Events

Mon 01
Tue 02
Wed 03
  • Nader Tahawy & Omar Sherif at Cairo Jazz Club
    Nader Tahawy & Omar Sherif at Cairo Jazz Club
    Sep 03 10:00 pm to Sep 04 3:00 am - Cairo Jazz Club
    Nader Tahawy - known too many as NTahawy - and Omar Sherif play back-to-back and will also go up against each other in a showdown - because music...
  • Citadel Festival: Mohamed El Helw at Salah El Din Citadel
    Citadel Festival: Mohamed El Helw at Salah El Din Citadel
    Sep 03 10:00 pm to Sep 04 12:00 am - Salah El Din Citadel
    As part of the annual Citadel Festival for Music and Singing renowned Egyptian singer, Mohamed El Helw, performs  Salah El Din Citadel....
  • Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Aug 10 12:00 pm to Sep 06 2:00 am - Alchemy
    Catch the talented Marwan El Gamal's latest art exhibition, 'Hadean', combining pop culture, mainstream films and media propaganda into colourful...
  • Ahmed El Haggar at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Ahmed El Haggar at El Sawy Culturewheel
    Sep 03 8:00 pm to Sep 03 10:00 pm - El Sawy Culturewheel
    Carrying a weighty family name, composer and singer, Ahmed El Haggar, is set to perform at El Sawy Culturewheel's Wisdom Hall. Tickets are 20LE.
  • El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at Wikalet El Ghouri
    El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group at Wikalet El Ghouri
    Sep 03 9:00 pm to Sep 03 11:00 pm - Wikalet El Ghouri
    Head over to Wikalet El Ghouri in El Hussein for some magical music combined with traditional dance performed by El Ghouri Tannoura Dance Group...
Thu 04
  • Citadel Festival: Ehab Tawfik at Salah El Din Citadel
    Citadel Festival: Ehab Tawfik at Salah El Din Citadel
    Sep 04 10:00 pm to Sep 05 12:00 am - Salah El Din Citadel
    For the last performance of the 23rd annual Citadel Festival for Music and Singing, renowned Egyptian singer, Ehab Tawfik, takes the stage at...
  • Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Aug 10 12:00 pm to Sep 06 2:00 am - Alchemy
    Catch the talented Marwan El Gamal's latest art exhibition, 'Hadean', combining pop culture, mainstream films and media propaganda into colourful...
  • Citadel Festival: Basata Band at Salah El Din Citadel
    Citadel Festival: Basata Band at Salah El Din Citadel
    Sep 04 8:00 pm to Sep 04 10:00 pm - Salah El Din Citadel
    The Citadel Festival for Music and Singing comes to a close with local favourites, Basata Band, for an evening of contemporary Egyptian music at...
  • 'September Story' at Art Corner
    'September Story' at Art Corner
    Sep 02 11:00 am to Sep 15 11:00 pm - Art Corner
    Group exhibition, September Story, brings the works of local artists, Maha George, Sahar Al-Amir and Shaker El Edreisy, together at Zamalek...
  • Scarlet's Vintage Brew at Alchemy
    Scarlet's Vintage Brew at Alchemy
    Sep 04 8:00 pm to Sep 05 2:30 am - Alchemy
    This Thursday, Alchemy brings back the tempting allure of sangria for a mystical start to the weekend. Call 01091110577 for reservations.
Fri 05
  • Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Art at Alchemy: Hadean Exhibition
    Aug 10 12:00 pm to Sep 06 2:00 am - Alchemy
    Catch the talented Marwan El Gamal's latest art exhibition, 'Hadean', combining pop culture, mainstream films and media propaganda into colourful...
  • Secret Friday at Bamboo
    Secret Friday at Bamboo
    Sep 05 10:00 pm to Sep 06 5:00 am - Bamboo
    This Friday, resident DJs 3abkarino, Kiko and Bob are on the decks at after-hours bar, Bamboo, for a night of secretive fun. We won't say anything...
  • 'September Story' at Art Corner
    'September Story' at Art Corner
    Sep 02 11:00 am to Sep 15 11:00 pm - Art Corner
    Group exhibition, September Story, brings the works of local artists, Maha George, Sahar Al-Amir and Shaker El Edreisy, together at Zamalek...
  • The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    Jul 10 8:30 pm to Sep 30 10:30 pm - Safar Khan Art Gallery
    Safarkhan presents the 2014 Summer collection, showcasing the works of young, contemporary talents. The exhibition will run till the 30th of...
Sat 06
  • Hassan Khan live at Balcon Lounge
    Hassan Khan live at Balcon Lounge
    Sep 06 8:00 pm to Sep 06 10:00 pm - Balcon Lounge
    Join esteemed artist, writer and musician, Hassan Khan, as he performs his multi-tracked structure of mixed classical arabic melodies. Entrance is...
  • Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Lebanese Love at Bamboo
    Sep 06 10:00 pm to Sep 07 5:00 am - Bamboo
    Every Saturday, DJ Aly and DJ Kiko bring a little slice of Beirut to Bamboo as they play the hottest Lebanese and Oriental tunes aboard the...
  • 'September Story' at Art Corner
    'September Story' at Art Corner
    Sep 02 11:00 am to Sep 15 11:00 pm - Art Corner
    Group exhibition, September Story, brings the works of local artists, Maha George, Sahar Al-Amir and Shaker El Edreisy, together at Zamalek...
  • The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    Jul 10 8:30 pm to Sep 30 10:30 pm - Safar Khan Art Gallery
    Safarkhan presents the 2014 Summer collection, showcasing the works of young, contemporary talents. The exhibition will run till the 30th of...
Sun 07
  • 'September Story' at Art Corner
    'September Story' at Art Corner
    Sep 02 11:00 am to Sep 15 11:00 pm - Art Corner
    Group exhibition, September Story, brings the works of local artists, Maha George, Sahar Al-Amir and Shaker El Edreisy, together at Zamalek...
  • The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    The Summer Collection of Safarkhan 2014 at Safarkhan Gallery
    Jul 10 8:30 pm to Sep 30 10:30 pm - Safar Khan Art Gallery
    Safarkhan presents the 2014 Summer collection, showcasing the works of young, contemporary talents. The exhibition will run till the 30th of...

