Shopping in Sharm el Sheikh

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The shopping scene in Sharm el Sheikh is outrageous. Some tourists love it, some tourists hate it, but either way, it is quite a distinctive experience. Most shops are open from Monday until Thursday and sometimes on weekends. During the low season, however, no one really works on Sundays, so everything tends to be closed. Also, the hours of shopping are limited during the day in summer, because shopkeepers prefer to take afternoon breaks and stay open later into the evening. The same situation occurs during Ramadan.

Typical Souvenirs

When most people go to Sharm el Sheikh, they return home with ornate rugs, silks, vases, sheesha pipes, leather products, gold jewelry, silver items and painted papyruses, to name a few. Egyptian cotton clothing, belly dancing costumes and antiques are also popular among visitors. Sometimes, if you are shopping in an area for expensive products, shopkeepers will try to sell you a fake item, such as false gold, false leather or other imitation items. Be sure you have some kind of test for the products you want to buy to be sure that they are real. For example, if you're buying a leather item, just smell it and feel the texture to be sure it is truly leather. The perfumes of this city have amazing smells and are strictly made from oil, so their smell lasts longer than the normal perfumes with an alcohol base. Just be careful with the delicate glass bottles on the way home.

Bargaining

Negotiation is expected of you in a Sharm el Sheikh market. If you don't do it, vendors will not only be disappointed but insulted, so be sure to brush up on your haggling skills before you leave home. Also, understand that shopkeepers will be pushy. They'll do anything it takes to get you inside their store or stall. Asking for an English lesson, inviting you for a drink of Hibiscus tea, asking questions about your homeland and simply yelling at you to come look at their products are just a few of the marketing techniques used by vendors in Sharm el Sheikh. This is especially intimidating in the Old Market.

The Old Market and Na'ama Bay

The Old Market offers the best bargains in Sharm el Sheikh. The problem is that it can be difficult dealing with all of the shopkeepers trying desperately to attract your attention. Many tourists are intimidated by all of the shopkeepers coming out from hundreds of stalls and shops and by the fact that they have to bargain for what they want instead of just buying it. For this reason, plenty of tourists prefer to stay in the more upscale shopping area in Na'ama Bay. Obviously, prices are much higher, but the shopping experience is more relaxing.

Outside of Sharm el Sheikh

For better deals in a calmer environment, you can always go to some of the small towns outside of the city. Dahab, for example, is only about an hour away and has a shopping area along the sea with great bargains, friendlier, less intimidating people, and basically the same products as those in the Old Market.

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