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Cairo Weekend Guide: Thanksgiving in Cairo, DEO Christmas Bazaar, Live Music & More!
Published On: 24/11/2016

The talk of the weekend seems to be around the impending national internet-crash that is the Black Friday sales as hundreds of shops slash their prices by up to 70%. If you do find the time to peel yourself away from your laptop, there are actually some pretty tasty events taking place. We begin on Thursday with Volume 2 of Theater of Dream's recently launched monthly series, Club Nights, which this time round sees Spanish electronic music legend, D-FORMATION, headline at Venue Lounge & Bar, with locals, Abou Samra and Jimmy, also on the line-up. There's more of thud-thud-satisfaction that only electronic music can provide over at The Garden Nile Front, meanwhile, where deep and tech house duo, Aguizi & Fahim, take to the stage. Elsewhere, Tamer Auf is the man in charge of the music at The Tap East in New Cairo, while sister venue, The Tap Maadi, kicks off the weekend with a dose of hip-hop and r&b courtesy of Soul M. Elsewhere, Aly B and Hassan Abou Alam are the behind the decks at Zigzag's House Night, while another nightlife haunt, Cairo Jazz Club, have a double header of live music in the form of Bluezophrenia and Beatles cover band, Glass Onion. There's more live music over at Zamalek's 3elbt Alwan, meanwhile, where Noha Fekry and Rami Attallah perform. Away from music altogether, Thursday is Thanksgiving and Cairo's restaurants have wholeheartedly embraced with many offering special Thanksgiving dinners, some of the best of which include Downtown bistro, Eish & Malh, Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski restaurant, Romanov, and Maadi favourite Lucille's. Speaking of imported holidays, Friday starts early with this year's edition of the annual DEO Christmas Bazaar, where shoppers will find food and drink from across the world and much more. Also starting early is Blurr Entertainment's new series, ROOTS, which this week will be headlined by Dutch tech DJ, Joey Daniel. More fun in the sun can be found at The Garden Nile Front, too, where Horrible DJs provide the music at boozy brunch event, Fridaze, while The Tap East's own Friday brunch welcomes singer-songwriter and guitarist, Hassan Ramzy. Later on in the evening, Cairo Jazz Club hosts a fantastic line-up that sees The Meteors Project, Aly Goede and Hisham Zahran all take to the stage, while local DJ and producer, SHIHA, makes a rare public appearance at Zigzag's Club Night. Away from nightlife, the legendary Le Petits Chats perform at Cairo Opera House, El Sawy Culturewheel's annual Chocofest continues and Madar hosts the eight edition of open mic talent show, Spellbound. Saturday is a little quieter, though maybe not at Cairo Jazz Club, where local Oriental rock favourites, Code Masr, perform. The Tap East, meanwhile, ends its weekend with hip-hip courtesy of DJ Mobbz, while The Tap Maadi welcomes Slim Nasr. Elsewhere, acclaimed Tunisian musician, Aziz Marak, is live at El Sawy Culturewheel and Egybadour perform at Madaar. Art-wise, there's plenty ro get stuck into, with one of the newest exhibitions in the city showing at Osana in Maadi. Hugh Snowden's Sea Song is inspired by the artists 35 year coastal experience in Egypt and he'll be taking part in a Q&A about the collection on Saturday. For more exhibitions, as well as parties, concerts and other events, check out the Cairo 360 events calendar.

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The Five Best Cairo Restaurants to Have Thanksgiving Dinner At
Published On: 23/11/2016

One thing you can't help but love about Cairo is that it very readily absorbs, so to speak – which is particularly the case when it comes to food. While we have our own food-oriented holidays and celebrations – Eid, Sham El Nessim, et al – Cairo goes crazy for American holidays, because, well, those guys know how to celebrate with food and then some. This is no more apparent than with Thanksgiving, which is why some of the city's best eateries are ditching their regular menus for the day (Thursday 24 November) and laying out turkey and all, yes all, the trimmings. Here are the best five. Lucille's Home of the 'World's Best Burger' and Road 9 mainstay, Lucille's, knows a thing or two about how the American's dine. Starting from 2PM, the restaurant's special Thanksgiving dinner will have all your old favourites, but it's first come, first served, so no dilly-dallying around. Romanov, The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski For a more high-end Thanksgiving experience, look no further than The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, where a lavish four-course dinner awaits at one of the hotel's best restaurants , Romanov, for a mere 250LE++ per person – and Cairo has been warned to leaves space for the restaurant's trademark Pumpkin Pie! The Tipsy Teapot One of the quirkier places to enjoy the most wholesome of holidays, The Tipsy Teapot, has become synonymous for its seasonal specials and Thanksgiving is no different. The Maadi restaurant's menu reads impressively and costs a fantastic 150LE++ per person. Eish & Malh As one of the best additions to Cairo's dining scene in the last few years, Downtown bistro, Eish & Malh, is also getting in on the act this year, with special plate with all the trimmings as well as a vegetarian option – both for 125LE. Served up between 1PM and midnight, there will also be some live music to boot in the evening. Roy's Country Kitchen, Cairo Marriott Hotel Another restaurant that knows a thing or two about American dining, Roy's Country Kitchen is almost certainly the best option for those that really want to feast. Why? One word: buffet. The Cairo Marriott Hotel restaurant is big on portions and flavours and this Thanksgiving is set to stay true to that.

