A ? For Those Who Have Lived In Egypt For A Year

Discussion in 'Egyptian Lounge' started by Organics1, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi All,

    I am half Portuguese, half Egyptian and about a year ago I decided that I had had enough of working 12-13 hour days, high crime, terrible weather and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, London!

    We made the decision to move to Portugal over Egypt for personal reasons and after living here for 7 months now we're not sure we've made the right decision.

    As beautiful as the country is, weather, beaches, countryside etc, and the much more relaxed way of life, I honestly don't know that if we knew then what we know now about living here, wether or not we would have decided to come to Portugal and may have opted for Egypt or somewhere else. Living in the UK you take a lot of things for granted which aren't really appreciated until you've experienced living elsewhere and I'm wondering if people have experienced the same feelings.

    I won't go through all my reasons for this but lets just say small country, small minded!

    I would like to hear from people who have moved to Egypt from the UK and lived there for a year or so.

    If you knew then what you knew now would you have still made the move?

    What have been the pros and cons?

    What made you choose Egypt and is it a love hate relationship with the country?

    I am particularly interested to hear from those of you who decided to make the move without any connections there, i.e business already up and running or moved there for work, your husband/wife is Egyptian with family there etc, etc.

    Now that you're out there what do you do for work and how do you fill your days.

    I really enjoy reading this forum but I sometimes feel that it is very heavily weighted towards singing the praises of Egypt (Red Sea) and if that's the case then great but I would like to get some honest opinions from expat residents about real life in Egypt.

    We are considering Egypt as an option now but obviously don't want to make the same mistake twice and would love to hear from some of you.

    Thanks in Advance.
  2. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    I don't fit your bill at all so can't really offer comment. I'm an English woman, married to an Egyptian and living in the Middle East (Bahrain). All I can add is that for me - having lived abroad for years - I miss the UK dreadfully when I'm away, though there's so much I hate about it too. I think that it takes more than a year to truly settle anywhere - longer if you don't want to be there in the first place!! I think that we'll eventually compromise and end up living in neither my or my husbands country.

    Anyway, the reason for my post is to let you know about our sister forum which is aimed at expats rather than investors or those buying for holiday use. You might get more answers there : http://www.expatforum.com/expats/egypt-expat-forum-expats-living-egypt/

    Very best wishes
  3. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your comments they're greatly appreciated.

    I will take a look at your sister site.

    Kind regards
  4. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    You're very welcome :)
  5. Georgina

    Georgina New Member

    I came to Egypt just to buy my property. I then returned to the UK and was stuck in England going crazy knowing I had an apartment in a beautiful place like El Gouna. So I rented out my house in Surrey and moved here permanently back in 2004. I love every minute of it. I love Egypt and I love the Egyptian people. I think my lifestyle is much healthier living here. I don't have the temptation of all the convenience food that I used to live on in the UK. Fruit and vegetables are so cheap. I have time to make my own juices and soups. I chose El Gouna so that I wouldn't need a car and could walk everywhere. I feel safe everywhere I go. It is rare to see any aggression here. OK maybe driving on the streets of Cairo. The atmosphere after Egypt won the Cup of African Nations football was priceless. Everyone was dancing and singing in the streets Login | Facebook
    not like some of the European football matches!

    I am lucky that I get my income from my property rental in the UK and don't need to work so much. I think most jobs here are long hours and running a business frustrating. Rents on shops and offices can be increased overnight. In El Gouna there are quite a few rules about what you can and cannot do and then one person can say one thing and another something else. But generally I think the European business owners here are very happy.

    I love the fact I can call for a plumber, electrician or carpenter in El Gouna and they come out within an hour and only charge around LE10 for a small job. The bills I get from my house in the UK are unbelievable.

    I love the climate. Up to 37 degrees here is very pleasant I think, if you don't have too much body fat! The humidity is low. I think location is important as the wind always comes from the north and in the winter it is a cold wind. If you have a villa facing the lagoon looking north it is great in the summer but bear in mind parties are hard work if there is no escape from the wind. And in the winter it is good to build a nice sitting area at the front of the house to get the sun and get out of the wind. In a built up area like Hurghada it probably is not a problem.

    I also like having all the medical facilities at the El Gouna hospital. Just turn up or book in advance and get everything done so cheaply. No three months to wait for an appointment or whatever it is like in the UK now.

