One of the most important decisions you will have to make as an expat is where to base yourself. You want your new home to be in a safe area of your chosen country, with all the specific amenities that you need for your lifestyle. You will have to consider many aspects such as whether your preferred area is located near good schools for your children to attend, or how long your commute to work would be. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about Cairo, as the traffic there is insane! This decision can be difficult if you’re moving to a country that you have never stepped foot in before; how can you possibly start to guess which areas would be safest or most centrally located?Luckily, we live in a day and age where the internet is readily available to help you figure out such things! There are hundreds of forums you can read through and join where people will discuss the ins and outs of expat life in just about any village, town or city in the world. Most importantly, there are website like Expat Focus that are dedicated to helping you weather the storms of expat life. This is why we compile guides on all of your frequently asked questions, such as this piece, which will help you decide whereabouts in Cairo to settle down.
Where Is Best For You In Cairo?
There are various contributing factors to keep in mind when searching for your ideal location in Cairo. For example, heavy traffic means you likely won’t want to face a long commute to and from work, so where to live may largely depend on where you work. Alternatively, if you have children, you may want to select a location within easy access of your chosen school, or at least in area where there are plenty of good schools to choose from.
Many expats in Cairo choose to live in gated communities, which will typically be a walled housing estate that features various properties such as luxury apartment buildings, townhouses or villas. This estate will have controlled entry and often 24-hour security. Many expats choose to live in gated communities because they consider this the safest option. However, this will also be considerably more expensive than an apartment in a regular neighbourhood.
Some popular gated communities in Cairo include:
This is a popular community with excellent sports facilities on site including a golf course, tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool, and a fully equipped gym. There is also a supermarket, bank and clinic as well as various restaurants. Many people have said that it is a beautiful and well-designed place to live with lovely green spaces.
Palm Hills have developed several exclusive gated communities, which are often characterised by terracotta villas, beautifully designed pools and perfectly manicured lawns. They feature every kind of amenity you could possibly need, including state of the art recreational venues and luxurious members-only club houses.
This community: “offers you a lifestyle with the quality of life you dream of”. It’s situated across 141 acres in the heart of New Cairo and features a shopping mall with over 1,700 stores. There are several quality clubhouses to choose from, and it boasts a variety of stylish living spaces ranging from luxury apartment and townhouses to twin houses and villas.
When it comes to choosing neighbourhoods in Cairo, your personal circumstances and preferences will determine the best spot for you. Some neighbourhoods have a high population of expats such as El Rehab City, Doki, Nasr city, and 6th October City to name a few. These are among the most popular:
This is possibly the most popular expat neighbourhood. It’s close to several good international schools, has a large expat community and good social clubs with green areas that even include a lake and horse riding facilities. Maadi is widely regarded as one of the best social scenes for expats in Cairo, which may particularly suit young single people.
This is considered a sophisticated neighbourhood which also has excellent social clubs and some good international primary schools, ideal for families with young children. There are also lovely green spaces, shopping malls, and various other facilities close to hand.
If you’re looking for a more downtown location, Zamalek is a nice island located on the Nile yet still very central. It’s widely considered a great place to live, with lots to do, including many wonderful restaurants, coffee places, yoga studios and bookstores.
This is a historical district close to the Cairo International Airport. You can find all sorts of amenities here such as cinemas, shopping and restaurants, plus charming historical monuments, beautiful mosques and churches.
We hope that this guide has given you an insight into expat life in the Egyptian city of Cairo and provided all the information you need when considering which of Cairo’s expat neighbourhoods would be best suited to you. Our aim is to compile informative guides that can help our wonderful and ever-growing community of expats find their way. We wish you every success and happiness in your upcoming move and adventure into expat life.