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Peace at The Palace: The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski's End of Year Spa Offers
Published On: 22/11/2016

Only one year after opening its pearly gates, The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski has very much established itself as one of the best hotels in the city – spend one visit to the spa, one night in a room or one evening at The Palace's restaurants and you'll know exactly what we're talking about. It's this year of all-round lavishness that The Palace celebrated this month with some suitably lavish style and its set to continue into the New Year. The hotel's resident paradise of Asian cuisine, Yana, will now be open for lunch as well as dinner, while 1897 Bar and Cigar lounge shall remain to be the hotspot where you sit back, sip on your drink while a live singer chants 5 days a week. Because Thursday are special, 1897 Bar brings its signature Cigar Nights to live weekly; perfect if you are a bold Cigar smoker! The awesome news is that Bab Al Qasr's weekly wiggle shall continue into the festive season with Egypt's most in-demand belly-dancer, Amie Sultan, whose performances have come to be a staple for weekends in Cairo. But if you're looking to kick-off the New Year with peace of mind, then look no further than The Palace's world-class spa facilities at The Resense Spa, which has some mighty fine end of year membership packages and special discounts for the festive season. Ranging from the one-month Topaz package, to the six-month, to the twelve-month Amethyst package, the offers include all kinds of extras, including complimentary fitness assessments, to discounts on dining and specific treatments for both singles and couples (see below). What's more is that to mark the New Year, the folk at The Palace are offering a 20% discount on the 6-month and one year packages. Topaz - 1 month Single 2,250 LE/ Couple 3,980 LE Benefits (*): -1 Complimentary Fitness Assessment -10% discount on all Spa treatments -10% discount on Personal Training session -15% discount on F&B dining experience -Valet parking up to 3 hours at the hotel's car park -Complimentary access to the outdoor swimming pool Emerald – 3 months Single 6,150 LE /Couple 11,500 LE Benefits (*): -1 Complimentary Fitness Assessment -1 Complimentary Personal Training session -10% discount on all Spa treatments -10% discount on Personal Training sessions -15% discount on F&B dining experience -Valet parking up to 3 hours at the hotel's car park Complimentary access to the outdoor swimming pool Sapphire – 6 months Single 11,100 LE / Couple 21,000 LE Benefits (*): -2 Complimentary Fitness Assessments -2 Complimentary Personal Training sessions -Complimentary access to the outdoor swimming pool -10% discount on all Spa treatments -10% discount on Personal Training sessions -Ability to freeze the membership up to 1 month -15% discount on F&B dining experience -10% discount on hotel's laundry -Valet parking up to 3 hours at the hotel's car park Amethyst – 12 months Single 19,800 LE / Couple 36,500 LE Benefits (*): -4 Complimentary Fitness Assessments -4 Complimentary Personal Training sessions -Complimentary use of outdoor swimming pool -20% discount on all Spa Treatments -10% discount on Personal Training sessions -10 Complimentary visitor passes for the spa & fitness facilities -10% discount on spa retail products -Ability to freeze the membership up to 3 months -15% discount on F&B dining experience -10% discount on hotel's laundry -Valet parking up to 3 hours at the hotel's car park *Terms and conditions apply For more information on, check out The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski's Facebook page or call 02-2389-9000.

