Cairenes have never needed an excuse to celebrate, but we really do get excited about Christmas as much as anyone - and we haven’t even mentioned New Year’s Eve yet. It’s been a tough year, but if anything, we just want to enjoy Cairo that much more; starting with this week’s Christmas events.
In Zamalek, El Sawy Culturewheel will celebrate with a special performance by the Sakia String Orchestra who will be joined by soprano Dina Iskander and tenor Ragaa El Din Ahmed on Tuesday, December 20th, and a Christmas concert featuring the very smooth vocalist Ahmed Harfoush and the Riff Band on Thursday, December 22nd.
Not content with that, El Sawy will also present a post-Christmas performance by the Camerata Choir on Friday, December 30th.
Cairo Opera House has been getting well into the spirit, and the celebration will continue right up until the big day itself. Soprano Gala El Hadidi will sing the most popular Christmas carols and songs from around the world on Thursday, December 22nd, before Emad Hamdy leads a big Christmas concert along with a host of musicians and singers on Friday, December 23rd.
Also on that day, iconic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker hits the stage for its first of seven performances over the following days, as well as the start of three days of performances by the Oum El Nour Choir.
For Christmas hymns and traditional festive songs; don’t forget the Saint Augistinos Choir Christmas concert at El Gomhouria Theatre in Downtown Cairo on Friday, December 30th.
Cairo Jazz Club loves this time of year, and celebrations kick off with the Candy Cane Christmas Eve concert featuring music by Crash Boom Bang on Saturday, December 24th, before the Riff Band help celebrate the day on Sunday, December 25th at the Swingin’ Around the Christmas Tree charity event.
On Thursday, December 22nd, Bellini at the Intercontinental Citystars will host the DJing likes of Amir Nashaat, Honda, Raza, Mira G and S-Lap where the bar’s special cocktails will certainly get you in the Christmas spirit. In Giza, the Urban Flavours Christmas Party at Yasso Lounge on the Trianon boat looks set to be a huge night, especially with German DJ Sabrina Terrance on the decks.
Just down the river, the Nile Pharaoh will host another world renowned DJ in Kevin O’Leary on Friday, December 23rd for another huge Christmas party. Garden City should be alert, because Cairo Expats will host a huge Christmas party at Nile Holding Club with dance, r&b and house music by DJ Moro and DJ Ahmed.
Over in Zamalek, Buddha Bar will celebrate with Dr.K, Tamer Fouda, DJ Cheeto and DJ Bica.
The Terrace at Designopolis is the scene for a day-long party on December 23rd that will also offer a sumptuous Christmas menu including turkey and all the trimmings, as well as Jazz Band performing jolly Christmas songs, followed by singer Shymaa Sharaff alongside DJ Ramy & DJ MadLo.
La Bodega is inviting diners through their doors this year again for a four-course Christmas Eve feast for 245LE++ per person. Italian restaurant Bella at the Four Seasons Hotel in Garden city is offering up a treat too. For 450LE++, diners can get a festive multi-course meal that will add a touch of sophistication to the holiday celebrations.
Also at the Four Seasons; Christmas and Arabic cuisine will clash at Zitouni on the big day itself, where a Christmas buffet will be open to diners through lunch and dinner on Christmas day for 270LE++ per person.
Let’s not forget that Christmas is about the kids, and there’s no better way to immerse the little critters in the holiday spirit than with a visit to the AFCA Christmas Club, which runs from December 18th till January 5th. Meeting Santa Claus, creating Christmas decorations and watching classic Christmas films are just a few of the many activities on offer.
Don’t you just love how the Christmas celebrations just roll into New Year’s Eve celebrations so effortlessly? Especially when there are so many parties and events around Cairo!
New Year's Eve Concerts:
The Cairo Symphony Orchestra will perform a special New Year’s concert at the Cairo Opera House, while El Sawy Culturewheel will have the masterful oud sounds of the brilliant Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma.
New Year's Eve Parties:
Forget the winter cold with Cairo Jazz Club’s Beach it Up New Year’s Eve party. Attendees are encouraged to turn up in flip-flops and summer wear, and music comes courtesy of DJs Tito and Aly B. Buddha Bar over in Zamalek will host a night of drinking, dining and dancing with DJ Ahmed and DJ Ramy providing the music.
In Kitkat, the Swiss Club will host Cairo Expats’ New Year’s celebration. DJs Redzone and Lady Vibes will supply the music, while the ticket affords you a multi-course set menu, a couple of drinks and free bouchone. Meanwhile, Nile Country Club will be the scene of a paint war, as people manically throw paint at each other long into to the night to music of live bands, DJ sets and much more. What better way to start the New Year with a colour festival!
Newly opened bar Opium in Zamalek have managed to get Ereland Øye – one half of indie-folk duo Kings of Convenience- to perform at their New Year’s party, and he’ll be followed by a DJing master class by Kalle. Also on along the corniche, DJ Khaled Hussein will be in charge of seeing 2012 in on Zamalek's Le Pacha Boat at the Fiesta Nano party.
Amici in Zamalek will have a 500LE per-head open cocktail bar on offer, while Moon Deck on the Blue Nile boat will transform into an Arabian Paradise for a 1001 Nights-themed new year’s eve.
DJ Feedo will be at Stiletto again, but this time for an unprecedented night of the hottest music in celebration of the impending 2012, and the 400LE tickets will get you free food, mixers and bouchone. Over on the Maadi Corniche, NeoByrd will spin his unique dance-electronica at Rock My Boat on the Armada Boat, where the delights of an open bar will set you back 400LE per person.
Out in Designopolis, the Terrace is relying on DJ Mad Lou and singer Hisham Blues to celebrate midnight with a bang, while the Holiday Inn Citystars is the spot for a low-key New Year's celebration, as Adham Roshdy and Sherif Watson entertain at H501.
New Year's Dinners:
If you’re looking for a slightly more hushed but no less lavish New Year celebration; First Mall in Giza will be holding a swanky casino-themed party to see in 2012, while the Four Seasons Nile Plaza in Garden City is offering Cairenes buffet dinners at Zitouni, Bella, Spice or Aqua & Steaks, followed by entertainment in the Plaza Ballroom.
Making our way up the Corniche, the Conrad Cairo Hotel's Stage One will serve snacks and sushi to the background of music from the venue's resident DJ. Also in the Conrad; Solana restaurant are having a New Year's Eve buffet for 235LE++ per person, while Oak Grill will serve a special five course meal for 450LE++. All this will be followed by a special night of entertainment in the Conrad Ballroom with perfomances by singers Mohamed Hamaki, Amal Maher and Dina, as well as a special belly-dancing performance by Dina.
In the meantime, the gorgeous Dusit Thani Lakeview in 5th Settlement will have a special 300LE++ dinner to the setting of live jazz.
In Zamalek, El Sawy Culturewheel will host a special dinner evening so that you can lavish yourself with a multi-course feast before the big countdown.