However, there is by no means a surplus of jobs in the country and employment can be hard to come by, especially for expats expecting pay in line with the salary they received back home.
Following the turmoil of the Arab Spring, Egypt’s economy experienced a difficult period with many businesses struggling to trade in the uncertain conditions. The last few years have seen significant improvement in the country’s economy with GDP growing year on year and confidence returning to the market.
However, the unemployment rate remains high and many locals struggle to meet a basic standard of living. Expats moving to the country without a firm job offer may similarly struggle to secure well paid work.
The main Egyptian industries are agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, though many factories and centers of industry have been scaled back in recent years. The downturn in visitor numbers following the Arab Spring has also affected the GDP significantly.
With Cairo the financial center of Egypt and the main business and tourism hub, expats looking for work in the country will find the majority of opportunities in the capital, with several national and international corporations as well as international schools and hotels located in the city.
In general, it’s always better to have a work lined up before moving to Egypt, especially if you’re expecting to pay international school fees and relocation expenses.
Depending on the country you’re moving from, you may require a firm job offer in order to obtain a visa to relocate to Egypt. If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to check visa requirements with the Egyptian Embassy before you travel. Expats arriving in Egypt without employment may find it difficult to secure a job with a good salary. In general foreigners do receive better pay than locals, though.
Job hunting from abroad is always difficult, however with the help of the internet, finding a job in Egypt isn’t impossible even if you lack extensive experience. Sites like Bayt.com and Wuzzuf.net are good places to start for those searching for work in Egypt.
The number of international schools and universities in Cairo makes it the perfect destination for any English teachers looking for work. All of the schools have contact details on their websites and many list vacancies when and if they come up.
The wide-ranging network of expats in Egypt is another good place to start when searching for employment with a variety of opportunities available within the community and most expats happy to help other foreigners find employment.
Whether you’re searching for a job as a teacher, tour guide, doctor, or banker, personal connections are often the best way to find out about vacancies, so make sure you get involves in the local expat network.
Though Egyptians in full time employment pay social security contributions, social security does not extend to foreigners working in Egypt. Any expats employed in the country should talk to their company about relevant cover. If expats are not adequately covered by their employer, it’s a good idea to take out relevant insurance policies in case of unemployment or illness.
Though the local social system is undergoing reform, currently only those aged 18 years old and over are eligible for benefits. Workers must, for example, have paid into the system for three consecutive months or six month in total to be eligible for a disability pension, and a range of exclusions also apply.