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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Egypt Travel Requirements

Obtain visa in advance unless you are traveling only to the Eastern Coast of Sinai from the Taba Terminal (10 km. south of Eilat). Unless you are an Israeli citizen, you can pick up your passport with the visa the same day, provided you brought it in the morning. Israeli citizens must wait 7-10 days.

If you are an outsider,it is best to obtain a visa in a consulate or embassy in your home country, however it is also possible to obtain them upon arrival at Cairo International Airport.

Passport is valid for at least 6 months and is required by all.

The currency for the Egyptian are Egyptian Pound (EĢ) = 100 piastres. Notes are in denominations of EĢ100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 25, 20, 10 and 5 piastres.

Credit cards
MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques:
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.

Currency restrictions
The import or export of local currency is limited to EĢ1000. There are no restrictions on the import or export of foreign currency as long as it is declared in an official customs form.

Banking hours
The banking hours are Sunday to Thursday, 8.30 am to 2 pm.

Social Conventions
The dominant influence of Islam and many traditional customs and beliefs are tied up with religion. The Egyptians are generally courteous and hospitable thus expects similar respect from visitors. The form of handshaking will suffice as a greeting. Woman should dress conservatively and not wear revealing clothes, particularly when in religious buildings and in towns, because of the strong influence of religion.

The Western style of dress is accepted in the modern nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars of bigger towns.

Getting There
The national airline is Egypt Air (MS). All main carriers service throughout Egypt. Charter services fly direct from Gatwick to Egypt.

The main coastal ports are Alexandria, Port Said and Suez. A car ferry service is also availabel from port to port.

There are two border crossings between Israel and Egypt: one runs from Cairo via El Arish to Rafiah on the north Sinai coast, and the other from Cairo via Suez and Taba to Eilat. Daily coaches leave early in the morning. Passengers in taxis and rented cars are not permitted to cross the borders between Israel and Egypt. Privately owned vehicles may be taken across the border, provided the appropriate documentation is obtained. Visas should normally be obtained in advance; however, travellers entering Egypt via Taba may be able to obtain visas at the border.

Getting Around
Egypt Air operates daily flights between Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, New Valley, and Hurghada.

There is a steamer service that provides daily ferry service from cities. The traditional Nile sailing boats or better known as feluccas, can be hired by the hour for a more relaxed sailing on the Nile. There are over 160 individually-owned boats of all categories operating on the Nile.

Rail A comprehensive rail network offering a high standard of service is operated along the eastwest axis from Sallom on the Libyan border to Alexandria and Cairo, and along the Nile to Luxor and Aswan. There are also links to Port Said and Suez. There are frequent trains from Cairo to Alexandria, and also several luxury air-conditioned day and night trains with sleeping and restaurant cars from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan for the Nile Valley tourist trade. For the overnight train, bookings should be made one week in advance through a travel agent or call:
Tel: (2) 414 5801, for further information.

Drivers drive on the right side of the road. Besides the Nile Valley and Delta, which holds an extensive road network, there are paved roads along the Mediterranean and African Red Sea coasts. The speed limit is usually 90kph (56mph) on motorways and 100kph (62mph) on the desert motorway. Private motoring in the desert regions is not recommended without suitable vehicles and a guide.

The national bus system serves the Nile Valley and the coastal road. Main routes are from Cairo to St Catherine, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Ras Sudr, El-Tour, Taba and Rafah; from Suez to El-Tour and Sharm el-Sheikh; and from Sharm el-Sheikh to Taba, Neweiba, El-Tour, Dahab and St Catherine.

Taxis are available in the larger cities and are metered. Long-distance group taxis for all destinations are cheap, although fares should be agreed in advance.

Visitor's own International Driving Permit are required to drive any motor vehicle. All vehicles including motorcycles are required by law to carry a fire extinguisher and a red hazard triangle.

Duty Free
The following goods may be imported into Egypt without incurring customs duty:
(a)200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.
(b)1 liter of alcoholic beverages.
(c)A reasonable amount of perfume and 1 liter of eau de cologne.

Prohibited items
The items are: narcotics, firearms and cotton; for a full list, contact the Egyptian State Tourist Office.

Tipping worth 10-12% is added to hotel and restaurant bills but an extra tip of 5% is normal. Taxi drivers generally expect 10%.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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