Dollars in Cairo?

Nov 25th, 2000, 07:02 PM
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Dollars in Cairo?

I will be flying into Cairo from the US, arriving mid-afternoon. Should I get Egyptian pounds before I arrive? Or can I tip my cab driver with US$ and wait to exchange money at my hotel in Cairo (or at an ATM). Also, I will be met at the aiport by a "limo" to drive to my hotel in Zamalek. The price quoted for the drive was about 70 pounds. Does that sound right? How much should I tip for that ride?

Appreciate your help!
Nov 25th, 2000, 11:38 PM
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Would you tip a cab driver in NY with an Egyptian Pound, well...then you have the answer to your question. Is it that difficult to arrange some Egyptian currency before leaving? Tip 10% for the ride. 70 Egyptian pounds is about $18.
Nov 26th, 2000, 09:34 AM
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You can exchange money just a few minutes after you depart your plane in the terminal. Those exchange booths are open 24 hours and the exchange rate fair. This is where you can also get you Visa stamp if you have not already acquired it.

Egyptians really don't mind being tipped in foreign currency as the tip is usually much greater than had it been in Egyptian pounds. Foreigners are used to tipping in their currency which has a much greater value than their pound. On my last day I was down to US dollars and had to tip the luggage handlers in ones (3 times the value of one E pound) and they were thrilled.

Just get your money at the airport. It takes forever to get through customs anyway so there definitely is not a rush.

Also the price of 70 pounds sounds a little on the high side. From the airport to downtown Cairo should be no more than 30 pounds and from downtown to Zamalek (Good choice as a place to stay!) should be no more than 20 pounds. Of course, you may be paying more for the "limo".
Nov 28th, 2000, 10:38 AM
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Just returned from a Grand Circle tour of Egypt on 11/23/00. You DO NOT tip taxi drivers (we were advised). American dollars are very much in demand and many want them rather than Egyptian pounds. Take a small supply of one's. Also in the airport you can readily change your travelers' checks or dollars too (I suppose) into pounds. Get a supply of one pound (28 cents) and 50 piaster (14 cents) notes before you leave the airport. I had been told they couldn't take dollars and was surprised at how many actually preferred them. So, yes, you can spend your dollars there. You can also get pounds (20 pound notes) in JFK at the exchange windows.
Jan 8th, 2001, 04:45 AM
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Hi Carol
We are tour operators in Egypt.
Visit our website at:
if you need more information or assistance.
The fare quoted you is fair.
Tip about EP5, or US$2
You can easily change money at your hotel. The exchange rate is fixed by the Eg govt and is practically the same everywhere in Egypt.
Carr a few EP1 notes with you seperate from your other monies for tips along the way. Pall point pens are also appreciated
Write if I can assist further
Best wishes
Jan 9th, 2001, 12:20 AM
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People there didn't seem to mind dollars at all, in fact I think they liked to use a poor exchange rate (ie they charged you more for dollars so you will do better w/pounds). Clarifying the comments on tipping/not tipping. When you hail a cab in the city you establish the price of the ride before you go, then you just pay them that amount when they drop you off there. (yes these are usually negiotiable too-ask someone how much it should cost and if possible get someone to write in arabic for you. FYI I have heard from others that cabs from the hotel are more expensive than if you walk across the street to hail one yourself) It's actually kind of nice not worrying whether or not they are driving you the long way, etc. For prearranged rides you should tip.

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