Historically, the notion of bazaars has run through Egyptian and Middle Eastern history with an unapologetic consistency. Cairo is of course home to Khan El Khalili, one of the most infamous bazaars in the world, and there are many more examples, hidden away in the most secluded parts of the city.
In the last few years, however, we've seen a new wave of bazaars taking what is a very traditional, almost rudimentary, concept into the twenty first century. Granted, the charm and atmosphere of Khan El Khalili and others like it are inimitable, but Cairo's top event planners and venues are coming together to give Cairenes the defintive family day out with the May Day; a cacophony of shopping, food, music and activities at NEWGIZA on Friday 17th of May.
Many will know NEWGIZA simply as a corporation that is hell-bent on transforming Cairo's expansive deserts into luxury suburbs, but a real sense of community runs throughout the real estate giant's principles.
Organisers have combined the collaborative forces of event organisers, El Hawanem, Feminine Touch and Bazarna, to create what is set to be a veritable shopping gala for Cairo's shopaholics to indulge in. The 'Hand in Hand Bazaar', as it has been suitably named to reflect the communal efforts of everyone involved, is set to bring together some of the best retailers in the country, both established and emerging – the latter of which offering exclusive, one-of-a-kind lines.
In addition, NEWGIZA has invited a number of the city's best dining venues to set up shop during the bazaar. Everything from café favourite, L'Aroma, to Oriental food wizards, Cairo Kitchen, will be there, serving up some top notch food and drink. That's not all, though; El Gouna-based sausage-specialist, Bob's Hotdogs, is wasting no time in seeping into diners' consciousness, having just opened its first Cairo branch in Maadi – they'll be piling hotdogs to the heavens, offering their addictive snack at the May Day, while other dining options will include La Pietra, Abu Shakra, TBS and many more.
Throughout the day, there will be a DJ on hand to keep things ticking, but this is only really a filler for the event's highlights; live performances from Abo wel Shabab and the Percussion Show.
Made up of the best contemporary percussionist in the country, the Percussion Show has only been performing together for less than a year. In that time, however, the group has garnered a frenzied following to their electrifying gigs. Meanwhile, five-man group, Abo wel Shabab, provide the perfect afternoon backdrop with their unique brand of Oriental music, with a little twist.
The May Day even caters for kids, with a specialised programme that includes pony-riding, a plethora of arts and crafts activities and more. The Real Madrid Foundation Academy will also be hosting a freestyling competition and mini football matches for all to enjoy.
With thousands expected to attend throughout the day, we're hoping that the May Day will set a series of similar events in motion. Suitable space for events of this magnitude is at a premium in Cairo, which makes the May Day and NEWGIZA's community-driven goals all the more important.
We hope to see you all there!