EGYPT

Information about travelling to Egypt

Egypt is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula

Facts about Egypt
Population81,713,520 (July 2008 est
CapitalCairo
Time zoneUTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begin
Location Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula

General info about Egypt
The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.
Disease threats
degree of risk: intermediate food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and
Languages spoken
Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
What about drugs?
transit point for cannabis, heroin, and opium moving to Europe, Israel, and North Africa; transit stop for Nigerian drug couriers; concern as money laundering site due to lax enforcement of financial regulations
Ethnic division
Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4% (2006 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
Climate
desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Resources
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc
Economy
Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but has opened up considerably under former President Anwar EL-SADAT and current President Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Cairo has aggressively pursued economic reforms to encourage inflows of foreign investment and facilitate GDP growth. In 2005, Prime Minister Ahmed NAZIF's government reduced personal and corporate tax rates, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises. The stock market boomed, and GDP grew about 7% each year since 2006. Despite these achievements, the government has failed to raise living standards for the average Egyptian, and has had to continue providing subsidies for basic necessities. The subsidies have contributed to a sizeable budget deficit - roughly 7% of GDP in 2007-08 - and represent a significant drain on the economy. Foreign direct investment has increased significantly in the past two years, but the NAZIF government will need to continue its aggressive pursuit of reforms in order to sustain the spike in investment and growth and begin to improve economic conditions for the broader population. Egypt's export sectors - particularly natural gas - have bright prospects.
Environment
agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile, which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources

Cities in Egypt

abnub     aja     akhmim     alexandria     aswan     asyut     beba     benha     beni mazar     beni suef     cairo     damietta     dekernes     deshna     diyarb najm     el badari     el balyana     el faiyum     el mahalla el kubra     el wasta     esna     fowa     gizeh     hihya     hurghada     ismailia     luxor     madinat sittah uktubar     marsa matruh     matay     port said     qalyub     qena     rosetta     safaga     sohag     suez     tahta     tala     talkha     tanta    


Airports in Egypt
Abu SimbelABS
El Nouzha Airport (Alexandria International AirporALY
Aswan International AirportASW
AssiutATZ
Abu RudeisAUE
InternationalCAI
El MinyaEMY
HurghadaHRG
LuxorLXR
Mersa MatruhMUH
Port SaidPSD
SiwaSEW
Taba InternationalTCP
KhargaUVL


Beer in Egypt (0.33l)
Cairo~ 1.4 EUR
Cairo~ 1.4 EUR
Dahab~ 1.2 EUR
Hurghada~ 0.8 EUR
Luxor~ 1.5 EUR

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