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Working in Cairo


Working in Cairo

According to a recent survey by the Egyptian government in May 2011, there are at least 3 million expat foreignors working in Egypt. This is strange considering that Egypt is a developing country, with a high rate of local unemployment and suppressive economic conditions, especially after the 25th of January 2011 revolution, which has seriously affected the economy. However, there are no strict labor requirements like other developed countries that receive immmigrants such as the EU, Canada, or the USA. Even so, the law is not very often applied as employers easily play around the law to hire their needs from foreignors. That being said, it really depends on the kind of job and field you are applying for. Factory Work/Industrial Labor There are many thousands of people from South East Asia, China, and the Far East working low-paying jobs in factories and similar places. They're hired because they're cheaper than hiring locals. Some well-to-do families also like to hire foreign workers to work in their houses as cleaners, houskeepers etc. The majority come from poorer African countries or places like the Phillipines and Indonesia. Teaching/Education If you come from the West however, the situation may be very different depending on your qualification. The most demanded are those who come from native English speaking countries (i.e. the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, etc). The most demaded jobs for these people are English teachers at schools and some university professors. There are many foreign schools in Cairo and some other big cities that prefer to hire native English speakers as part of their school staff. The reason obvioulsy being that the ability to teach English with a native accent and more importantly their foreign qualifications. Other opportunites may arise in similar institutions if your native language is French, less if it's German, and even less if it is some other European language. Tourism/Hotel Industry There is some demand for Russians also in nightclubs, and hotels. The tourism industry in general may be willing to hire foreigners from European backgrounds to work in countless diving centers and small business around the Red Sea area in Dahab, Hurghada, and Sharm El Sheikh, where many tourists come from Europe to take diving courses in their native langue (German, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian, English, Polish) and other languages being the most popular. Call Centers/Customer Service Reps Recently, there has also been a huge demand for anyone who speaks fluent English with a clear native or neutral accent to work in most of the country's ineternationally based call centers located in and around Cairo. During the past 10 years, Egypt has become a major player in the telecommunications and call centers industry in the the Middle East. Many companies including Vodafone, Teleperformance, and other large local call centers are in constant need of English language speakers to work in their call centers, as there aren't that many Egyptians capable of speaking English fluently and clearly enough to serve these companies' offshore accounts. Examples include Vodafone UK, Vodafone Australia, and Vodafone New Zealand, which are currently being outsourced by the call center of Vodafone Egypt, which basically hires anyone to work as a call center agent, who speaks fluent English regardless of their nationality. Even if English is not your mother language, the only requirement is the ability to communicate in the language and work shifts. Pay is not bad considering the much lower living expenses in Egypt compared to the West. Salaries for these positions may range from 2,500 LE to 3,500 LE (1 USD=5.93 LE) per month and many companies offer free transportation, medical insurance, social insurance, and other benefits like a mobile allowance. Job and Employement Resources: The American International School in Cairo (AIS), (2 locations in 6th of October City Sheikh Zayed) and Fifth Settlement (EL Tagamoa El Khames ) the 2 being on the Western and Eastern corners of the city. CAC (Cairo American College) in Maadi, with a long history of American curriculum and American/Foreign staff, and foreign students. The American University in Cairo Canadian International College German University in Cairo (GUC) For Call Center jobs, mainly customer service representatives/agents serving offshore companies in Europe and North America, (outsourced by the call centers in Cairo) try: Vodafone Egypt (located in Smart Village on the Cairo/Alexandria Desert Road) (the Call Center is located in 6th of October 6th Horizon Building in the 4th Industrial Area. Teleperformance Egypt (another multinational company, originally French located in 50+ countries worldwide) and based in downtown Cairo. Go to teleperformance.com and choose Egypt to get the full contact and address details. Here again, you can work in either French or English accounts with a salary package around 3,000 LE per month, plus medical and social insurance. Xceed Contact Center, a local contact center with a good reputation located in Smart Village, with English, French, Hebrew, and many languages Raya Contact Center, in 6th of October Wasla Contact Center Egyptian Contact Center Operator (ECCO), in Imtedad Ramsis, near Heliopolis and Nasr City C3 The Call Center Company Stream Call Center, in 6th of October, with English and French You can find all address details and websites of these companies if you search them on google or on the internet in general. Most of them are in constant demand of fluent English speakers regardless of your nationaltiy because of the booming telecommunications and call center industry in the Egyptian economy. Many of them outsource other companies originally based in Europe and the West. For other kinds of jobs, the best option is to have a technical background or previous managing experience in a multinational company and get transferred to the local branch of the company in Egypt. Other opportunities include teaching English as a free-lance instructor, but it may take a while before you are able to gather enough students to make a good living. Current rates range from 50 LE to 100 LE per hour/lesson in private lessons. Many people in Egypt want to learn English or improve it as it is always demanded in the Egyptian market. If you have professional qualifications there are many possibilities for work in Cairo. Try any of the local employment or job websites: Career Mideast (www.careermideast.com), one of the oldest job websites in the country, serving the entire Middle East Region, even other countries Bayt (www.bayt.com) you will find jobs in the entire Middle East including Egypt in all sectors The American Chamber of Commerce Website (they have a comprehensive database of all kinds of jobs in all sectors and industries (www.amcham.org.eg) Wazayef Masr (it can be easily found on google search) There are several job fairs/employment fairs that take place every few months in Cairo. Most of them are free to attend by anyone looking for a job. They usually are advertised in English adverts in the Arabic newspapers such as Al Ahram Newspaper. The ads are easy to spot as they are large picture advertisments and written in English, even though the newspaper is in Arabic. They normally take place in well-known places like large five star hotels or the City Stars shopping complex. Examples include Job Master Job Fair, Wazayef Masr Job Fair, and the American Chamber of Commerce Job Fair. You can meet lots of different employers, with mostly multinational companies based in Cairo and other local well-known Egyptian companies. Most recruitment teams at the fairs speak fluent English. You must bring your cv/resume as most employers expect you to apply for a job on the same day, then you will be called for an interivew a few days/weeks later if they have a suitable vacancy. Take at least 20-30 copies, one for each employer and dress semi-formally or formally. Another option is any of the foreign embassies located in Cairo. You can also try the English weeklies al-Ahram and al-Waseet for job vacancies. Otherwise, if you have some connections, you can always network with people that you know, and sometimes it may lead to landing a job somewhere. Please note that Egyptian work conditions may be very different from the West. It is more of a friendly casual environment, but everybody is still treated with respect. Working hours are normally 9-5 pm, and the weekend is Friday and Saturday (Friday substituted for Sunday because it is the day that muslims go to pray at the mosque). Annual leave is normally 21 days, and most national holidays are days off as well.

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Cairo Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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