In 1899 the banknotes 50 piasters and 1,5, 10, 50 and 100 pound were introduced. Few decades later 5,10 and 25 piasters were added. In 2006, 50 piastre and 1 pound coins were introduced, with the equivalent banknotes to be scrapped later. The coins bear the faces of Cleopatra VII and Tutankhamun.
All Egyptian banknotes are bilingual, with Arabic texts and Eastern Arabic numerals on the obverse and English and Hindu Arabic numerals on the reverse. The size of a note is dependent on its value. The design of Egyptian banknotes tend to feature an Islamic building on one side and Ancient Egyptian building on the other. As of 2007, there are 200 LE notes (livre Ć©gyptienne, French for Egyptian pound) circulating in Egypt and subsequently 500 LE notes will start circulating.
Please bare in mind that 50 piaster and 50 pound bank notes can be sometimes "accidentally" mixed up by taxi drivers or in the bazars - therefore read carefully if it is written "piaster" or "pound" on the note before accepting the money.

Money exchange is possible in banks, exchange offices, hotel receptions, latter having usually the least favorable rates. Banks are working usually from Sunday to Thursday (9.00-17.00) and are opened for exchange deals also in evening time. Exchange offices are opened from morning till evening, including Fridays (except mid day prayer time) and Saturdays.
The biggest banks operating in Hurghada are CIB, NSGB, HSBC, Barclays, PNB Paribas, Arab African Bank.
Credit or debit cards are usually accepted only in bigger malls, international chain shops, higher categories of hotels and restaurants. ATMs are available throughout the city and easy to use.

Do not exchange big sums of money once as Egyptian pounds can not be easily changed back to US dollars or Euros neither in banks or exchange offices.



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