Docstoc

WELCOME TO EGYPT

Document Sample
WELCOME TO EGYPT Powered By Docstoc
					WELCOME TO EGYPT
                                                            Public Holidays in Egypt are 25 April (Sinai Liberation
                                                            Day – Sinai only), 1 May (Labour Day), 23 July
                                                            (National Day) and 6 October (Armed Forces Day).
                                                            The Coptic Christmas (7 January) and Easter (in 2009
                                                            anticipated to fall on 27 April, subject to confirmation)
                                                            are celebrated by the Christians but are not national
                                                            holidays. Our Christmas and New Year are celebrated
                                                            in the hotels.
                                                            The dates of the Islamic festivals move forward by
                                                            10-11 days each year as they are linked to the lunar
                                                            calendar; these are the Big Feast (in 2008 anticipated
                                                            to take place around 8-11 December), where animals
                                                            are sacrificed and the meat shared with friends, family
                                                            and the poor. If you are in Egypt at the time, particular
                                                            in more „local‟ resorts such as Cairo, Hurghada, Aswan
                                                            or Luxor, you should keep in your hotel for these days
                                                            to avoid seeing animals slaughtered in the streets; the
                                                            month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from sunrise
                                                            to sunset (anticipated in 2009 to take place around 22
                                                            August to 20 September) and during which time it is
                                                            frowned upon to walk around in local areas dressed
Welcome to Egypt, one of the world‟s top tourist            skimpily or showing too much physical affection to your
destinations for the past several thousand years.           partner in public. Ramadan is followed by a 3-day
Whether you are here to see one of the seven                holiday where everyone dresses up and enjoys eating
wonders of the ancient world, to marvel at the marine       sweets.
life and fabulous corals of the Red Sea or simply to        Females in particular may find that they get a lot of
relax and get a sun tan, you are certain not to be          unwanted attention when they go out; try to avoid
disappointed in Egypt.                                      striking up conversations, avoid eye contact and keep
Sunshine is practically guaranteed throughout the           walking if you don‟t wish to get involved in a
year, with rain falling in the Red Sea resorts              conversation. Try to dress relatively conservatively to
approximately once every 6 years. Day time                  deter unwanted attention.
temperatures range from 20 degrees in winter to 45
degrees in the summer, with night time temperatures
of around 12 degrees in winter, 30 degrees in summer.
Aswan and Luxor, being on the Nile, have higher
humidity and therefore can be unbearably hot in
summer, but the winter months are the ideal time for a
Nile Cruise.

The country
Egypt – full name is the Arab Republic of Egypt – is a
democracy whose President, Hosny Mubarak, has
held his post since 1981 and was re-elected with a
large majority in 2005. The official religion of the
country is Islam, but the country has a large Christian
population. Figures vary, but it is estimated that around
8-10% of the population is Christian and the remaining
90-92% Muslim.
This is one of the oldest civilisations known to man and
dates back many thousands of years, encompassing
the Pharaohs, Greeks, Romans, Mamlouks, Ottoman
Empire, British Colonial rule and finally independence
since 1922. Initially Egypt was a Kingdom but has
been a republic since 1952.
                                                          accepted in the shops; when using your credit card be
                                                          aware that the amount that is charged to your account
                                                          in Sterling may be slightly higher than the amount you
                                                          were originally quoted due to changes in exchange
                                                          rates and commission charged by your credit card
                                                          supplier. Rates are usually higher in Egypt so you‟ll get
                                                          more LE to your Sterling if you bring cash and change
                                                          it here. Please note that you will have difficulties if you
                                                          try to change Scottish or Northern Irish notes, or notes
                                                          that have been defaced in any way (this includes
                                                          writing on the notes).
                                                          You will need to buy a visa on arrival at the airport in
                                                          Egypt unless you fly into Sharm el Sheikh and do not
                                                          plan to leave the city (eg to go to Cairo or on a boat
                                                          trip to Ras Mohamed); Sharm is treated as a special
                                                          zone so if you visit there only you do not need a visa.
                                                          For all other destinations you need to buy a visa which
                                                          costs approximately 10 pounds Sterling; get this from
                                                          one of the tour representatives inside the airport or
                                                          from one of the banks before you go through passport
                                                          control. You must have at least 6 months validity
                                                          remaining on your passport or you will not be allowed
                                                          into Egypt.

