The Egyptian Touch: Fed up with being hassled and bartering?
If you get fed up with constantly being hassled and having to barter for everthing, and just want to browse or buy in peace, try The Egyptian Touch. The price of everything is fixed and marked up and the staff are extremely helpful.
What to buy: So much to choose from, only our baggage allowance stopped us buying more. We bought two beautiful mirrors, a lamp and a lady's evening shawl.
What to pay: Extremely good value. One item on display was a third cheaper fixed price than at another shop that we bartered heavily for.
Many: Il Mercato
Il Mercato is a new shopping mall type area.They have all the usual stuff you would find in any large european city.Famous name fast food out outlets plus a few local ones,many famous name boutiques and clothing shops plus famous name cafes/coffee shops and even a virgin mega store.
What to pay: About the same as in the UK
Old Market: Indulge Your Senses
one of the astonishing things of the Arabic/Middle Eastern world is the abundance and variety of all possible spices and herbs. it's one of those rare things that can satisfy all five senses: it's colorful, it has pleasant smell and tasteful in its unique way; it's interesting to touch and with additional effort from your side, its price can be “music to your ears” :) it's a great present to everyone who likes cooking or thinks about trying to cook. In addition to all that, for me it’s a strong motivation for surviving a hassle of a middle-eastern market.
What to buy: Hibiscus tea (Karkade) - a very helpful drink to lower blood pressure (if consumed in high amounts); curries, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon and many other spices; natural sponges and desert rose and many others
What to pay: the price will depend on quantity purchased as well as your bargaining skills
Sharm Express supermarket: No hassle/bartering supermarket
You can get most basics here, handy for snacks drinks picnics etc, most things have prices on, and the prices are pretty good, ie 4 AAA batteries 5.50 le (55p)
Sun tan lotion a bit pricy about £5, but cheaper than UK, there is also a small souvenier selection with prices on, handy if you dont want the grief that goes with bartering in the market.
You dont get any hassle there is no bartering, and the shop keeper is a real friendly chap, (even if he did try to buy me from Hubby for 200 camels)
Its handy as I was able to make sandwiches for picnic on the beach, an easy alternative to all the rich food and sometimes expensive Hotel food & drinks
What to buy: Water, snacks, toiletries,
What to pay: not much
- Budget Travel
all: Old Market, dirty & smelly
It is impossible to browse for potential gifts
The shopkeepers dont let you, all the usual tricks & cons, they see us Brits coming, as we are not very good at being rude it is harder for us, la Shukran does not always work, Halas (enough) gets the message across, sometimes,
It is easier to not make any conversation and walk right past(they will realise you are British and launch an all out assault)
which does defeat the object if you want to shop.
So all I bought there was Safron, I was a wreck after that, despite staying around the corner, I saved Hundreds of pounds, I would have spent there because of the Hassle I did not need on a relaxing holiday
There are two entrances from the main road to the market
The Sharm express supermarket does have a small range of souveniers, with prices on, that are not silly prices
Kodak shop: Kodak, no hassle no bartering
Kodak shop by the Old Market
I can only say brilliant, all round, I messed up my underwater camera they sorted it and got the film out, and only charged for photo's that came out, 17 pics about £2.20,
I took in two films, one 24 ex & one 36 ex, and paid £7.06 for printing
Hubby bought me a new reusable underwater camera with flash and loaded film for £12.00,
They do digital stuff as well
No cons, no bartering, & friendly
What to buy: Films & underwater cameras
- Diving and Snorkeling
Old Market: Mangoes and Custard Apples
What to buy: If you visiting Egypt in November, make sure to sample mangoes, custard apples, strawberries, pomegranates and other fruits that are on season then. the best place in Sharm to buy them from various vendors is the Old Market. I was especially impressed by quality of mangoes. a vendor will often ask you about when you are planning to eat it (that day or in couple days, weeks), and will chose a perfect fruit for immediate consumption or one what will ripe by the time you fly back home.
What to pay: the price for mango as well other fruits would depend on the kind and quality, as well as your bargaining skills. the average price for a kilo of mango will range from 15 to 18 Egyptian Pounds (around $3). a cart of strawberry (0.5 kilo) costs around 8 Egyptian Pounds ($1.5).
Mina Jo: Alcohol, water, drinks etc, good constant prices
Very friendly Family run shop, its small but got the basics, no bartering needed here, the prices are always the same, 3 Le or 26p for litre of bottled water, the alcohol is not English brands but it is OK, bought Litre whiskey & Vodka for 170 LE, or £14.99, red bull is more expensive than here about £1.40, but local mixers/coke are OK, and a lot cheaper than Hotel, there is also a small range of snacks
He also sells cigs in single packs and 200's for about £13.00
What to buy: All you booze needs
What to pay: A lot less than Naama bay I paid 95 LE for a litre of the same stag whiskey
Metro Market: Groceries
If you're looking to save a buck or sick of eating at restaurants, the Metro Market is the place to go. It's a western Style grocery store right in Sharm.
You can even call for delivery - 19619
What to buy: Fresh Fruits
The Holly Family: Nice Egyptian Souvenirs
The Holly Family store is located in the basement level of the Na'ama Center (big shopping center in the middle of Na'ama Bay). I was first drawn to the window because they offered unique souvenirs that I hadn't really seen in any other shops.
I was very pleased to discover that the store clerks spoke excellent English and their prices were quite reasonable. They were very helpful as well in assisting me find a present for that friend that has everything :)
What to buy: The Holly Family has an assortment of different souvenirs from pyramid-shaped boxes to pen-sets. They also have all sorts of neat little figurines of different Egyptian gods and royalty that make nice gifts.
