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Is Egypt Safe?

Sunset in Sharm El Sheikh Luxor's dawn balloon rides take off The Red Sea is beautifully warm, all year long.
Sunset in Sharm El Sheikh Luxor's dawn balloon rides take off The Red Sea is beautifully warm, all year long.

Egypt travel news Information

At time of writing the Foreign office advises against all but essential travel to Sinai north of the Suez-Taba road. This does not affect holidays to South Sinai resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab. 29/08/12

Please check the Foreign Office website for up to the minute recent information about travel to Egypt.

After alarming images appeared on the world’s television screens during last year’s Arab Spring, rioting and violence in Egypt captured the attention of world media institutions. Which inevitably lead to the question, “is Egypt safe?”

The short answer is “yes.” The easyJet holidays website only sells holidays to Egypt’s self-contained Red Sea resorts, but read on for more information on general safety in Egypt, as well as where to find the most up to date information for yourself.

Egypt has always been a popular tourist destination for European holidaymakers. For probably thousands of years Egypt’s colossal ancient monuments, golden deserts and glorious beaches have inspired from afar, attracting new visitors every year in their millions.

Visitors will be relieved to know that as of the beginning of 2012 the political situation in Egypt had stabilised, gradually the country is getting back to normal.

New Egyptian minister of interior affairs, Mr Mansour Al Esewy, recently declared that all the policemen, including the tourism police, are back policing streets as before. All important for tourists visiting Egypt for the first time; all museums, monuments and archaeological sites have reopened, reverting back to their traditional opening times. (You may even find popular sights to be quieter, all the better for enjoying them!)

In spite of relative political stability, there are some basic rules which all visitors to Egypt should abide by:

  • On holiday in any country you should be aware of your surroundings
  • Travellers are advised to read up on their chosen destination, ensuring they know of any necessary precautions before arriving in that country – this includes fco.gov.uk Travel advice
  • Be especially cautious around crowds, taking care to keep valuables out of view and/or reach of pickpockets
  • EU nationals should avoid demonstrations and carry passport identification at all times.

See the Foreign Office website for information on recent events in Egypt.

After the events of the Arab Spring, security checks and procedures have naturally been tightened and everyone will need to pay attention to police and military checks at random intervals. These security checks will largely take place in Cairo and in the southern half of the country but the coastal tourist resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada were completely unaffected by the riots and remain a popular and lively tourist destination. As these resorts are essentially western enclaves in an otherwise conservative society it is important to remember these are not representative of the country at large.

Women should still dress modestly at all times and should avoid travelling alone. Couples should also be aware that public displays of affection are severely frowned upon in Egypt. What may be acceptable in the tourist resort areas will likely attract stares in Cairo and other traditional regions of Egypt.

Walking alone at night in Cairo is not advised. Whilst the same applies if you are relaxing in the Red Sea regions, in for example Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada, staying together and sticking to the main tourist areas will ensure the majority of visitors will be able to have a safe and secure holiday in the region.

Likewise some common sense never goes amiss and while you will need passport identification at all times, all other valuables should be kept securely inside a hotel safe and displaying wealth in public is generally frowned upon. Therefore discretion is advised when using multi-media equipment such as laptops and smartphones.

If you take the correct precautions Egypt remains one of the most fascinating and beautiful countries to visit on a holiday. Since it is still recovering from political instability, visitors should expect some restrictions on their movement but with some common sense and a bit of research into where you’re going, no one should be deterred from visiting one of the world’s greatest ever civilisations on a holiday to Egypt.

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