                                                          Ground Handling Agent & Customer Service
                                                          We are represented in Egypt by Tarot Tours Garranah,
                                                          a well-respected agency which was founded in 1979,
                                                          since which time they have been working to the
                                                          strictest professional standards to maintain a high level
                                                          of business operation with outstanding customer
                                                          service. Due to their efforts, the group has become
                                                          one of the biggest and most reputable companies in
                                                          Egypt. The head office premises are located in Cairo,
                                                          with branch offices in Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada and
                                                          Sharm el Sheikh. Tarot are pleased to offer a full and
Money and Formalities                                     varied excursion programme in each of our resorts.
                                                          Should you have any problems during your holiday
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE), which
                                                          which need the assistance of one of our reps then
is divided into 100 piastres. The rate of exchange
                                                          please call them on the number which you will find on
varies, but as a rough guide is usually around 8-10 LE
                                                          your accommodation voucher or on the notice board in
to one pound Sterling. The notes have writing in
                                                          your hotel. All are Egyptian nationals, so know the
English on one side and Arabic on the other, so you
                                                          language and local laws/customs, but speak excellent
should have no problem understanding the value of
                                                          English and have many years‟ experience of working
the notes you have. The money tends to be pretty old
                                                          in this field
and dirty so many people like to make sure they can
wash their hands after handling it, or carry some
                                                          Handling agent contact information:
sanitising gel in your bag to use on your hands after
                                                          Tarot Tours Garranah:
shopping.
                                                          15 El Shaheed Mahmoud Talaat, Str.
Most hotels have ATMs, or you can use ATMs in
                                                          Dokki-Giza Egypt
towns and at airports on arrival. Travellers‟ cheques
                                                          Emergency phone:
are sometimes difficult to cash or you may have to pay
                                                          Cairo: 0020 193448084
a commission. Prices are often quoted in Sterling,
                                                          Sharm El Sheik: 0020 191576557
Dollars or Euros and then converted into LE if you wish
                                                          Hurghada: 0020 101534767
to pay in the local currency. Credit cards are accepted
                                                          Luxor : 0020 105053491
in hotels or when booking excursions but not widely
 Resorts in Egypt                                                Sharm el Sheikh – this is probably the best-known
                                                                 resort in Egypt and it located at the southern end of the
                                                                 Sinai peninsula at the entrance to the Straits of Aqaba.
                                                                 The main industry here is tourism, with people
                                                                 attracted by the breathtaking scenery and the world-
                                                                 famous dive sites, especially in the area of Ras
                                                                 Mohamed.
                                                                 Sharm is split into several areas – Hadaba, Ras Om el
                                                                 Seid, Na‟ama Bay, Shark‟s Bay, Nabq – each with its
                                                                 own shopping centres, nightlife and identity. The most
                                                                 famous bars and shopping though are found in
                                                                 Na‟ama Bay; most hotels run shuttle buses to here on
                                                                 a regular basis or you can go by taxi.




Egypt has many different resorts:

Taba – this is a small resort on the border with Israel,
20 km from Taba Heights where most of the hotels are
to be found (the Hilton, however, is situated directly
next to the border crossing). There are also ferries
available to nearby Aqaba (Jordan). The sights of the
Sinai Peninsula are easily reached, and trips over the
border to Israel to visit Eilat and/or Jeruselem are
popular. Taba Heights has its own golf course and
scuba diving and snorkelling are enjoyed by many.
                                                                 Marsa Alam – the coastline from El Quesir down
Nuweiba and Dahab – formerly inhabited solely by                 towards the border with Sudan is known as Marsa
Bedouins, a small town sprang up in present-day
                                                                 Alam, although Marsa Alam itself is a small village
Nuweiba after the Israelis occupied the Sinai
Peninsula following the 6 Day War. The town has                  which hardly merits a visit. This area is still largely
since expanded, with several ferries a day to Aqaba              undeveloped and is popular with the more serious
(Jordan). Nightlife is based around the hotels and               scuba divers as the reefs here are still unspoiled. This
people go here for relaxing holidays or for scuba                area is ideal for people wanting to enjoy the scuba
diving. Dahab has similar origins and today, as well as          diving, snorkelling or just a relaxing, away-from-it-all
being popular with divers, is famous for windsurfing.            holiday.

