Comparing Egypt and Dubai

I mentioned in a previous post how the geography of Egypt was so different to that of Dubai and United Arab Emirates. Green areas along the Nile, alluvial soil, agriculture, etc. But that was not all that was different.

Egypt has a real river, real alluvial soil, and naturally green areas while in Dubai, anything green is created and the appearance of lushness is manufactured.

Egypt has history while Dubai has modernity. With Egypt, you see the pyramids, temples and tombs and you know that there are thousands of years of history etched in the walls of the structures. With Dubai, what you see has been created over the past decade and there is very little older history.
In Egypt, 99.99% of the cars that we saw were old, especially the taxis. In Dubai, 99.99% of the cars are new.

In Egypt, driving is very hazardous, especially in Cairo. There are something like 6000 deaths per year. Driving in Dubai is relatively more sedate, although there are still way too many road deaths here too.

Egypt has lots of locals while Dubai is full of expatriates. Both have significant numbers of tourists of course but it is the locals that are way more numerous and obvious in Egypt whereas it is the expats that are more numerous in Dubai.

In Egypt, people come up to you and try and sell you stuff. If they do anything for you, then they ask for baksheesh (payment or tip). Even if you agree on a price beforehand, they still ask for baksheesh. And if you buy something, then they will offer just one more thing. In Dubai, what you see if what you get. People do not ask for extra, they leave you alone if you are walking down the street, and if you buy something, then that will be it!

These are just a few of the differences and there are many more!


4 Responses to “Comparing Egypt and Dubai”

  1. moryarti Says:

    I haven’t met anyone who compares an entire country (Egypt) to a city (Dubai) …

  2. Luke Naismith Says:

    Point taken Moryarti and I probably should have compared the UAE with Egypt. But really, this is just trying to give an overall impression of my time in various places in Egypt as compared with my time here in various places in and around Dubai. And my friends in Australia know about Dubai but few would know about the UAE…

  3. moryarti Says:

    I see your point. I just find it hard to compare any GCC country to other Arab nation.. 🙂

    By the way, I spent 5 years living in Egypt, most of your observations were in place..

    Nice blog by the way..

  4. moryarti Says:


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