ETA (Eygptian Tourist Authority)
Misr Travel Tower Abbassia, Cairo
Tel: 825 760.
Telex: 20799 Egapt Un Cairo, Egypt


Physical geography

Egypt (ARE) spans North-East Africa and the Peninsula of Sinai in Asia. It falls between two immense deserts, through which from south to north the Nile cuts a long valley of approximately 1,500kms. The Egyptian territory extends over an area of about one million sq. kms., but the populated and cultivated area - the Nile Valley - is 28,378 sq. kms. Egypt enjoys an agreeable Mediterranean climate: mild along the littoral, hot in the Nile Valley and torrid in the desert area. Rain is almost unknown on the mainland.


The climate of Egypt can be most adequately described as over 95 per cent sun. Egypt receives its water from the Nile and not from the sky, which remains brilliantly sunny for all but a few days in the year. Even in the height of summer the temperature never becomes too hot, as there is a persistent cooling northerly breeze.

In desert areas there are sharp contrasts between summer and winter and between day and night temperatures. In the Nile Valley, temperatures remain most constant.

Economic geography

Cotton, rice, wheat, maize, beans, clover, oat, sugar cane, petroleum, vegetables, fruits, flowers, iron, copper and manganese.


According to the latest statistics, population in ARE is 57 milion. The capital of the country is Cairo and Alexandria is considered as the second capital.

A brief history

Since man first began recording his deeds, Egypt has been a land where it is difficult to tread without stepping into history. In early times Egypt was divided into two kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt, which were united for the first time around 3200 BC by the first king of the first dynasty, Menes. The period covering the third to the sixth dynasty is known as the Old Kingdom. Zoser of the third dynasty built the Step Pyramid at Sakkara. In the fourth dynasty Kings Heops, Chephren and Mycerinos built the three Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. For about 200 years there was anarchy until the era of the 11th -13th dynasty when a new age of greatness came with the Middle Kingdom.

The hegemony of the princes of Thebes, the prosperous Middle Kingdom, was invaded by wild nomads, known as the Hyksos, who ruled Egypt until expelled by Ahmose, a king of the 17th dynasty and first king of the New Kingdom. This kingdom is the most famous period of all, when Egypt became prosperous on the levy of foreign tributes and built many of the imposing monuments the tourists see today. These kings had their tombs hewn out of rock in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. Queen Hatshepsut and Tutmosis III, Akhenaten who replaced the old religion by a new monotheism and Tut-Ank-Amon who restored the old religion, were all rulers of the 18th dynasty. The l9th dynasty was the era of the Ramses, of whom the most famous were Ramses II and Ramses III. There then followed a period of decline when Egypt was either divided or ruled by foreign kings.

Then came the Greco-Roman period starting with the well known leader Alexander the Great, founder of Alexandria which became the centre of Greek culture and the commercial pivot of the whole world under his successors, the Ptolemies. After the battle of Actium in 31 BC Egypt came under Roman rule until 395 AD, when the country became a part of the Byzantine Empire.

The Islamic period started when Christian Egypt was conquered by the Moslems in 641AD just nine years after the prophet Mohamed's death. At first Egypt was ruled from Damascus by the Ommayads and then from Baghdad by the Abbassid caliphs, then Egypt gained independence through Ibn Tulun, who built the famous square mosque that today bears his name. After this came the Fatimids, the Ayubids and, in later mediaeval times, Egypt was ruled by the Mamlukes until the year 1517. After this date Egypt was ruled by the Ottoman Turks.

Modern history can be said to have begun in the 18th century. It has been a rapid and dramatic development and visitors cannot help but be struck by the fact that, while essentially modern and up-to-date, there is much that has been inspired by the past brilliance and glory that has been outlined here.

As a result, Egypt (ARE) is a country of great historical and tourist interest, offering countless monuments, the heritage of a 7,000-year-old civilisation and scenery of great variety, such as the temples of Abu-Simbel which were incredibly old when Christ was a child in Nazareth, and also the churches and mosques of old Cairo. Alexandria has a lot to offer with its beautiful beaches and Cleopatra's bath along the coast in Marsa Matrouh, and the Asswan High Dam will impress you with its grandeur.


The majority is of Islamic faith. There are also Christians and Jews.

Languages spoken by nationals

The Arabic language; English and French are also spoken in hotels and shops.


Two hours ahead of GMT.


