Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buying alcohol in Egypt

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...

4 comments:

WPK said...

I hope alcohol is banned in egypt soon.

Jazzie said...

Hello Manisha,

Found this blog while I was googling where to buy cognac in Egypt. I was wondering if you have any idea if Drinkies sell cognac?

Manisha said...

Too late to be of use I suspect :-) but your best bet would be the Egypt Air duty free! I dont remeber seeing Cognac at Drinkies...

Branko said...

HI, 2 years ago I travelled Egypt and found a good tasting wine. It was a 2008 Omar Khayyam Cabernet Sauvignon (Gianaclis) by the Al Ahram Beverages Company. I would love it if someone who is travelling back to Australia, would bring back 2 bottles for me. I would obviously pay for the cost of the wine and something extra for your trouble. thanks.