to book a holiday to Egypt?

(72 Posts)
DonutForMyself Thu 04-Jul-13 12:02:56

I was on the verge of booking a DC-free week away for DP and myself but when I mentioned that Egypt was the cheapest option, a friend pointed out that Eygpt was on the brink of civil war. As I don't watch TV news my usual source of current affairs/news is FB & MN blush so I had no idea.

The official advice is that the tourist areas are ok, so would IBU to still go? What are the chances of getting stuck out there or involved in any trouble if we stay within the hotel?

chillynose Thu 04-Jul-13 12:04:01

I personally wouldnt not safe out there at present pick somewhere else

LastTangoInDevonshire Thu 04-Jul-13 12:04:11

Yes, you WBU to go to Egypt, especially as you have DC.

squeakytoy Thu 04-Jul-13 12:04:42

It is likely to escalate, so I wouldnt risk it. Go to the canaries maybe if you just want a cheap break with guaranteed hot weather.

ChocChaffinch Thu 04-Jul-13 12:06:10

usually the touristy areas are OK but in the event of the military coup that's just happened I'd say all bets are off and find a nice deal elsewhere...

ChocChaffinch Thu 04-Jul-13 12:07:42

isn't Croatia nice? south france? malta

cantspel Thu 04-Jul-13 12:08:09

I love egypt and have been many times but i fear it will be many years before i go back.

Pennyacrossthehall Thu 04-Jul-13 12:08:17

Well . . . . I have already booked a holiday in Egypt (end of July) so have been watching the news with interest.

AS you say, the Foreign Office advice (as of yesterday) was that Sharm El Sheikh was still OK to visit. This makes sense to me as it is very remote from everywhere else (having been there once before, other than the hotels there is nothing but desert and sea and no major towns for many miles).

The "coup" appears to have been relatively bloodless (and supported by the majority) and is now "over". I will still be watching the news carefully, but at the moment it looks OK.

Having said all of that, I'm not sure I'd book a holiday there at the moment.

Sirzy Thu 04-Jul-13 12:09:15

Why take the risk?

If you have a choice I'd give it a miss. No one knows how things are going to pan out in the next few weeks.

meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 12:13:01

I should imagine that the military will want to protect the remnants of the tourist trade, as it is so important economically. So protection would be high, and destinations not crowded.

But as all the sites that make Egypt Egypt are off limits to all but essential travel, according to FCO advice today, it would just be generic sunny holiday. I think I'd go elsewhere,or at least hold off booking until the situation clarifies somewhat.

Madondogs Thu 04-Jul-13 12:17:10

Why don't you ever watch the news?
I find it quite astounding that people have no knowledge of major world events.

Personally I would not go.

WilsonFrickett Thu 04-Jul-13 12:17:48

While I agree that the tourist resorts will be heavily protected, the country has just had a military coup. So no, I wouldn't risk it. Who knows what will happen - there ks form for targeting tourists in Egypt.

Also there are reports of around 100 serious sexual assaults and rapes around the main protest sites. While of course this won't happen in the tourist sites, I personally wouldn't want to spend money in countries where rape is a means of political expression.

WilsonFrickett Thu 04-Jul-13 12:18:52

There is a reason it's so cheap - no-one is going...

SalaciousBCrumb Thu 04-Jul-13 12:22:22

And it will be equally cheap (if not cheaper) in a few weeks time I would have thought, when tour companies have empty spaces to fill - can't believe many people will be booking to go there at the moment - and you can see how the situation is panning out.

DonutForMyself Thu 04-Jul-13 12:26:57

Madon, I used to get the news on Yahoo whenever I went online, but I wasted so much time clicking on random stories and reading all the comments that I turned it off! I now waste just as much time on here reading pages and pages about people's dodgy relationships and personal grooming habits - I need to rethink my priorities don't I?!

Yes, it would only be for financial reasons and DP is the type not to have knee-jerk reaction so he's saying we should sit it out and see what happens, but thanks for all your posts. Not at all wedded to the idea of Egypt, but his other suggestion was somewhere in Kent!!!

