Egypt

Arab Republic of Egypt | جمهورية مصر العربية

Updated: 28 November 2015. Click through the tabs below to learn more.

Egypt is a country on the northeast corner of the African continent. It is bordered in the north by the Mediterranean Sea, Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Libya to the west, and Sudan to the south. The famous Nile River, the north-flowing longest river in the world, flows through Egypt last on its ten-country tour before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt is that quintessential dream destination for most travelers, because it provides so many things to see, do, taste, and explore. For tourist who want great photo-ops, take the standard tour through the Nile River, or check out the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids. For the more adventurous trekkers, why not dive the Red Sea or go on a Bedouin safari? And for those culturally-intrigued, Egypt is often considered to be included in the westernmost parts of the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of civilization. Thousands of years of history is yours to learn, research, and discover.

Egypt is a desert, for the most part, and the main concern throughout the land is the heat. Most large cities are situated along the Nile River, and they flourish primarily due to its proximity.

English is widely understood in Egypt, while French is also understood in educated circles. Arabic, however, is the national and official language of the people.

Key Points

Capital: Cairo

Population: 89.9 million (2015 estimate)

Language(s): Arabic

President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Prime Minister: Sherif Ismail

Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)

Area: 1,002,450 km2 (387,048 mi2)

Dialing Code: +20

Time Zone: Eastern European Time (UTC+2, No DST)

Country Code (ISO): EG

For the Travelers

Demonym: Egyptian (what’s this?)

Endonym: مِصر‎ [Miṣr]
(their name for their country)
Emergency Dialing Code: 122 (police); 123 (ambulance)

Drinking Age: 21

Smoking Age: 18

Age of Consent: 18

Drives on the: Right

Electricity & Adapter: 220 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / F (define)

Do I need a visa? Find out the requirements over at VisaHQ »

Holidays

  • 1 Muharram (varies) – Islamic New Year
  • 7 Jan – Christmas
  • 25 Jan – National Police Day
  • 25 Jan – 2011 Revolution Day
  • 25 Apr – Sinai Liberation Day
  • Apr/May (varies) – Sham El Nessim (Spring festival)
  • 1 May – Labor Day
  • 23 Jul – Revolution Day
  • 6 Oct – Armed Forces Day
  • 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal (varies) – Mawlid/Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
  • 1-3 Shawwal (varies) – Eid al-Fitr
  • 10-13 Zul-Higga (varies) – Eid al-Adha/end of Hajj

* The “varies” dates often correspond to the Islamic Hijri calendar, which is lunar-based, rather than the Gregorian.

Historical

7000 BCE – First settlement of Nile region.

3000 BCE – Upper and Lower Egyptian Kingdoms combine.

332 BCE – Alexander the Great conquers Egypt, founds Alexandria.

969 CE – Cairo becomes capital.

1869 – Suez Canal completed.

1882 – Egypt taken over by the British.

1954 – British completely leave Egypt.

1967 – Tensions with Israel cause Israel to strike and seize Sinai Peninsula.

1981 –  Hosni Mubarak assumes leadership.

2011 – Mubarak steps down during “Arab Spring.”

2014 – New constitution, which bans political parties based on religion.

Culture

Cuisine

Egypt Flag

Key Cities & Regions

Cairo (capital)

Luxor

Aswan

Alexandria

Taba

Abu-Simbel

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