| Cairenes are sports
fans, as participants and also as spectators.
There are weekly sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 pm at
the British International School, 5 Mishil Lutfallah
in Zamalek (telephone number: (02) 536 2378).
The Cairo Cyclists (telephone number: (02)
352 6310) can offer details of their regular Friday and Saturday
morning cycle rides, which start outside the Cairo American College,
Midan Digla at 8.00 am.
Diving is a popular activity in Egypt, which has some of the best
diving in the world in the Red Sea. Staying in
Cairo has no
restrictions, as the Cairo Divers Group
(telephone number: (02) 570 3242) organises regular excursions and
also meets on the 1st Monday of each month at the Semiramis
Intercontinental Hotel, Corniche el-Nil, Garden City (telephone
number: (02) 355 7171).
These are popular in Cairo, although not all are as sophisticated
as their Western counterparts and it is wise to check facilities
first. Most are located in international hotels, and are usually
open to non-residents.
There is a 3,000 square metre (32,291 square feet) Gold's Gym
on the 8th / 9th floors of the Maadi Palace Mall (telephone number:
(02) 378 5592 or 375 3601), with a women-only gym, mixed gym, Jacuzzi
and sauna. In several gyms, male and female activities are normally
conducted separately and, if sharing facilities, then more time
is allocated to the men.
There is a
good gym at the Nile Hilton,
Midan Tahrir (telephone number: (02) 578 0444), and Splash
at the Cairo Marriott, Sharia Saray el-Gezira (telephone number:
(02) 340 8888), has rowing and cycling machines alongside sauna, pool and tennis facilities.
Football is as popular here as anywhere else in the world and there
is a strong national side, mostly made up of players from the two
rival Cairo teams, al-Ahly
(telephone number: (02) 340 2114) and Zamalek (telephone
number: (02) 340 5690). These share the Cairo Stadium
in Heliopolis (telephone number: (02) 260 7863 or 7865), playing
on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from September to May.
Golf in Egypt is developing fast. There are courses in and around
The Mena House Hotel and Golf Club (telephone number: (02) 383 3444 or 3222) is an 18-hole, 9-fairway course in Giza, within sight of the pyramids and Green fees start at E£20, whilst the Gezira Club (telephone
number: (02) 341 5270 or 340 6000) is an 18-hole course in Zamalek.
Further afield is the Dreamland Golf Course (telephone
number: (011) 400577), an 18-hole course in the desert some 8 kilometres
(5 miles) beyond the Pyramids and fees here start at E£150.
Near Heliopolis, the Katameya Heights Golf and Tennis Resort
(telephone number: (02) 758 0512) has 27 holes and a ‘tennis
Horseracing takes place from October/November to May at the Heliopolis
Hippodrome (telephone number: (02) 241 7086 or 7134) and
the Gezira Sporting Club (telephone number: (02)
341 0434 or 6006) on Saturdays and Sundays from 1.30 pm. The Egyptian
Gazette carries details of events in Cairo.
Excellent riders can hire a horse and guide for the day at the Pyramids.
This generally involves a 3-hour trip across the desert to Saqqara
(see Excursions). This ride can be quite demanding and is not for
There are many rowing clubs in the city, congregating on the
east bank of the River Nile between Giza and Embaba. It is
to join a crew at the al-Nil Sporting Club, near
Kubbri ’Abbas on the Corniche at Giza (telephone number: (02)
393 4350). For those who just want to spectate, Friday is the big
The Cairo branch of the international running network, The
Hash House Harriers, meets every Friday afternoon / evening
for non-competitive runs around the city (telephone number: (02)
Many of the good hotels have their own swimming pools, but non-residents’
fees can be quite high. Swimming in the Nile is not advised
due to the risk of bilharzia or giardia.
Tennis is well liked in Cairo and major hotels, including the Marriott,
Sharia Saray el-Gezira (telephone number: (02) 340 8888), and the
Nile Hilton, Midan Tahrir (telephone number: (02)
578 0444), have their own courts, open to non-residents. Several have
tennis pros for hire, and the courts are made of clay. The Katameya
Heights Golf and Tennis Resort (see Golf above) has a ‘tennis