Is Egypt dangerous for Russian tourists?
In cold weather, you want to go where the sun shines and it’s warm. And many of our compatriots choose Egypt out of habit. But few people realize that high service, security and hospitality in Egypt have long been illusory.
Political instability, low level of service, shark attacks and high level of terrorist threat – all this is Egypt today.
Political instability and terrorism
A Muslim (in red) and several Christians are trying to prevent attacking Coptic Christians from entering the mosque.
Political instability after the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt turned into sectarian clashes. In the latest clashes between Christians and Muslims in Cairo in October 2011, 24 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
If there was at least some visible order under President Muburak, the current political leaders seem to be unable to control the situation in the country at all. And control is necessary here, because there are many radical Islamists in this 80-million-strong Muslim country.
Over the past 20 years, more than 135 tourists have been killed by terrorist attacks in Egypt. Since 1992, at least 18 religious-based terrorist attacks have been carried out in Egypt against foreign tourists (as is known for fanatical Islamists, foreigners of other religions are “infidels”).
Another important fact is the existence of terrorist military bases in Sinai. According to Israeli military intelligence, Hamas militants regularly cross the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt in order to conduct military exercises in the Sinai Peninsula. One of the largest military bases of Hamas is located in Jbeil Halal, a mountainous area inhabited mainly by Bedouins. Here, according to intelligence, Hamas, together with international terrorist groups, conducts military exercises without the risk of being attacked by the Israeli air force.
Intelligence indicates that military installations located at an altitude of about 900 meters above sea level are almost impossible to see from the ground. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to conduct an anti-terrorist operation here.
Israeli media indicate that the Sinai Peninsula has become a testing ground where Hamas is testing new weapons. In particular, this is where Palestinian militants are trained to use anti-tank missiles. In addition, recruits are trained to fire in open areas.
Service and hotels
Were you counting on 5* and All inclusive? You should be prepared for the fact that the declared star rating of your hotel is likely to be lower by at least 1-2*.
Also, in Egypt, it is not uncommon for such a phenomenon as overbooking – a strategy of hotels, in which they sell more rooms than they actually have, in the hope that not all tourists will come and not all of the obligations will really have to be fulfilled. The consequence of this most often cynical deception of customers can at best be the replacement of a hotel with a similar one with some loss of time and nerves, and at worst – a completely spoiled holiday.
After checking into the hotel, tourists are often waiting for other subtleties of Egyptian hospitality – sometimes outright extortion of managers at the reception “for a good room” (a room with a normal view from the window, for example, and not with a view of a noisy road) and theft in the rooms (sometimes they steal even from safes).
Sharks in Egypt
Shark attack in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2010
Sharks in the red sea of Egypt are another danger of traveling to this country. According to statistics, over the past 10 years, shark attacks on holidaymakers have become more frequent.
Tourists swimming in the Red sea, particularly off the coast of Sharm El-Sheikh, are almost not protected from meeting with sharks. It is almost impossible to enter the water from the shore here – coral thickets interfere with it. Therefore, to swim, you have to walk on a pontoon and dive at a distance of 100-200 meters from the shore. At depth, sharks attack bathers without hindrance.
Tragic incidents involving sharks in Egypt occurred several times in 2010, during which three Russian tourists and one Ukrainian were injured, and a tourist from Germany was killed. Only one of the victims escaped with minor injuries, and the rest had to have their arms or legs amputated.
The situation with sharks in Egypt is complicated by the fact that in the Wake of the revolutionary anarchy in the country, the order created under former President Hosni Mubarok has actually been lost, and now the current “authorities”, instead of taking measures to ensure the safety of tourists, are only trying to hide the new fact of a shark attack on them.
Accidents in Egypt
Bus crash with American tourists in Egypt in 2010: 8 dead
Another danger in Egypt is accidents, which often happen on the country’s roads with an appalling frequency.
Every year, hundreds of tourists are involved in accidents, many of whom are seriously injured or killed. What is the reason for such terrible statistics? The fact that many Egyptian drivers are not disciplined and neglect the basic rules of the road. For example, a driver may suddenly start a u-turn in a moving stream, abruptly start to reverse, just messing up the gear levers, or just fool around behind the wheel like a child.
All this gives us the right to believe that another danger of Egypt can be considered banal movement around the country by road.
Unrest and political instability, low level of service and consumer attitude of Egyptians from the tourism sector to vacationers, sharks and accidents on the roads – all this does not position Egypt as a Paradise for vacationers.
Yet, despite all the dangers, Egypt receives millions of tourists every year.
The rich history, beautiful sea with excellent conditions for diving, unique attractions such as the pyramids of Giza or Luxor, as well as low prices-for all this, tourists love Egypt so much and we hope that in the foreseeable future it will be pleasant to relax here and, most importantly, safe.