After lugging two bottles of whiskey from home, I have rather belatedly realised that foreigners can buy alcohol in Egypt. Not the ones available in Drinkies all over the city, but the good stuff like Black Label, Chivas Regal etc..
While walking through City Stars in Heliopolis, I have often noticed the Egypt Air Duty Free but have never been motivated to go in. This time, since I had time to spare, I walked in to browse. Shelves after shelves lined with alcohol, chocolates, toys, crystal, bags etc..
On enquiring if I could buy, I was asked if I had a passport which I promptly furnished. Mmm, maalish, too late. It appears that I am entitled to buy 3 bottles of alcohol within 48 hours of ariving in Egypt, from overseas, and I must pay in USD / Euro (essentialy foreign exchange). The only catch to this wonderful arrangement is that I can only do this 4 times a year, and in case you wonder how you can beat that, you cant! They stamp your passport.
But the bright side is that this is not limited to foreign residents but also to visitors. So the next time, you have vistors from overseas, you can drag them to the nearest duty free and pick up 3 bottles of alcohol on their passport!
You can also buy a large pack of imported cigarettes, toys, chocolates etc.
In case City Stars is dificult to access, they also have two shops in Maadi, which are not as well stocked as City Stars but you can get some stuff. The helpful gentleman behind the counter also told me that they have shops at Cairo International Arrival Hall 3 (this I have seen), Luxor Airport's new terminal, Borg Al-Arab Arrival Hall and the Red Sea marina resort at El-Gouna.
So for all the followers of Omar Khayyam, there's help at hand...