Most of this information has been collected from faculty members and is based on their personal experiences with sports and exercising in Cairo. For more information we recommend that you take a look at the Egypt Today magazine, which provides a listing of Health Clubs.
There is a men’s league that plays a short winter season, approximately a dozen games, at the Cairo American College (CAC) in Maadi. The league is typically small, about 5 teams in total, and exists mainly to give the men’s varsity team someone to play against. The first game begins in January after CAC’s winter break and continues until the men’s season ends in April. Cost is free according to team sponsorship, and the courts are indoors. Other opportunities to play basketball exist at the Maadi Sporting Club (2358-5455) and the Gezira Club in Zamalek (2735-6000). Most of the basketball exists as team/league play, so you usually have to join the club and sign up for the team. You will find details about joining some of these clubs in the last section of this handout.
There are quite a number of places where you can go bowling, and shoes are available. Following are three places: at the Nile Bowling, El Nil Street, Dokki (3361-6378), just north of University Bridge, across the street from the Swiss Chalet restaurant, which is at no. 7. It is on the waterside of the street with a Nile view while bowling. There is a bowlingalley at the City Stars Mall in Heliopolis, 5th Floor, and at the Bandar Mall in New Maadi. Shoes and balls are available.
The Cairo Cyclists Club (http://www.cairocyclists.com) meets every week on Friday for organized road rides around Cairo. They leave at 7 a.m. from the front gate of the Cairo American College (CAC) in Maadi, Road 253.
The Cairo Cyclers Club (http://cairocyclersclub.blogspot.com meets on Friday mornings usually for urban drives. They are now introducing thematic cycling events ie awareness events, cycling tours, etc. For more information, you may contact Ismail Marmoush, the creator of this club, at email@example.com.
You may contact the two cyclist clubs mentioned above for best places to buy equipment in Cairo. Although there are a few shops for cyclists in Cairo, the choice is limited, and prices are much higher than abroad. Serious cyclists in Cairo suggest bringing a bike, spare parts, and any other equipment needed from the States or Europe.
In addition, the Wadi Digla protected area, behind Maadi, is a popular place to ride. It is a dry river surrounded by cliffs. The round trip is about 20 km. There is a minimal entrance fees.
The number of golf courses in Egypt is increasing. You will find information on golf courses in Cairo and in Egypt, including phone numbers, in visiting the website www.touregypt.net/golfcourses.htm.
Normally you need a membership to play golf, but in a few places you may do it without, such as at the Gezira Club in (tel. 2758-0512), New Cairo City, located 20 km east of Maadi, has a 9-18-Zamalek (tel. 2735-6000). The Kattameyya Heights Golf and Tennis Resort and 27-hole course. You may play there as guest of a member. The CSA (Community Services Association) in Maadi hold lessons throughout the year at Katamaya Heights Golf and Tennis Resort at very reasonable rates with transportation included from CSA.
The Mirage City Golf Course at the JW Marriott Cairo Hotel, located at the intersection of the Ring Road and Suez Road in New Cairo, has a 9- & 18-hole course. For information on their membership plans you may contact Ms. Rose, mobile number 0122-7718022.
There are several places where you can exercise.
The New Cairo AUC campus has state-of-the-art facilities.
Fitness & Dance Academy, Yamama Center, 3 Taha Hussein St., Zamalek, 7th & 8th floors, tel. 2737.7500.
Maadi Gold's Gym (Maadi Palace Mall, near Road 9, 2380-3601) and the Nile Gold’s Gym (on the Corniche in Giza, north of Cairo Sheraton Hotel, 3748-0003).
The Community Services Association (CSA), 4 Road 21 in Maadi (2358-5284/0754 or 2768-8232) has fitness center membership packages for one and three months. It includes a gym with ultra-modern equipment, a weightroom and aerobics. Various other classes, such as yoga and pilates, are also offered (separate cost structures from the gym memberships).
