Learn Arabic in Egypt Accommodation

Accommodation

Information on some hotels that are close to Arab Academy:

Mayfair Hotel

This is a small hotel in a quiet area called Zamalek, close to the downtown area of Cairo. It is about a 30 minute walk to the Arab Academy, and about 2 minutes to the Pension Zamalek. Zamalek is an island situated in the Nile, and is the home of many foreign embassies. It is a very secure and quiet neighborhood, and the hotel is well located on a pleasant tree lined street very close to the main drag (shops, restaurants, bookstores, etc), called 26th of July Street.
Contact information:
9 Aziz Osman Street
Just off 26th of July Street, near Hassan Sabry Street
Zamalek, Cairo
Website: http://www.mayfaircairo.com/

Horus Hotel, Zamalek

This small yet charming hotel is in Zamalek, which is in one of Cairo’s residential areas. It is a 15 minutes drive away from Arab Academy by taxi. A taxi ride to the Arab Academy costs approx. $1 (always agree the price before you get in!!) and a single room at the hotel costs approx. $40 per night. Breakfast is included.
Here is the contact information of the hotel:
Web Site:
http://www.horushousehotel.4t.com/
Name: Horus House Hotel
Category: * * *
City: Cairo
Address: 21, Ismail Mohamed St., Zamalek, Cairo
Phone: +20 2 27353034

President’s Hotel, Zamalek

This is a four star hotel in Zamalek, a quiet residential area in Cairo. It is a very nice hotel that is quite popular in Cairo. It is quite luxurious. The hotel is a 15 minutes drive away from Arab Academy by taxi. A taxi ride to the Arab Academy costs approx. $2.
Web Site: http://www.presidenthotelcairo.com/
Category: * * * *

Pension Zamalek

This option is good value for money. You get to stay at a charming room at a spacious apartment in Cairo, along with other residents and an Egyptian family. A single room costs $18 (or 100 Egyptian pounds) and a double room costs $27 (or 150 Egyptian pounds). The rooms are in a very nice apartment at one of the elegant residential areas of Cairo. Breakfast is included (includes bread, egg, soft cheese, and jelly). The rooms are spacious with a bed, desk and cupboard. Every two rooms share a bathroom that is quite large. The pension is run by an Egyptian family who live in it. You will get a chance to chat with them, and also make friends over breakfast with the other foreign residents. You need to reserve ahead of time as space is limited.
Contact Information:
6 Salah El-Din Street, Zamalek
Tel: +20 2 27359318
E-mail: pensionzamalek@msn.com

New Garden City Place Hotel

This hotel is 5 minutes walk away from the Arab Academy. It is a two star hotel, very simple, basic and clean. A single room costs approx. $25 per night. Breakfast is included.
Contact Information of the Hotel:
Telephone: +20 2 27963630
Address: 11 Moderate Al Tahrir St. Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.

Food

  1. Local Food:

    Locals have the following meals for lunch at work every day:
    – Fool (beans) & Ta3miyya (falafel):
    For approx $1 you can have enough sandwiches to satisfy your hunger. They are delicious. Request the sandwiches without salad to be on the safe side.
    – Kosahari (a typical dish of macaroni, rice, and sauce)
    Approx. cost for a serving is $1. This is another favorite for all Egyptians.

  1. International Chains:

    – McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, ….Hardee’s, Pizza Hut.
    A Big Mac Meal costs approx $3.5

  1. Restaurants:

    Prices at restaurants vary. Approx cost per person at a good restaurant is $10. At a five star hotel, a super meal costs around $50 per person.

Safety

Cairo is a very safe place to live in. You can go out at any time of day or night and feel safe. Cairo is a city that is alive almost 24 hours a day. Shops close at 10 p.m. and sometimes at 1 a.m. And sometimes don’t close at all:) The only thing one has to worry about in Cairo as far as safety is concerned is crossing the street, due to the traffic and erratic driving, which takes some time getting accustomed to.

