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Mohandiseen, Cairo, Egypt.
Cow Gift Shop: Fun Cairo Gift Shop
Often in Cairo, the term 'gift shop' either describes a ridiculously high-priced shop that lacks high-quality items or the 2.5LE good-for-nothing outlet. Luckily, this reviewer stumbled upon a shop that not only has a convenient gift for just about every occasion; it also literally creates occasions out of most items.
Just the sight of Cow Gift Shop would make anyone want to celebrate; its colours, hip design and homey wooden interior all make it look fun and interesting. The shop is divided into well organised sections, which lead you straight to the gift that you are looking for and ensure that you will never be lost among the many objects on display.
All year long, there are corners for baby shower gifts, stuffed pillows, and a very red section for Valentine’s Day. With the exception of a few slightly overpriced items such as the bridal gifts, prices are very reasonable. For 100LE, you can buy great gifts for a whole group of people, which is generally more than what other gift shops offer.
A medium-sized teddy bear starts at 25LE, but if you want to be creative, they have a whole section dedicated to stuffed cow-shaped toys, cow-print fabrics for lamps and clothes hangers, photo frames; you name it.
Aside from high-quality decorative and antique gifts, Cow also features usable everyday items: you can purchase a box of flowery bath scents, a set of candles or a nice cow-shaped mug for around 20LE.
The only downside may be the shop assistant that follows you around wherever you go. Also, some standard gifts at the shop aren’t very budget-friendly: a little metal key chain can cost as much as 50LE; though it might be a good reason to start thinking of more unexpected presents.
Once you’ve got your gift, the cashier presents you with a huge selection of fabrics and shapes for gift wrapping. They have many imaginative wrapping techniques that you can choose from via the digital catalogue: an interesting house-shaped wrapping for a medium- sized gift starts at 25LE.
When it comes to cards, Cow stock everything from little glittery cards to arm-length foldouts that pop up 3D paper flowers. The shop has a whole wall dedicated to cards organised per special occasions, as well as greeting cards with simple messages.
To sum it up, Cow Gift Shop is a place where you would be at a loss deciding what not to buy. Go in with an optimistic spirit; and you’ll find what you’re looking for in no time.
Gift Carnival has a variety of wrappers, bows, ribbons and such to make gifts as festive as possible and prices range according to size and amount of supplies used. . While they had a lot of plain balloons, the occasion-specific ones were out of stock, although you can also grab some helium balloons (8LE each). Gift bags are also available in surplus, with prices ranging about 10LE. Celebratory cards (12LE) are offered in great variety, many of which were simple and appealing, without being too tacky or fussy.
Apart from gift accessories, you may also find the gift itself while roaming the shop. A definite highlight, and one of the nicest items we’ve seen around, were porcelain travel mugs (100LE) in a range of vibrant colours and patterns.
The shop also carries lightweight storage pieces - essentially a straw chest of drawers - at a very steep price of 790LE; single baskets are also available, most useful for storing small items and knickknacks. Interestingly, the Gift Carnival had quite the selection of scarves claiming to be Burberry and Gucci, at 100LE to 150LE.
Other household items include candles; a large one was discounted from 260LE to 130LE, while scented candles come at a much more reasonable price between 20LE and 40LE. Gift Carnival also has a range of kitchen utensils such as egg whiskers, cheese graters, cheese knives and vegetable peelers – all around 20LE each.
If you’re looking to decorate your Christmas tree, the shop also has a bunch of tree ornaments available. Though not very exciting or unique, a box of large round ornaments, with two per packet, costs 25LE.
The knickknacks are endless at Gift Carnival. Louis Vuitton inspired lighters, refrigerator magnets, decorative boxes, pillows, stuffed animals, there appears to be no restricted theme.
If you’re looking to wrap a gift or buy a helium balloon than Gift Carnival is likely a good stop.