The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


An Expert’s Guide to Bargain Shopping in Cairo

An Expert’s Guide to Bargain Shopping in Cairo
    written by
    Soraya Morayef

    Anyone who claims
    that they can’t find bargain shopping in Cairo
    is delusional. First of all, we Egyptians love a good bargain; we may not have
    created the concept of sales and discounts, but we very well could have. Just
    take a look at any discount store around the world (Primark, Dollar Store,
    Forever 21), and you may find several of us arguing loudly over the Sale of the Day rack.

    Back here in Cairo , we have several
    bargain-friendly markets to choose
    from, whether it’s the flea market at Wekalet
    El Balah
    every Sunday or the Friday
    near the City of the Dead. These markets are refreshing
    alternatives to the tourist hub of Khan
    El Khalili
    market, which is fun but not necessarily cheap, even for expert

    Aside from the
    markets, several retail outlet and export
    reject stores
    are spread out around the Capital. It’s a well-known secret
    that select clothing for many international brands such as GAP, Banana
    Republic, Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralf Lauren are manufactured in Egypt . Usually
    inconspicuous holes in the walls, these stores basically sell items that have
    been rejected due to minor faults in stitching, printing, etc. Prices range
    from 5LE for tank tops all the way to 90LE for jeans.

    Located in
    Zamalek on Mansour Mohamed Street ,
    Fostok has been
    the guilty shopping secret of many posh Zamalek residents over the years.
    Offering lightweight cotton trousers, Polo Ralph Loren polo shirts, funky print
    cotton t-shirts and jeans for 100LE as well as colourful maxi dresses, Fostok
    is a great source for summer clothing or sportswear that won’t leave a dent in
    your pocket. Next door is Matchbox,
    which offers lesser-known brands of just as affordable clothing. Most items
    retail for under 100LE, including brightly coloured lycra-cotton cardigans,
    long and short cotton skirts and lightweight leggings in several colours for
    around 60LE.

    While Mohandiseen
    has a few tiny outlet stores (keep your eyes peeled for the 9LE store on Shehab Street ),
    Maadi has a respectable selection of shops, including Nile Stock Outlet
    on Road 231 next to Vittorio’s, a two-level store with a respectable selection
    of sweaters in the winter and a few Adidas clothing items. Outlet
    on El Laselky Street
    in New Maadi has a great collection of affordable and well-fitting jeans that
    has attracted several bargain shoppers from all over town. Aside from the
    typical track trousers and tank top selection, the store also has a regular
    collection of cartoon t-shirts for men and children, including faded Loony
    Tunes t-shirts for around 70LE. It also carries some cute bibs and baby
    clothing at very reasonable prices.

    For more upmarket
    outlet options, check out Red Tags in
    Fifth Settlement (stay tuned to Cairo 360 for
    our upcoming review), and Designers
    on Sale by Beymen
    in Heliopolis .
    Both stores offer mid- to high-range labels from Guess to Gucci at considerably
    reduced but still high prices. If you’re looking for discount quality running
    shoes, swimsuits and tennis shorts, the Adidas
    Store has various
    branches, notably on the Maadi Corniche and next to Carrefour Maadi, and is
    located next to the Reebok and Timberland outlets.

    And last but not
    least, never underestimate cheap clothing stores like Sxy
    and Fabulous,
    which make extremely affordable women’s wear in a relaxed cotton and Lycra-mix.
    Before you turn your nose up at Fabulous’
    rather uncool and unhip appearance; take the time to browse through its
    racks: other the years, we’ve found several amazing bargains like flowing
    knee-length black skirts, wraparound cardigans, leggings in a multitude of
    colours, soft woollen sweaters and light t-shirts. Most items fall under 100LE,
    while their maxi dresses or long cardigans may reach 120LE. With branches all
    over Cairo ,
    this shop is a dependable source of light and summery clothing.

    So when you feel
    the bargain itch coming on, remember that there’s no need to wait for Zara and
    H&M’s next seasonal sales. These stores and markets have year-round
    discounts and bargains to delight your shopping addiction, fill your closet and
    still leave you with enough money to eat till the end of the month.