Samia Allouba Creative Dance and Fitness Center has a gym with fitness memberships, and also offers various classes. They have several centers in Maadi and in Mohandessin. In Maadi, 13B Road 254, Digla, tel. 2519-6575/2519-8378 (Group Fitness Center & children programs). Opposite the street, 40 Rd 254, Shell Building, 2520-2599 (gym rooms). There is a center for women only, 31A Neirco area (behind Digla), 2705-7595. In Mohandessin, 3 Amr Street (off Syria St.), tel. 3347-2298/3347-2308. There is a center for women only at 6 Amr Street. They have a corporate rate for AUC staff, so anyone interested to buy their membership should mention that they are from AUC. For any information about these places and their fees, please contact Mr. Omar ElSaghier, Sales Manager, mobile number 0122-7300019.
The majority of the five-star hotels have health centers, but they are quite expensive.
In addition, some private companies or centers provide several types of exercises. The Egypt Today magazine provides a list of health clubs with telephone numbers and addresses.
Riding, guides and riding lessons are available at many places. There are several stables south of the Giza pyramids area, and located next to each other, A.A. Stables (Mr. Ismail, mobile phone 0122-2460040) and NB Stables (Mr. Nasser Breash, mobile phone 0122-68 4250). The International Equestrian Club (IEC) has its stables in the same area. You may contact Hassan Breash at 0100-5001103. One can reach them from the last irrigation canal road before the pyramids.
The FAB Stables at Abu Sir, 10-minute drive south of the Saqqara Club (the Saqqara Club is 12 km south of the Pyramids Road), offers desert rides and riding lessons (individual or group/children or adults). FAB also offers the option of leasing a horse for a monthly fee. For the desert ride the contact person is Hisham at 0100-1572554 (the current rate is LE75 per hour (horse and guide)). For the riding lessons the contact person is Lesley at 0100-5402563
The Saqqara Country Club (12 km south of the Giza Pyramids Road, on the edge of the desert, 3381-1282) has paddocks and they do riding in the desert. At the time of writing it was LE 125 per hour. They also offer lessons.
There is Al Sorat Farm runned by Maryanne Gabbani, located in Abu Sir, mobile phone # 0122-2118386. You may have a look at her website http://www.alsorat.com/id15.html.
Ice-skating now exist in Cairo. To name just two locations: The Genena Mall in Nasr City and the Maadi Family Land.
A new branch of the Japan Karate Association has recently been established at AUC for the AUC community. Participation is free. For more information, you may contact Amr El-Kadi, firstname.lastname@example.org, an AUC professor, who has volunteered to supervise and teach classes. You can also practice and take lessons in karate at the Community Services Association (CSA) in Maadi, 4 Road 21, tel. 2358-5284/0754 or 2768-8232.
It is possible to row on the Nile. The Egyptian Rowing Club is located at 115 El Nil Street, Dokki, almost across the street from the Giza Sheraton Hotel. For more information, you may contact the AUC Coach Mohamed Ahmed Arafa, Manager of Athletics, Indoor & Special Events; 202 2615 4060; mobile 010 6669 4968. You can row at various times and on various days. Contact Coach Mohamed in advance as AUC has a membership and there is no cost. You may also contact Tony Leone (email@example.com) from AUC, who has been using the club.
Rugby is played in Maadi at Victory College on Monday and Wednesday nights. The Clubhouse, including a restaurant, a bar, billiards, darts, etc., is located corner of Roads161/104, which you have access to through a membership. The Clubhouse phone number is 2525-3841 and you may email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.cairorugby.com.
Although it is not easy to run on the sidewalks in Cairo, there are several other options.
The AUC New Cairo Campus has a state-of-the-art sport facilities that includes an outdoor track. Most of the Sports Clubs in Cairo have a track, but usually a club membership is required. If you are in Zamalek, you don't have to join the Gezira Club to use their 2300-meter (about a mile and a third) track. You can go to the Gezira Youth Center entrance (about 200 meters south of the main Gezira Club entrance) where you can fill in an application to join this center for LE150 per year. At the edge of Maadi there is also the Wadi Digla, a canyon approximately 15 km long where it is possible to enjoy peaceful, quiet runs or walks with nice desert scenery.