Highlights

Restaurants

Z Restaurant: Affordable Food in Tahrir Square

Z Restaurant: Affordable Food in Tahrir Square

Joining the ranks of the smaller and cheaper restaurants in Cairo is Z Restaurant. Located in Tahrir Square, between Hardee's and Ali Baba, Z has very simple decor consisting of wooden chairs and tables, with rows of photographs of food lining the walls. What first attracted us to Z was the decent menu with very cheap prices.  Specializing in mostly fast food plus some localized international dishes. All main courses are the same price, 25LE, and arrive in generously hefty portions sure to satisfy an empty stomach.    We ordered Kofta with Rice (25LE) which was decently priced, considering the large bed of rice and generous portion of kofta; the taste of the rice was a little bland though the juiciness of the kofta made up for this especially when smothered in ketchup. We also opted for the Chicken Fajita with Rice (25LE) from the Mexican cuisine which was much more pleasing to the palette. The chicken had a tangy sauce which, albeit a little too spicy, was a tasty choice.  It was mixed with a little salad and wrapped in a soft tortilla giving a variety of different textures that fit together nicely. From the English cuisine Z restaurant offer the choice of Roast Beef with Potatoes, Scallop with Potatoes or Steak with Potatoes all arriving on large overflowing plates.  In addition to the eclectic main course menu there is a choice of Pasta Bolognaise at 9LE as well as several other cheaper dishes containing much of the same as the main courses. These cheaper dishes are much smaller and make for a decent meal for a child or light-eater. Additionally, there is a small selection of side dishes available, each costing 5.50LE, including baba ghanough, pickles and french fries. Z Restaurant also serves sandwiches in three size options, costing between 5.50LE and 12LE, and a range of cold and hot drinks are on offer, with warm drinks at around 6LE and canned drinks at 4LE. While Z Restaurant isn't the most stylish, it's a good place for a dependable and affordable meal.