The Egyptian Pound is divided into 100 piastres. US$ 1.00 = P.T. 338.0; Sw. Fr. 1.00 = P.T. 277.37; FR. Fr. 1.00 = P.T. 67.39; DM 1.00 = P.T. 337,14. (Rates of exchange as at March 1995).

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

Moslem feasts

Small Bairam; Great Bairam; Moslem New Year; Prophet's Birthday. These dates are always fixed according to the Hegira year.

National holidays

Sham El-Nassim (always a Monday after Easter in April or May); April 25, Sinai Evacuation Day; May 1, Workers Day; June 18, Evacuation Day; July 23, Revolution Day; October 6, Army Day; October 24, Popular Resistance Day; December 23, Victory Day.

What one should not fail to see

The pyramids and Sphinx, Egyptian's Museum, the Islamic Art Museum, the Coptic Art Museum, Son et Lumiere, Cairo Tower. Old mosques and historical churches. Alexandria with its beautiful beaches and Miniah and its Tal El Amarna, baril Hassan, Tuna el Gabal, Luxor, Esna temple, Gizeh, Saqqara, Dandara, Kena edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan and the High Dam; Abu Simbel, Red Sea; Sinai.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

Year round, any time.

How to dress

Light clothes in summer, preferably of cotton, and heavy clothes in winter.

Main holiday resorts

There are many tourist resorts for all the year round. Cairo, the capital, has a great variety of attractions. The most famous winter resorts are: Giza, Helwan, minia, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the New Valley.

The coastline along the Mediterranean Sea stretches for some 514 kms by car (561 by train) and there are many very attractive summer resorts. The most famous is Alexandria with its many lovely sandy beaches.

The Red Sea shore, whose coastline extends hundreds of kilometres south from Suez to Marsa Alam, is characterised by its soft, sandy beaches, its rugged mountains and its great wealth of coral reefs and fish.

The Sinai Peninsula has many attractive tourist resorts especially for religious tourism, relaxation, sports (underwater, fishing) and Sahara tourism Sharm El Sheik, Ai Arish, Dahab and Noubei are some examples.

Main holiday sports

Sea fishing, boating, sailing, golfing, horseracing, horse-riding, tennis, swimmmg.

What to eat and drink

One can choose between European dishes and oriental dishes. Kebab grilled pigeons, stuffed vegetables.

What to buy

Handicraft objects, oriental jewellery, silver and leather articles, silk, damask, rugs, ceramics, antiquities and perfumes.

Frontier formalities

Passports and visas

All the Consulates of the Arab Republic of Egypt are authorised to issue entry visas valid for one month. Transit visas can be obtained at port and airport upon arrival for one month aa well as collective passports to groups of tourists, organised by travel agencies for up to one month. These visas are issued only on condition that the members remain as a group and do not separate. All visas are subject to a payment based on fixed fees, unless they are exempted from fees by virtue of special agreements or of a special decree from the ARE competent authorities.

Health regulations

certificates of vaccination against cholera, yellow fever and smallpox are required from persons coming from infected areas. For dogs, cats or other animals there should be a medical certificate stating that they are free from any infectious diseases ( a licence for dogs).


On arrival: all personal effects, used or unused, are exempt from customs duties and all other other taxes and dues. Also exempt - but after due listing on the Declaration Form - are such items as the incoming tourist might wish to bring along for his own private use, such as cameras, cine-cameras, typewriters, transistor radios, recorders, binoculars and jewellery, regardless of the cost of these articles. A copy of the Declaration Form is deposited at the customs office, the original to be kept by the visitor and submitted to the same office on departure. Foodstuffs, alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, cigars and medicines brought in for personal consumption are not dutiable. Firearms for hunting (ammunition): temporary licences are granted only after approval of the general security department - Ministry of Interior according to the rules.

On departure: everything purchased in Egypt by visitors holding entry or transit visas may be taken out provided the total cost of the new articles is not in excess of the amount declared by the visitor to be in his possession on entry, and provided these articles are in the nature of gifts or for personal use.

Currency regulations

The tourist is allowed to carry any amount of foreign currency, whether in banknotes, tourist cheques, money orders, bank transfers or letters of credit.
He is not allowed to import more than LE 100 Egyptian currency.
Hotels must be paid in foreign currencies.

