Get useful expat articles, health and financial news, social media recommendations and more in your inbox each month - free!

We respect your privacy - we don't spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

±Compare Expat Providers

Expat Health Insurance Quotes

Foreign Currency Exchange Quotes

International Moving Quotes

We're very social! Follow Expat Focus on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+

Expat Focus Facebook PageExpat Focus on TwitterExpat Focus Pinterest PageExpat Focus Google+ Page

Notify me when new content is added about a country

±Expat Focus Partners

Business Culture

Egypt - Business Culture

You must have an Egyptian business agent in order to conduct business in Egypt. They will help you to make contacts, and provide advice and guidance on the business culture. Additionally, these hints and tips can help.

Most Egyptians are Muslim, and when visiting you should be respectful of Islamic values and practices. The normal Egyptian working week is from Saturday to Wednesday. Meetings should be scheduled shortly before your trip, and confirmed on arrival. Be prepared for your Egyptian contacts may be late as punctuality is not regarded as important here.

Arabic is the main language, although many Egyptians also speak English or French. Written material should be provided in both Arabic and English, and documents should include the Gregorian and the Arabic date.

Both men and women should dress very modestly for meetings, ensuring that most of the body is covered. Handshakes are commonly used as a greeting between men, although Egyptians will also often kiss close friends on the cheek. It is normal practice for Egyptian men to walk hand in hand.

Egypt is a status-conscious society, and titles are important. You should always address Egyptians by any professional title, such as doctor or professor, or by Mr or Mrs followed by their family name.

Business and personal lives are very closely intertwined in Egyptian culture, and Egyptians place great importance on getting to know their business contacts personally. Business discussions are often interspersed with small talk, and it is commonplace for meetings to be interrupted by personal visitors.

In negotiations, remember the important of building up trust and a good personal relationship. It is a good idea to stress the mutual benefits of your proposals, but avoid high-pressure sell tactics and don't try to hurry things along - Egyptians typically work at a slow pace.

If visiting during Ramadan, you should avoid eating or drinking in front of your hosts who will be fasting. You should also be aware that Muslims are prohibited from drinking alcohol or eating pork. Don't eat or pass things with your left hand, as this is considered unclean in Muslim culture. Pointing is rude, and the "thumbs up" sign is very offensive here.

If you are invited to the home of an Egyptian, it is appropriate to take a small edible gift, such as sweets or pastries. Flowers should not be given as a gift as they are associated with funerals.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.


Health is your number one priority. At Aviva we understand this, which is why we’re focused on helping you and your family access high quality healthcare at home or overseas. Our award winning medical insurance will help you get the treatment you need or simply provide guidance and advice wherever you are, 24/7.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.