Dress Attire

Cairo is a cosmopolitan city with locals and foreigners dressed in all kinds of attire. Most Cairene ladies wear head scarves. Most men wear trousers and shirts. You are advised to dress conservatively (trousers rather than shorts, and long sleeves or half sleeves rather than sleeveless). This is out of respect to the Egyptian culture and also in order to avoid the curious stares of the locals. Sharm El-Sheikh is a resort with lots of tourists. It is the only place in Egypt where tourists dress liberally.
(Miriem: I was surprised how people were dressed or rather undressed at Sharm El-Sheikh! This is in sharp contrast to Cairo.)

Visas

You can purchase a visa at the Cairo airport, or you can get it from the Egyptian embassy at your country. Please contact the Egyptian embassy in your country for the rules that apply to your nationality. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days. You can easily renew it for an addition 3 months by filling an application form in a governmental building 15 minutes walking from Arab Academy.

Weather

Egypt’s weather is quite hot in the summer and moderate in the winter. In the summer air conditioners are used, but many places are not warmed up in the winter, as the season is relatively short and the weather is moderate. Therefore, do get with you warm clothes for the winter, and light cotton clothes for the summer.

Traffic & Transportation

Cairo’s streets are crowded and chaotic. Drivers do not seem to respect traffic rules as known in other cities. However, there are very few accidents because the speed is very slow due to the traffic jams.

  1. Taxis:

    There are lot of old taxis in Cairo. They are quite inexpensive but their condition is not very good. There is no meter so you need to negotiate the fare before you get in. Recently, new white cabs were introduced to the city. You can call those cabs. The cars are new, they go by the meter. Taxi fare depends on the distance and we have taxis with meters so you will know how much you have to pay.

  1. Metro:

    Cairo has an underground metro system. It is a quite good, albeit crowded. The stations only cover main streets, so usually you will take the metro then continue with either a cab or some other form of transportation. A ticket costs 1 pound.

  1. Microbus:

    Microbus is quite a popular mode of communication. Those small white buses are found on the main streets of the city. They are quite inexpensive but are quite crowded. A ticket costs from 1.5 – 3 pounds.

  1. Buses:

    Not recommended as they are VERY crowded. Please stay away from them. A ticket costs from 1-2 pounds.

  1. Air Conditioned Buses:

    There are some air conditioned buses that operate on the main streets of Cairo. They are not expensive and they give a very good service. If there is bus line your way, then that is a good inexpensive way to go around the city. A ticket costs 8 L.E.

Women and Unwanted Male Attention

Egyptian men, like men in other Mediterranean cities, often stare at women walking down the street and give them compliments. This is considered as harassment by ladies who are coming from different cultures and are not used to this. In crowded places, men may try to rub their shoulders by a lady’s shoulders. That is the maximum that can happen. There is no rape or aggression in Egypt. There is no danger on women or young girls walking down the streets of Cairo. A stare or some words of praise coming from the lips of a local will ultimately not hurt, as long as we know how to deal with it. What you should do is IGNORE. If you talk back, even to tell them to stop or to stay away, then this is considered as encouragement. Just avoid eye contact and ignore. This is the best and easiest way to fend off unwanted male attention. It is also advisable to dress conservatively in order not to draw attention.

Health

– Do not drink tap water. Drink bottled water (Nestle, Siwa, …)
– Do not eat salad for the first few days.

Basic Medication that you can buy over the counter:

– Antenal (for stomach aches)
– Flurest (for common colds)
– Immodium (for diarrhea)
– Panadol (for fever)

Hospitals:

Kasr El-Aini Hospital (Close to Arab Academy)
Al-Salam Hospital in Mohandisiin
Alpha Scan in Mohandisiin336 6603 /338 3310
El Borg in Mohandisiin303 9050
Shaalan in Mohandisiin760 5180
Dar El Fouad in 6 October 8356030 up to 40

Ambulances:

Dar El Fouad 577 7300
Misr International 761 7208 /760 8261 /3356333 /335 3345 /335 3567
Salam International 524 0250
Salam Mohandiseen 303 4780 /303 4781

Information on Cairo

The sites below give you information on things to do in Cairo:
www.yallabina.com
www.masrawy.com
www.cairodining.com
www.mazika.com (to download Egyptian music)
www.thetownhousegallery.com

Phone: +20 111 670 4021 - +20 111 218 0305
Fax: +20 227955201
3 Alif Kamil El-Shinnawi Street,
Garden City 11451, Cairo , Egypt