Main travel routes

Internal tourist routes:

Cairo - Al Fayum. Cairo - Alexandria. Cairo - Al Arish. Cairo - Charm El Sheikh. Cairo- Suez. Cairo - Ismailia - Port-Said.

Lower Egypt is connected with a network of roads. Suez - Hurghada - Marsa Alam. Kena - Hurghada

Land connections

A vast network of railroads connects the different parts of the country, linking them with all tourist sites as well as with their neighbouring countries

Nile cruises are operated between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.

Air connections

Cairo airport is served by most international air companies. Daily flights link Cairo with all parts of the world. Egypt Air Airlines maintain the domestic traffic and link the ARE with every part of the world.

Air Sinai is the company specialising in connecting Egypt with the tourist parts of Sinai.

Sea connections

Alexandria, Port Said and Suez are international sea ports served by Mediterranean as well as trans-ocean lines.


Where to stay

Cairo offers visitors a wide range of hotels to choose from, from luxury class hotels to comfortable pensions. It is advisable to make reservations well before arrival in Cairo to be sure of obtaining a room. One can reserve either through a travel agent or direct with the hotel concerned.

Youth hostels

Special facilities are available to students to stay in hotels for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. In addition, students may travel at greatly reduced fares. The headquarters of the Youth Hostels Association is located at 135, Abdel Aziz Al Seoud str., El Manial, Cairo. They can supply all particulars and give assistance to foreign students visiting Egypt either for study or pleasure.

It is advisable to contact the Association some time in advance of the date of arrival to be sure of making satisfactory arrangements. A number of tourist hotels offer reductions to youth groups of not less than fifteen persons.

ETA tourist offices abroad


Athens: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 10 Amerikis St. (6th floor), Athens 10671 Greece. Tel & fax: (0301) 3606906

Frankfurt: Agyptisches Fremdenverkehrsamt, 64a Kaiserstrasse, W/Germany. Tel.: (04969) 252 319 / 252 153. Fax: (04969) 239 876

London: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 170 Piccadily W1V 9DD, London, England. Tel.: (0441) 4935282/3. Tlx:23106 EGYSTO G. Fax: (0441) 4080295

Madrid: La Torre de Madrid planta 5, oficina 3, Plaza de Espana, 28008 Madrid. Tel.: (00341) 5592121. Fax: (00341) 55927121

Moscow: Embassy of Egypt - Tourist Office, Skatertnyi Pereulok 25, Moscow, Russia. Tel.: (007095) 2913209. Fax: (007095) 1344035.

Paris: Bureau de Tourisme, Ambassade de la RAE, 90 Av. Champs Elysees, Paris, France. Tel.: (0331) 45629443/45629442. Fax: (0331) 42893481.

Rome: Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche, 19 Via Bissolati, 00187 Rome, Tel.: (0396) 4827985. Tlx: 620214 EGAPT. Fax: (0396) 4874156.

Stockholm: Egyptian Tourist Office, Drottnin 99 Atan 65, 11136 Stockholm. Tel: (00468) 102548. Fax: (00468) 102541

Vienna: Aegyptisches Fremdenverkehrsamt, Elisabethstr. 4, Stiege 5/1 Opernringhof, 1010 Wien. Tel.: (00431) 5876633. Fax: (00431) 5876634.


Chicago: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 645 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 829, Chicago Il 60611. Tel.: (001312) 2804666/2804693. Fax: (001312) 2804788

New York: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York 10111, USA

Los Angeles: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 8383 Wiltshire Boulevard, suite 215, Beverly hills CA 90211 Los Angeles. Tel.: (213) 6538815. Fax: (213) 6538961


Montreal: Egyptian Tourist Authority, 1253 mcGill College Avenue, Suite 250, Montreal (Que) Canada H3B2YS. Tel.: (001514) 8614420 Fax: (001514) 8618071.


Tokyo: EgyptianTourist Authority, Embassy of Egypt, Akasaka 2- Chome - Annex, M-S Akasaka 2 - Chome, Minato- Ku- Tokyo. Tel.: (0813) 5890653. Fax: (0813) 5891372.


South Africa: Egyptian Tourist Office, First Floor, Regent Place BLDG Mutal Gardens, Rosebank, Johannes, Johannesburg, South Africa. Tel.:(002711) 8809602/3. Fax: (002711) 8809604.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Arab Republic Of Egypt thanks to the co-operation and the participation of the E.T.A in Cairo.