the population, another significant component of the Egyptian business culture is honour. It is a vital facet of interpersonal relationships most especially in the work environment. Expats in this country should bear in mind that for the locals, your honour is inseparable from the reputation of everyone in your family. To break your word, which is considered as a bond, will deeply dishonour you and might permanently end your professional relationship with Egyptian colleagues. 

Egyptians can also be very self-sacrificial when it comes to saving the interest of the group they belong in, putting more importance on co-worker relationships than the tasks at hand. The mood in the work place is warm and friendly, although this doesn't mean anyone is excused from not doing his job. Women are advised to dress modestly, as Egyptian men can be forward with foreign women, particularly when it comes to the unrest and economic situation that the country is currently going through.


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