Shopping

L’Occitane En Provence: Natural Skin Care Products From French Brand at Mall of Arabia

L’Occitane En Provence: Natural Skin Care Products From French Brand at Mall of Arabia

The Cairo shopping scene is nothing short of a kaleidoscope of good, bad and strange, but when it comes to beauty products, both traditional local products and international brands share a comfortable coexistence. One such example of the latter sits across from Gate 3 in 6th of October City's Mall of Arabia. Founded in 1976, French retailer,  L'Occitane En Provence enjoys a lofty reputations for providing natural skincare products and essential oils with organic scents Fitted with dark brown wooden racks, neatly organised with each product collection, mud coloured tiles and wicker baskets displayed on the floor with spring yellow flowers, the store gives off a composed and peaceful ambience. Located in the centre of the store is a metallic sink with a small mirror for customers to test the products. At the entrance is a wide range of natural feminine 75ml perfumes, including scents such as sweet vanilla, amber, floral, jasmine and green tea, ranging between 390LE and 549LE. Each product includes a 30ml tube of scented hand cream (85LE) as well as 175ml shower gel bottle ranging up to 200LE. During our visit, an enthusiastic staff member had us test a few of their products. First, we washed our hands over the miniature fancy sink with Shea butter liquid soap (170LE) - which was also available with sweet almond - then applied lotion to our hands with Shea butter cream (420LE).  L'Occitane is certainly rather expensive, but after our little trial and the way our skin felt and smelled afterwards, we were sure we weren't leaving the store without buying something. There were a few racks dedicated to a limited variety of fun products including lavender, cherry blossom and floral scented candles (240LE). Also on offer is organic face soap (100LE) and hand soap (85LE) wrapped in colourful recycled paper, as well as a few old fashioned bottles of home fragrances offered in candied fruits, spicy cinnamon, amber, rose and winter forest, ranging between 230LE and 390LE. A whole section is devoted to men's skincare products, including Lavender pillow mist (261LE), winter forest deodorant (240LE), shaving balm with a variety of organic ingredients (274LE) and natural scented colognes ranging from between 339LE and 500LE. For shopaholics and beauty care fanatics, shopping at L'Occitane is dangerous business; the aromas whirling around the shop are enough to get you hooked – hooked to a very expensive hobby.

Cafés

Cafe Etoile: Cosy Cafe in Heliopolis’ Noisy Tivoli Dome

Cafe Etoile: Cosy Cafe in Heliopolis’ Noisy Tivoli Dome

Anyone who's ever been to Heliopolis' Tivoli Dome knows exactly how crowded it can get. With so many shops crammed into such a small space, and a large influx of people rushing to celebrate the arrival of the weekend, one cannot even fathom the possibility of finding a quiet spot to have a conversation there. Café Etoile, however, provided exactly that. We were greeted at the entrance by a pleasant waiter who offered us both outdoor and indoor seating. Wanting to sit down somewhere we can talk and avoid the large crowds' clamour, we chose to sit indoors. We all immediately called dibs on and sunk into the comfortable couches. The waiter instantly placed our menus in front of us and gave us our space to make our choices. In the mood for dessert and tea, we ordered a strawberry drizzled cheesecake (27.90 LE), an Etoile Tarte (31.90LE) and some soothing Green Tea. The menu featured some typical main courses but nothing you wouldn't find in any other Cairo cafe. The drinks, however, were offered in abundance and we kept catching glances of the waiters carrying around some colourful and refreshing-looking smoothies. Our cheesecake and tarte arrived quite swiftly alongside our tea and we simply could not wait to dig into their sugary goodness. The cheesecake was, despite its strangely small size, deliciously creamy and deceptively light with sweet Strawberry jam on top. The Tarte, however, was not as pleasing; the base did not have that distinct crumbly yet fluffy tarte texture and tasted like stale, crunchy pancakes. We also found the banana-caramel mixture covering the base a overwhelmingly sweet. Mixed with the vanilla ice cream, however, the overall taste was a bit more balanced and tolerable. The Green Tea was served in a metal tea pot which kept leaking water from the side and was, in our humble opinion, all together uncalled for. To recap, our experience at Café Etoile, gooey tarte aside, was quite a pleasant one. Our waiter was pretty efficient, refilling our water every now and then, and did not, for a second, completely disappear. Thus, we found the overall service to be stellar. The prices were also reasonable and there was no minimum charge, as is the case with many other cafes in Tivoli Dome. Moreover, we found the general ambiance to be rather calm in a usually chaotic and noisy place.

