If you are looking forward to settle in Cairo, here is how to proceed to find accommodation in the Egyptian capital city.
Finding accommodation will probably be one of your major priorities if you are considering moving to Cairo. You should not have much to worry about as the Egyptian capital city provides a range of accommodation options for expatriates, although you may have to wait for at least two weeks to find the one which best suits your needs. In all cases, take the time to inquire on the local rental and real estate market before moving.
You have more chances of finding accommodation more rapidly with the help of a real estate agent, through word of mouth if you have friends or contacts on the spot or via building caretakers. As the capital city provides a range of accommodation options, you should be able to find the one which best suits your criteria and budget within an average of two weeks, as mentioned above.
In general and as elsewhere, rent prices vary from one neighborhood to another, according to the surface area and whether it is furnished or not. You will thus need an average of 2,000 Egyptian pounds per month for a flat. To rent a three-bedroom house, you will need an average of 4,000 Egyptian pounds per month. However, you can still find cheaper housing units provided you negotiate with the owner or real estate agent.
Zamalek is known to be an island in the heart of Cairo and of the Nile river. Located near big hotels, Zamalek is a very lively area, especially at night, just like Maneal.
Mohandessin, for its part, is less lively but very popular with the expatriate community. The area is so large that you will probably need a car to do your shopping for instance.
Located in Northeast Cairo, Heliopolis a suburb which is served by the subway network and hosts several shops, restaurants and hotels. It especially attracts expatriates coming from different parts of the world.
Moreover, many expatriates prefer Giza due to its proximity with the city-center and the presence of foreign embassies and consulates. Maadi is also famous for its great diversity, as well as the presence of foreign schools and colleges.
Dokki, on the other hand, is a less popular neighborhood as English is poorly or not spoken at all by traders. Cairo also includes other smaller neighborhoods such as Nasr City, Agouza and Abdin which attract small expat communities due to their proximity with the city-center and international schools. Moreover, rent prices in these smaller neighborhoods are much lower than elsewhere.
Like anywhere else in Egypt, it is best to hire a real estate agent to help you find accommodation in Cairo, especially if you are not yet acquainted with the area. Given Cairo's great dynamism, the real estate agent will be able to advise and help you in better choosing the more appropriate type of accommodation according to your criteria and budget.
In case you wish to make savings, and thus not having to pay agency fees, feel free to look for housing on your own. Consider inquiring about vacant housing with the building concierge or inhabitants and providing them with your contact details.
When choosing accommodation, make sure that is it located on the same bank as your place of work, your university or your children's school for instance, so as to avoid traveling for long hours. Although Cairo has a well developed transport network, traveling during peak hours, especially in dry seasons, can be quite uncomfortable.