Most expats choosing to live in Egypt often face the same common issue of knowing their way around a new place. Since they are not locals or residents of the country, they can actually face such culture shocks since the traditions and culture might not be the same as back home to their respected nation. It is harder to belong around a community among the Egyptians if you don’t share the same language, common interest, traditions and even religious beliefs.
Believe it or not, when it is time for most expats to leave Egypt, they would have bittersweet feeling because it is like they are leaving their home away from home. When they first arrive they might feel confused, misunderstood or even isolated but when they leave they have the common feeling of family among friends and the friendly community that Egyptians can leave behind.
With many places that an expat can actually consider their home, it is actually a tough decision due to the fact that choice 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 number of expats currently living in Maadi that would actually involve many nations, cultures and traditions.
From the many teachers working abroad to the many diplomats serving their respected embassies, Maadi is a place where you can have a good time without having to have much worries. Once you figure out the ins and outs of Maadi, the many wide and small streets and knowing how to deal among the residents, you will feel right at home.
Located in the south of Cairo, Maadi is a south suburban district with a wide variety of natural life as it is also located on the east bank of the Nile river as well as in the heart of the city so it is actually the same distance from everywhere you might want to go that would be popular and recreational. Maadi is actually one of the very few areas in the country that have a strong community of both expats and locals combined. Which makes it helpful and useful if you are looking to reside in Egypt whether you are looking for an apartment for rent in Maadi or villas for rent in Maadi, this is the place for you.
With all the beautiful nature and environment that is provided within the district of Maadi, it makes you want to spend more time outdoors than indoors, which will make you feel more active amongst the friendly community with the many recreational activities and events that happen. Maadi is not only known for its geographically isolated location, but with its own significant style and overwhelming beauty of the greenery nature that dominates most of the streets always providing you with fresh air at all times.
HISTORY OF MAADI
The story of this significant neighborhood actually dates back to 1904. There was a railway track that was built to connect Cairo to Helwan. When the Mosseri cousins bought wide stretches of land on both sides of the track and then later decided to resell the land to Egyptian Delta Land and Investment Company (EDLCO).
In 1905, an English-Canadian retired officer Captain Alexander J. Adams was the one who planned Maadi in a manner that is a radial pattern that surrounds around the railway station. Steadily growing into a wonderful town, Maadi is well planned and organized as it is the home of many current popular artists, musicians and even wealthy businessmen as well as the collection of foreign expats that carry many different nationalities.
Maadi has flourished with the inauguration of the sporting club (Maadi Sporting Club), the first bank that was built in Maadi was the Bank of Alexandria which is now to be known as Barclays, and the first gas station was Mobil as well as a number of other service providers and churches and mosques.
The district of Maadi has its own certain rules and regulations when regarding construction as it should be in specified colors for certain shutters, a ratio of the garden to building per pot, the width of the sidewalk and all the amazing natural benefits that a person can gain by living in harmony in what is considered as the “Paradise of Cairo” which is Maadi.
The town is divided into several districts; the two railway tracks and the canal play a huge part in this due to the vertical intersection as the residential area grew within the tracks and just outside the Nile. While outside the tracks, there are barracks that were constructed by Khedive Ismail as well as a military campy holding 76 thousand officers. Maadi had a commercial strip that is located on road 9, which is parallel to the one of the railway tracks. No commercial or retail stores have opened anywhere else except on the west side of that same street.
Maadi has evolved into a small city-like place that is unable to maintain its isolation for what is actually around it. With all the gained characteristics that Maadi has gained with all the high rise buildings and traffic that has recently appeared, the fast food chains, supermarkets and departments stores, It has been a place that is commonly visited regardless if you are living within the district or not.
With the many opinions that are divided concerning this swift and overwhelming change, many people actually claim that it is normal and is a form of development that is equal to that of the country which makes it outstanding. The other opinion says that places with significance of Maadi should be preserved and its unique style and beauty that has been saved and protected throughout the past generations.
The district of Maadi is well known for the six major areas that are included:
- Old Maadi
- New Maadi
- Sarayat Maadi
- Degla Maadi
- Zahraa Maadi
- Corniche Maadi
The areas that hold the most expat residents and the best communities within Maadi would be Maadi Sarayat and Maadi Degla. New Maadi is well known for their modern and commercial shops that are provided as well as the excellent selection for expats looking to shop or eat familiar food or even traditional oriental Egyptian food that they would desire.
OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Whether you like to involve yourself with social activities or enjoy a night out of the town with your fellow co-workers or beloved family members, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that the district of Maadi has everything to offer you.
If you are looking forward to social activities and events where you can enjoy playing all types of sports in the Maadi Sporting Club which is actually located in the heart of Maadi itself. When you choose to live in Maadi, you will notice how beautiful the outdoor environment actually is, with the morning view taking your breath away to the nights that contains smooth wind and a slight breeze.
(KORNICH EL MAADI)
(DEGLA EL MAADI)
MAADI SPORTS AND YACHT CLUB
A destination that is popular among the young residents of Maadi that is Maadi Sporting Club. It contains a wide attraction for different generations of families that choose to visit the many different branches around the district of Maadi. It is a sporting club that you have to join and apply to be a member so you can enjoy your daily visits if you are actually living in Egypt for a long period of time. Otherwise you will have to pay an entrance fee which isn’t that expensive towards many expats because the fee is about 50 Egyptian Pounds which is almost equivalent to 4 American Dollars. You can also receive invitations in the case that your friend is a club member that can actually grant you the access to enter. Maadi Sporting Club is outstanding for social gatherings, dining out as well as the many different courts and facilities that can improve your desire for sports or fitness and health.
WADI DEGLA SPORTING CLUB
Wadi Degla Sporting Club has been a success ever since it has been established about 15 years ago. Always noticed when mentioning Sporting Clubs, Wadi Degla has been the home club for over 148 thousand families and counting. Wadi Degla Sporting Club actually provides some of the best academies and facilities when it comes to the department of sports in the country of Egypt. They provide such sporting academies and facilities for the following sports:
- Martial Arts
THE OLYMPIC CENTER
The Olympic Center is one of the core centers for the national teams that have either competed or participated in Egypt since it has opened its doors in 1990. The Olympic Center offers services that can assist national teams to provide at their best performance when it comes time for the competition and tournaments to start. The Olympic Center provides medical treatment as well as equipment and accommodations for teams and sport facilities with the latest equipment that actually meets international and Olympic standards. The Olympic Center provides different kinds of courts for all sporting departments such as football, volleyball and basketball. There are boxing facilities that are also available and health clubs that is allowed for both genders as well as academies for children from the ages of 4-12 years old who are interested in building their physique at a young age so they would choose to participate in the likes of classes for swimming, gymnastics, karate, handball and even tennis.
The Olympic Center consists of training for all national teams no matter the region, companies or even embassies looking forward to creating such sporting tournaments so that they can either improve their work environment in the process or just having a good time out and focusing on health. There are classes for both adults and children who are looking forward to being recreational with their time.
(OLYMPIC CENTER, MAADI)
RESTAURANTS AND COFFEE SHOPS
If you are one of the many people who like to enjoy spending time outdoors whether you are looking to dine out at a fancy restaurant or chill out at a nearby café, there are many popular places that you can visit within the beautiful district of Maadi. The many choices will actually make you sit back and wonder which are you craving more, whether it’s healthy food or fast food, Maadi has everything that you can be looking for. There are the popular places such as Nasr street, Road 9 and even a recently populated food court called “The Courtyard” that is located behind Bandar Cinema.
The Courtyard includes many forms of restaurants, coffee shops and playground areas for children to enjoy. If you consider yourself a foodie or even love your coffee at any time during the day, then consider these places in Maadi to have your best interest, with all the popular fast food chains available as well as the restaurants and coffee shops such as:
- Burger King
- Papa Johns
- Ruby Tuesday
- Oriental Cuisines
- Vinney’s Pizzeria
- Greco Coffee Shop
(THE COURTYARD, MAADI)
EDUCATION IN MAADI
Maadi is an excellent place to reside when you are choosing to take care of your family as much as you are looking to take care of yourself. When you are raising your own family, it is understandable that it isn’t an easy task to be moving often around the world and having children move with you. Maadi offers many different international schools that can be picked upon your choice as one of the major issues that expats would face is where is the best school that they can choose to enroll their children. With the many schools that are provided in the district of Maadi, you can’t go wrong with either one but obviously some schools can stand out such as Cairo American College that is located in Degla Maadi and the International French School that is located in Sarayat El Maadi. We can help you with the top list of international and American schools that are located in Maadi so you can have the best choice to see what is suitable for your children’s education.