DonutForMyself Thu 04-Jul-13 12:27:35

Has to be first week of August for childcare reasons Salacious, but I think we will look at the other options to be safe.

celticclan Thu 04-Jul-13 13:55:26

I personally wouldn't go. I was in Indonesia during civil unrest and although there was no trouble in the area I was in I felt uneasy.

bigTillyMint Thu 04-Jul-13 13:59:31

I would wait until nearer the time and then do a late booking if it looks more settled. I reckon Sharm will be fine as long as the situation doesn't worsen much.

FWIW, we had booked flights to Cairo the end of March after the January "uprising". We travelled about on local transport, did a Nile cruise and Luxor for a week, etc with our DC and everything was fine.

Hissy Thu 04-Jul-13 14:11:40

PLEASE don't give that god forsaken place your money?

Just because it's cheap? Do human/woman's rights mean nothing?

Same goes for Dubai.

Cheap at what cost?

98% of women are sexually harassed there, leered over or assaulted.

Go somewhere NICE fgs!

Mamafratelli Thu 04-Jul-13 14:18:33

98% where do you get your figure from. My sil is Egyptian and is more worried about harassment in the UK

TheRealFellatio Thu 04-Jul-13 14:18:58

I wouldn't, but that's because there are far, far nicer places to go - civil disturbances or not. It's really not that great, so why risk it?

everlong Thu 04-Jul-13 14:21:50

I went in March with youngest ds.

I did deliberate and chose it because of the time of year and wanted sun.

Would I go now or again? No.

I did feel a huge relief when we got home if I'm honest.

We went to Taba Heights btw.

Pennyacrossthehall Thu 04-Jul-13 14:22:40

As an aside, I would bet that there are people on holiday in Sharm this week who have had no idea what is going on in the rest of Egypt.

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Jul-13 14:26:32

What do the Foreign Office recommend? Can you get travel insurance to cover you?

If you can't get insurance than you'd be mad to go.

BarbarianMum Thu 04-Jul-13 14:27:32

But beware of insurance that is nullified by war, civil war or civil disobedience cause that won't help you if things escalate.

bico Thu 04-Jul-13 14:28:20

I don't think the coup is that well supported. Morse was elected and still has a lot of support. I really doubt that this will continue to be a bloodless coup (it isn't already as a number of people have been killed).

Egypt has been unstable for some time although not widely publicised (I hear from Egyptian friends living in Egypt). It isn't somewhere I'd be going and I would expect the FCO advice to change within the next 10 days.

meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 14:32:10

if you prefer to get your news from MN,Here's the current Egypt thread.

bico What changes do you expect to FCO travel advice? That they'll include the resorts on their current 'essential travel only' which covers all the rest of the country except a few specified 'don't go at all' areas? Or a relaxation?

mowbraygirl Thu 04-Jul-13 14:32:46

I have booked to go to Hurghada with DD and family end of July DH isn't coming. This will be DD's 5th visit and my 2nd to the resort and we always feels safe. Hurghada is about 7 hours travel from Cairo by car.

SIL has friends out there and spoke to them yesterday no problems there and as Ramadam starts soon said things will quieten down.

Unless Foreign Office advises against we will still be going as travel companies always act on advice from them as regards cancelling holidays.

plainjaney Thu 04-Jul-13 14:43:44

We went to Sharm (well, Nabq) before Christmas, terrorism levels had just been raised then and I was nervous I have to say. I'd been to nabq before and enjoyed it and I was pleased to see nothing had changed. I think I was probably expecting to see Police on the streets or something but it was as uneventful as always.

Personally I felt safe there after the initial OMG I'm in Egypt had worn off. Would I book again? Probably not while all this is going on but if I had a holiday booked there I would still go.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Thu 04-Jul-13 14:52:32

"I wouldn't, but that's because there are far, far nicer places to go - civil disturbances or not. It's really not that great, so why risk it?"

^ ^

DonutForMyself Thu 04-Jul-13 14:54:19

Thanks all, its purely a financial decision, so I think if we can find somewhere else that looks nice at a similar price we will go with that. I've never been to Egypt before so had no idea what to expect, but have lots of friends who have and enjoy the snorkelling and sunshine without ever really venturing out of the resort. We were only really taken by the prices, but as you've pointed out, that is probably because they can't sell those spots to anyone now!