Nightlife

Wahawi Ramadan Lounge: Chilled Ramadan Sohour by the Nile in Zamalek

Wahawi Ramadan Lounge: Chilled Ramadan Sohour by the Nile in Zamalek

Cairo isn't a city that takes special occasions lightly and there are few bigger occasions in Egypt than Ramadan. But despite the hullabaloo of it all, Wahawi Ramadan Lounge brings a much-needed serenity to proceedings. Following its success last year, the Ramadan kheima – which sits pretty along the Nile on the breezy rooftop of Le Pacha 1901 in Zamalek – has once again emerged as a perfect alternative to the big, brash rationales of the traditional Ramadan tents. Attracting a much younger crowd than many of the other Ramadan tents around the city, Wahawi doesn't rely on the gimmickry of nostalgia and the increasingly elusive pursuit of a 'quintessential Ramadan experience'. Instead, Wahawi keeps things unfussy and laidback – because there's nothing worse than being force-fed the sounds of an unenthusiastic takht group, as can be found at this time of the year across the city. The setup and decor plays as big a part as any other element; use of the traditional khayameya print is kept to tasteful touches here and there, the music is subtle and the dimmed lighting is perfect – it really is the little things that count. Similarly to last year's setup, tables with couches for large parties line the edges of the space, with small, more intimate tables taking up the centre. Each seating arrangement is appropriately positioned to give patrons a pleasing type of seclusion and cosiness without sacrificing its overall amiable hustle. Each of the larger tables is afforded a flat screen TV – with World Cup matches being shown – and a Playstation console, as well as a range of different board and card games. In terms of the food, frequenters of Le Pacha will be pleased to find the venue's usual selection of dishes with the addition of a few extras across both Egyptian and Lebanese cuisines. On a breezy evening, our party of four headed to Wahawi and we left with bulging bellies and pleased palates. Of the cold mezze options, the cheese with zaatar (24LE) was excellent, while the cheese-stuffed safayeh (30.90LE) – a Lebanese version of dumplings – were equally as delicious. Beyond the picking-dishes, if you will, there are also full blown meals more suitable for fetar – which Wahawi also offers. And, of course, what Ramadan kheima would be complete without shisha, which is served and attended to alertly by staff. Yes, Ramadan is big, loud and gaudy; but Wahawi streamlines the sohour experience, making it a great place to unwind.

Arts & Culture

Cairo Opera House's 2014 Summer Festival

Cairo Opera House's 2014 Summer Festival

Grand by name, grand by nature; Cairo Opera House is one of the few places in Cairo that immerses you in its history and class - they don't do things by the half over there. With Ramadan done and dusted, the Zamalek-located venue are preparing for a month-long, nationwide Summer Festival beginning on Tuesday 5th of August. The festival, which will run till September 5th, will take place at Cairo Opera House's Open Air Theatre, as well as Alexandria Opera House and Damanhour Opera House and will feature some of the best local talent around. Things kick off at the Open Air Theatre on Tuesday with talented violinist, Rasha Yehia, before contemporary Egyptian band, Al Leil We Al Mawal, take to the stage on Wednesday . On Thursday, the immensly talented Dina El Wadidi takes the spotlight for the first time in a while, while Dina Abdel Hamid and Ghassan El Yusuf celebrate classic Oriental instrument, the Oud, with a special evening on Friday. The festival's first week is rounded off by seasoned musician, Mounir Nasr El Din, and his group, Sweet Sound Band.  The rest of the festival is a veritable smogasbord of musical variety, with particular highlights including Adham Roshdy's group, the Wave Jazz Band, on Tuesday 12th of August, jazz musician, Ahmed Rabie, on Wednesday 13th of August, marimba player, Nesma Abdel Aziz - and band - on  Tuesday 19th of August and legendary jazz pioneer, Yehia Khalil, on Tuesday 26th of August. Stay tuned to the Cairo 360 events calendar for details on all the Summer Festival concerts. For more information, call 02-2739-0188 or 02-2739-0299.