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Cairo Weekend Guide: Cairo International Film Festival, #Inktober Exhibition, Live Music & More
Published On: 17/11/2016

Whether you're a culture vulture or more of a nightlife fiend, this weekend has plenty for Cairenes to sink their teeth into. One of the biggest events this weekend is also one of the biggest of the year: the Cairo International Film Festival. Now in its 38th year, this year's edition of the festival is set to resume screenings in Downtown Cairo or the first time since 2012, is shaping up to be one of the biggest editions yet. On the nightlife front, Thursday is chockablock with events, starting over in 6th October City, Where the party pushers of DISCONNECT are taking over Helnan Dream Hotel with a party headlined by Brazilian tech house and techno DJ, Glitter. Also on the line-up, is locals Abou Samra, Gaser, Fayek and Gio. Over in Zamalek, meanwhile, Dream Catchers is taking over Venue Lounge & Bar with Milan-based tech house DJ, Raffa FL, providing the music. Elsewhere Zigzag has resumed its normal weekend program, with the Downtown bar set to welcome Saleh Amin and Zeina for House Night, while Misty & Hafez reunite for a gig at the Tao East in New Cairo and Ramy DJunkie returns to sister venue, The Tap Maadi. One of the biggest music events, however, is over at Cairo Jazz Club, where Kuwaiti-based electronic artist, Zahed Sultan, and Egypt's own NeoByrd take to the stage. Summer might have come and gone, but that hasn't stopped Cairo indulging in the odd day-party, with this Friday seeing another edition of Nacelle's Funk N Pop take place at Royal Club Mohamed Aly. There's more fun in the sun at Nineteen Twenty Five, meanwhile, where seasoned Egyptian DJ and event organiser, Shady Ezz, kicks off new series, Sundown, where Oscar De Rivera headlines a line-up that includes Fayek, A-Squared and Ezz himself. Later on in the evening, Cairo Jazz Club welcomes popular progressive house DJ, Mohasseb, while Club Night at Zigzag welcomes Toyboys for a rare Cairo gig. There's plenty of live music across the city, too, including a Screwdriver gig at The Tap Maadi, a Karkadan performance at Zamalek's 3elbt Alwan a night of reggae at Bab 18 courtesy of Sefsafa. The live music continues on Saturday, too, with Cairo Jazz Club winding down the weekend with local bands, Mazaj and Bahiyya, and a Hisham Blues performance at 3elbt Alwan. Elsewhere, one of Cairo's most versatile DJs, Sebzz, is the man in charge of the music at The Tap Maadi, while hip-hop and r&b are on the menu over at The Tap East courtesy of DJ A.K. There's plenty of art around the city, too, with some of the highlight exhibitions including SOMA Art Gallery's Inktober exhibition, Evasive Route at CIC and Inji Efflatoun exhibition, Freedom After Prison. This is, of course, just a snapshot of the events taking place across Egypt's capital this weekend; check out the Cairo 360 events calendar for more.

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Elna: Tamara is About to Get a Hip New Sister…
Published On: 15/11/2016

Let's start off with a bit of controversy: Lebanese food is better than Egyptian – gasp! Call us traitors, but it's just a fact. One of the main instigators in this act of culinary traitorousness over the last few years has been Tamara Lebanese Bistro. As one of the most popular Lebanese restaurants in Cairo, Tamara's key to success has been an intangible balance of casual and fine dining that it's managed to strike – all the wholesomeness of Levantine food, but with a more refined touch. This week, however, Tamara is set to launch a whole new concept that leans a little more to the casual: Elna. More than just an extension of the Tamara name, Elna is set to arrive at New Cairo's Point 90 Mall with a unique new menu that fuses the best of Lebanese with some of the more contemporary foods and cuisines of today – there's a delicious-sounding, guilt-free Lebanese-tinted quinoa salad on the menu, for example. Like every younger sibling, the blueprints of its older sibling are there, but the new addition to the family very much has its own identity, catering to Cairo's young and restless. While words like 'cool', 'hip' and 'trendy' are actually, well, rather un-cool, pretty un-hip and ever so un-trendy, Elna is letting the food do the talking with a menu that promises to take on the traditional and the modern in one creative swoop – something that Cairo will get a little taste of at the grand opening on Wednesday 16 November. Starting nice and early at 2PM, invitees will not only get the chance to dive into the menu, but will also be serenaded by two of the coolest, hippest and trendiest local acts in Cairo: dreamy, swoon-inducing singer-songwriter, Hassan Ramzy, and off-the-wall rockers, Bluezophrenia. The day's entertainment will also feature two caricature artists. Elna comes as the latest venture by the growing Mori Co, who have been responsible for some of Cairo's other food trendsetters, Mori Sushi, Mince and Ted's. More importantly though, Lebanese food is better than Egyptian food. For proof, stay tuned to Elna on Facebook and Instagram.