- Cairo American College
- Manhattan Schools of Egypt
- The British School in Cairo
- Victoria College School
- International French School (Lycee Francais du Caire)
(MANHATTAN SCHOOLS OF EGYPT)
(CAIRO AMERICAN COLLEGE, Degla El Maadi)
One of the many troubles that any resident can face is actually the process of transportation and commuting through one place to another whether it is from your location of work, or having to pick up the children from school that might not be the nearest place from home. It is a definitely a hassle to drive in the streets of Cairo if you are not a great driver or if you are accustomed to driving outside of Egypt because driving in the country is definitely an experience that you will not forget.
Many people understand that the rules of driving here is all about getting to where you need to go as fast as you can possibly do that because not many people would follow the traffic or street signs. It would be best if you are an expat and looking to get around the capital city, then you can either choose public or private transportation to get this issue resolved.
Maadi offers many different forms of transportation that can be used in the case that you are not looking to drive your vehicle, it can be a hassle to find a parking space, or you simply don’t own a vehicle, either way you will get to where you need to be.
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 for many locals to commute around the city would be using the metro which can be known as a subway abroad. There are three different Metro stations in Maadi that can be helpful regardless where you are currently residing and those three stations located in Maadi are:
- Maadi Metro Station (Road 9)
- Hadayek Metro Station ( Hadayek El Maadi)
- Sakanat Metro Station (Sakanat El Maadi)
These three metro stations are actually very close from each other, which can be a 10 minute drive from one to another but obviously taking the metro would be more suitable since you don’t have to run into any kind of traffic. It is actually one of the quickest forms of transportation for many residents in Egypt because it is actually one of the cheapest ways to get around the city to much further destinations. As over 2 million people use the metro on the daily, the prices has changed recently since the devaluation of the currency. Rides that can go up to 9 tops on the third metro line would cost you 5 Egyptian Pounds. Rides from 6-15 stops would cost you 7 Egyptian Pounds and rides from 16 stops and more will cost you 10 Egyptian Pounds. These prices may vary for senior citizens, people with disabilities and students as well.
During this generation, the white taxi has actually lost its touch and presence within the transportation department due to the fact of the new application services such as Uber/Careem that can be taking their business away from them. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t white taxis and sometimes can be a quicker ride rather than having to wait for someone to come pick you up if you are actually in a hurry. The only reason that these application services have been more noticeable because of their service being more reliable and safe, so you can actually take all the proper precautions and safety concerns that you won’t have to deal with when you are hiring someone to assist you with your commute.
When it comes to the district of Maadi and Taxi drivers, they have all the right knowledge without having to use a GPS system which in many people’s minds is actually a dangerous trait to not be having your eyes on the road at all times. But with sneaky tactics, some drivers can actually notice if you are a foreigner or a local and try to benefit anything from you in return so here are some helpful tips that you remember the next time you plan to take 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.
With modern technology taking over most of daily lives, most expats and people who like to commute privately would choose to conduct their transportation matters with either Uber/Careem. With both companies now being under the same umbrella, it really doesn’t make a difference as they are both reliable and efficient. You would be surprised to find that many drivers are actually working under both of the applications, so don’t be amazed if you see the same driver and vehicle twice. When it comes to safety and one of the most modern ways 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 many residents actually like to cruise around with the vehicles around the beautiful district of Maadi because they can appreciate architecture, greenery or just the sounds of birds chirping as the sun rises, there are other things you should know about Maadi as well such as:
- Don’t be surprised if you find around Maadi a bunch of security guards and police officers surrounding a location. You can actually find the same scene duplicated about a dozen times as there many respected foreigners serving their embassies that are located in Maadi and who actually live in some of the popular residential areas around the neighborhood.
