Sharm El Sheikh Local Customs

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    The shisha man
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Most Recent Local Customs in Sharm El Sheikh

  • catherineneill's Profile Photo

    shopping

    by catherineneill Written Jan 1, 2006

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    when you're shopping you will be pulled into every kind of shop (mostly perfum) and be offered 'some egyptian traditional hospitaliTEA' - a funny flavoured tea in a glass. we did this in every shop but never bought anything. they told us it was rude to not accept, i am not sure if this is a custom or if it was just to hold us hostage until we bought something.

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  • catherineneill's Profile Photo

    customs

    by catherineneill Updated Dec 25, 2005

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    We were a little worried about dress code etc, but sharm el sheikh is just like any other european holiday resort. If you are a young girl you will get attention whatever way you dress, so we just dressed normally, but didnt walk around in bikini tops in town like you could do in spain.
    going to cairo we dressed conservatively, but even then we were pointed at and stared at. if you get any hastle just ignore, if they are looking for money say 'mafeesh fluss', or if they are persistent a good *** off will do (utrukni wa schani)

    remember -
    if shaking hands shake with the right. the left is unclean, ame goes for eating in traditional retaurants.
    women do not normally shake hands with men, and tis could cause offence. however, in sharm they are a lot more relaxed.

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  • pickle05's Profile Photo

    Haggling

    by pickle05 Written Sep 17, 2005

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    Obviously one of the main things about shopping in Egypt is the custom of haggling. The shopkeepers will offer a ridiculous price for a product and you should give something way way below this!

    We bought an underwater camera from a local shop near to our hotel for LE100 (this was after a LOT of haggling), however, we went to the Kodak shop in Naama Bay where they were priced on the shelves at LE75.... !

    I suppose a lot of the local shopkeepers perhaps don't make as much as the ones based centrally so I don't blame them for trying to make a bit more money out of the tourists!

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  • Kaz_and_Soph's Profile Photo

    Language

    by Kaz_and_Soph Written Aug 23, 2005

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    in eygpt it would be ideal to learn some basoc arabic just to get you by as sometimes you need to get rid of pushy salesmen etc. here is some to get you started:
    Hello = Ahalan
    Thank you = shokran
    Please = Min Fadilak
    Excuse me = Ann Eazinak
    Good = Taib/ Bikair
    Bad = Saia/ Mosh Bikair
    Do you speak English?= tatakalam Inglesi?
    How much is this? = bikam hatha?
    It is too expensive = ghalia katheer
    these are some usefull phrases that should get you well one your way :D

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  • cherrybug's Profile Photo

    Ramadan

    by cherrybug Written Jul 27, 2005

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    We visited Egypt in Ramadan. This didn't affect us at all in Sharm El Sheik because it is catered so well for foreign tourists. When in Cairo we got a much better insight the sense of community and celebration associated with Ramadan.
    We sat on the pavement edge in Cairo in front of a square filled with tables. The tables were surrounded by the local people who were preparing for the setting of the sun. At that moment the square burst into a flurry of conversation and laughter and passing dishes of food and filling glasses. The sense of togetherness was amazing.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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  • xxsummerstarzxx's Profile Photo

    It's A Cover Up!

    by xxsummerstarzxx Written Jun 22, 2005

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    Kelly the Green Godess!

    If you are fortunate enough to take a trip to Cairo, its worth remebering to take a long sleeved top/jacket with you if you plan to visit a Mosque. You will be required to cover your shoulders and your legs girls! They dont apply the same rules to the men by the way!

    Don't worry too much if you forget the appropriate clothing as they will provide you with a long robe. Be warned though they are thick and heavy and Egypt, especially Cairo is HOT! I didn't have to wear one but a few in our party did.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Religious Travel

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  • LisaMJ's Profile Photo

    Keep yourself covered!

    by LisaMJ Updated May 26, 2005

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    At the Hyatt, there was no topless sunbathing allowed by the pools. It was, however, apparently allowed on the beaches, even though I didn't actually see anyone doing it. It seems it was a respectful crowd while we were there.

    I really wish the hotel would just ban topless sunbathing full stop and not have to bow down to the tourists. Is someone really not going to visit Sharm El Sheikh because they can't get their boobs out??!! If so, it could do without people like that anyway!

    And while we are on the subject, some male tourists in Naama Bay walked round without their shirts on in the evenings. This isn't the Costas for goodness sake! Have some damn pride and respect!

