Christmas in Cairo
Your ultimate guide to wining, dining and dancing this festive period.
It snowed in Egypt for the first time in a billion years, it won't happen again for another billion years and it's a sure-fire sign, if there ever was one, to dive head first into the Christmas spirit. Make snowmen out of the Christmas spirit, throw Christmas spirit snowballs at each other and frollic around with egg nog down your gullet with a belly full of turkey, sing carols from the rooftops of your buildings to your bawabs, wear santa hats and reindeer ears, buy gifts for loved ones and turn the Christmas tree lights on, wake up early Christmas morning to see what you've got! Ohhh, the wonder of it all! Tralalalala, no. No, no, wait... It snowed for half a day in secluded areas of the city and then idiots Photoshopped snow on to the pyramids. We live in a majority-Muslim society who couldn't care less about Christmas if it punched them in the baubles. Shops will, however, capitilise on the vague semblence of Christmas spirit where you can purchase a 30 LE santa hat that you will use for exactly the same time it takes for you to leave the shop and go home. Street vendors will be in on it too, they fucking love christmas, and don't kid yourself about a family Christmas dinner, who makes roast turkey here? You know you're having a basterma sandwich on Christmas eve then you're going to go out the next day and get drunk and listen to House music. Tralalala lalala lallalala.
So, here's some events happening on the 24th and 25th of December, otherwise known as Jesus Days:
CJC host a charity event with acoustic crooner Shady Ahmed and Beatles cover band Glass Onion at Jingle Bell Rock. All proceeds from the night will be donated to Tadamon; a very special NGO that supports refugees in Egypt. In return, revelers can expect a chilled out night of great live music, and plenty of songs you can sing along to.
Alchemy will host its big Xmas Feast where they’ll be serving a special menu and hot, spiced mulled wine which, if you don't already know, puts a whole new, delicious dimension on winter drinking. The specials start on the 22nd December and run until the 27th, so you've got no excuse to miss it. Tuesday's Euphoria gets a festive twist, too, as the special dishes will be served while Shady Ezz spins his stuff.
Cairo Opera House host the perfect festive celebration for this Christmas season, a classic Nutcracker performance by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company.
Over at the gorgeous Four Seasons at Nile Plaza, they'll be hosting a whole load of delicious pre-Christmas meals at their restrurants Bella, 8, Beymen Cafe and Zitouni, each serving up a unique spin on the festive foods, from Asian-inspired at 8 to Egyptian-style at Zitouni's buffet. The special menus will be running both on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and you can even get a bit of Christmas to take home with you as Beymen Cafe turns out Christmas cookies and Pannetone cakes, perfect as presents or some over-indulgence. The choice is yours.
Meanwhile, over at Graffitti, DJ Roro kicks things off with a Christmas Eve party like no other, and a bouncing live beat provided by drummers, in the first of a series of three parties thrown at the Nile-front hot spot.
Now we've seen a lot of Christmas menus in our time, but none have whet our appetite as much as Cairo Capital Club's. Indulge in a four-course meal for 360LE++ per person but if you're a member, there's 20% off at the Nile-side venue.
Not to be outdone, Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah's Le Sud restaurant is offering up a gorgeous open buffet dinner for 308LE (all inclusive), featuring all sorts of festive foods from traditional turkey and veal to vegetable lasagna and shrimp cocktails. They're even throwing in a glass of sparkling wine!
Over at the Conrad Cairo Hotel, expect plenty of great festivities, and even better food. Kamala is serving up pan-Asian plates at just 220LE per person for their special set menu, while Christmas Eve at Oak is one not to miss for a modern spin on classic seasonal food at just 350LE per person. Both these offers are available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The Ramses Hilton gets into the seasonal spirit with a dazzling Christmas Eve dinner at their Windows on the World restaurant where they'll be serving five-courses of festive favourites for just 299LE per person. If you want to make a night of it, they've got some great room rates going:
DJ Lyon kicks off the festive season at the gorgeous Nile-side Buddha-Bar inside Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah with a Christmas Eve party at the gorgeous restaurant and bar
For less than 200LE per person, the unmistakable Pyramisa Cairo Hotel offers a five course food-fest, including prawn cocktail and turkey with all the trimmings.
Whether you have been naughty or nice is pretty irrelevant,DJ Mohasseb doesn’t judge, the gift of good music is for all. He's spinning at Cairo Jazz Club's Christmas Day shindig which is bound to get wild.
Karim Attallah and Mansour Hassan host another Christmas party this year. Expect the same cool young crowd with a touch of class and decadence to boot. Set in 'On Top' at the roof of Le Pacha boat in Zamalek, Moneim Hafez and Toyboys will be providing the beats. Reservations: 0122-1555-156
Amici's gift to you this Christmas is a night filled with music, laughter and, of course, plenty of cocktails! High energy cover band Crash Boom Bang will be performing at the Heliopolis branch.
Insomnia and Encore are linking up together to bring you a mammoth open bar Christmas party at Tamarai, featuring a fantastic line up of DJs including Richard R, DJ Ramy and Lyon Avakian.
Graffiti continues its seasonal streak, this time bringing in the unstoppable DJ Laura Love, directly from the UK, to show us what Christmas partying is really about. Joining her will be DJ Roro and, together, their mission is to make you dance.
The Ramses Hilton will offer Christmas in the heart of Cairo, as they put on a luxury festive lunch at Terrace Cafe, complete with a glass of mulled wine to get the day of celebrations started.
As with any occassion in Egypt, sha3by music makes Christmas better. Hitmakers Oka & Ortega are set to headline the evening of top class Sha3by hits at Roof Bar. Meanwhile, DJ Simon and DJ Hussein Gamal are set to provide support for a night not to be missed.
When you think of Christmas, you don't usually think of underground clubbing, but all that's about to change. Head on over for a Bamboo X-Mas (or should we say XXX-Mas?) where DJs 3bkarino, Kiko and Bob will be spinning their stuff, while a belly dancer will be on hand to shake more than Santa's belly in the after-hours spot.
Ahmed Harfoush will be belting out all your Christmassy favourites at Saigon Lounge, the jewel of the Fairmont Nile City.
DJ Carlos, DJ Feedo and Mounir Zakhary will all be spinning at O Bar for a banging Christmas party. What have Hip Hop and house DJs got to do with Xmas? Probably nothing. Might be fun though
Keep up to date with all the events happening this Christmas on our calendar, updated daily.