Realistically if there is trouble at one end and its hours away from the tourist resorts its probably a bit like avoiding Manchester because of unrest in London, but better safe than sorry, especially if insurance will be void.

Thanks for the link Med. I guess I avoid the news because its generally pretty depressing and I like to live in my happy little bubble, but this has shown why I should know more about what's going on in the world!

SoggySummer Thu 04-Jul-13 14:55:33

Sharm is all purpose built in the middle of pretty much nowhere - hence why they are saying its still safe to go there.

Not sure I would be booking a holiday there today though but that said if I already had one booked I would not be panicking just yet.

Pennyacrossthehall Thu 04-Jul-13 15:48:46

Realistically if there is trouble at one end and its hours away from the tourist resorts its probably a bit like avoiding Manchester because of unrest in London

It's more like avoiding Newquay because of unrest in London. If all of the land between London and Newquay was a desolate, inhospitable desert with no people in it.

LtEveDallas Thu 04-Jul-13 16:03:05

We are booked to go at the end of Jul. I started a thread yesterday a bit concerned.

A MNer that works for Thomson posted that the Thomson Reps in Hurghada and Sharm have said that it is all quiet.

I later phoned Thomson and they confirmed that if we cancelled when FCO advice was that the red sea resorts were OK, then we would 'lose' a proportion of our money. If Thomson cancelled then they would offer us either all out money back, or a holiday of the same type/standing/star rating as close to our dates as possible and up to £300 per person more than we'd paid.

We've decided to wait it out, but have looked to see what else we could get with our money, so that we can give them a 'this is where we want to go then' should they cancel.

As of last night our hotel's Facebook page was open and posting that Hurghada was as quiet as ever, with no need for any extra security.


dontlaugh Thu 04-Jul-13 16:10:20

I think any country where the leader is dressed in an army uniform is a no go for me. (Not the ceremonial dress kind, the front line kind).

vixsatis Thu 04-Jul-13 16:16:16

The rioting probably won't get you; but food poisoning will (I've been to all sorts of places and been fine but Egypt always gets me). It will also be unspeakably hot in August.

Sallyingforth Thu 04-Jul-13 18:23:21

Why risk it when there are so many other wonderful and relatively safe places to go?

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Jul-13 18:32:02

I'd happily go to any of the Red Sea resorts. I go to Egypt most years and feel very safe there. I wouldn't go to Cairo or Alexandria at the moment, but Sharm etc will be fine.

bico Thu 04-Jul-13 19:05:34

meditrina I'd be surprised if the FCO advice isn't broadened to more areas in Egypt to be avoided. Of course I may be completely wrong. A lot of what has been going on in Egypt over the last year has not been widely reported here.

Thecurlywurlymum Thu 04-Jul-13 19:18:03

Well we are off to Sharm on Wednesday. Quite happy to stay at the resort for a week but wouldn't contemplate Cairo or Alexandria at the moment

pinkandpurplesparkle Thu 04-Jul-13 20:15:20

Sorry - being a bit dim here - but where do you fly to if you're going to one of the tourist resorts? Do they have their own airports? We went to Egypt about 15 years ago and tbh never really felt that comfortable - there was always an 'unease' about the place, but we were in Luxor and did the tourist sights, rather than being in one of the actual tourist resorts.

Also, a friend and her family were in Cairo during the last troubles (18 months ago I think) ... and they had to be emergency taxied out of the hotel and to the airport, to get the final flight out before things sort of closed down. Nightmare!

Bogeyface Thu 04-Jul-13 20:17:22

My sister loves Egypt, goes atleast twice a year and is not a worrier by nature. The holiday they are on now is in Greece, she wouldnt touch Egypt with a bargepole. I trust her judgement so no, I wouldnt go.

Scarletohello Thu 04-Jul-13 20:22:46

I'd go to Greece or Cyprus at the moment. Cheap and sunny. ( unlike Kent)

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Jul-13 20:24:18

The Red Sea resorts are a long way from where the trouble is, and there is an airport in Sharm, one in Hurghada, one in Taba and one in Marsa Alam. So yes, they do have their own airports!

