Setting up home in Egypt

Setting up a family home in a foreign country is a daunting prospect at the best of times. Moving with your family to Egypt is an experience you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. You’ll instantly fall in love with Egypt; the people, the culture, the atmosphere, the sense of timelessness. Imagine it, six thousand years of history just waiting for you to discover at every turn!

Yes, there’s the glorious weather, too, a million miles away from the dull and dreary skies which seem so much a part of life in the UK. What more could anyone ask for?

Until you finally settle in the country, however, you’re going to worry, especially if you have a young family. It’s only natural. Any move abroad is a huge step to take for anyone, least of all someone with children. But, like everything else, the more you know the better prepared you’ll be. So here’s a few facts and figures to be getting on with.

Egypt, in common with much of the Middle East, is often considered a bridge between Europe and Asia. It’s official name is the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is one of the most populous countries in Africa, the majority of its more than 82 million people living near the banks of the River Nile. Half the population lives either in towns or cities, with the majority of those residing in and around Cairo, the capital, Alexandria and other towns in the Nile Delta.

Tourism is one of the mainstays of the Egyptian economy, along with agriculture, industry and the services sector. Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country and Islam is the state religion. There are a good number of international schools offering the ex-pat community standards of education you would normally find in the UK. Many of these are British or American, but schools based on other countries around the world are also well represented.

One of the biggest worries you’ll maybe initially have is money, and swapping the British pound for the Egyptian pound will take a bit of getting used to. Any fears should quickly dispel because the good news, despite perceptions to the contrary, is that the banking system in Egypt is as good as that in the UK and elsewhere. Many Western banks, with names you’ll instantly recognise, have set up in the country alongside some excellent, not to mention award-winning indigenous banks.

And if money is a bit tight, you can always borrow some cash, just like you would if you were still in the UK. You can apply for personal loans in Egypt from HSBC, for example, or Barclays, Citibank, the National Bank of Egypt, BNP Paribas to name just a few. Yes, credit cards and bank loans should present little difficulty providing you’ve a job and a good credit history. Doesn’t it all sounds rather familiar?

By the way, interest rates on personal loans are as competitive in Egypt as they are in the UK. Therefore, some good deals should be possible. Follow the usual advice and shop around. Get online and look at each bank’s website. Use their loan calculator if necessary, provided they have one, of course.
Still worried about moving to Egypt? Hopefully not. For further advice click here.

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