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 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
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).
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
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 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 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
You see so many of these shops in Egypt. They sell a wide variety of perfumes that are made from essential oils, which don't include any alcohol (better for the skin) and smell much stronger and are supposed to last longer. They also make copies of the designer perfumes, such as 'lacoste pink' which i have to say did smell exactly like it. I wouldn't say they are cheap to buy, but i'm sure with a bit of barter you can get a good deal.
I did try one perfume and it made my skin itch. So please test the perfume before you decide to go ahead and purhcase one.
They also give you the added bonus of it coming in a fancy bottle and will come in a wide variety of sizes.
I must say that when i first went into a shop in Egypt, i was really intimidated by the hassel you get. I felt uncomfortable in saying 'No thank you' as they made you feel bad for doing so!
However, once i did want to buy some things - the hunt for looking for it become really fun!! Some of the things you can find that are handmade are really beautiful...but expensive because of the work that has been put in it. I would ask a price once i found something...and say 'No, too expensive' and then they'd ask what i'd like to pay for it. I'd walk away like i wasn't interested then they'd ask again, really wanting your custom. So then i'd come back and offer a much lower price, then barter from there....both of you will meet a price that seems reasonable and you will end up leaving with something at a much lower price than you were told in the first place! Great! You can do this in most shops in Egypt, except the onces that have fixed prices.
I must say that i got a lot of things that were really cheap - i was a very happy customer indeed! Only thing, it gets quite addictive, once you get a bargain, you really want to find another!
If you go through the day, you tend to get more bargains as a lot of places are closed during the day because of the heat - they don't get many customers! On a evening everything is open, with plenty of people in Naama Bay - so they may feel they don't have to give it at a low price because they will have many more customers to come.
It's a part of the Egyptian charm, haggling - it's fun once you know how!
What to buy: Of course you have to buy something that will remind you of your stay - they are many beautiful handmade items for your home or jewellery for yourself or a loved one!
What to pay: Never accept the price they say at first, barter until your hearts content! Go and have fun!
I found out this litle shop inside Delta Sharm Resort, The pictures are made by Josiane an Italian artist (really beautifull) living in sharm. Go to have a look, you will like the pictures and the artist...
Josiane hosts her art exhibitions in Sharm el Sheikh, at the Seamax Diving Center and at Delta Sharm Resort @ Pool G2
What to buy: painting
What to pay: it dipends on the picture size
You will find lots of shops selling spices and herbs. Make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy one of them as you will probably be offered a cup of mint tea and there'll be a lot of chat and the opportunity to simply enjoy the sights and smells of the shop.
What to buy: Hibiscus tea - supposed to be good for high blood pressure.
Rose petal tea - for all round wellbeing.
Egyptian green tea.
Spices - saffron, peppercorns.....
What to pay: Who knows, but even if you don't want to haggle you'll get a better price than at home.