Hurghada – the major resort on the African coast of
                                                                 Cairo – the capital of Egypt, this is also the largest
the Red Sea (the Sinai peninsula is in Asia), Hurghada
                                                                 city in Africa and the 3rd largest in the world. It is home
is famous for its dive sites and kiteboarding, together
                                                                 to the Sphynx and the Giza Pyramids (the 2nd pyramid
with a vibrant nightlife. It is far less developed than
                                                                 is the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World),
Sharm el Sheikh and is an enigmatic mixture of local
                                                                 the Egyptian Museum, the Khan el Khalili shopping
life and tourism. It is ideally situated to visit the sites of
                                                                 area and many Coptic and Islamic architectural
Luxor, although many people choose not to leave the
                                                                 treasures. It is well worth a visit, not just to see the
resort.
                                                                 famous sites but also to see the real Egypt!
                                                            the reservoir behind it being known as Lake Nassr,
                                                            and this helps control the flow of water to the Nile and
                                                            keep it constant; previously the Nile was subject to
                                                            floods or famines. Many temples were lost when the
                                                            area behind the dam was filled with water, but others –
                                                            such at Philae Temple and Abu Simbel – were rescued
                                                            by organisations such as UNESCO and rebuilt on
                                                            higher ground.

                                                            Activities

                                                            Beaches – Egypt is 97% desert, so you know that
                                                            you can expect sandy beaches. The sand tends to be
                                                            dry, but a bucket of water soon makes it great for
                                                            building those sandcastles that you dreamed off. Most
                                                            hotels have their own beaches and there are few
                                                            public beaches. Some beaches are by reefs and
                                                            access to the sea is across a bridge or walkway and
                                                            then into relatively deep water, so check before you go
Luxor – known as the largest outdoor museum in the          if travelling with small children.
world, Luxor allegedly has 30% of the world‟s ancient
ruins. It has the famous Karnak, Luxor and Hatchepsut
(„hot chicken soup‟) temples, the Valley of the Kings
(where, amongst others, Tutkankhamen was buried)
and of course the beautiful, life-giving River Nile. Not
to be missed here is a hot air balloon flight over Luxor
at dawn. Luxor is also the starting point for the week-
long Nile cruises.




