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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Mobaco: Quality Cotton Goods in Heliopolis
Shopping for quality cotton products in Cairo is not an easy affair; a fact which makes us all the more grateful for retailers like Mobaco. Located on the second floor of Citystars' phase one, Mobaco is a spacious shop that could take hours to thoroughly go through. Once inside, the men's collection is to your left and the women's collection can be found to your right.
The men's section carries an abundance of polo shirts (160LE), dress shirts, t-shirts and blazers (380LE). Also available are bathing suits starting at 124LE.
After quickly scanning the men's section, we realized the women's section was far more colourful and interesting. Mobaco's dresses are its best feature; available in all lengths and patterns, they are perfect summer companions.
An ankle-length button-up denim frock costs 245LE, while a simple ankle-length dress is priced at 650LE. A loose-fitting orange floral dress had a price tag of 440LE, and a grey button-up dress with yellow, white and green flowers sold for 329LE. For 530LE you can get a powder pink and white knee-length floral dress with spaghetti straps.
Polo shirts, both long-sleeved and short-sleeved, come in a wide selection of colours starting at 124LE. Mobaco also carries basic t-shirts in all sorts of colours for 260LE. Although the price might seem a bit high for a basic design, the quality of Mobaco’s items is unsurpassable.
Mobaco's cotton skirts also come in a range of styles and colours. A white knee-length cotton skirt is for 440LE; maxi skirts are also available in several colours starting at 200LE. Another collection of maxi skirts by New Man are priced at 299LE.
You can also find sheer tunics for 490LE, denim shorts (490LE) and bolero jackets (315LE). Skinny trousers also come in several colours, such as royal blue, green, red, caramel and white.
Linen suits are also on offer; starting at 169LE for the trousers and 279LE for the blazer. For 219LE you can get yourself a basic pullover, while cotton cardigans – light enough to wear on a hot summer’s day – come in a variety of colours and are priced at 145LE.
In terms of accessories, Mobaco carries summer totes for 240LE and a chic pleather camel handbag was a bit overpriced at 450LE. Although Mobaco's handbag collection is pretty limited, it doesn't hurt to have a look around.
Some of Mobaco's prices might be a bit high, but we wholeheartedly believe that the quality of their items can hardly be matched in Cairo.
Shopping in Cairo isn’t always easy. In fact, it can, occasionally, be a nightmare. While many international brands and chain stores are readily available and more arrive by the month, finding quality, reasonably-priced basics can be somewhat of a challenge. Like so many things in Egypt, the difference between the best and the worst is immense.
Cottonball in Zamalek, however, has gone some way to fulfilling that need, stocking an extensive range of simple, plain Egyptian cotton-made t-shirts.
Having recently opened, the shop’s stock is reflected in its decor; simple and unfussy. The light grey and white walls allow the vast amount of colours to standout.
At the heart of the shop’s concept is supporting local industry and each of Cottonball’s lines is named after a different Egyptian governorate; for example, a line of v-neck t-shirts is named Aswan – a very cute touch by the owners.
Though there is a healthy amount of men’s t-shirts, the ratio definitely swings towards women’s, in models, fits and colours – as is the case usually in Cairo. Speaking of which, the colours covered by Cottonball’s products are seemingly infinite – you’ll find everything from loud neon lemon yellow, to demure rose pink.
Though not available for purchase as of yet, Cottonball is currently displaying samples of handmade accessories, too, though no definite date of when the full range will be in store has been locked down as of yet.
When it comes to prices, everything about Cottonball suggests that it will be expensive; the focus on the fact that it’s all made with Egyptian cotton as a gimmick and its location on the ‘high-end’, ‘upmarket’ island of Zamalek being two potential indicators that this place isn’t going to be exactly cheap. However, quite refreshingly, prices are rather reasonable.
Across both the men’s and women’s lines, long-sleeved t-shirts are 135LE, regular short-sleeved t-shirts are 125LE and tank-tops are 99LE. In addition, you can by any three t-shirts for 300LE.
Despite the simplicity of its product – plain t-shirts – the quality of the merchandise makes it sturdy and comfortable. It’s a t-shirt – what could go wrong?