Topics include Transportation, Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
For UK residents, the FCO's current warning state is at FCO for visitors to Egypt and varies across the country with the Sinai generally being at a higher risk level and urging Britons against travel to the Sinai region, after a recent spate of militant attacks.
Sharm el-Sheikh is on the southern tip of the SInai peninsula and is coloured in Green (as opposed to Orange or Red) as well as Cairo and Alexandria, in fact most of Egypt Is now Green on the FCO website and considered as relatively safe compared to other regions although it is recommended to read the security advice.
Its website states:-
- Attacks could be indiscriminate and could occur without prior warning in high risk areas (See Orange and red areas on FCO Website). Terrorists could target protestors and the Egyptian authorities. Attacks have mainly been aimed at the Egyptian security forces, their facilities and other government buildings. You should take great care near these buildings.
Attacks targeting foreigners in tourist resorts and elsewhere can’t be ruled out completely... But this could really apply to any country in the world, although Egypt is not a gun licensed nation.
In reality the Egyptian people are very welcoming and kind to tourists and that is generally the more common experience.
The advice currently (Jul 2014) warns against all travel to north Sinai, where there have been attacks on security on the Gaza/israeli border including one which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and a bus with 3 Korean tourists in February 2014
Egypt has been trying to rebuild its tourism industry after last year's widespread unrest ended the long rule of Hosni Murbarak's military dictatorship and is currently under a similar style Presient Sisi military dictatorship, and therefore nothing much has changed in Egypt. It is the same as it was 10 or 20 years ago. Egypt has not changed much really since the revolution as it has gone full circle back to military dictatorship.In general, Egypt is a safe country to travel. Egyptians are very friendly - if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able, more than any one can imagine. For example, if you take a taxi from Cairo to Alexandria, you will be stopped at a checkpoint before leaving Cairo. They will ask where you are going, and communicate with the checkpoint at Alexandria to make sure you reach your destination within a certain time period. The same goes for most trips into the desert. There are also several checkpoints from Cairo to Sharm el Shiekh when traveling by coach. Military officials get on the coach and check passports to ensure safety for tourists and check the identity of anyone travelling to that region.
As for casual crime (muggings and robberies), Egypt is quite safe. As for pickpocketing, really the problem is probably no greater than it is in most Western cities. In Egypt the problem of cheating and scams when buying in tourist places, this is likely to be doubling the price but is still relatively cheap with the exchange rate being 12 Egyptian pounds to 1 pound sterling...the tourist will find Egypt a bargain, hotel prices are extremely affordable and travellers can enjoy 5 star luxury at unrivalled prices . Hotel staff go out of their way to ensure your stay be a pleasant and memorable experience . Cairo has everything to offer and more. It is more exciting than a number of big cities and is surprisingly very pleasantly cosmopolitan.
You will find the security situation in Egypt (as in many countries) is frequently exaggerated by Western media outlets, creating a negative impressions that is somewhat amplified by the heavy-handed policies of Egyptian authorities in keeping tourists safe. The reality is that travelling in Egypt is probably more safe, than visiting most Western capitals!
Egypt relies heavily on foreign tourism for its national income and both Egyptians and their government are extremely keen to prevent any occurrence that might create a bad impression and keep tourists away. Tourism is one of the country's most important sources of hard currency, and besides not wanting any untoward incidents, Egypt is very pragmatic and wants in no way to jeopardize a vital economic benefit. Post script: the above appraisal is not accurately dated. The danger level changes depending on the date one is reviewing it. Currently the danger level in most of Egypt is coloured Green on FCO UK which is SAFE.
Egypt has a lot to offer tourists and in general is safe and welcoming to tourists. In many ways it is the same as it was 10 years ago, it is still safe to walk at night as the big cities come alive and most Egyptians start socialising after 10pm at night, all the restaurants and cafes are open late. It is safe to ride taxi's and especially airport and hotel taxi's go through high security checks. Most taxi drivers in Egypt are graduates and over qualified, as are most service sector industries. The majority of Egyptians are courteous and polite and friendly and extremely helpful and kind especially to tourists. Tourist destinations are also safe to visit with the vast majority of tourists having no problems and only positive experiences.