The Cairo American College (CAC), Maadi, has an outdoor track. AUC is entitled to 18 non-affiliated ID cards only per academic school year. Each ID cost US$500. For husband and wife, both cards are for US$500. Children under the age of 6 don’t require a card. The card allows access to the pool, the weight room, the library and general access to campus, but not during school hours. Therefore, access on a school day is from 5am – 7am, and again from 5:30pm – 10pm. On weekends and school holidays, access is all day from 5am – 10pm. You need a letter from the AUC Provost’s Office and a copy of your passport. You may contact Ms. Susan Mohsin, CAC ID Office Coordinator, before you start the process to make sure that there are ID cards available still. Tel: 27555518.
The Maadi Wadi Runners is a well-organized running club that meets every Friday morning 6am at the CAC for van-supported runs along various routes between 6 and 20 miles followed by a club breakfast. Part of the group usually trains for a marathon somewhere in Europe during Spring (most recently Madrid and Hamburg) and a marathon in the US during Fall (Marine Corps Marathon in 2004 and New York City Marathon in November 2005). Runners of all levels are welcome, from fast to very slow. For more details, you can email Judy Whitaker at email@example.com.
Besides several shorter 5K and 10K races put on by CAC, there are also a marathon and a half marathon in Luxor in Upper Egypt in February, and the "Pharaonic 100 km" in November. The latter is often done as a relay, starting at Meidum pyramid in the Fayoum and ending at Saqqara. The Maadi Waadi Runners usually have several teams participating in the 100 km relay. They also have a group that goes to the Luxor marathon/half-marathon with a traditional felucca sunset ride and mountain biking the following day. A number of major marathons and races in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are also easily accessible; feel free to contact Mark or Judy regarding plans for the current year.
The Red Sea (east coast and Sinai) is world-renowned for scuba diving. Many private businesses or individuals offer beginner-to-leadership level courses, such as the Divers’ Lodge (http://www.divers-lodge.com). Furthermore, the AUC Sports Department has a contract with the diving center Scuba Plus that provides courses for an AUC group. For more information, you may contact the Scuba Plus diving Instructor, Osama Abdel Samad, mobile phone 0100-1115886. You may also contact the office of the Director of the AUC Athletic Complex, phone 2615-4054, or Mohamed Taher, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 2615-4059, mobile phone 0122-2451715.
The Cairo American Softball League (CASL) (www.casl-egypt.com) started in 1976. Softball games are played in Maadi at Victory College all day Fridays and in the evenings Sunday through Wednesday. There are men and women teams playing two seasons in the fall and spring. Teams are typically corporate sponsored and players wear uniforms and caps. On Fridays, many families come to the fields for lunch and watch games. There is a very nice playground for young children.
Men normally play on Monday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and Friday afternoons (there may be an occasional Sunday or Tuesday game). Teams usually play 2 or 3 games a week depending on the schedule. Women normally play on Tuesday evenings, some Sunday evenings, and on Friday afternoons. Teams usually play 2 games per week.
The number of divisions varies between two and three (A and B) and one women's division. Traditionally, fall season practice starts around the 3rd week of August, with the season starting either on the 1st or 2nd Friday of September. The women's league usually starts a week or two after the men’s. The season finishes, including the tournament, at least a week before Christmas Break for the American Schools.
Traditionally, spring season practice begins around mid-January, with the season beginning on the 2nd or 3rd Friday of February. The season ends, including the tournament, on the 3rd Friday in May.
There are always teams looking for players, even after the season starts. AUC members traditionally play on the Nomad’s teams. We have 2-3 men’s teams and one women’s team (if we have enough women interested we can add a second).
So, if you are interested in joining a team (competitive or just to have fun) contact Jon Hill (Nomad Coach), email: email@example.com.