What to pay: I found the prices quite reasonable. I purchased a small pewter pitcher for around 65LE. The figurines were around 20-45LE. In the end, the clerk gave me a couple extra gifts since I bought stuff for all my friends (it was just so affordable I couldn't help it!)
Beyond Limits: Dive Equipment Sales & Service
Beyond Limits is conveniently located in the Naama Shopping Center on the top floor.
The store carries everything from dive manuals to dive-themed clothing. A Mares retailer, you know you will be getting quality dive equipment when you purcahse from Beyond Limits.
What to buy: Beyond Limits is a great place to pick up extra pages for your log book as well as spare parts for diving such as spare mouthpieces or slates.
They stock a nice selection of reference books as well as PADI manuals.
The wetsuit selection isn't that big for women but there are a couple of options of each kind of suit. Along the back wall there is nice selection of rash-guards and board shorts.
The shop can also replace batteries in dive watches but it costs a pretty penny as most places.
What to pay: Prices are comparable to European prices. A group in front of me at the register paid about 25 Euros to get a battery in a dive computer changed out which was the same price as back home according to them.
The wetsuits seemed to be a bit higher priced than normal though.
Masks, snorkels, and fins can be purchased at a small savings.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Maison de la Mer: Quality Dive Equipment
Maison de la Mer is one of the better dive stores in Na'ama Bay.
Selling Cressi wetsuits and equipment, dive logo beachwear, towels, snorkeling gear, and reference books, Maison is one of those places that it's hard to leave empty-handed.
The store is located on the beach boardwalk next to the Red Sea Dive College. If I remember the hours correctly, it's open from 10am until around 3pm, closed 3-5/6pm, and then open again until 10pm.
For trying on items, there is a small changing room near the counter and the staff are more than happy to help you find the right size wetsuit or clothing.
What to buy: I'd recommend purchasing one or two books at the shops, either "Sinai Diving Guide" for around 140LE or "Reef Fishes and Corals of the Red Sea" around 105LE.
The Sinai Diving Guide by Alberto Siliotti is a 244 page guide to diving in Sharm publicshed i 2005. Following the 244 pages of text and underwater photos, there are full-color fold-out maps of the different dive sites in the Sinai from Sharm el Sheikh to Dahab.
First published in 2000, Reef Fishes, etc by Pete Harrison & Alex Misiewicz is a color-photo fish identification guide. The fish are broken into different groups along with corals. I found the book quite helpful on the dive boat following a dive to identify fish I'd seen along the way.
Another feature of Maison is their wacky foam pens. With all sorts of underwater and dive themes, the pens are fun and you can be guaranteed they'll gather attention on the boat when you fill out your dive log :) While fun, I think you won't have to worry too much about people stealing your log book pen ;o)
What to pay: Prices are comparable to European prices for scuba equipment. Books & reference material is about the same as other stores in Na'ama Bay.
The prices are fixed so no bargaining at this store. For books and such, the price is marked. Scuba equipment prices are fixed and the staff have price lists behind the counter.
The store accepts credit cards and is secure. I've used my card on several occasions ove the years at the store with no trouble. But if you prefer cash and are running low, there is an ATM in the courtyard of next-door Red Sea Dive College.
- Diving and Snorkeling
~ Old Sharm ~: ~ Lots of bargains ~
We were recommended by our holiday rep to go to Old Sharm for the day as the shopping was supposed to be really good and this is where you can get all your bargains. It only cost us 20 Egyptian Pounds from our hotel in Sharm el Sheikh to Old Sharm.
It was a good day out but i did get abit fed up with the hassle to go into the shops from all the shop keepers after a couple of hours of it. It is still a nice day out and dont be scared of them just say hello and carry on shopping, you will be fine. Also i would advise ladies to dress sensibly to avoid excessive attention from the locals.
What to buy: You enter the souk area through a huge archway over the road. There are hundreds of shops and stalls to look at but i admit that once you've walked past about five or six stalls then you've seen it all, it tends to repeat after that.
There are lots of different stalls selling the usual sovenirs from the stuffed camel, to a fridge magnet, shisha pipe and postcards which are all alot cheaper than in Naama Bay, you can also buy spices, shisha pipes, gold, carpets, lanterns, antiques, jewellery, Egyptian cotton clothing, belly dancing costumes, fruit and vegetables, local produce and there are lots of restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy a nice ice cold drink or coffee or something to eat.
What to pay: Anything, there are no set prices so use your haggling skills. The locals expect it so no need to feel cheeky just go for it!
Duty Free Shop (Naama Bay): Don't forget your passport!
The duty free shop is located in Naama bay, behind Pacha at the very bottom on a corner. You can't miss it, it's usually very busy.
Word of advise, don't go without your passport or you won't be able to buy anything from here, but you can look.
It sells a range of things from alcohol, perfume, make up, shoes etc
I wouldn't exactly say its very cheap, but cheaper than retail shop price in the UK.
What to pay: They are fixed prices - sorry no bartering here!
- Historical Travel
Papyrus Shop: Genuine Papyrus
There are many places in Egypt that sell Papyrus. However, not all are authentic. These are two ways to find a genuine piece:
1. Hold the papyrus up to light, you can see strips of papyrus going down and across joined together to make a whole piece.
2. Wet your finger slightly and dab it onto the art work, if the paint transfers onto your finger then it is hand painted.
Papyrus goes thousands of years when the ancient Egyptians used it. In temples you can pillars in the style of the Papyrus plant.
I love the designs and colours on Papyrus, its stunning if you get a genuine piece. It can be expensive to purchase, but barter like you would with anything else.
What to pay: As little as you can - barter!
- Historical Travel
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