Visa and entry regulations
What visa do I need to live in Sharm?
You do not need a resident visa in order to live in Sharm! Legally of course a resident visa is required, but this is still a grey zone.
Many foreigners just extend their tourist visa in El Tour before the expiry of their entry visa. The tourist visa to enter Sinai can be bought either when entering Sinai or through an Egyptian Embassy in the home country. But please pay attention not to get the free two week Sinai visa when entering at the airport. You will not be able to go to El Tur with this visa, as it is only valid for the East of Sinai (Taba to Sharm el Sheikh). At the airport you have to get the Full Egyptian visa which costs for most citizens 25 USD (depends on the agreements between Egypt and your home country).
For some citizens (mostly Eastern Europeans) it gets difficult to extend the tourist visa in El Tur and they have to go the Cairo or they have to go to the State Security (Amn Dawla) in Sharm after filing the application form in El Tur. Consider this may take some time.
When renewing the tourist visa remember to also get the re-entry visa. Within the validity of the re-entry visa you are allowed to leave and return the country. Without re-entry visa you will have to buy another 4 week visa when entering.
As of July 2014 it takes two days to extend the Tourist or the Re-entry visa. First visit you have the leave a copy and fill in the application. After two working days you return with your passport and receive the visa. Usually both times the applier must go by himself/ herself. In some exceptions friends/ relatives could take the visa the second time.
How do I get a work visa?
The work visa has to be requested by your employer. The company has to apply for the work visa before you enter Egypt. Should you be in Egypt already you will have to leave for a few days. Within those days the employer has to apply for the work visa.
Note: Should you have applied for the work visa recently please send us information what papers were needed.
What do I need to enter Egypt?
A passport and visa are required.
The passport must still be valid for a minimum of another 3 months (on entry); this also applies to children or youths. Upon arrival at the airport, you must buy a visa before arriving at passport control. A visa obtained at the airport costs USD 15.00 or the equivalent amount in euros. Visitors arriving overland and/or those who previously experienced difficulty with their visa status in Egypt should obtain a visa prior to arrival.
Those entering with only an identity card (as to current information only EU citizens) must, on arrival, complete a special incoming-passenger card, to which a passport photo (which passengers must bring with them) must be affixed. Children under the age of 16, who do not yet have their own passport or identity card, can enter with their own (minor’s) passport, by virtue of inclusion on a parent’s passport (for ages two and above, a photo is required as above) or with a special identity card for children (for Egypt, a photo must be affixed).
Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia,Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines,Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries.
How can I get an Egyptian driving license?
1. First you will have to go the Traffic Office (Morur) in El Tor. There you have to apply for the license. If not told ask for your record number, as otherwise it might get difficult when you return.
The office gives you a paper (signed and stamped) and asks you to go with it to the Police station in Sharm.
2. The police station in Hadaba needs:
copy of flat contract (rental or property ownership)
The police station takes the paper of el Tur and will give you another stamped and signed paper.
3. Also you need to go to the State security/ Amn Dawla (about 1 week after being in El Tor) for an interview. The Amn Dawla office is in Old Sharm, just after Egypt Air, before Gate 1 on the left side.
After the interview it takes another week until el Tor will receive an ok to issue the license.
The Amn Dawla will tell you when to go.
4. You will also need a medical certificate issued by the International Hospital in Sharm or El Tor Hospital. Certificates of other clinics are not recognized.
Also you should bring 2-3 passport pics.
5. Back in El Tur at the Moror you will have to buy stamps, get the paper of the Amn Dawla copied (usually they do send someone with you to do it), buy further forms. Buy a folder/ dossier. Buying dossier and making copies can be done just outside of the Moror office building.
Once all is complete the papers will go to the Major to be signed and they will issue to drivers license.
Bought a car and want to license it now
First you have to go to the traffic office (morour) in El Tor.
In the Traffice Office you have to buy papers for the Amn Dawla (State Security) and for the Police.
One paper for the police will be given to you.
Back in Sharm you have to go to the Police with the paper given, a passport copy and a copy of rental or property contract. The Police will keep these papers and give you a confirmation for El Tor.
About 7 days after going to El Tor the papers for the Amn Dawla (State Security) should have arrived.
The Amn Dawla office is in Old Sharm, just after Egypt Air, before gate one on the left side.
The Amn Dawla than will send the papers back to El Tor which takes another 7 days.
With the paper of the Police and your car papers (custom papers, if imported) you can return to El Tor.
There you have to pay the insurance for the car (depends on the size of the engine). If you want to license for three years you have to pay the insurance for three years.
Hopefully the paper from the Amn Dawla has arrived.
You will have to buy some papers, stamps, the plate numbers. The car is being checked.
Once all that is done the license should be issued.
How do I find work?
One way to find a job is through the Job Market on this page. It is the biggest Job Market for Sharm and all reputible companies offer their job vacancies through the site. We recommend to send a short reply to job offers before sending CVs.
You can also post a job request, but make sure not to publish your phone number as unfortunately there had been some misuse.
