Round-the-clock Entertainment in Cairo this Summer

Travel News Asia Monday, 10 July 2006

With its unrivalled range of galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas, shops, restaurants and nightclubs, Cairos diverse entertainment scene remains one of the key attractions for visitors to the Egyptian capital.

With its 7,000 years of history, Cairo is always going to draw culturally-conscious visitors, but its wealth of modern attractions adds another dimension to this vibrant and unique cosmopolitan city.

While most visitors are quick to tick off the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square, less are aware of the 20th century artists that grace the walls of the National Museum of Egyptian Modern Art, or make a visit to the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Dokki, where works by Monet, Gauguin and Van Gogh are exhibited.

The downtown area has a superb concentration of contemporary art galleries, all within walking distances of each other the three-floored Townhouse Gallery is a popular haunt with Cairenes and the exhibitions usually change every month.

Arab visitors are naturally drawn to the Museum of Islamic Art, while the many speciality museums Agricultural, Geological, Post Office, Railway, Police, Military and Entomological Society among others ensure something for everyone.

Ahmad El Khadem, chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority, commented, Our cultural sites are our pride and joy, but visitors should remember there is far more to see beyond the Pyramids and the National Museum. Summer in Cairo is a season of great choice and activity, with no end of entertainment available.

The bustling Khan el-Khalili shopping area is a must-see for visitors and often the most entertaining part of any trip. The suq dates back to 1382 when Emir Diaharks el-Khalili built a big caravanseri (khan) for traders.

The beauty of Cairo is that it also boasts a vibrant contemporary retail scene with plenty of fashionable outlets across the city and in stylish malls beside five-star hotels.

In the heart of Zamalek, Friction recently opened its doors, selling mens and womens wear, along with contemporary home accessories.

The open-air theatre and amphitheatre at the Cairo Opera House also attract the summer crowds and the complex regularly stages international music, ballet and opera troupes.

Cairo is world-renowned for its belly dancing and performances are laid on across the city in nightclubs and hotels, with cover charges likely to see famous dancers such as Fifi Abdu and Dina.

And when it comes to live acts, Cairo is becoming a true musical melting pot, attracting major stars such as Ricky Martin, to premier international DJs specialising in house and techno music.

Film lovers have no shortage of options with the MGM in Maadi Grand Mall a good choice for foreign films and plenty of screens can be seen at the modern Geneina Mall and Tiba Mall. Many of the international cultural centers often show free foreign films.

Floating nightclubs Le Pasha and Imperial regularly host live acts during the summer, while the Cairo Jazz Club is a popular haunt with international visitors.

When it comes to indigenous and global cuisines, much like its cultural offering, Cairos culinary scene caters for all tastes.

Le Pacha 1901, one of Cairos landmark dining and entertainment venues, has been transformed from a paddle vessel into a floating 10-restaurant boat and it is a popular attraction moored on the banks of the Nile along Gezira Island.

Joes Crab Shack, the casual dining concept, opens its first international venue at Citystars this summer and the impressive mall will also contain a Rainforest Caf.

Whatever your tastes, Cairo has something to offer everyone this summer. 

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