    I hate the roads and standard of driving which is why I chose El Gouna so that I can walk! I would not want to travel on the main Hurghada/Cairo road everyday. Even in El Gouna there are a lot of accidents. And there is no control over the drinking and driving so it is scary to see how drunk people can get and still drive their cars, even when they are incapable of getting in the door or finding it parked right under their nose.

    There is also a lack of health and safety here. No breathing protection, safety equipment, hard hats, etc. Very low wages.

    And as more and more Europeans invest here the price of everything seems to be going up at alarming rates. Eating out in one of the restaurants in Hurghada marina the other day was surprising to pay El Gouna prices.

    So my personal view is based on El Gouna only really. I did live in a friend's villa for a while inbetween El Gouna and Hurghada. Stunning villa with fruit garden, private beach and swimming pool and amazing views. But I missed not having anywhere to walk apart from along a beach full of construction. I missed not having any shops nearby for when I ran out of milk and having to drive all the time, especially at night when the roads are far more dangerous. And the mossies were really bad there. And the shop owners are not allowed to hassle you in El Gouna so I don't get scarves and gallabayas laid on my should as I walk past every shop. If I do I just keep walking anyway :)

    I don't think anywhere in the world will be perfect but for me Egypt comes close but everyone is different. A lot of people would go crazy living my lifestyle. I love being at home. I have wonderful views from my place. I love going out socialising and we have the climate to do that. There are always different visitors here having villa parties or dinner parties or lunches. There is always someone to meet for breakfast or to relax on the beach or go shopping in Hurghada with. There is every sporting activity to do. There are always friends with boats which is far cheaper than the stress and cost of owning your own :) We have a new open air cinema, we have dance classes and exercise classes. A lot of residents say they miss the culture of theatre and arts, etc. but this just needs someone to organise it. So, I have found what I was looking for. I hope you do too :cool:
  6. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    As always G, a brilliant post - you almost converted me. I have always said that if we had to live in Egypt I could be happy in El Gouna but I can't see us being able to afford it. Basically because in retirement, I want a house and garden, not a flat.
  7. Organics1

    Organics1 New Member

    Dear Georgina,

    WOW! what a great post. Thank you so much

    It's great to hear from someone who has been there as long as you have and still loves it.

    I agree from what I can see El Gouna does sound like the place to live if you're moving to The Red Sea but unless something cheap comes along I don't see how I can afford it.

    Did your friend go through with that purchase?

    I do know one thing, I'll certainly be dropping you a line when we next make the trip (which might be very soon) to meet up. If you don't mind that is :)

    Kind regards
  8. Georgina

    Georgina New Member

    Shukran ya habibiti.

    Plenty of villas here with gardens. But they are getting so expensive.
  9. Georgina

    Georgina New Member

    Yes the purchase is still going ahead as far as I know. She has gone back to the UK to get the money.

    It would be a pleasure to meet up :)
  10. vix

    vix New Member

    What about properties in non touristy areas, any one looked into that?
  11. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    We'll be looking in the Cairo area when we go later this year. Hopefully it'll just be for investment as I don't in the least fancy living there!
  12. vix

    vix New Member

    No I wouldn't fancy Cairo for myself, would consider a buy to let tho.
  13. Lsab

    Lsab New Member

    I'll let you know our 'findings' when we get back. We'll go sometime after Ramadan but obviously I'll 'speak' to you before then!!
  14. propertastic

    propertastic New Member

    That certainly is not an option for the faint-hearted.

    The first three months here was still spent in very-touristy Hurghada, but in the back streets behind the Sheraton Road. For the first six weeks, it was kind of cool to be amongst the locals, buit it got very tiring, very quickly and we moved straight into the santuary of a touristy development (Hurghada Marina) as soon as the rental agreement was up.

    Another thing to bear in mind for anyone buying an existing property not in a compound is to ask yourself what you're going to do when something goes wrong (which is often does in Egypt). It's never anything major - leaking aircon, leaking boiler, gas leak from the cooker, internet down, etc.) When you're in a compound, there's always someone on hand to fix these minor issues. But if you were outside the main tourist spots where it's hard to find anyone speaking English, even the smallest problem would become a major exercise to get fixed.
  15. vix

    vix New Member

    I'm thinking more for the price tag really. Not too concerned about other issues, having been married to an Arab for many years, and lived amongst locals, but not in Egypt. Even so, as you say, theres still a lot to be considered.

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