- There are many sudden traffic jams even though Maadi is known to be pleasant and quiet, Most of these traffic jams you will find in the more commercial areas in Maadi such as Nasr street, Road 9 or even the western road that is leading to the highways (Ring Road, Autostrad).The beautiful district of Maadi is not designed to cope with much commercial concentrations nor with huge gatherings or events that can occur. Extending your drive throughout places like Sarayat El Maadi, New Maadi or Degla El Maadi. Many people have failed to purchase property inside of Maadi simply because they chose to operate just outside Degla El Maadi and the east side in general which can construct a total mess of high rise buildings and road networks which can make you feel disturbed and resent in the hearts of many of the citizens living in Maadi.
APARTMENTS FOR RENT IN SARAYAT EL MAADI:
Maadi is well known to be one of Cairo’s top class districts and with a multicultural background, it is obviously on Cairo’s first class price list as well. Like everywhere else in the district of Maadi, many prices have changed and slightly fallen compared to the past few years. This is consequent to a remarkable rise in supply not meeting its match in demand.
Another common aspect from renting the property is the recently applied new law that clarifies and defines renting issues, accentuating the priority of a contract. The owner-client relationship within the district of Maadi is actually different because apart from the regular relationship of many clients and owners, they are actually friendlier than most other places. In the process many people can keep away from many realtors for various reasons, they would seem to have established descriptions of their own which can actually include words such as “foreigners”, “Corniche” and “CAC” as their default keywords.
This can be explained, as sellers target the clients giving priority to foreigners especially on offering furnished households aiming for clarity, punctuality and further responsibility for the furniture as well as the foreign currency being used. The price hierarchy mechanism can now be illustrated, granting the highest prices for the first row on the “Corniche” backward on a linear basis obviously depending greatly on the factors of view and direct access to the “Corniche” (the longest street in Cairo that is intersecting it vertically alongside the Nile).
On the other hand, the Cairo American College situated in Degla imposes a radial pattern hierarchy with the spacious school as a center of attention. The prices in Degla and the surrounding areas are the highest they have been since Cairo American College and the decline in circles upon going further from school which is one of the major attractions towards most of the foreign families who have their children enrolled in that school.
The geographical difference between New and Old Maadi is which is recently changed to Sarayat El Maadi as it is a modern imitation of Old Maadi but still not an identical. The essence of peace, quiet and comfort is found in any part of Maadi but in Old Maadi you can find some troubles finding the best suitable place for you as it is not well constructed and still improving to its best potential.
On a personal note, it would be best to recognize that
finding the right property to rent in Maadi can seem like a complicated process
but out of personal experience, it can be stated that I was confident with my
own experience and as much as it can be hassle, it will defiantly be worth the
while. Maadi is will always maintain one of the highest positions in the hearts
and minds of both Egyptians and foreigners. It will always be considered one of
the high class neighborhoods as the citizens of Maadi are among the middle to
higher class of the country itself. One of the benefits of Maadi is that all
the people, as many as they seem, somehow feel connected and the community is
as much as it is large it is known within themselves.
On a personal note, it would be best to recognize that finding the right property to rent in Maadi can seem like a complicated process but out of personal experience, it can be stated that I was confident with my own experience and as much as it can be hassle, it will defiantly be worth the while. Maadi is will always maintain one of the highest positions in the hearts and minds of both Egyptians and foreigners. It will always be considered one of the high class neighborhoods as the citizens of Maadi are among the middle to higher class of the country itself. One of the benefits of Maadi is that all the people, as many as they seem, somehow feel connected and the community is as much as it is large it is known within themselves.
From the many popular neighborhoods whether large or small, Maadi is one of the top class districts that you can choose to reside when you are looking forward to living in Egypt. The geographical isolated location is mentioned and how most of the citizens are either equal or similar social class. Another aspect that characterizes Maadi as the number of foreign citizens are as much as the Egyptian residents. As not only the dominating greenery and environment is appealing but also the many service providers that are located in Maadi also make it worthwhile to live in Maadi.
Another major social aspect of the district is the sporting club that is located in the heart of Maadi itself which is a “Yacht Club” as well as on the “Corniche” they can be considered for many sports and sporting teams but they are regarded as the site witnessing most of the social and cultural activities that can happen within the neighborhood.
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