                                                            Food and Drink – most hotels offer international
                                                            cuisine, but it is fun to get out and see what the locals
                                                            eat. The local dishes rely on pulses and vegetables,
                                                            although a lot of seafood is also found in resorts on the
                                                            Mediterranean or Red Sea coasts. Bread is consumed
                                                            at all Egyptian meals and the meal of poorer Egyptians
                                                            will often consist of just bread and beans.
                                                            Fool, which consist of mashed fava beans, is popular,
                                                            especially at breakfast and can be served in several
Aswan – this very Nubian town is almost exactly on          variations such as with tahina (sesame seed paste)
the Tropic of Cancer, so in summer can be extremely         added to it, or the beans are used to make Falafel, a
hot; it is one of the driest inhabited places on earth. A   dish found elsewhere in the Arabic world where it is
large dam was built here in the early 1960s,                usually made from chickpeas.
Many Egyptians consider the national dish to be            Night Life- the local nightlife is based around the
Koshary, which is a mixture of rice, lentils, chickpeas
                                                           numerous coffee shops, where the men go to drink tea
and macaroni and is served with fried onions and a
spicy tomato sauce.                                        or coffee (alcohol isn‟t usually served) and smoke
                                                           shisha (waterpipe). In touristic areas the tobacco for
                                                           the shisha is available in several flavours, such as
                                                           apple, strawberry and cappuccino, whereas the
                                                           Egyptians stick to the hard stuff! Sharm el Sheikh‟s
                                                           main centre of night life is Na‟ama Bay, which has an
                                                           abundance of coffee shops, some of which serve
                                                           alcohol. Also found here are Buddha Bar, Hard Rock
                                                           Café, Camel Bar and Pacha night club. Hurghada‟s
                                                           night life is mainly in Sekalla, although there are lively
                                                           bars in other areas too. The main focal points here are
                                                           the new Hurghada Marina, which has a few bars;
                                                           Papa‟s (Ministry of Sound), Hed Kandi Bar and
                                                           Calypso (popular with Russians). Night life in Luxor is
Other popular dishes are kebab and kofta (minced           much quieter and based around the coffee shops or
meat grilled on a skewer), shawerma (similar to doner      hotels.
kebab in Turkey), or various vegetables stuffed with
spicy rice.                                                Sports – watersports are popular, especially scuba
Desserts tend to be sweet and sticky, such as kunefa,      diving and snorkelling. On land excursions into the
baklava, basbosa and so on.                                dessert are always fun, whether by jeep, camel or
Alcohol is not usually found outside of hotels and bars
                                                           quad bike. See the section below for more information
which specifically cater for international tourists.
Muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol, although        on all of these.
some do; during the month of Ramadan no Egyptian is        The Egyptians are quite fanatical about football and
allowed to purchase alcohol, regardless of his religion.   the national team is the current holder of the African
                                                           Cup. As far as domestic football is concerned, the 2
Shopping – best buys include silver- and copper-           big teams in Cairo are Al Ahly and Zamalek, and derby
ware, gold and silver jewellery, leather goods,            matches always rouse a lot of passion.
alabaster ornaments, papyrus pictures, mugs with           Horse riding is found at some hotels, but standards
pictures of the pharaohs or designs from their tombs,      vary.
waterpipes and, of course, fluffy camels. Shops in
hotels or big cities have fixed prices, whereas in
bazaars or where no price is shown it is usual to barter
and try to get the price down to a level that is
acceptable to both vendor and purchaser. Have a
price in your mind before you go and don‟t let yourself
be talked into paying more!




                                                           Most Popular Things To Do

                                                           Sea – The Red Sea is generally accepted as one of
                                                           the best areas in the world for scuba diving and
snorkelling. The waters tend to be clear, with an          Jeep safaris into the desert are also popular and
abundance of different species of fish and corals. If      enable you to enjoy the scenery in a more comfortable
you don‟t want to get wet then it is possible to see the   environment.
underwater world from a glass-bottomed boat or even
a submarine.                                               Most trips into the desert include a ride on a camel and
                                                           it‟s a great opportunity to see these magnificent
                                                           creatures at close range. You may also get a chance
                                                           to see the Bedouin people in their home environment
                                                           and see how they live. If you go to the desert at night
                                                           you will almost certainly eat a meal prepared by the
                                                           Bedouins and see them perform some kind of dancing
                                                           for you before you go and enjoy the stars at night – an
                                                           unforgettable experience.




