Banks & Currency Exchange
The average exchange rate is around 15.5 Egyptian pounds = $1.00 US dollar. To convert your currency to Egyptian currency using Currency Converter.
Well-known banks in Egypt include The National Bank of Egypt, Bank MISR, The Commercial International Bank, and Alex Bank. These banks normally accept major credit cards, traveler’s checks, and provide standard bank services including cash advances.
Normal hours for government offices including banks are from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. daily except Fridays and Saturday. Friday is a religious day recognized as a day of rest.
Major credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, stores, and hotels. We suggest you become familiar with the exchange rates of your native currency before making purchases to avoid confusion.
VISA’s & Entry Requirements
Citizens of Commonwealth, USA and most European countries require a visitors VISA and you must hold a valid passport for at least six months from the date of arrival. To obtain a visitors visa please contact the nearest Egyptian Consulate.
Larger cities in Egypt have adequate medical facilities and hospitals. Medical services are managed by the government under a social program to provide medical services to anybody who needs medical attention.
There are two main hospitals in Hurghada, several recompression facilities – operating 24 hours a day and several pharmacies. The main hospitals have been modernized recently. With the increase in tourism, the expansion of medical services has increased significantly in the past few years.
Not surprising to most travelers, when traveling to new countries changes in diet often result in stomach problems. Travelers should not drink local tap water. During the day the sun in the Red Sea region is very strong and even people who don’t normally burn should be aware of the dangers associated with the high temperatures of the surrounding desert. The number one rule–drink plenty of bottled water or isotonic drinks to avoid dehydration.
We require all divers who want to dive with us show their diving certification card that was obtained through a recognized certifying agency and a logbook.
Although we do not require you to present a health statement from your doctor we highly recommend you carry one when you travel to Egypt or any foreign destination. In the unlikely event of an emergency it may be helpful for medical treatment.
About Airport Customs
Do not try to take anything from the sea like shells or other souvenirs you might have collected underwater; this is STRICTLY PROHIBITED by law and we do not tolerate it either! If you have any questions about exporting anything out of Egypt please ask us and we’ll put you in touch with the appropriate authorities.
Check Egypt Car Rental Service
About the Red Sea
The Red Sea is a very long sea with some 1,460 miles/2350 kilometers stretching from the Gulf of Aquaba in the north, all the way to the borders of Sudan and beyond. The widest point (opposite of Eritrea) is 217 miles/350 kilometers.
Although a relatively narrow sea linking to the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, it is very deep sea reaching depths of over 9,850 feet/3,000 meters in the central areas and 2,000-2600 feet/600-800 meters near many walls and reefs.
To learn more about the Red Sea and surrounding geography click here.
Water Temperatures & Visibility
Seasonal temperature changes play a big role in determining visibility. The best periods for high visibility for the north Red Sea tend to be in the winter months. The cooler water temperatures are not favorable to support algae and plankton growth.
In opposition, it is the summer months that offer the best visibility (in the southern regions) due to the sweltering air temperatures that penetrate the surface and elevate water temperatures far beyond acceptable levels to sustain marine microorganisms. Plankton blooms can appear most anytime in the Red Sea effecting visibility but these are rare occurrences and the normal visibility is excellent ranging from 30 feet/10 meters to 150 feet/50 meters.