Most expats living in Egypt often have the common issue of knowing their way around the new place or locals as sometimes it’s harder to belong around a community if you don’t share the same language, traditions or even religious beliefs. When expats decide to leave Egypt, they never have the same feelings as they did when they once arrived. There are many places that an expat can consider their home but it’s a tough decision that revolves around many factors but there is one area that has a little bit of everything and that place is called Maadi. You can find a combination of expats currently living in Maadi that involve a lot of different cultures and races from teachers working abroad to diplomats serving their embassies, a place where you can have a good time without any worries of spending too much or not being careful once you figure out the know-hows around the streets and knowing how to deal with locals that will make you feel home away from home.
Maadi is a south suburban district with a wide variety of natural life located south of Cairo on the east bank of the Nile and practically in the middle of every place you can go or visit around the capital of Egypt. One of the very few areas in the country that have a strong based expat community that are helpful and useful for you within your time in Egypt. The area of Maadi is filled with such beautiful nature and environment that will make you want to be outdoors more often than indoors and will make you want to be more active among your community with recreational activities that can be cherished among your friends and family. Maadi is not only distinguished by its geographic isolation far from the rest of Cairo but rather by its significant style and overwhelming beauty of its green nature that dominates its streets.
The story of this significant neighborhood dates back to 1904 when a railway track was built connecting Cairo to Helwan a suburb, particularly when the Mosseri cousins bought wide stretches of land on both sides of the track and resold them to Egyptian Delta Land and Investment Company (EDLCO).
Maadi was planned in 1905 by an English-Canadian retired officer captain Alexander J. Adams in a radial pattern around the railway station. Maadi steadily grew into a wonderful town; well planned and organized it was a home for artists, literati, and the high social class as well as a collection of foreign nationalities.
Maadi flourished by the inauguration of the sporting club (Maadi sporting club), its first bank (Bank of Alexandria ex-Barclays), and its first gas station (Mobil) and a number of other services including committees' churches and mosques.
Construction in Maadi had certain rules and regulations that had to be followed (specified colors for shutters, a ratio of the garden to building per plot, a width of sidewalk etc…) all in continuous harmony to produce the "paradise of Cairo". The town was divided into several districts; the two railway tracks and the canal played a big part in this due to their vertical intersection. The residential area grew within the tracks and just outside towards the Nile while outside the tracks a barracks was constructed by Khedive Ismail as well as a military camp holding 76,000 officers. Maadi had a commercial strip situated on road 9 parallel to one of the railway tracks, no stores were to be opened anywhere else except on the west side of that particular street.
Maadi has evolved into a small city-like place unable to maintain its isolation from what is around it. Maadi gained some of the characteristics of the great city of Cairo. High rise buildings and traffic have recently appeared, fast food chains, supermarkets, department stores… everything. Opinions are divided concerning this fast and overwhelming change, some say that it is normal and is a form of development equal to that of the country and on a greater scale the world. The other opinion says that a place with the significance of Maadi should be preserved and its unique style and beauty saved throughout the generations.
The district of Maadi is well known for three major areas such as: Old Maadi, Zahraa El Maadi and New Maadi. The areas that hold many expat communities would be Degla and Sarayat El Maadi. New Maadi is well known for its modern and commercial shops and restaurants that is an excellent selection for expats looking to shop or eat familiar food or even traditional food.
KORNICH EL MAADI
DEGLA EL MAADI
OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Whether you like to involve yourself with social activities or enjoying the night out with your co-workers or family, you will be pleasantly surprised with what Maadi has to offer you. When it comes to social activities you can play all types of sports in Maadi Club that is located in the heart of Maadi. Living in Maadi is all about being outdoors and enjoying the green scenery at all times, during the morning the view is breathtaking and during nights the wind and slight breeze can take your breath away.
MAADI SPORTS & YACHT CLUB
Address(s): (Demshek, Maadi as Sarayat Al Gharbeyah, Maadi, Cairo Governorate) (Ring Rd, Al Abageyah, El-Khalifa, Cairo Governorate)
A well-known destination for the residents of Maadi, which contains a broad attraction for different generations of families that visit the many different branches around the district of Maadi. It is a club that is based on being a member but the entrance fee isn’t that expensive as it comes out to be 50 pounds which is almost equivalent to 4 U.S. dollars, you can also receive invitations that can only be granted from a club member that can be your friend or family member. It is great for social gatherings, dining and different courts of sports that can be played for anyone who wants to break a sweat as well.
WADI DEGLA SPORTING CLUB
Address: 4th District, Zahraa El Maadi, Cairo Governorate
Wadi Degla Sporting Club has been succeeding for longer than 15 years in the category of Sporting Clubs by having more than 148 thousand families that have applied for memberships due to the fact that Wadi Degla provides some of the best academies and facilities when it comes to sports in Egypt. They provide such academies and facilities for the following sports:
THE OLYMPIC CENTER
Address: Road 250, Maadi, Cairo Governorate
The Olympic Center is one of the core centers for national teams since it opened in 1990. The Olympic Center offers services that can assist national teams such as medical treatment/equipment, accommodations for teams and sports facilities with the latest equipment to meet international and Olympic standards. The center provides different kinds of courts for all sports such as soccer fields, volleyball and basketball courts, boxing facilities and much more like a health club that is for men and women and sports for children from the ages 4-12 years old who are interested in building their physique in participating in the likes of swimming classes, gymnastics, karate, handball and even tennis.