Scuba Diving – Whether you are an experienced
diver or a complete beginner, the Red Sea is an ideal
place to dive. Many people learn to dive here, or it is
possible to save time by starting your course at home
and finish it by doing the „open water‟ dives in the Red
Sea. If you‟ve never done it before, you can do a one-
day Discover Scuba course and if you find yourself
hooked you can then upgrade to a Scuba Diver or
Open Water Diver course. Children as young as 10           Mount Sinai – for something a bit different, walk up
years old can become Junior Open Water Divers.             Mount Sinai (where Moses is said to have received the
                                                           10 commandments) over night and watch the sun rise
Qualified divers will love the diving in the Ras           across the dessert; this is only for the very fit as the
Mohamed national park and Advance Open Water               walk takes about 4 hours and is uphill in the dark over
Divers can dive the wrecks of the Thistlegorm (from        rocky terrain. However, it‟s a unique experience and
Sharm el Sehikh) or Abu Nuhas (from Hurghada).             on the way back you can visit St Catherine‟s
Real affecionados will head for Marsa Alam, where          monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the world,
there is more unspoilt diving and the famous               where the Burning Bush is found (this bush is unique
Elphinstone Reef, where divers are almost guaranteed       to here and no cuttings taken from it have ever grown
to see sharks during their dives, or Abu Dabab, where      anywhere else).
the dugong can be found.
                                                           Culture and History – the main centres for culture
Desert – The most active people will like to try quad      and history and Cairo and Luxor. If you say in Sharm
bikes in the dessert, but bear in mind that any clothes    el Sheikh or Hurghada you can visit Cairo of Luxor on
that you wear for this activity will need to be washed a   day-trips or on a 2-day visit; Cairo can also be visited
few times before they can be worn again! This is great     from Luxor. See in our Resort section for details of
fun, but be careful and make sure that you follow          both Luxor and Cairo.
safety instructions and that your insurance will cover
you for such activities.
Phrases in Arabic
                                                           Forty                  Ar-bayn
The official languageof Egypt is Arabic. Arabic is
spoken widely throughout Northern Africa and the           Fifty                  Kham-seen
Middle East, with each country having its own version
of the language. Egyptian Arabic is understood             Sixty                  Set-teen
throughout the Arabic-speaking world due mainly to its
prolific film industry. The alphabet is different to the   Seventy                Sab-ayn
British alphabet so the words below are written
                                                           Eighty                 Tem-an-ayn
phonetically and split into syllables to help you:
                                                           Ninety                 Tes-een

                                                           One hundred            May-ah

                                                           How much is this?      Bee kam?

                                                           Good morning           Sah-bah el kheehr

                                                           Good morning (reply) Sah-bah el fool

                                                           Good evening           Mas-r el kheer

                                                           Good evening (reply) Mas-r el fool

                                                           Yes                    Ay-wah

English                  Egyptian Arabic                   No                     La-a

One                      Wah-hed                           I would like …         Ayz (male) …

Two                      It-nayn                                                  Ay-zah (female

Three                    Tah-let-ah                        Water                  My-ah

Four                     Arr-bah                           Tea                    Shay

Five                     Ham-sah                           Coffee                 Ah-wah

Six                      Set-tah                           I don’t want.          Mish ay-zah

Seven                    Sah-bah                           It’s very expensive    Floos kat-eer

Eight                    Tah-man-yah                       I haven’t got any money    Man-dish floos

Nine                     Tes-sah                           I am ill               An-a ma-reed (male)

Ten                      Ah-shah-rah                                              An-a ma-ree-dah (female)

Twenty                   Ash-reen                          Where is the toilet?   Fayn el ham-em?

Thirty                   Tal-a-teen                        Where is the hospital? Fayn el moos-tosh-fahr?
 Health and Safety                                                      Safety at your holiday destination
                                                                  When you arrive, please take a little time to familiarise
                                                                  yourself with the layout of your accommodation.
     Flight safety

