Though the pyramids, ancient temples and culture of Egypt may be its main attractions, the country has a lot more to offer. Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt’s largest cities, offer all sorts of modern accommodations and amenities, in addition to sightseeing, for today’s sophisticated travelers. You’ll find several Americans, Europeans and wealthy Arabs on the Red Sea coast enjoying the first class resorts, restaurants, bars and pubs, and all sorts of aquatic sports.
Bollywood’s connection with Egypt goes far back, when the Big B starrer ‘The Great Gambler’ was shot here (one of the locations). Not only has Egypt featured in many Indian films, our movies are also quite popular with the people of Egypt.
Movies Shot in Egypt
Prominent Indian movies shot in Egypt include: The Great Gambler, Jeans, Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham, Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, Singh Is King
Great Sphinx & Pyramids of Giza, Bahriya, Mortuary Temple Of Hatshepsut – Deir El Bahri, are some popular locations of Egypt that you can see in these movies.
The Song ‘Suraj hua madham’ in Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham showed scenes ‘Bahriya’ & ‘The Great Pyramids’ (Giza Plateau, Giza, Egypt)
The Song ‘Teri ore’ (Singh is King) shows the Great Sphinx & Pyramids (Giza)
The Song ‘Jee Karda’ (Singh is King) shows the Mortuary Temple Of Hatshepsut (Deir El Bahri, Egypt)
More songs that have been shot here in Egypt include:
- The Song ‘Ajooba’ from the movie Jeans shows the Great Sphinx Of Giza
- The Song Thoda sa pyar hua hai from ‘Maine Dil Tujhko Diya’ had scenes of Bahriya, Egypt
Popularity of Indian Films & Actors in Egypt
Egypt is one of those countries where Indian films are quite popular, and people know about Amitabh Bachchan & Shahrukh Khan; for Egyptians, there are few things more entertaining than a good movie.
Chennai Express was released here with much fanfare (marked the return of Bollywood to Egypt after 25 years), and everybody was hoping that it would do well, but because of the events unfolding in Egypt, and the absence of good promotions for the film in the country, the movie didn’t do as well as expected.
Did You Know?
Big B starrer ‘Mard’ was a huge success in Egypt and ran for two years in Egypt. They had to keep changing the title as there was a law that no foreign film could run longer than a certain period of time.
Video Amitabh Bachchan during his visit to Egypt in 1991
Mr. Bachchan recently inaugurated the third edition of the ‘India by the Nile’ festival in Cairo, as part of his three-day visit to the Egypt’s capital. Big B visited the Pyramids and also was part of a special session with noted film journalist and author Sidharth Bhatia at the Cairo Opera House.
Said Bachchan, “It is my fourth visit to this wonderful country. Every time I come to Egypt I feel as though I come home. Every time I have been here it has been such an experience. And that is the feeling I am going to carry home when I go back to India. I really want to thank the ambassador for conducting this very important festival and encouraging the co-operation and friendship that have existed between our two cultures and countries”.
Amitabh Bachchan addressing the huge crowd at ‘India By The Nile’ festival in Cairo, Egypt
Egypt Aims for 1 Million Indian Tourists
Egypt was always a popular destination for tourists until the recent political turmoil (2011) in the country, which hit the tourism sector really badly. The uprising emptied hotels, casinos and bars, and saw almost a 40 per cent decline in tourist arrivals.
Tourism is a major revenue earner for the country, hence they’re increasing their promotional and branding activities to regain its image and boost tourism.
Egypt has now put forth a plan to attract 1 million Indian tourists in Egypt by 2017 with a new theme – ‘Let’s visit Egypt- Egypt is safe’; the country really wants to convince tourists that Egypt is safe tourism destination.
Indian tourists in Egypt have been growing at 30 per cent over the last few years, as most Indian see it as an exotic location which has several new things to offer. A lot of Indian films were also shot in Egypt, which also brought in good money for the country.
Egypt to provide Visa on Arrival to Indian tourists
Egypt is going all the way to woo the Indian tourists. To boost tourism from India, Egypt has announced Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility for Indians (travelling in groups of ten and more).
The government hopes that the introduction of Visa on Arrival will help increase visitor arrivals from India, which had taken a dip due to the political unrest in Egypt.
Tourism is one of the biggest business sectors in Egypt, and its major attractions include the Pharaohs, Pyramids, & the Nile cruise. Its also known for its Red Sea beaches, awesome Alexandrian seaside for long nightly promenades and most importantly, the Pyramids.
Along with the historical, heritage, and cultural destination, Egypt is also promoting itself as a destination for wellness, religious, cruise travel and MICE (meeting, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions).
Dialing code: 20
Currency: Egyptian pound
Official language: Modern Standard Arabic
The Moghul Room, in the Mena House Oberoi Hotel, is definitely among the best Indian restaurants (an up-scale restaurant) in Cairo. It offers mainly North Indian cuisine.