The official language in Egypt is Standard Arabic, but the most widely spoken tongue is actually Egyptian Arabic, one of many dialects. English is widely understood, especially in larger cities, and French is quite popular, as well.
The official currency is the Egyptian pound which is divided into 100 piastres. Most major credit cards are accepted by large hotels, restaurants and shops, including Diners Club and American Express. Currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change, hotels and banks (which tend to offer the best rates). ATMs are found everywhere, even in small towns.
Egypt is on Eastern European Time, which is GMT +2.
Egypt uses electricity at 110-220V and 50Hz and Type C Europlug or Type E/F Schuko.
The country’s international dialing code is +20 and Cairo’s is +2. Roaming services are available, but check with your service provider at home before departing. There are thee main mobile companies in Egypt including Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. SIM cards can be purchased from local stores and several of the large cities have internet cafés which are easily reached. Most hotels and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi and wireless connectivity.
The duty-free regulations are largely dependent on the country of origin, but in general you’re allowed to bring 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 g of tobacco, one liter of perfume, one liter of alcohol and any other gifts not exceeding E£500.
Egyptian Tourist Authority, Cairo: +20-2-285-4509 or www.egypt.travel.
Consulates in Egypt
American Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-797-3300 Australian Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-575-0444 British Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-279-1-6000 Canadian Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-791-8700 German Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-739-9600 Greek Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-795-0443 Italian Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-794-3194 Netherlands Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-273-9-5500 Norwegian Embassy, Cairo: +20-2-273-5-8046
Emergency: 122 Tourist Police: 126 Ambulance: 123