Still the best way to find a job is the personal contact. Once you are in Sharm pay a visit to the companies who you feel might have the job you are looking for. Try to talk to the person in charge in the HR department or get an appointment with him/ her and leave your CV. Even if there is no availability at the moment this might change quickly and once they have your contacts they might get in touch with you.
Do I need a work permit to work in Sharm?
Work permits have to be requested by the employer. As it is involving a lot of paper work and time not all places issue work permits. Working with a tourist visa is still very common.
Most international Hotel chains will get a work permit for their foreign staff. Please check with your employer whether he is taking care of this. There is no standard rule.
Legally it is of course not allowed to work without work permit, but there is still a grey zone which is tolerated.
What salary can I expect in Sharm?
Salary range in Sharm is getting huge. Due to more applicants than availability salaries drop.
The more qualified you are and the more languages you speak the better it is usually.
Salaries start with 300 to 400 USD. Before moving consider that living costs are quite high and therefore such salary does only work if you do not have to pay for accomodation and/ or food.
Of course there is no high end on the salary scale. It can easily also reach a few thousand Euro.
Property and Rentals
Can I buy property in Sinai?
2012: As to a new degree only 30 year usufruct, with possibility to extend to 50 years are available.
Yes, you can. But all property sales since 2005 are on a 99 years lease.
Purchasing a property in Sharm el Sheikh is different than purchasing a property in any different location in Egypt, according to the difference in legal status. There was an administrative decree issued by the prime minister of Egypt in 2005, abrogating the context of the previous law issued in 1996. Despite the fact that originally an administrative decree is normally unable to nullify law, but this decree is currently the prevalent decree governing the foreigners? legal status when it comes to purchasing a property in Sharm el Sheikh. The aforementioned decree states that foreigner purchasers in Sharm el Sheikh may not be granted the right to be “landlords” on the properties they purchase, but only would have the “Freehold” right, for the maximum time of 99 years, and since the term “Freehold” originally applies to the right to enjoy a property and all its advantages for good, in addition to the right of disposal, either physical or legal disposal, and since the decree has stated the maximum limit of freehold as 99 years, therefore ? legally talking ? it is NOT freehold, it is better to be rephrased to “Usufruct”. Usufruct is the best description for the current real estate sales legal name involving foreigners in Sharm el Sheikh, and it, consequently, raises many questions concerning registration of the sale.
What legal procedures are needed to obtain a property?
A) Obtaining a real estate certificate and a tax certificate for the property:
Purchaser’s lawyer should obtain a “NEGATIVE” certificate for the property from the government, stating that there are no mortgages, pledges, or any other sort of rights arranged to any other party on the desired property. The certificate must be governmental and stamped with the official stamp of the state. Also a certificate must be obtained from the tax authorities determining the exact due taxes on the desired property. There has been a wide-spread myth stating that there are no taxes due on Sharm el Sheikh’s properties. The truth, however, is that THERE ARE taxes estimated on each property in Sharm el Sheikh. Those taxes vary in value according to the original usage of the property. Purchasers are requested to consult their lawyer in order to handle the taxes issue. Taxes can be reduced to almost 60 EGP in case if the property is used for the sole purpose of residence, while these taxes would be higher in case if the property was used for the purpose of renting out.
B) Articulating a precise and bilingual sale / usufruct contract:
Sale / Usufruct is actually all about the contract, and therefore it is imperative for a purchaser to have a precise and detailed contract, defining the property boundaries in a definitive manner, purchase price, how did the property evolved to the previous owner, method of payment?etc.
This contract should be articulated in both Arabic and English languages, and it must be taken into consideration that the only authenticated and recognized language in courts is the Arabic language, and consequently English is used for the mere purpose of guidance. Here is a golden advice: NEVER sign a contract which was articulated only in English or any other languages than Arabic when it comes to purchase a property in Egypt, or you will be in serious risk.
C) Authenticating Sale / Usufruct Contract:
Prior to the point of authenticating Sale / Usufruct contract, purchasers are required to issue a power of attorney to their lawyer, in order to be able to act on their behalf in courts. Power of attorney, however, requires the purchaser “Principal” to obtain a multi-entry visa from El Tur city, which is located not far from Sharm el Sheikh, and where all the governmental utilities for Sharm el Sheikh’s area are located. After obtaining the power of attorney from the notary office, the lawyer is responsible for establishing the signature validity legal suit. This legal suit takes between 6-8 months before obtaining the final verdict from the court.
These were simply the imperative steps needed to purchase a real estate property in Sharm el Sheikh, which in practice are not any different between Egyptians and foreigners, Except for the fact that Egyptians are entitled to choose between having a sale or usufruct contract, while foreigners have the sole choice of having a usufruct contract.
It must be mentioned that Egypt has replaced its old method of registration ? out of Sharm el Sheikh ? for taking a percent equals to 3% of the purchase price as fees for notarizing a contract. The new policy is to take a certain amount of funds not exceeding 2000 EGP as fees for the registration process, regardless of the purchase price of the sold property. It must also be emphasized that other types of legal suits which purpose to prove the transfer the ownership are invalid whenever a foreigner party is included i.e. Contract Validity legal suit. This legal suit is available only in case if the purchaser was the first purchaser, and when the seller is the government or a governmental utility. There is NO PERCENT taken by the government for the signature validity legal suit, but only administrative fees, which shall be included in the attorney fees.