The sports facilities on the AUC New Cairo Campus include squash courts, but at the time of writing they were not yet ready. Squash courts are also available in Maadi at the Dream Gym & Fitness Center, and at Maadi Family Land, 11d Osman Towers, Corniche El Maadi, tel. 2524-3300. You can play squash at the sporting clubs and at the four- and five-star hotels but memberships are required.
The sports facilities on the AUC New Cairo Campus include an outdoor Olympic-size pool that is heated in winter. You can see the swimming pool schedule at the following URL http://www.aucegypt.edu/StudentLife/sports/Pages/OpenHours.aspx.
The Maadi House, a U.S. Embassy social and sporting club, has a heated pool, and they provide lessons (see information under “Cairo Sporting Clubs”).
The Cairo American College (CAC), Maadi. AUC is entitled to 18 non-affiliated ID cards only per academic school year. Each ID cost US$500. For husband and wife, both cards are for US$500. Children under the age of 6 don’t require a card. The card allows access to the pool, the weight room, the library and general access to campus, but not during school hours. Therefore, access on a school day is from 5am – 7am, and again from 5:30pm – 10pm. On weekends and school holidays, access is all day from 5am – 10pm. You need a letter from the AUC Provost’s Office and a copy of your passport. You may contact Ms. Susan Mohsin, CAC ID Office Coordinator, before you start the process to make sure that there are ID cards available still. Tel.: 27555518.
The majority of the four- and five-star hotels in Cairo have an outdoor pool. Many of them are heated during winter, and there is a fee for a day use of their pools, with or without a cabana. You can also get a year membership to these hotels, but they are quite expensive.
You can join a sports club. For information on the Gezira Sporting Club in Zamalek and the Maadi Sporting & Yacht Club see the Cairo Sporting Clubs. The Maadi Gold's Gym (Maadi Palace Mall, near Road 9, 2380-3601) has also a pool. You may contact Philip Croom, an AUC member, email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
The sports facilities on the AUC New Cairo Campus include several tennis courts. For information you may contact the office of the Director of the AUC Athletic Complex, phone 2615-4054, or Mohamed Taher, email: email@example.com, phone: 2615-4059, mobile phone 0122-2451715.
The Maadi House, a U.S. Embassy social and sporting club, has two clay surface tennis courts with a pro available for lessons (see information under “Cairo Sporting Clubs” at the end of this document).
Many four- and five-star hotels have tennis courts, but you usually need to have a membership. However, the Marriott Hotel in Zamalek doesn’t require a membership for playing tennis, but it is cheaper if you have one. You may contact George Marquis from AUC, firstname.lastname@example.org, who plays at the Marriott Hotel.
You could also join a sporting club and get a year membership. See Cairo Sporting Clubs for more information on the Gezira Club in Zamalek and the Maadi Club. The Tawfiqiyya Club in Mohandeseen doesn’t require a membership. The Nile Country Club, 10 km south of Maadi, by the Nile, has many tennis courts. A year membership is not required to use their facilities.
You can practice and take yoga lessons at the Indian Cultural Center, 23 Talaat Harb Street in Downtown Cairo. Tel: 2393 3396. Email email@example.com. You may have a look at their website http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/india.htm. The sessions are held in an apartment building, 1st Floor, in an alley called Mamar El-Shay el-Hendy, off Talaat Harb Street, next to Cinema Metro.
In Maadi, yoga classes are also given at the CSA (Community Services Association) and at the Samia Allouba Creative Dance and Fitness Center. For information, please contact Mr. Omar ElSaghier, mobile 0122-7300019 for their membership fees.
In Maadi, The Breathing Room, #10, Road 216, 2nd Floor, is a small Yoga cooperative offering several classes daily. For more information, visit http://thebreathingroomcairo.blogspot.com or call 0100-6292684.
The 'AUC New Cairo Campus' also provides yoga classes. For more information you may contact the office of the Director of the AUC Athletic Complex, phone 2615-4054, or Mohamed Taher, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 2615-4059, mobile phone 0122-2451715.