Health & Fitness

Mohammed Al Sagheer: Beauty Giant's Newest Branch at Le Meridien Cairo International Airport

Mohammed Al Sagheer: Beauty Giant's Newest Branch at Le Meridien Cairo International Airport

While some might consider beauty and grooming to be secondary in priority in light of daily errands and strenuous rhythm of life in Cairo, the crowded waiting areas of the hair salons spread across the capital paint an entirely different picture. Considered by many to be the first high-end hairdresser in Egypt, famed franchise, Mohamed Al Sagheer, has added to their growing legacy with a new hair salon at Le Meridien Cairo International Airport. Inside, the hotel provides a relaxing atmosphere of contemporary elegance and helps alleviate those hair-cut jitters women – especially the ones living in Cairo – are all too familiar with. Walking in the salon, we noticed the extensive range of TIGI products on display before we were greeted by a smartly dressed receptionist. Requesting a cut and brushing (210 LE) the receptionist called one of the assistants over to begin tending to our hair. The assistant lead us to the washing station and proceeded with a luxurious scalp massage using shampoo and conditioner. The water was kept at a tolerable temperature throughout the wash and the basin was comfortable enough to lean back against – two things we have complained about during visits to other salons. After the wash, we were lead to the main floor where we sat and awaited our assigned hairdresser. This gave us ample time to soak in the mellow atmosphere and the golden-era swing music playing in the background. Though the interior of the salon speaks volumes about the success of the name, some minor décor options left us rather confused – namely the mirrors placed at an awkward angle in front of us on the main floor. We didn't wait long before our selected hair stylist introduced himself and studied the picture we had brought in to copy. After a brief consultation to adapt the hair cut to something that we both could agree on, he got to work with the scissors. Perfectly content with how meticulous our hairdresser was during the cut, we were happy to wait the hour it took for him to finally be pleased enough with the bangs and length to begin the brushing. The brushing was the typical experience of a blow-dry and straightening and wasn't anything to comment on. A quick spray with hair spray and we were done. While our hair cut ended up as looking more of an interpretation rather than adaptation of the photo we brought in, the cut was professionally executed and satisfied our expectations. This in itself is a hard task to achieve in a country where quality and reputation do not usually intersect.