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How to Become a Rock Star in Cairo Part Four: Booking & Playing Gigs
Published On: 09/11/2016

Now that we've established how to pick and buy your instrument, where and how to hone your skills, jam and record a demo, this article will look at the places and venues that will give you a shot at playing a gig on their stage. Playing live gives you the best opportunity for more exposure and finding your audience; there are venues that will give you a chance even if it's your first gig, but with others you'll have to have a few under your belt before they can lend you their stage. So here are the venues that will give you a shot if they see potential in you: The Tap & The Tap East The Tap Maadi and The Tap East are widely considered nightlife hotspots and hubs for rising artists and musicians, the latter offering one of the physically bigger stages across Cairo bars. El Sawy Culturewheel El Sawy Culturewheel in Zamalek may not be the coolest venue in town, but it has have given many underground bands and musicians their start, so it's a must check out for anyone wanting to start their musical path, offering a big audience space. ROOM Art Space In Garden City, ROOM Art Space and café don't just offer courses on music, but they also offer a stage to showcase that music to people, and give you even more exposure since it has a very intimate setting. 3elbt Alwan A small and cosy venue in the heart of Zamalek, 3elbt Alwan gives a sense that you're sitting in a living room – one with quirky antiques everywhere. It's a great place to start your path and gives you an alternative crowd to play to. Balcon Lounge Balcon lounge offers the potential of much more intimate performance thanks to its small size and is versatile in that it has hosted all different kinds of musicians and artists over the years – everything from acoustic to electronic and beyond. Cairo Jazz Club Dry-nights aside, Cairo Jazz Club hosts artists and musicians every single night of the week. As one of Cairo's most popular bars, they're bookings comprise of both local and international artists, but they've never been afraid to take a shot on someone. Funk N Pop by Nacelle Event organiser, Nacelle, are responsible for some of the biggest parties in Egypt, with Funk N Pop having emerged as one of the most popular music events we've seen in some time. Though DJs rule in other parties like the annual SANDBOX and the perennial midweek B-Side, FNP has seen Nacelle book a wide variety of performers, ranging from the established, to the relative unknown. Now that we've pointed you to the right direction, it's up to you to take the steps you need to get on stage. Most of these venues will have a particular person who deals with bookings, so seek them out, have recorded material ready and don't stop sending your music out there to see what sticks. Good Luck!

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Five Ways to Warm Up with The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski This Winter
Published On: 07/11/2016

Winter is com…no, only kidding, that phrase is so last year. Instead, let us consider this; winter is fleeting in Egypt, yes, but the cold season's short stay can be brutal. But we're not here to talk about wearing warm clothes or cuddling up the couch with a slanket; let the warm embrace of The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski wash over you with these five refuse -Go Oriental at Bab Al Qasr We all know and love Bab Al Qasr as an outdoor venue, but The Palace have moved things indoors for the coming colder months, offering a cosier Oriental experience with all the expected trimmings. Top Lebanese and Syrian food, infused with Egyptian flavour? Check. Live Oriental music on-tap? Check? Sizzling belly-dancing performance? Check and then some, thanks to Egypt's most in-demand belly-dancer, Amie Sultan and live singing. -Feel the Vibes at Vibes Lounge There are few more comforting things in the winter than the smell of freshly baked goods – something that there's plenty of at Vibes Lounge – home to one of the best bakeries in Cairo, where you can enjoy breakfast, take some goodies home or just indulge in some midday munching. Yummy. -Cuddle Up with Chef Antonio at Lucca Notice how this (and the below) is labelled Chef Antonio at Lucca rather than just Lucca. You see, many have claimed to offer authentic Italian cuisine over the years, but thanks to the skilled Chef Antonio Carrano, that's very much a reality at Lucca, where signature dishes include his trademark pizza, as well as homemade gnocchi and risottos. -Spoon with Chef Prapai at Yana Chef Prapai Pattamang, meanwhile, has been weaving his own magic at The Palace's Asian restaurant, Yana, by tailoring his own new menu. Asian cuisine is usually thought of as quick and casual food, but Prapai has taken all the comfort of that and fused it into a fine-dining master-class. The proof? Try Yana's papaya salad and seared Wagyu beef medallions, or go for classic with some spicy Thai red curry. Better yet, starting November 13, you can enjoy Chef Prapai's gastronomical creations for lunch, too. Yum. -Spend a Weekend at The Palace… or a Weekday! Yes, for the ultimate in closing yourself off into a lap of luxury, The Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski has rooms starting as low as 1590LE per room, per night with beakfast. Though it's one of the newer hotels in Cairo, The Palace has the kind of lived-in feeling that is so lacking in hotels usually – that intangible x-factor that will make you feel at home and not at some kind of stop-over. Dining, nightlife, wellness are all at your fingertips. Form more on The Palace, check out the hotel's Facebook page. Stay warm.

