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Egypt Country Guide

Egypt is situated in North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip. It has coastlines on the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez. It has a population of 109 million (2020 est.), making it the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world. Arabic is the official language, while English and French are also used.

Country Information

Population109.3 million
Official LanguageArabic
CurrencyEgyptian pound (EGP)
International dialling code+20
Time zoneEET (UTC+2)
Business hoursSunday – Thursday 9am – 5pm
Public holidaysApprox. 15 days

Living in Egypt

about eqypt

Egypt provides a reasonably good quality of life. Expats can enjoy warm weather, various lifestyle options in major cities like Cairo, and easy access to historical sites. However, traffic congestion, pollution and harassment of women can be issues.

Popular expat areas include Maadi, Zamalek, New Cairo and 6th of October City which offer international schools and amenities. Healthcare infrastructure is decent but the best care often requires private hospitals.

Establishing a business

Egypt allows 100% foreign ownership of companies outside of certain sectors like aviation and media. Popular entities include joint stock companies (SAE), limited liability companies (LLC) and representative offices. Investors can benefit from incentives in free zones.

The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) assists with start-ups and approvals. The process takes 15+ days and minimum capital requirements apply. Residency is required for ongoing operations.

Trade and economy

Agriculture is a key sector of the Egyptian economy, followed by the manufacturing, energy, and services industries. The country is among the largest export markets for goods and services in the Middle East. The banking sector of Egypt is among the most prominent on the African continent. The four public sector commercial banks are the largest operating banks in Egypt in terms of balance-sheet size, accounting for nearly 50 percent of total bank assets

Major banks

Some of the largest banks in Egypt include:

  • National Bank of Egypt
  • Banque Misr
  • Commercial International Bank
  • QNB Alahli
  • Banque du Caire
  • ALEX Bank
  • Crédit Agricole Egypt