Film

Earth to Echo: Innocuous Sci-Fi Family Adventure

Earth to Echo: Innocuous Sci-Fi Family Adventure

The spirit of Steven Spielberg's E.T: Extra-Terrestrial is very much alive in Dave Green's directorial debut, however, thanks to its limited sense of creativity and originality, the end-result, unfortunately, fails to impress. Written by Henry Gayden, the story is set in a small Nevada town and follows the adventures of three young friends; foster child, Alex Nichols (Halm), avid YouTube addict, Tuck Simms (Astro), and tech-savvy Reginald "Munch" Barrett (Hartwig). Thanks to the government plans to build a new highway – that's to run straight through their neighbourhood – the boys and their families are facing eviction. As they are not ready to say goodbye to each other just yet, they are desperate to look for a way to keep their homes. After realising that disruptions on their mobile phones – showing strange images and text – kick in at a certain point in the neighbourhood, they realise that one of the images looks like the map of a desert nearby and hatch a plan to ride out there.  They soon stumble on a strange piece of scrap metal – which they initially mistake for satellite debris – and later discover a small and extremely timid alien-being, who looks hurt and terribly lost. Amazed and intrigued by their new discovery, the boys need to keep shifty government officials at bay and help their new friend – who they soon name Echo – find his way back to his mother-ship and return home. Strong influences from films like J.J Abrams' Super 8 and Richard Donner's The Goonies can also be found in Dave Green's directorial debut. Though this homage, if you will, infuses the film with a genuine sense of adventure, there's only so far one can go before it's considered downright mimicry. Similarly, the found-footage format is a little too demanding; shaky, incoherent and perhaps even a little aggressive, it ends up leaving room for gigantic plot holes. With that being said, however, the cast of unfamiliar faces manages to keep the ball rolling, despite the story's palpable shortcomings.  Comparably, the special effects used to create Echo, and his big, blue, sad eyes, are incredibly endearing and the little earth-bound creature is almost impossible to resist. Borrowing heavily from 80's family-movie masterpieces, Earth to Echo is a fairly entertaining tale of adolescence. Unfortunately, however, it is also a story which is completely impeded by sense of familiarity and by its endless abuse of the dead-in-the-dirt found-footage format. 

Sights & Travel

Naama Bay: Sharm El Sheikh's Vibrant Hub

Naama Bay: Sharm El Sheikh's Vibrant Hub

Naama Bay is one of Sharm El Sheikh's oldest and grandest attractions and a must see for all those visiting Sharm this year. This delightful place lies between the Airport and the Old City and is located right next to the marina. Many of the bars and restaurants are situated right on the beach, providing a beautiful scenic view whilst offering an exotic food menu - including fresh seafood caught from the Red Sea - and refreshing beverages.  Focusing purely on entertainment, shopping and all the daily needs of tourists, this long audacious street is filled with lively entertainment all night long and will not fail to give your eyes a treat. While shops and food outlets are open during the day, it's the night time when the street really comes alive - ideal for the young and adventurous! From the moment you arrive at Naama Bay prepare to be greeted by an overwhelming energy. The daring street glitters with colourful, dazzling lights as local party music fills the air. A simple walk will leave you with the most difficult decision: What to explore first? Bedouin-style cafes are all in range here, providing a place where visitors can enjoy shisha and drinks amongst the dancing and singing. International restaurants are also plentiful including some of the more famous chains like McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. For the trendy nightclub goers, Hard Rock Café, Pacha and Little Budda are all located in Naama Bay. For those who don't enjoy the party scene so much but still enjoy a drink then Zaza is ideal. Zaza is a must visit, an oriental café/bar providing comfortable couch like seating all facing the stage in which shows are performed including belly dancing, fire spinning and live music. This delectable bar serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind though, most places charge a 10-15% service charge that isn't always listed on the menu.  It is not only food and drink that are amongst the pleasures here. Naama Bay has countless bazaars ideal for purchasing unique gifts and special souvenirs though be prepared for serious bartering and never accept the first price given. Carrefour is located at the beginning of the street, providing an excellent groceries and daily essentials option that's barter free. Scattered throughout the area are smaller kiosks and newsstands that sell cigarettes, drinks and snacks. There's also a shopping mall filled with jewellery stores, clothes shops and other merchandise. Ice cream parlours are plentiful too, which will be much appreciated in the heat. Naama Bay touches on almost all your needs with oriental and international outlets, travel agents and currency exchange bureaus all within a five-minute radius. However, this striking portal is not without it's cons. You will without a doubt experience frequent hassle from the locals beckoning you to drink in their cafés and buy from their shops. This can seem a little overwhelming if you are alone, especially for females. It's advisable to go with another person and try not to trust everyone. Naama Bay is a very noisy street filled with constant deafening music so if you wish to have a conversation with someone you will probably have to wait until you are inside one of its outlets. Despite this, Naama Bay remains a large and diverse party open all night long in which everyone is invited to, but be aware - it's not for everyone.
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Win! Fetar for Two at Kempinski Nile Hotel's Blue Restaurant
Win! Fetar for Two at Kempinski Nile Hotel's Blue Restaurant