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Orange is Giving Customers Free Access to VIU!
Published On: 07/11/2016

Having launched in the Middle East this year, on-demand video service, Viu, has been a treasure cove for the young and restless in Egypt, offering up access to more than 42,000 hours of content. The folk at Orange Egypt seem to be big fans of the service, because they're giving customers the chance to enjoy up to four months of free access because – well, just for the hell of it. How can you enjoy the free premium subscription? It's all incredibly simple: all you have to do is subscribe to any monthly online package, starting with Online 25, or the Kalam El Net monthly package and then – well, that's it. It's really that simple and you will have free access to unlimited local and international content covering movies, TV series, music videos and more. Viu Arabia launched in 2016 in the Middle East to great acclaim after successful launches in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and India and now stands as one of the best services of its kind. For more information, visit www.orange.eg.

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Cairo Wedding Festival Marks Another Huge Event
Published On: 06/11/2016

Largely considered one of the most luxurious events of its kind, Cairo Wedding Festival took over Uptown Cairo for its 2016 edition and it was possibly the biggest and most extravagant yet. Bringing together service from a variety of fields, the all-day event kicked off at 1PM, allowing brides and grooms to-be the chance to consult experts from fashion, beauty and cosmetics, home decoration, food, floristry and more. There are few bigger and more active industries in Egypt than that of weddings and CWF catered to all of that and more, with thousands of Cairenes attending, all to the background of music and entertainment, the highlight of which came courtesy of the Middle East's most famous wedding bands, the Black & White Parade. They weren't the only big names in attendance, however, with CWF's catwalk welcoming some of the top designers around; rising fashion house, Esmat Fakher Haute Couture, rolled out a stunning wedding collection, as did Chantelle Wedding Dress, while some truly unique jewellery collection was on show courtesy of Botros Jewellery. Among the guests, meanwhile, attendees got the chance to meet the likes of Dalia Mostafa, Mais Hamdan and Gihan Wamary, who added an extra touch of glamour as some of the most stylish and fashion-conscious celebrities in the country. The night came to a close in spectacular fashion, meanwhile, with Ahmed Essam treating guests to one of his trademark extravagant fireworks show. It was a fitting ending to what has, over the years, become one of the biggest wedding service exhibitions in both Egypt and the Middle East. In bringing the biggest names and the most creative brands together under one roof, CWF makes what is traditionally a stressful and arduous process into a much more enjoyable one that allows future brides and grooms to browse, discuss and choose their options at their leisure. For more information, check out Cairo Wedding Festival on Facebook.

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Fanta Crowns Winner of Gaming Championships at Huge Grand Finale
Published On: 03/11/2016

The cult of gaming in Egypt is at its biggest right now and you needn't look further than the Fanta Gaming Championships for proof. Bringing together PS gamers and FIFA 16 fans from all across Egypt, the tournament came to a close on Friday 28 October at Cairo Festival City Mall, where a fun-fest of gaming, entertainment and other activities made for a memorable day. After hundreds of contestants entered, only a handful went to the grand finale; but there was much more to get stuck into, with this year's players and attendees privy to a special percussion show as well as freestyle performance as part of the opening ceremony. But there could only be one winner and the spoils went to young Mohamed Hesham, who's crowning glory was awarded with a brand new PS4 and a trip to Paris, as well as the championship trophy. If there was ever any doubt about this article's opening statement about the rise of gaming in Egypt, then the tournament itself will almost certainly dispel it – during the face-offs, there was an analytical studio commentating on each game as well as an interactive screen that the audience had fun with. In addition, there were baby foot tables and Playstation stations available to attendees, too. The event was met with the kind of enthusiasm that only an actual real football match can incite and its gone one step further in cementing Egypt as one of the biggest gaming countries in the Middle East – it seems like all that time in the cyber have paid off. For more information on the Fanta Gaming Championships, click here.

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Five Ways the New Emaar Egypt Community App Makes Life a Whole Lot Easier

The digital age, as they call it, has brought everything – and we mean everything – a touch away through that small little thing we have come to take for granted: the smartphone. There's an app for pretty much everything these days and one of the latest to shake up the way we do things day to da