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Cairo | Lifestyle on the sands

While Egypt’s rolling desert landscape and iconic ancient pyramids are on many a travel bucket list, the country isn’t most obvious choice for people looking to relocate. In reality, though Egypt has just that much to offer expats as it has got for tourists.

Those who move to Egypt tend to be engaging, active, adventurous and interested in communicating to communities and interacting with Egyptian culture and people. Teachers, writers, volunteers and NGO workers are all interwoven into Egyptian society, making for a truly interesting expat experience.

That being said, expats considering moving to Egypt should pay special attention to country’s safety and political situation. Though not characteristically unsafe, riots and violence have become a problem in country since 2011.

Most expats coming to Egypt end up moving to Cairo, a metropolis where the malaise of city can prove intimidating. Close quarters, pollution and noise can seem inescapable in the endless city sprawl if expats aren’t adequately prepared. Women used to western culture often find the transition to Egypt’s somewhat patriarchal society difficult, although far so less than other Islamic countries.

For the most part though, Cairo makes for a unique expat destination, and it is usually curiosity or love that draws expats to stay rather than financial promise or luxury living. Although the country has its business incentives, it isn’t an internationally recognized industrial center. Still, entrepreneurs may find new emerging markets and opportunities, as the country is actively promoting itself on a global front.

People should have no problem in finding accommodations in Egypt. Options range from simple studios to fully furnished condos and large villas. Getting around Egypt can be an adventure as there are varied modes of transportation available, from overcrowded buses and minivans to first-class trains. A modern subway system helps commuters get around Cairo and avoid traffic congestion. Expats without the patience to deal with public transport in Egypt have always got an option to hire a private car with a driver.

Those moving to Cairo with children will be pleased to find there are a number of good international schools. These offer students the opportunity to continue studying the curriculum of their home countries.

Ultimately, people moving to Cairo with a sense of curiosity and adventure are most likely to have a satisfying experience. For those with an open mind, Egypt holds much to discover.

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