Alcohol in Egypt - in hotels and how to bring with you
We will not hide the fact that some tourists are not interested in the weather in Egypt , because they do not intend to leave the bar. And neither of which trip to the Egyptian pyramids is also out of the question for similar reasons.
According to statistics, only 15-20% of Russian travelers spend their Egyptian vacation in general without alcohol. Therefore, we consider this topic important and talk about alcohol in detail on this page.
The general attitude to alcohol in Egypt
Although Egypt and an Islamic country, the attitude to alcoholic beverages here is quite loyal. This is not the Arab Emirates , where you can drink only at the hotel. This is not Tunisia , where alcohol can only be bought in special shops "Generals" or in expensive restaurants.
Perhaps this is due to the history of the country. After all, Egypt disputes the title of the inventor of beer. In ancient Egypt, beer was an everyday drink for ordinary people, although a modern foamy drink it reminded little. It was thicker in consistency and more bitter in taste.
Look at the very word "alcohol". Clearly seen ahead of the Arabic article "al." The process of distillation was invented by the Arabs and the first to receive alcohol. That is, they are the inventors of the scheme of the moonshine, and the word "alcohol" of Arab origin, is translated as "dope".
There are no bans on selling alcohol in Egypt, although many tourists seem the opposite. Simply, not many shops are engaged in sale of alcohol. Think for yourself, the Egyptians-Arabs do not drink, and most tourists drink intoxicating beverages in hotels on the "all inclusive" system. The only "natural" consumers of alcohol in Egypt are Coptic Christians, but only 10% of the country's population.
Naturally, demand is very low. Therefore, if you want to buy even beer, you will have to look for a store where it is available.
Egyptian Arabs refer to alcoholic beverages very practical - as a way to earn money. The first method is, of course, sale to foreign tourists. The second is direct export, and the main consumers in this case are the countries of Europe. The main exports are Stella beer (not to be confused with the Stella Artois brand) and a variety of Egyptian wines. In Europe, these drinks have taken their niche in the low price segment.
Inside Egypt itself, you can buy local drinks without restrictions (if you find a store), and the sale of imported alcohol is severely limited. Naturally, the Egyptians want to earn money, and it is not profitable for them to sell other people's alcohol. With imported alcohol we will begin.
Imported alcohol in Egypt
It's no secret that many tourists do not like Egyptian alcoholic beverages, and it's not surprising. The Arabs do not drink alcohol for religious reasons, and, of course, they do not understand alcoholic beverages. Hence the lamentable result.
There are four main ways to drink imported alcohol. The first way is to buy a tour to the hotel on the UAI system ("Ultra All Inclusive"), that is, where the cost of accommodation includes drinks of foreign origin.
But here you need to be cautious, because not always UAI means exactly imported alcohol. There are times when hotels mean this is completely different. For example, the service in the bar by the waiters or food after midnight. In any case, you need to check with the hotel what exactly they mean by UAI.
The second way is to go to a normal hotel and buy imported alcohol there in the bar. This is the most expensive way, a bottle of whiskey can cost from 200 Egyptian pounds (about $ 30) to infinity.
The third way is the most reliable and practical - bring with you. If you have preferences in alcoholic beverages, then bring from home those that you love. Unfortunately, in Egypt you can import only 1 liter of strong alcoholic beverages, and the wine is equated with them. With beer it is more difficult, since the official information on the website of the Egyptian customs service about beer does not say anything at all.
Keep in mind that you can bring alcohol only an adult (from 18 years old), so you can not write extra liters for children.
Many tourists carry more, as there is no serious control at the airports. Just put more, and no one catches them.
The most cunning ones put in their luggage two bags, each one one liter of alcoholic beverages. At the Russian airport, no one will say anything, but in Egypt all bags are mixed, and no one will look to whom the suitcase belongs.
But, if caught! Wait for a fine! We do not recommend using these methods.
The fourth way is to buy in the store Duty Free. Most often, they are located in airports, but not necessarily. In the resort of Sharm El Sheikh, such a store is at the Savoy Hotel in Naama Bay and at the airport. In the resort of Hurghada , except for the airport, Duty Free can be found in the Hotel SeaGull and on Village Road.
Please note that you can use Duty Free services within 48 hours of arrival, only once and buy no more than 3 liters of alcohol. When buying a tourist put a special stamp in the passport.
In practice, this restriction does not always work, the stamp is not always put. Some tourists zatarivayutsya twice, and more than three liters.
This is not surprising, because sellers have the motivation to sell. The tourist's motivation is to buy. You are allies.
Therefore, if you need more than 3 liters, take more. They will say at the checkout counter that it is impossible, so postpone the excess - in this there is no offense. Do not put a stamp, so go to the next store and buy more as needed.
Only by 48 hours we are urged to take seriously. It will be insulting if you come to the airport, and you will be refused for sale. It is better to decide in advance on this issue and buy alcohol immediately upon arrival at the airport, then not to spend money on a taxi and your precious time for a trip.
There is generally a 100% way to buy more than 3 liters. Meet your neighbors on the plane in flight to Egypt and ask them to buy alcohol on their passport if they do not need it. Usually, people do not refuse. Just make sure that at the time of the request you are sober, drunk, no one trusts.
Local alcohol in Egypt
Than not to sing tourists in hotels. The biggest problem is to determine the type of drink you can not. Beer is poured from large kegs, not bottles, and its origin can only be guessed.
The quality of the beer in the Egyptian hotels is very different, here it is "lucky-not-lucky," and some dependence between the quality of beer and the level of "star" of the hotel is not observed. It happens that on the territory of the hotel in different bars different quality beer is bottled.
In theory, these kegs should contain draft versions of Egyptian brands - Stella, Luxor or Sakara, or produced under the license of Heineken, Bud or Meister. In practice, the content of kegs does not in any way resemble the beer of the above brands. In general, tourists evaluate Egyptian beer as "mediocre".
By the way, a little observation about the beer. You probably know such a satirist Mikhail Zadornov? He is very fond of telling that Russians are extremely resourceful, and Americans and Europeans are stupid. On the example of beer in Egypt hotels you are convinced that this is not so.
Barmen pour beer into small glasses of 200 grams, and it's very fun to watch Russian tourists go from the bar to a table with a dozen of these cups, trying not to spill it all. The Germans are practical, they go there with their large beer mugs. Guessed after all, the wizard works with them.
With strong drinks, the situation is worse. In Egypt, produce their own whiskey and gin, and of good quality and taste. Here they make Butler's gin (under license) and whiskey Auld Stag (Egyptian brand). But, in the AI hotels you probably will not find them.
Tourists are offered drinks from bottles, very similar to each other with the inscriptions Whiskey, Gin and Vodka. When you try them, there is a feeling that they differ only in color and flavor.
Bartenders in hotels make cocktails from these drinks, which a little saves the situation, but even the "shock" dose of citrus juices does not discourage smell and taste. Fortunately, fusel oils from these drinks do not smell, and they can be considered safe for health. While there have not been cases of mass alcohol poisoning in Egypt yet, and hopefully not.
To be honest, the situation is very bad, and the proverb is remembered:
Love is blind.
Alcoholism is evil, you'll love and antifreeze.
Only with wine the situation in Egypt is good. In Egypt, a lot of vineyards, and each brand of wine has its own unique taste. There is a wide variety of wines, and they are of good quality. It is not surprising, wine has the simplest production technology, it's no wonder people invented wine as the first of all alcoholic beverages.
Read our next article " Egyptian Alcohol - Local Beverage brands ." And also, we have a lot of other information about Egypt ( links below ).
Read about Egypt on our website
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