When is a rental contract valid?
A rental contract is only valid if stamped in el Tor.
Do I need to get married if I want to rent a flat with my Egyptian boy-friend?
No… What you need is a preliminary marriage contract signed by a notarian. With this contract you are allowed to live together and rent a flat.
A marriage in Egypt is legal only if it is a civil ceremony performed at a local marriage court. For foreigners marrying Egyptians this can only be done in Cairo. All marriage contracts signed only at a notarian are neither abroad nor in Egypt considered as marriage.
What does it cost to rent a flat?
Rentals depend a lot on the area you are looking at… consider Tower, Montazah and First row Sea St. Hadaba as the most expensive places.
Also rentals depend on the time you are looking at. During or before holidays it is usually not good to look for flats as a lot of landlords prefer to rent on daily basis to people from Cairo.
Studios can be found for 2000 LE. A 2-bedroom flat costs around 4000 LE.
Rent prices dropped in since 2011.
Check out our Real Estate section. Please note we are not a real estate agent, but just an information board. Posting is free of charge. It is open to owners as well as real estate agents.
How do I find a flat?
We recommend first to check out the Real Estate Market on this website. You will find direct offers of owners as well as of real estate agents.
A lot of real estate agencies are offering their services in Sharm. We do not recommend any company as we are an independent information board.
Just consider that not always the biggest is also offering the best service.
Another option, which is a bit time consuming, is to take a car or taxi and go around asking the door men (bawab) about availabilities. The best time for it would be the early evening hours.
Questions about this website
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3. Do not write your email address in message but only in mentioned field
Pin Board and Forum Regulations
It only publishes search, offers and announcements. No opinion exchange will be published. All discussions and opinions should be on the forum.
Commercial ads should not be published on the forum, unless published in the section “search and offers”.
Job Page Regulations:
Due to several requests we decided to publish only offers with detailed information.
The job offer should include:
Organization/ Company and location
Job description (with details)
Contact name and title
If available use official email address (not yahoo, gmail etc addresses).
Posts with official email addresses pass easier.
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We do not support animal sales or breeding!
All posts therefore must clearly state that animals are free to give away
and no fee is charged!
Real Estate Board:
The page is open for individuals as for agencies.
Due to the high demand only 2 posts per person/ agency are permitted.
Posts should not be generic, but include specific objects
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I found information which is not correct
Please send us an email. We try to keep the page always updated, but unfortunately also mistakes or outdatings might happen. We appreciate your understanding.
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How often are posts validated?
Unfortunately we have to validate all posts due to rising misuse.
Validation is done by the team several as fast as possible, but can in very rare cases take up to 24h.
How can I advertise on SharmWomen.com
SharmWomen.com has more than 34000 visitors monthly/ over 1000 unique visitors per day.
70% of the visitors are male.
The site is owned and managed by SharmPRO. Please contact SharmPRO through our contact form.
What schools are available in Sharm?
currently being updated
Beside the public schools in Hadaba and Hay El Nour several private schools are in Sharm:
St. Joseph – Egyptian and American Section, Hadaba
Sharm College – Naama Bay
British School – Naama Bay
French School – Hadaba
How can I meet friends?
Sharm is growing and many activities are offered.
Sharm Women Club
Are you female the monthly meetings of the Sharm Women Club are a great way to meet other women.
The monthly meetings are usually on the first Monday of the month, at different locations. The place is announced through the Sharm Women Club mailing list and this website (check out section The Club)
Eshta Book Club
Every second Wednesday of the month the Eshta Book Club is reviewing a different book.
The books can be bought or copied at the Eshta Book Shop in Viva Mall. For more information call Bella 0163779754
How do I find the right doctor?
We do not like to give recommendations on doctors. Beside the professionalism also a personal relation to a physician is important.
We recommend to check out our forum page and read the many different opinions.
We make one exception to this rule. In emergencies we recommend the International Hospital, as they have all the technology and can fast get specialists from Cairo.
Where can I go if I have legal questions
The Technology Center in Hadaba, next to the City Council, is providing general information about legal requirements. Forms should be available in different languages. The center is still in a trial period, therefore they might not be able to answer all your questions, but sure it is worth a try, before consulting a lawyer.
Which beaches can I go to as a local?
Living in Sharm it is sometimes difficult to find public beaches. Despite the name most public beaches only allow entrance against a fee. Following a list of beaches which welcome locals.
Ras Katy – Seastreet Hadaba – walk down through stairs – free of charge, but sometimes unpleasant as local workes around
Terrazzina Too – Sharm el Moya, near Int. Harbor – 50 LE per person or membership card
Public Beach – Amphoras (Restaurant da Maria) – 25 LE per person
Zoara Beach – Nabq – 25 LE per person
Sharks Bay Umbi – Sharks Bay – 20 LE per person
Ultima Spiaggia – Sharm el Moya – price tbc
El Kheima Beach – Sharm el Moya – price tbc
I was told that it got expensive if you drive too fast. How high are the fines?
to be updated
Do you have a bus time table?
to be updated