The City of a Thousand Minarets

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The City of a Thousand Minarets

There are few places in the world where you can mix an exciting (and demanding) business ethos with such a rich culture – as I found out on a recent client trip, Egypt is certainly one of these chosen few. Unfortunately there was little time to soak up all that Cairo had to offer, although I was perfectly content with a staggering view of the Nile from my hotel room window – an image that, much to the annoyance of my colleagues, I tweeted about on a daily basis. Retail, and in particular shopping centres, is a growing business in the country, and was the focus of a whistle-stop tour of some of Cairo’s retail hubs, before settling into some lively business meetings towards the west of the city. Naturally the shopping experience differs somewhat from your average European centre, nonetheless there were some interesting additional features and products on offer – certainly enough for me to make copious amounts of notes. I am looking forward to working on this account; assisting with a full PR and marketing remit for our client and getting a bit deeper into what really makes Egyptian retail tick. One question that I was frequently asked by friends upon my return, was what the food and drink was like. So, here’s some fleeting opinion: Egyptian coffee takes a bit of getting used to – it is consumed in large quantities during meetings and I was woefully unprepared for the sheer amount of sugar (pulling a face as if I had just scoffed a large number of Haribo sours), yet there were no such problems with the food. We were guests at the clients’ family dinner one evening, in a restaurant at the mall itself. Our hosts, who were wonderfully kind and considerate, continually suggested and encouraged us to sample an array of Egyptian delicacies – they needn’t have bothered though, as all Brits around the various tables tucked in gleefully. International travel is a major bonus when working at an international firm – both in terms of experiencing new cultures and experiencing new property and retail climates. My first business trip to the Middle East will certainly live long in the memory. Edward Lowcock, Junior Account Executive    

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