    Okay, I'll climb off my soap box!

    At the end of the day, Egypt is a Muslim country, and topless sunbathing is therefore offensive.

    Please have some respect for the country and it's people, and keep your bikinis on.

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  • joolssss's Profile Photo

    Holding hands

    by joolssss Written Mar 2, 2005

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    Holding Hands

    Its very common and normal to see Egyptian guys holding hands, sometimes they hug and give each other a kiss too, in fact muh more so than a man and a woman. This is a sign of friendship, Do not make the mistake of thinking they are gay, as they will take great offence at this! If you have kids, it may be wise to mention this to them before they see them in the street and comment very loudly! hehe!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Family Travel

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  • belgrade03's Profile Photo

    Bargaining

    by belgrade03 Written Nov 14, 2004

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    Old market in Sharm

    It is a local custom to bargain for everything in Egypt, from taxi drive to buying water. But I have noticed that in Naama Bay people are different, they don't bargain, the sellers offer usually only one discount cof about 10% and the buyers agree thinking they have made a good deal. For much lower prices and real bargaining go to the Old Market.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • Tripack's Profile Photo

    Shisha pause...

    by Tripack Written Sep 25, 2004

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    Try the shisha experience. People relax and smoke their shisha (traditional water pipe) while chatting about the experiences of the day. Tobacco for the shisha exists in various flavours, such like apple, strawberry, vanilla... which give a fruity smell and taste. Just smoke it...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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  • joolssss's Profile Photo

    tip tip tip

    by joolssss Written Apr 23, 2004

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    My daughter and her favourite waiter

    it is customary here to tip for EVERYTHING, you tip your waiters, your cleaners, your tour guides, anyone that offers you a service expects a tip. Be careful at the airport though as they just grab your suitcase off the baggge reclaim belt and expect tipping for it, there sometimes you have to be strict and say no.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • ratherton's Profile Photo

    Shisha Pipe

    by ratherton Written Mar 1, 2004

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    Shisha tent at our hotel

    The Shisha is a Middle East smoking tradition that began hundreds of years ago before the onslaught of cigarette companies.

    The Shisha is known by different names in different countries. It is a pipe with a long, flexible stem. The smoke is cooled by being made to pass through water.

    You can buy these all over the place in Sharm and there are plenty of outside cafes where you can try out first. Even our hotel had a tent where you could relax and smoke Shisha

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  • claus9000's Profile Photo

    Bargaining

    by claus9000 Written Jun 18, 2003

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    Bargaining is a must in Egyptian shops. Always start with half of what the salesman asks and go up slowly. They will still make a good busness. Be always friendly, and see it as a way of entertainment to make bargaining.
    If you like tobuy something special, like a shisha (waterpipe) better ask some locals in your hotel about the best or cheapest prices.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • claus9000's Profile Photo

    Tipping/Bakshish

    by claus9000 Written Jun 18, 2003

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    It's expected everywhere and makes up a big part of the income of people there. Whether waiter, room attendant, taxi driver or tour bus driver, they are all expecting some tipping. Be generous, give them. Always have 1 Egyptian Pound notes with you, and give them as a tip.
    When staying in the hotel, give a few pounds every second day and you can be sure of excellent service.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • handsoum's Profile Photo

    Haggle, act and rip off the merchants!

    by handsoum Written Nov 29, 2002

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    Egyptian Souk

    Forget the Western trading activites and indulge in REAL business! Some of you might get the impression the markets and souks in Egypt are tourist traps and rip offs. This is completely false. It is essential to understand that here, they have done trading the same way for 7,000 years. And they don't care that you are rich or poor or from which country you are. They will try to speak the language of every person that comes into the market and try to sell them something.

    If you want a souvenir or just try your acting talent, run into the souk and haggle as much as you can. The first price they tell you is going to be horendously expensive (ie. $200 for a candle, which you can haggle down to $20). Remember they have a lot of stock, and they will sell anything at a profit.

    Now, they have 7,000 years of experience, so they are better than you at this. You must say you don't have much money on you, act completely shocked, even when you're only at 10% of the original price and never look to interested in a product (nor unintrested, cause they might think you don't really want it). Call them 'brother' (ya ahri) and play along.

    Also, they might be willing to exchange their products for somehing you have; my cousin managed to get 5 kilos of tobacco in Aswan for a plastic ring she had bought for $2 in the US!

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Sharm El Sheikh Local Customs

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