Shopping in Hurghada is an evening activity. Bazars get packed after the hot sun goes down and tourists are back on streets. Leave your credit cards behind, supply yourself with cash and start bargaining your price!
The working hours of shops are not fixed. Usually the stores open late in the morning and close the doors when crowds leave the streets at night. Friday prayer time is no time for shopping as most of the places are closed until afternoon.

The ancient pharaohs used alabaster for many purposes: household items, ritual objects, and for a number of different funerary purposes such as sarcophaguses and canopic equipment. Some of the finest ancient arts made from alabaster can be found in Egyptian museum.
However, after the end of the pharaonic period, little is made of alabaster. For handmade alabaster, make a close inspection and feel the piece. It should have somewhat of a waxy feel, be translucent, light and the color of white or cream with veins of a dark red. Be aware of any richly vibrant colored items, this is probably soapstone that has been dyed. Though hand made alabaster is not completely smooth, look for even walls on the object, with even and fine carving. Also, the veins of color in the alabaster are natural, and they do not weaken the product unless one can feel a break. Often, the dealer will refer to such a crack as a vein. The true colored veins give the alabaster a very special beauty with mixed colors, but they must not be breaks.

English word "paper" is derived from "papyrus", an Egyptian word that originally meant "that which belongs to the house". Besides its use for producing a medium for writing purposes, papyrus was also used for mattresses on beds, for building chairs, tables, and other furniture as well as for mats, baskets, boxes, sandals, utensils, rope and boats. Papyrus was, and continues today to be made from the papyrus reed that grows in freshwater marshes along the river Nile, though today this growth is rare and controlled.
Nowadays, papyrus is mostly used for decorative art and sold to tourists. Almost every tourist leaves Egypt with at least one papyrus painting. It is easy to carry onto airplanes, and relatively inexpensive to purchase. The problem is, on the streets of tourist resorts, much of the art sold as papyrus is actually made from the banana stalk.
However, there are a few ways to distinguish real papyrus from the forgery. True papyrus is usually heavier in weight, strong, difficult to tear and often somewhat opaque. The light colored papyrus has different colors or degrees of brown and you can see the veins clearly in the light. Reputable papyrus vendors stamp their merchandize with the store stamp to guarantee authenticity of the product. Thus, one of the best means of making sure that what you buy is real is to buy it from a reputable shop.

Egyptian cotton is preferred around the world because its long fiber that makes it soft and strong at the same time. For many years, it was so valuable that most of the crop was exported to European countries, and Egyptians themselves could hardly buy items made from its cloth.
Nowadays, Egyptian cotton items can be found in many different shops in every neighbourhood in every city. Top-quality linen, towels, bedclothes and numerous t-shirts are the most popular items purchased by the foreigners. Pure cotton products are obviously slightly more expensive than those mixed with other fiber.

Shisha is a glass-bottomed water pipe for smoking. Most caf├ęs in Egypt offer shishas, both for locals as well as visitors. The word “shisha” originates from Persian language and refers to glass.
Shisha smoking tradition began over 500 years ago when the Arab world refined smoking to an artful and elegant ceremonial experience to be shared in the company of friends.
Shishas are sold in different styles, colours, decoration and sizes. Standard Egyptian pipes have a single hose, are rather cheap and well suitable as a first pipe. Don't be afraid to ask to swap a hose if one has caught your eye, or change the glass bottom to the one of another colour. Local shopkeepers are usually happy to negotiate on a better deal.

With its mild climate and year-round sunshine permitting three crops a year, Egypt has one of the most essential needs for producing herbs and spices: a perfect location. Another advantage for Egypt is the supply of labourers for harvesting. The quality here is much higher because elsewhere handpicking has been given up, as it's too expensive. Machines, contrarily, destroy too much of the valuable and useful parts of the plants.
Visiting a spice store in Egypt can be a splendid experience. The burst of sweet, strong, savoury and tangy aromas meets you right on the front door. Spices and herbs are usually sold by weight, ensuring for the customer to purchase exactly the amount necessary. Cinnamon sticks, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, clove, anise, chickpeas and marjoram are available just to name a few. Try out the herbal teas such as hibiscus, chamomile or licorice.

Egypt has always been famous for gold. The skin of the ancient gods was said to have been made of gold, and so it was frequently used for making statues, various items and, of course, jewellery.
Today, Egyptians continue to prize gold, as you might suppose by the number of jewelleries in sight. While gold tends to maintain a somewhat steady price throughout the world, there are sometimes rather good bargains to be found in Egypt. That is because the price of working the gold into jewellery by local artisans is usually less expensive than elsewhere, even though Egyptian jewellers are very good at this.
Egyptians buy gold as gifts for special occasions such as weddings and birth of a child. So opt for a place that locals use and you are guaranteed the best price in town. Nevertheless, don’t forget to sit down for a cup of tea with the salesman and bargain! Both, white and yellow gold are available as well as high quality silver items.

Over the past years, copperware has become very fashionable worldwide. Since the oriental interior design - whether Indian, Turkish, Indonesian, or Egyptian - is the trend, recent interior design books show how to fit brass and copperware in your daily living. Copper is a good practical conductor of heat for cooking. It has a quick reaction time, cooks fast and also cooks better because of its uniform conductivity, as it surrounds your food with heat. The primary advantage of copper is that it requires only low to moderate heat to obtain the best results.
Copperware is sold in several places in Hurghada. Keep your eyes open for craftsmen stands on the main street or El Dahar and you’ll get a chance to watch them work.

Perfume and oils
In addition to gold and other fancy accessories, perfume was also a part of an everyday life of pharaohs and their beautiful wives. In fact, a bunch of scientists are currently working on recreating a perfume of a famous Egyptian queen Hatshepsut in order for all of us to get a whiff of history. Perfumes and oils also played a crucial role in the process of mummification.
Eager to imitate the beauty tricks of ancient Egyptians, tourists are now happily willing to invest in perfumes and oils sold in local stores and pharmacies. Many of the products are proven to work miracles in case of medical problems. Many others will reveal the secret behind the shiny hair, radiant skin and delicate scent of Egyptian ladies. Try frankincense oil in case of trouble in bronchial tubes, rocket oil to stimulate hair growth, bitter apple (colocynth) cream for aching joints jasmine to smell like Cleopatra.
Oils and perfumes are often sold in or together with small fragile hand blown bottles.



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