AuntieStella Thu 04-Jul-13 20:30:41

FCO travel advice here

The key bit is: "In view of the continued unrest and uncertain political situation in Egypt, the FCO recommends against all but essential travel to Egypt except for resorts on the Red Sea in South Sinai and those resorts on the Egyptian mainland in Red Sea governorate".

They say Cairo airport is OK if you stay in the airport. The advice for 'no travel' is to North Sinai.

thenightsky Thu 04-Jul-13 20:41:26

I'm booked to go diving in Marsa Alam in Sept, so keeping an eye on things. I am a bit worried I must say.

FruminousBandersnatch Thu 04-Jul-13 21:00:01

My thoughts echo those of WilsonFrickett. The report of the journalist who was gang raped the other day during the protests was devastating. And that's just one incident we've heard of - because she was a Westerner. There is no way I would spend my money in a country where 90% of women (or whatever that crazy statistic is that's been reported this week) have been sexually assaulted.

everlong Thu 04-Jul-13 21:25:04

When we went to Taba Heights we had to travel in convey with armed police escort and stop and various checkpoints. I had to laugh to myself at how bloody mad this was when it was supposed to be a holiday!

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Jul-13 21:26:26

90% of women have been sexually assaulted? Where did that information come from?

Egypt is a country with many problems at the moment, but in my experience, the vast majority of people there are good people, and I'm as sure as I can be that most Egyptian men would risk their own safety to protect a woman.

Any country would see their crime rate rise if they were in the situation Egypt is in just now. It would certainly happen in this country, but that doesn't mean our whole country is bad.

The Egyptian people need support from people like us who are lucky enough to live in a stable country. They are good people, they have have a sense of responsibility, a work ethic and a commitment to their families that would shame many of our citizens.

I'm not saying people should go there when its not safe, but I can't say nothing when posters are talking as though we are somehow better than the Egyptians. We are not.

thenightsky Thu 04-Jul-13 21:27:25

Everlong... Ive been going to Taba Heights for years and it was always like that. The resort is lovely though... which hotel did you stay at? We always used the Hyatt.

thenightsky Thu 04-Jul-13 21:29:07

The Egyptian people need support from people like us who are lucky enough to live in a stable country. They are good people, they have have a sense of responsibility, a work ethic and a commitment to their families that would shame many of our citizens

I so agree with this.

everlong Thu 04-Jul-13 21:33:18

It is lovely. We stayed at Sofitel. I preferred Makadi Bay though, especially for snorkelling.

thenightsky Thu 04-Jul-13 21:46:56

ah yes.. sofatel was next door.. we used their fab teriyaki grill on the Dine Around deal.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 04-Jul-13 21:54:45

I think we stayed at the Hyatt as well, but it was a long time ago and I can barely remember. And it was a diving holiday so we were on a boat most of the time. smile

bico Thu 04-Jul-13 22:07:59

Well the people I know in Egypt have said for months not to even think of visiting.

Hissy Thu 04-Jul-13 22:20:51

Or you could search for it on the Egyptian centre for women's rights. Or the BBC, it's not a secret.

The Egyptian people do NOT need our currency supporting a morally corrupt/bankrupt society.

They are NOT family centered, they merely tolerate children until they are old enough to be useful.the only thing that motivates them is the Man of the House's will and money.

Oh sure, they'll give the outsiders the impression they care, but it's only to extract as much money out of you as possible.

They are taught this at school, it's part of the curriculum.

Perhaps the facebook/twitter youth may see that things have to change, than women do have a right to go outside their homes, NOT be raped during marriage, or AFTER they die (that's true too).

It's a young population, so soon the power will shift to the youth. Let's hope they pay attention to rights issues in the world at large and strive for thé same as other countries have.

There is no police force, there is no security, no health and safety. Health care, hospitals? Not to be recommended.

It was a dreadful place to live when I was there. It's worse now because you are not really safe.

By giving this country money you're allowing it to carry on as it is. That's wrong. It needs to change.

mimidolittle Thu 04-Jul-13 23:18:43

*They are NOT family centered, they merely tolerate children until they are old enough to be useful.the only thing that motivates them is the Man of the House's will and money.

Oh sure, they'll give the outsiders the impression they care, but it's only to extract as much money out of you as possible.