• Please check with the airline with regard to security                 Balcony & Glass Safety
updates and advice as to what can and cannot be packed
                                                                  • Please do not lean over, sit or climb on the balcony.
within your luggage.                                              • Children should never be left on the balcony unsupervised.
• As a general rule, do not place flammable liquids, lighters,    • Keep all balcony furniture away from the wall/railings.
matches, gasses or aerosols in your luggage.                      • Take care in bright sunlight, when exiting to a patio or
• Always carry medication in your hand luggage.                   balcony. It may not be obvious that doors/windows are
• Please pay attention to any safety briefings given by airline   closed.
staff and crew.
• To help reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT),
keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and reducing
                                                                        Pool Safety
alcohol consumption, occasionally walk around the cabin           • Familiarise yourself with the layout of the pool, the deep
and/or do some simple exercises whilst in your seat to keep       and shallow ends and any unusual features (i.e. bridges,
blood circulating. For further information refer to the           underwater features).
Department of Health website (http://www.doh.gov.uk).             • It is unlikely that your pool will have a lifeguard, so please
                                                                  take care and ensure children and non swimmers are
                                                                  supervised.
      Safety and Hygiene                                          • Observe all pool safety rules, in particular “No Diving”.
                                                                  • Please use the showers before entering the pool.
The health and safety of Youtravel.com customers is of            • Do not swim immediately after a meal or when drinking
paramount importance to us and we want to make sure you           alcohol.
have the best holiday possible. Whilst we are working with        • Pool surrounds can be slippery, so please walk around the
our accommodation suppliers to ensure the highest possible        pool area rather than run.
safety standards are maintained, please bear in mind that         • If you are suffering from an upset stomach, please avoid
safety and hygiene standards overseas may vary from those         use of the pool.
you have come to expect in the UK.
Whilst we will do our best to make sure your holiday is safe
and trouble free, we do ask for your co-operation in taking             Beach Safety
extra care while youre away. Please take the time to
familiarise yourself with your accommodation on arrival, and,     • Familiarise yourself with any flag warning system so that
if you are travelling with children highlight to them any areas   you understand when it may not be safe to swim.
where they need to take extra special care, such as               • Be aware of any strong currents or tides.
balconies or within pool areas.                                   • It is unlikely that the beach will have a lifeguard, so please
The following information has been put together with your         take care and ensure children and non swimmers are
best interests in mind and we would ask that you take some        supervised.
time to read through the advice provided. If you should have      • Do not swim near or dive from rocks, piers, breakwaters etc.
any particular requirements regarding the safety of your          • Please ensure that you are aware of any "zoned" areas that
group, please contact us for further advice. In the event of      are marked out for water sports and do not swim in these
any accident or incident during your holiday, please              areas.
immediately contact our handling agent in resort on the           • Never swim alone, at night or after drinking alcohol.
contact telephone number provided on the voucher and we           • If utilising any beach water sports ensure the organisers are
will do our best to assist you and take any corrective action     insured and offer appropriate safety advice/equipment.
necessary.

                                                                        Sun care
      Fire Safety
                                                                  • Remember to use a high factor sunscreen initially and to re-
• Familiarise yourself with the location of your nearest fire     apply it frequently
exit.                                                             • Avoid laying out in the sun during the hottest time of the
• Read any fire safety notices in your room.                      day
• Do not smoke in bed.                                            • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
• If a fire occurs, leave immediately, do not stop to collect     • Take a sunhat, sunglasses and lip salve
your personal belongings.                                         • Beware, you can still burn, dehydrate and get sunstroke in
• Proceed to an assembly point well away from the building.       the shade or in the water.
      Personal safety
• Be aware, as you would be at home - stay away from
situations where you feel uncomfortable and avoid walking in
badly lit and/or unfamiliar areas.
• Avoid carrying too much money and/or valuables on your
person – please make use of safe facilities provided.
• Always lock your room when you go out and remember to
close all windows and balconies.
• Please try not to leave accompanied young children in your
room.



      Road/Transport Safety

• Remember traffic could be traveling on the right hand side
of the road - ensure you look both ways before crossing.
• Please do not assume drivers will stop at pedestrian
crossings.
• As at home, do not drink and drive.
• Whilst overseas laws regarding mobile phones may not be
prohibitive, we recommend not using them while the vehicle
is in use.
• Four wheels are better that two – many moped or
motorbike hire outlets are inadequately insured and do not
automatically provide helmets.
• Always remember to fasten your seatbelt.
• Follow any safety briefing provided by your driver or guide.




Working in conjunction with Docleaf




                                                                 Summary
                                                                 There is no better choice for a holiday than Egypt. The
                                                                 hotels are generally to a high standard, especially
                                                                 when comparing price-wise with their European
                                                                 counterparts; sunshine is guaranteed practically every
                                                                 day of the year; the cultural sights to see are unique to
                                                                 this country and second to none; watersports
                                                                 enthusiastics can find no better destination, especially
                                                                 for scuba diving, within a 6 hour flight from their home
                                                                 country; the Egyptians are very service-oriented and
                                                                 will do whatever they can to make your holiday special.

                                                                 As you will hear people say several times during your
                                                                 visit: Welcome home.

				
DOCUMENT INFO