The Olympic Center consists of training for all national teams no matter the region, companies and embassies looking forward to creating competitions and tournaments to improve their work environment and classes for adults or children who are looking forward to being recreational with their available time.
OLYMPIC CENTER, MAADI
RESTAURANTS AND COFFEE SHOPS
Whether you like to eat in fancy restaurants or anything like fast food, there are many popular places you can visit within Maadi that will make your choices about what you want to eat that much easier for you. There are places like Nasr Street, Road 9 and a food court called “The Courtyard” located behind Bandar Cinema that has many different forms of restaurants and coffee shops that will make you enjoy your outing with the wide variety of options. If you are a foodie or love your coffee any time during your day, then Maadi has you covered as well with such popular fast food chains, restaurants and coffee shops such as:
Greco Coffee shop
THE COURTYARD, MAADI
EDUCATION IN MAADI
Maadi is also an excellent place to take care of your family or raise your own family as it has many different international schools that can be picked upon your choice. One of the biggest problems expats face is enrolling their children into proper schools that will educate them in the right manner needed to brighten and better their future and with the following schools in Maadi, you won’t have a shortage of great education or proper discipline. If you are having problems choosing the best schools to enroll your children in, we can help you with the top list of international and American schools that Maadi has to offer such as:
Cairo American College
Manhattan Schools Of Egypt
The British School In Cairo
Victoria College School
Lycée Français du Caire
MANHATTAN SCHOOLS OF EGYPT
CAIRO AMERICAN COLLEGE
When it comes to commuting back and forth for your location of business or work, sometimes it’s a hassle to be driving within the streets of Cairo due to the traffic that almost feels around the clock, you can take your hands off the wheel and realize that commuting isn’t as difficult as you would imagine. Maadi has different forms of transportation that can be used in case you don’t want to drive or don’t have a vehicle of your own. You can use the following transportation as following to get to where you need to be when you need to be there:
One of the most popular ways and convenient ways to get around Cairo specifically is using the metro or as it is well known abroad the subway. You can find three different subway stations in Maadi that can be helpful regardless where you are currently residing and those three stations are:
Maadi Metro Station (Located in Road 9)
Hadayek Metro Station (Located in Hadayek El Maadi)
Thakanat Metro Station (Located in Thakanat El Maadi)
These three metro stations are not too far apart when it comes to taking the metro but when it comes to walking distance or running late, it is quite useful to use it when necessary. Not to mention that it is one of the quickest forms of transportation for all residents in Egypt because it’s cheaper than most forms of transportation to take you to a further destination. Prices may vary regarding the rides or stations you plan to take. Rides of up to nine stops on the third metro line costs EGP 5, rides of 6-15 stops will be priced at EGP 7, and rides of 16 stops or more will cost EGP 10. These prices can change for senior citizens, people with disabilities or students.
In this generation, the white taxi has lost its touch since application services such as Uber/Careem have taken over the market with their reliable service and safety, most people re-consider using the white taxi for safety concerns and disagreements towards prices. Especially when it comes to the district of Maadi and Taxi drivers have the knowledge that there are many foreigners they tend to try to get more than they deserve so here are some helpful tips that can help you the next time you plan to take a trip in a white taxi:
Safety First: Don’t get into the taxi until you tell the driver where you are going first and what is the price you are willing to pay for such a trip. Most expats make the mistake of getting into the taxi and expecting the taxi to accept any destination with a proper fare. Make sure to check that the taxi has a working meter counter so you will not be forced to pay over your budget.
Negotiation: If the driver doesn’t have a working counter, it is best to tell the driver your destination and how much you are willing to pay for such a trip. Most of the time they will refuse the first offer if they see that you are a foreigner and that you can pay little more than what you offered so it is best for you to negotiate with the driver until you reach an acceptable deal before getting into the taxi. Usually it is best to learn your negotiations from a local because most of the time fares may vary due to petrol prices rising constantly. Check with any of your friends or family members that can be locals or accustomed to riding taxis often because they know the accepted price and most of the time will pay without much needed negotiations.
Payment: Avoid getting into an argument with the driver and negotiate the price beforehand so there are no disagreements when the trip is finished and it is time for you to pay for the service. The meter currently starts no less than 5 EGP and depending on where you want to go the prices may change but from one end to the other end of Maadi is usually around the range of 40-60 EGP also depends on how well you can negotiate with the driver. For example, if you are trying to take a trip from Maadi to the airport the average price to pay would be no less than 100 EGP to no more than 200 EGP. Try your best to always carry the exact amount of the fare in your pockets and not having to ask for change in return because it saves you the hassle from getting into another conversation regarding money and most of the time they can tell you that they have no change which in return they expect you to pay little more in case there isn’t any place around that you can break the bill.