They are taught this at school, it's part of the curriculum.*

@ Hissy I too lived in Egypt for a few years both in Sharm and the more rural areas and I can't disagree with you more. The Egyptian people I met were/are the warmest, most family orientated people I have known. I felt safe and looked after at all times. It's a shame that your nasty marriage has forced you to to be so bitter towards a whole nation. I'm not saying that it is perfect, there are some terrible things going on there but the majority of people just want to have a secure future and to be able look after their family.

I actually feel quite upset about your post.

bico Thu 04-Jul-13 23:23:18

mimi I don't recognise Egyptian people from that post either.

Scarletohello Fri 05-Jul-13 01:21:41

According to reports, 90% of women in Egypt have undergone fgm so not a country that upholds women's rights. Hope if they get a more moderate government things will change...

TheRealFellatio Fri 05-Jul-13 04:43:34

Really Scarlett? Where id you get that figure from? I was not aware that Egypt renowned for practising FGM at all. Not arguing with you - just amazed if the figure is that high that I hadn't heard about it - unlike say Sudan.

Kungfutea Fri 05-Jul-13 04:59:35

Aside from the coup in Egypt there's also an insurgency in Sinai. I certainly wouldn't go to any resorts in Sinai. Yes, they are remote but that's the whole point. Something could kick off there with al-Qaeda and you're screwed. The etyptian army will run for the hills rsther than protect tourists and the authorities will be more concerned about a cover up than getting you evacuated. I'd personally feel safer somewhere like hurghada on the other side of the red sea but I'd avoid Egypt now anyway.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 05:00:19

YABU to be ignorant of foreign affairs. sad

Clouds you can read media reports (if you keep an eye on current affairs that is). Over 90% of women aged 15-24 have undergone FGM and over 99% of women have been sexually assaulted.

Personally, as a woman - I wouldn't go to a country which routinely uses rape as a form of oppression.

Kungfutea Fri 05-Jul-13 05:31:58

No, it's about 90% for women aged 15-49 who have undergone fgm based on the 2008 Egypt demographic and health survey. It's less for younger women (74% for ages 15-17). Still high but moving in the right direction.

On what data are you basing this 99% of Egyptian women sexually assaulted? You're basically saying ALL Egyptian women have been sexually assaulted!

Personally, I like to see the data before I believe media reports Dolomites.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 05-Jul-13 05:33:58

You can google it, it was in national media just yesterday. PM me and I'll teach you how to use Google.

LtEveDallas Fri 05-Jul-13 05:59:51

If you are going to be mocking DolomitesDonkey, you really ought to be sure of your facts.

According to a report by the UN, the Cairo Demographic Center and Egypt's Institute of National Planning, more than 99% of the hundreds of Egyptian women who participated in the study reported some kind of sexual harassment or assault, from verbal abuse to rape. The women came from seven of Egypt's 27 provinces

That isn't actually ALL Egyptian women. That is those that took part in the study. It is also 'some kind of sexual harassment or assault' which includes verbal abuse, not just rape.

Maybe you need some teaching too?

I was in Cairo last week for work. We pretty much stayed in the hotel, and were taxied to where we were working - both on the northern side of the city. There was a definite tension there, but our colleagues there were saying as long as we stayed in that area we would be ok. I wouldn't have gone if it hadnt been work, and I probably wouldn't go there on holiday at the moment either....

Altinkum Fri 05-Jul-13 06:30:15

Donkey (quite appt name) you really should read before you sprout utter nonsense, having done a simple google, it's 99% of the women who took part in the study, we're subjected to a form of abuse, so that could mean 1 was raped, and the other 100 verbally abused, some physically, some mentally!!!

Only a idiot would post that a whole nation of women, bar 1% has been raped hmm but then as then as they say donkey sees, donkey does!!!!

Try reading reports correctly, invest the information, make seance of it, before scaremongering or severely misquoting.

That's the thing I love about mn we don't take bull shitters!

AuntieStella Fri 05-Jul-13 06:31:59

There's a massive difference between verbal harassment and rape though. And earlier posters were not making it clear that the stats included more than rape.

And depending on how the survey defined "verbal harassment" I expect that UK would reach or exceed 99% too.

