Sign in using your account with
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Virgin Megastore: Gadgets, Games and Goodies
Once upon a time, over five years ago, Virgin Megastore was the first flagship store to operate in City Stars. This was way back, even before Spinney’s and Casper & Gambini. Virgin megastores took root in virgin territory, and ever since then, the store has been the Nr.1 venue for all things multimedia.
The store is roughly divided up into six sectors: books, consumer electronics, audio CDs, DVDs, Gaming and toys. Even so, the title megastore conjures up images of a sprawling estate, packed to the rafters with all manners of products and a veritable black hole for your monthly salary. Sadly, the reality is that Virgin occupies a space almost the same size as Zara on the same floor, and both are way smaller than Spinney’s. An efficient male shopper can tackle a brisk swim through the aisles in less than five minutes.
However, Zara doesn’t have a great selection of humorous graphic Tees and Spinney’s doesn’t have the hardcover edition of Larousse Gastronomique; so what’s in a space? Virgin, it would seem, is perfect for targeted shopping; procuring Paulo Coelho’s latest mental flatulence, grabbing DVD box sets, picking up more iPod accessories– or indeed an iPod itself.
The books section is remarkably large, and in fact seems to be one of their best performing sectors. The cooking section alone is worth a weekly pilgrimage (to those who are so inclined) and they also have a healthy selection of self-help books with titles like How To Kick Your Addictions…NOW!, et cetera, et cetera. For the aurally inclined, there are CDs– after all, Virgin does have its own music label– ranging from Arabic pop down to ska and punk. Right next to the CD section is the Apple corner, where you can find the latest iPods and Mac books (no iPads yet, sadly) with their accessories.
Almost every item in the toys/tees section is exclusive to Virgin Megastores. Nerf guns, Simpsons t-shirts and other little trinkets will bring out the child in any greying man. A catty corner away, there is an entire wall dedicated to the addiction that is video gaming. This is the place to be if you want to pick up that new Warbeast guitar for your PS3 Guitar Hero. If there ever was a time to take ’two princes‘ literally, then that time would be now. Right behind the toys section is a field of DVDs, Arabic and English alike, as well as along the columns holding the store up. Say what you will about DVDs as a physical media; at least in Virgin Megastores, you will be spoilt for choice.
For a store that seeks to be the jack of all trades, one would worry that it would end up as the master of none. But not so with Virgin; in City Stars, unless you’re shopping for underwear, all roads lead to Virgin.
Cairo needs to get healthier. It also needs less traffic and more physical activity. The answer? Bicycles of course!
As an easy form of transportation, a cheap ride and a simple act of recreation, bicycles are becoming the city’s new trend, especially with the countless bicycle stores opening up recently.
Located in the underground level of Akran Mall, 3agal Masr is a small, packed and easily missed shop providing high-end brand bicycles and essential accessories. The bikes are broken up into three categories, mountain, city and sports, each varying in brand and size depending on the bike’s intended use.
Suitable for off-road navigation, mountain bikes rally a rigid design proper for cross-country and downhill rides. Available were a few Fuji manufactured mountain bikes, labelled Nevada, varying in models, ranging in price from 2,600LE to 3000LE. For women, one mountain bike brand was available; a white Fuji Addy 1.3 for (3,350LE).
Specially designed for kids, 3agal Masr offer Fuji mountain bikes for the little ones. Available at the time of our visit was Fuji Dynamite 20, available in blue and grey for 2,200LE as well as the Fuji Dynamite 24, available in green and red. They also have BMX bikes for kids; two-model type Freestyle Bianchi bikes ranging from 3,500LE to 3,900LE) and an SE bike model (1,900LE) available in yellow and blue.
For Cairene's who enjoy roaming about the city on a smooth and easy ride, the store offers City/Urban Bikes ideal for everyday city commuters including the Fuji City Bikes and SE City Bikes, from 2,400LE to 3600LE, in blue, grey, green, orange and black, ranging in size from 49cm to 58cm.
For professional cycling, Sports bikes were also in stock delivering much more efficient aerodynamics. One Fuji manufactured bike was available; a Fuji Absolute 1.3 in Maroon Gloss for 6,000LE.
Professional SE Bikes for men and women were also available, including, a Monterey speed 21 in black and red (3,000LE), and a Monterey Speed 24 (3,400LE) in blue.
While they usually provide Adult Tricycles for family fun the store was unfortunately out of stock. Alternatively, there were E-Bikes, electric motor bikes, but only two BH E-Bikes were in stock ranging from a whopping 17,800LE to an even more whopping 22,300LE.
The most popular type of bicycle available in the store was the Fat Bike. Intended for snow and desert terrain, the Fat Bikes utilises a much more stable and robust design, with wider tires. Available was a TommiSea Fat Sand Cruiser 3 Speed brand (8000LE) in orange, black, green and red, as well as TommiSea Terrain Destroyer 8 Speed in green, white, black and orange (10,500LE).
Bicycle shopping isn’t something you do every day and so with so much money spent, it’s important to scope out all your choices – 3agal Masr should be pretty high on the list.