Many tourists wonder if it is safe to travel to Egypt. The answer is ‘Yes’, although this does not mean that one should let their guard down or forget about some general problems that are not always easy to address, at least in the short term. Therefore, on this page, we provide you with the keys to some undesirable situations, such as theft, scams, terrorism, or women’s safety.
When considering whether it’s safe to travel to Egypt, it’s important to address the issue of crime first. There are various indicators, some issued by the government and others developed by consulting firms. According to Numbeo, a reference website for comparing different aspects between countries, Egypt’s crime index is around 46 points, which is equivalent to a “Moderate Risk” rating.
Does this mean it’s safe to travel to Egypt? Yes, especially when compared to other countries with high tourism numbers. For example, those that usually make up the “Top 5” in terms of number of visitors per year:
Theft is considered a serious offense in Islam, and it is also highly frowned upon to target foreign travelers in Egypt. This is due to the country’s cultural tradition of hospitality and its reliance on tourism as a source of economic wealth.
As a result, workers in the tourism sector are usually very polite to travelers, and reasonable trust can be placed in them since in a country where employment is a highly prized asset, no one wants to risk losing it for an action that will embarrass them.
However, it’s important to remember that no one is immune to having their belongings stolen in certain situations, such as in a hotel. While theft is not common, it’s recommended to keep your passport, wallet, and cash in a safe place on your person. It’s also necessary to take extra precautions in crowded areas.
While crime is generally low in Egypt, tourists should be aware of the risk of being scammed, an act that sometimes borders on the line between cunning and crime. One area where tourists are particularly vulnerable is taxis, as some of them have not yet installed updated taximeters or they are ‘coincidentally’ out of order.
Another area where tourists may encounter scams is in antique shops and craft stores. It’s important to be discerning when distinguishing between original pieces and imitations, which are often imported from China. It’s also worth noting that attempting to export cultural and ancient goods from the country is not only a violation of UNESCO conventions, but it can also result in penalties.
Tourists may also encounter different pricing for locals and foreigners in shops and other establishments. While there may be no choice but to accept it, it’s important to ensure that the pricing is clearly specified.
It must be acknowledged that the decade of the 2010s has not been the most stable in Egypt’s history. The Egyptian Revolution of 2011, government changes, and some terrorist attacks have rocked the country and shaken international public opinion.
However, all of this served to double down on measures to protect tourists in the country.
And institutions have worked tirelessly to create a safe environment for tourists to travel to Egypt. This includes a significant deployment of resources and personnel in major tourist destinations, with the aim of promoting a climate of confidence and implementing preventive measures. Additionally, progress has also been made in national security strategies, with the advice and supervision of international specialists in the field.
For women, it is also safe to travel to Egypt, but this does not mean it is always comfortable.
In a society with deeply ingrained traditions, it can be challenging for some locals to understand why women travel alone. This may lead to personal questions and even uncomfortable interrogations. In most cases, it can be a harmless way of starting a conversation, but in other cases, it can feel like an embarrassing interrogation.
Additionally, women may be subjected to direct stares and a string of compliments, which can feel uncomfortable. It’s advisable to avoid crowds where there may be an excess of “testosterone”. Similarly, try not to enter another man’s “living space” in public and private places, as you would be creating the right conditions for touching.
As an example, all trains on the Cairo Metro have a carriage exclusively for women, a measure to prevent sexual harassment. And not with a segregating intention, as they can actually get on any other mixed carriage. It is a measure to prevent sexual harassment, which unfortunately was quite common in the past.
And we speak in the past because it must also be recognized that it is now safer for women to travel to Egypt than before. In recent years, laws and active initiatives have been promoted to eradicate sexism from Egyptian society, such as the criminalization of sexual harassment.
In any case, there is something else that is also safe: traveling to Egypt with our agency will avoid exposing yourself to unnecessary risks, whether you are a group of women or not. We understand the local population and foreign tourists and know how to act with “a gentle touch” to prevent undesirable situations.
Contact us and start planning a fascinating, enriching, and above all, safe experience.