Embrace change when living and working in Egypt

Ever thought of living or working abroad?  Here is an article about doing just that in one of the less likely locations – Egypt.

There is so much to think about prior to moving to Egypt to live and work. There’s also much to get used to once you arrive there for the very first time. Sure, it’ll be exciting, the smells, the sounds, the atmosphere all adding up to an adventure of a lifetime. But mixed in with the excitement will also be a little bit of worry and confusion before you find your feet and begin to relax just a little bit. That’s to be expected. It’s natural. It’s the same for everyone.

Money, or the lack of it, will no doubt figure prominently in the mind during the first few weeks and months – and that won’t simply be having to get used to a completely different currency, the Egyptian pound. If, through unforeseen circumstances, you’ve left the whole issue of financial planning until you arrive – not something which is recommended – all is not lost. You can easily open a current account with HSBC, or with some of the other major multinational banks who all offer excellent banking services.

And no, you won’t have to get your tongue around Egyptian Arabic in order to ask about Egypt current accounts, or overdraft facilities, or online statements, or all the other banking phrases we take so much for granted in the United Kingdom. For English is commonly spoken in banks as it is across the country. So no worries there.

The cost of living in Egypt is comparatively low compared to the the UK, but you still have to familiarise yourself with the ins-and-outs of daily life in order to take full advantage. In Cairo, taxis, which are fairly inexpensive, may be a good way to get around to begin with but huge savings can be made by familiarisation with the public transport system, particularly the Cairo Metro, which carries millions of people daily across the city.
Hopefully accommodation has been sorted out by your employer prior to your arrival in Egypt. Maybe the cost of accommodation comes as part of an allowance, added on to your salary. But if neither is the case, a good move is to make contact with the expatriate community – even before you leave the UK, perhaps through an online forum.

They’ll probably be able to advise you with a whole lot of dos and don’ts, as well as pointing you in the direction of the most affordable accommodation. No hard and fast rules exist with regard to the rent a landlord may charge you, but expect to pay in the region of £180 to £250 for a one-bedroom flat per month, rising to £400 to £650 for a three-bedroom flat. Rents, of course, will vary greatly depending on the area.

Another point to bear in mind is that some landlords may want anything up to three months’ rent in advance, as well as a month’s deposit to cover breakages. That can all add up to a hefty whack. On top of that, you’ll have to add in the cost of utilities, such as electricity, telephone and the like. These are your responsibility and not the responsibility of the landlord.

Living and working in Egypt may appear at first to be a rather daunting prospect. But by embracing change and not fearing it, a move to the land of the Pharaoh will surely be a successful one. After all, tens of thousands of expatriates from all over the world have already made the journey. A good forum can be found here.

This guest post was provided by HSBC