Sporting clubs in Egypt are the kind of club entire families go to and spend the entire day until late at night. In Cairo, unless you belong to a club, or you have a membership at one of the 5-star hotels, there is almost nowhere to go for playtime outings. Clubs have activities for people of all ages including sports facilities, swimming pools, and restaurants.
Following are the names, addresses and membership fees of a few of them, which are frequented by AUC faculty.
• Gezira Club in Zamalek. Ask for Mrs. Azza at the business office, tel. 2735-6000, between 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. The office is closed on Thursdays.
From July 2013, the new membership rules for foreigners are the following. They have only three- and six-month options. The six-month membership is exclusively from July 1 - December 31 or from January 1 - June 30. The membership fees are payable in US dollars only (no credit cards).
A three-month membership is US$524 for single and US$524 + US$94 for spouse and for each child aged 3-24. A six-month membership is US$1036 for single + US$94 for spouse and for each child aged 3-24. In addition, for the first six-month membership there is an "entrance fee" of US$157.
You will need the following in addition of paying the fees above:
- The application form for the membership, which is $200, payable only once.
- 2 photos of each applicant
- copy of the passport of each applicant
- A recommendation letter from your employer
A non-member can enter the Gezira Club to play golf, except Thursdays and Fridays, but cannot use any other sport facilities, which require a membership. The entrance fees are LE30, with extra charges to play golf.
A member can bring a guest for LE100 each time. The use of the swimming pool and sports facilities are not allowed.
• Maadi Sporting & Yacht Club, Road 77, tel. 2358-5455/5693/5504. Ask for the membership office, which is open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They have full and temporary membership fees. For non-Egyptians, one part is payable in US dollars and one part is payable in Egyptian pounds (LE). Membership fees include the use of the two swimming pools, and give access to the Yacht Club on the Corniche, next to T.G.I. Friday’s and Grand Cafe. You may bring a guest for an additional fee (fees for the use of the swimming pools must be added).
The full membership fees run from July 1 – June 30. The fees for non-Egyptians are: Single: US$ 1,000 + LE 255 Couple: US$ 1,200 + LE 274, and per child – US$ 25 + LE 4
• Saqqara Country Club (12 km south of the Giza Pyramids) on the edge of the desert. This club is especially recommended for its horseback riding. Tel. 3381-1282. The annual membership costs LE 5000 for a single and LE 6000 for a family.
It is also possible to go to the club for a day use only, without a membership, for LE 100 per person. It includes lunch and the use of a room and the swimming pool, with extra fees for horseback riding.
• Maadi House, Villa 21, Road 19, open every day from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 pm. For more information, and to visit the place, you may contact the manager, Mr. Medhat Abdel El Atty, or the general manager, Ms. Gordana Westmoreland (email@example.com), Tel: 235 9-0513 from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Maadi House is a social and sporting club created by the U.S. Embassy for use by embassy’s staff and their families. The club is also open to memberships from other American citizens who meet certain criteria. One group is U.S. citizen teachers who have been hired abroad, which include the AUC U.S. citizen faculty members hired abroad, and their dependants.
The Maadi House facilities include: - A restaurant and bar - Two clay surface tennis courts with a pro available for lessons - A heated swimming pool and kiddy pool also with lessons available - A playground for children - Green space just for running around - Wireless Internet connection
The cost of the annual membership, payable in US Dollars, check or credit card, is US$ 650 for a family or US$ 325 for a single. A membership starts in September and is renewable every year. Memberships that start later in the year will be prorated for the remaining part of the year. Members are allowed to invite guests at anytime.
Sports shops addresses
• Downtown: Bayt el Riyaada, 11 Sherif Street (close to the National Bank).
• Maadi: Alfa Market, first floor, on the Corniche El Nil (next to the Sofitel Hotel).
• Maadi: Maadi Grand Mall, intersection of Roads 206, 257 and 250, has several sporting shops.
• Mohandiseen: Sports Mall, 80 Shehab Street (west of Wadi El Nil Street), 3rd Floor. This shop is highly recommended. Sells swimsuits.
• Zamalek: Alfa Market, first floor, on al-Malik al-Afdal St.