Tipping: It is always best to tip in Egypt regardless who you are tipping or who is serving you, obviously the tip may change regarding the service but it is better without a shadow of a doubt to assist the person that is serving you in a good manner. Always remember that the loose change of 5 or 10 EGP may not matter much with you but it can matter a whole lot to the person you are tipping so always put that in mind next time you get into a white taxi because most of these drivers don’t own the vehicle and have to pay their own rent for the car and own bills to pay so it is best to help if you find the driver was nice and respectful towards you and your negotiations.
Careem & Uber
With technology taking over most of our lives nowadays, most expats would choose to move around with either an Uber or Careem. Both businesses are quite the same and you can expect that most drivers that work with Careem are currently working with Uber as well so don’t be surprised if you see the same driver twice. When it comes to safety and modern way to move with your car, there is nothing better than hiring a careem or uber to assist you reaching your destination the quickest way possible as they are GPS routed and will find the best route for you not to go through the hassle of traffic or time delays along the road. Careem and Uber even offer you packages, and promo codes to make your rides more affordable than ever and also give you the preference of your ride whether you want to take a regular car, high end car or even take a white taxi or a scooter, depending on how you want to go and how much you are willing to pay.
Although it's a tradition to many people who like to cruise around the district who can appreciate architecture, greenery or just the sounds of birds in their ears, there are some things you should know about:
Do not be surprised if you are driving around Maadi and find a dozen of security guards or police officers around a certain villa or property, this scene could be duplicated 26 times for each of the 26 foreign ambassadors who chose Maadi as their residential neighborhood.Throughout the same driving journey, which mostly you find pleasant and relaxing in those empty peaceful streets you can sense sudden traffic jams indicating that you are in or just about to enter one of the two main commercial strips: road 9 or the western road leading to the Autostrad (highway connecting Maadi to Nasr city and Heliopolis) that is because Maadi was not designed to cope with such commercial concentrations nor with their huge gatherings. Extending your drive throughout "Degla" or "New Maadi" you will be faced with construction, loads of it too, people who have failed to buy property inside Maadi simply chose to operate just outside "Degla" and the east side in general and construct a total mess of high rise buildings and road networks initiating the feelings of disturbance and resent in the hearts of most of Maadi's citizenry.
APARTMENTS FOR RENT IN MAADI SARAYAT:
Maadi is counted amongst Cairo's first class neighborhoods and is of course on Cairo's first class price list. Like everywhere else the prices in Maadi have slightly fallen compared to the last few years. This is consequent to a remarkable rise in supply not meeting its match in demand. Another common aspect of the renting phenomena is the recently applied new law, which clarifies and defines renting issues, accentuating the priority of a contract. The owner-client relationship in Maadi differs, apart from the fact that both owners and clients prefer to keep away from realtors for various reasons, they seem to have established a vocabulary of their own which includes "foreigners", "corniche" and "CAC" as keywords. This could be explained, Sellers target the clients giving priority to foreigners especially on offering furnished households aiming for clarity, punctuality, and responsibility for furniture as well as foreign currency. The price hierarchy mechanism can now be illustrated, granting the highest prices for the first row on the "corniche" backward on a linear basis, depending greatly on the factors of view and direct access to the "Corniche"(the longest street in Cairo intersecting it vertically alongside the Nile). On the other hand, the "CAC" Cairo American College situated in Degla imposes a radial pattern hierarchy with the spacious school as a center. The prices in Degla and the surrounding areas are highest just around "CAC" and decline in circles upon going further from the school (major attraction to foreign families). Then comes the geographical difference between new and old Maadi Which Recently called Maadi Sarayat Or Maadi As Sarayat New Maadi is a modern imitation of old Maadi but still not an identical twin, the younger sister carries the same scent but for some reason, the essence of the peace, quiet and significance found in old Maadi hasn't reached its full effect.
On a personal note, I would like to point out that even though renting in Maadi or finding the perfect place, to begin with, seems like a complicated process. I can confidently say that out of my own experience it's not such a hassle and living in Maadi is absolutely worth it, Maadi will always maintain its position in the hearts and minds of Egyptians and foreigners alike. Maadi as always is considered as one of Egypt's high-class neighborhoods and the citizens of Maadi are rated somewhere between upper middle class all the way to the cream of the crop. The nice thing about Maadi and its people is how they are all connected in one way or another and you feel once inside this community that everyone knows everyone else. This all comes from the relatively small size of Maadi compared to the rest of Cairo's neighborhoods and its geographical isolation previously mentioned and how the citizenry is of equal or similar social class. Another thing that characterizes Maadi is the number of foreign citizens residing within its parts attracted not only by the place and its dominating greenery and organization close to atmospheres of their own countries but by the services Maadi provides resembled in the CAC and the church communities. Another social aspect of the place is the sporting club located at the center of Maadi and the "Yacht club" on the ''Corniche" they are not only considered as places for sports and sporting teams but they are regarded as the site witnessing most of the social and cultural activities in the neighborhood.
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