Kungfutea Fri 05-Jul-13 13:01:20

The survey didn't just include verbal harrassment, dirty looks were included as well!. And the report says that women were specifically chosen in places where sexual harrassment is more common.

Here's the UN report.

So Dolomites is wrong in stating that 99% of women in Egypt have been sexually assaulted, as well as getting the fgm data wrong as well sad

Its not that there isn't a huge problem in Egypt with how they treat women, but scaremongering and exaggerating ( and poor research methods) don't help.

WeleaseWodger Fri 05-Jul-13 13:12:44

From an Egyptian's public Facebook post

Mohamed Raouf Ghoneim
Yesterday at 12:27pm ·
To all my friends, abroad and at home, who seem sceptical about what happened in Egypt, and who insist that it is more of a military coup than a people's revolution, and who are genuinely worried that it was against democracy:
Let me state first that i am one of those who protested the loudest against military rule for the whole fifteen months of their reign in my country, since take-over from Mubarak in Feb 2011 till hand-over to Morsi in Jun 2012.
The reason why I was against military rule is because I know what it means, not through Forsyth and Ambler novels, or documentaries on History Channel, or bits and pieces of news on CNN and FOX, but because I saw its implications with my own eyes and lived its consequences on my own flesh.
So yes, i DO know the threats of military rule, and i DO realize that forcing a rule, or keeping it in power, through military might is a very dangerous thing - thank you very much.
But i ALSO know - dear friends - that it is completely hypocritical that the US media keeps spotlighting the fact that demonstrations in Egypt are against a democratically elected president, and that it turned out to be a military coup against democracy, but forgets to mention that the US ARMY'S presence in the Gulf area is mainly to "protect and defend" the regimes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two "friendly" monarchial dictatorships, which have never held any democratic process, against the threat of possible aggression from Iran, a "ennemy" regime with a democratically elected president - just like Morsi.
And I ALSO find it highly pathetic that the US media's memory always functions to perfection when remembering in amazing clarity how many Jews were tortured and killed by the Nazis, but miraculously seems to have forgotten that Hitler was a democratically elected president just like Morsi, and that Morsi, a declared fascist against his own people and against all who believe in anything other than his own belief, has repeatedly and openly denied that very same holocaust.
ANYWAY, we Egyptians decided we will NOT wait until our democratically elected president switches in US eyes from "friend" to "ennemy", so that this same mighty US media machine - now calling him legitimate - would all of a sudden have ignored the minor fact about him being democratically elected, while cheering the US ARMY to come and bombard and destroy my country, which will then have become part of "the axis of evil" and "a dangerous ennemy nation that harbors and sponsors global terrorism".
SO, if you are really worried about what happens around the world, don't worry that much about us, and START AT HOME, by using the great gift of democracy you have been blessed with, to stop your government from supporting and sponsoring "friendly" terrorists.
And should you have really fallen for this media idiocy about democracy, military coup and the overthrow of legitimacy, please DO make a mental note of the following facts:
1.Hitler and Morsi were both democratically elected - while Jesus, Ghandi and Mother Teresa were NOT.
2.We are fighting in Egypt TODAY against religious fascism and terrorism - so your children don't have to die by it TOMORROW.
3.MEDIA has a memory, but it's a very selective memory - and has a conscience, but this conscience has an ON/OFF button.
4.A military coup is when an army acts upon its own will and replaces a civilian ruler with one of their own, and NOT when the army obeys the orders of millions of their countrymen on the streets demanding that, and when they oust the ruler to replace him with the highest ranked supreme court judge, until a real constitution has been written, and a new ruler has really been chosen by the people.
IN ALL CASES, the peaceful Egyptian revolution continues, with or without anybody's support, and we Egyptians are well aware of the threats ahead, but we are also damn proud of ourselves, and of our army which has acted upon the will of the people and not against it.
Egypt sends positive vibes and loads of love to the rest of the free world - on our first morning back amongst THE FREE!!!
God bless all
A very proud

sherbetpips Fri 05-Jul-13 13:17:30

There is also the factor that it can be 45 degrees plus on most days in July, not fun for kids and the sea and pools re like bathwater.
Hissy since when is Dubai cheap, used to be years ago and the only reason its cheap'er' in the summer is its too hot to go outside?

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