Uber in Egypt- Is It Safe? Everything You Need to Know!

uber in egypt

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Yes, there is Uber in Egypt and this ended up being my go to option for getting around Cairo. It took away a lot of the headache of negotiating with local taxis and was so much cheaper too.

I knew where I was going to end up, what price I was going to pay and felt safe as I had an escalation route should anything go wrong.

Egypt is far from a budget destination and scams happen often, so if you haven’t thought about using Uber or are curious about how to use Uber in Egypt. This is the post for you.

Here, I’m going to tackle everything you need to know about Uber in Egypt; where they run, how to use it, safety, tipping and some top tips! Yalla!

Disclaimer: Not sponsored by Uber but I do get some nice credits on the app if you use my code. some of the driver information, such as photos, has been redacted from screenshots in sensitivity.

What cities have Uber in Egypt?

At the moment, Uber can only be found in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria.

But, business is booming! It’s only opened four years ago, but there are currently over 80,000 Uber drivers in Cairo alone.

So, you won’t have any issues finding a cab! It’s fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get around the city due to the taxis being a lot cleaner and allowing more driver accountability.

uber in egypt
Khan El-Khalili Market, Cairo

What do Uber taxis look like in Egypt?

Unlike government/normal taxis, Uber doesn’t have a uniformed car fleet. You wouldn’t recognise an Uber to be any different than a normal car.

But, don’t worry. You will always be told the make, model and licence plate of the taxi you have ordered on the app before you receive it. Every Uber driver will have a profile with their name and profile picture, so you know who you’re expecting!

How Uber works is it hires taxi drivers who own their cars already to work with Uber by becoming a ‘captain’ for their company. The drivers don’t wear a uniform. You may see an Uber sticker on the bumper and they will have a smart phone with the Uber driver app. But nothing more.

uber in Egypt
Simona Scolari [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Uber Vs. Careem and Normal Taxis

Uber in Egypt

  • Uber has a fixed fair price for everyone with a meter and you know what you’re going to pay
  • You’re protected by Uber for the journey and can report problems
  • With Uber you will need to wait a little while for a driver to find you
  • You can just go from A to B on your journey
  • Uber drivers drop you off at the exact location of where you need to go
  • You will need WiFi or roaming (Data) to order a taxi and preferably a local SIM so the driver and you can call each other.

Normal Taxis in Egypt

  • Taxi prices are hard to negotiate, drivers don’t start the meter for foreigners and sometimes the prices go up after you’ve arrived
  • Aside from the police, there is no one to report the driver too should something go wrong
  • Normal taxis can be found everywhere and you leave in an instant
  • Sometimes when taxi drivers drop you off, you get hassled to go to shops to buy things or visit other locations
  • Drivers sometimes drop you off in the wrong locations if there is heavy traffic and you don’t know where you are (this happened to me and I had to walk an extra 30 mins on my own through the Khan and I had no idea where I was going – scary!)
  • You don’t need Roaming or Wifi to Order

Careem Taxis 

can be found in Cairo and are the original taxi app ordering service before Uber hit the scene to rival them. Prices and the service are pretty similar, I chose to use Uber as I had the app already and was familiar with the company.

But, if you’re travelling around Egypt, Careem can be found in more cities such as;

Cairo – Sahel – Alexandria – Gouna – Damanhour – Tanta – Mansoura – Hurghada – Port Said – Suez -Ismailia – Zagazig – Damietta – Banha – Asyut – Sokhna- Minya

uber in egypt
A normal taxi in Alexandria

Is Uber safe to use in Egypt?

This question always pops up when discussing using Uber in different countries. Personally, I always find that Uber is incredibly safe to use and I actually feel more protected when I use them.

I have their name and picture on my phone, I know the make and model of their car and have a record of their licence plate. The fact they use a GPS for the journey means that anyone could know our current location and the details of our journey.

There’s now even an option to share my journeys with a loved one so they know I’m safe. I also have an escalation route with Uber should anything happen or I leave my things in the taxi. I don’t have any of these options with a random taxi I pick up off the street.

Is Uber in Egypt safe for female travellers?

I was a solo female traveller in Egypt and found that all the Uber drivers I had were lovely.

They offered me tissues, fed me sweets, offered me water, would shut the windows, actually turn on the A/C so I didn’t have the breathe in pollution and would let me choose music.

I found it was a much nicer experience than when I chose a normal taxi.

What I also loved is there was a lot of bad ass female Uber drivers in Cairo and, although I couldn’t choose a woman driver via the app, I always felt more assured in that cab.

Tips on safety with Uber in Egypt

  • The number one thing that frustrated me was that licence plates on the Uber app were Alpha Numeric and Arabic, but on the cars, they were often just in Arabic. I didn’t have a clue about reading Arabic so I always double-checked with someone. Also, pay attention to the profile picture of your driver to ensure you’re getting in the right car.
  • An Uber driver will always have a smartphone with the Uber Driver app with them. They will ask you if you want to start the journey. They have a GPS map similar to Google Maps on their smartphone to track the journey and the cost. DO NOT, let them start without starting the journey on the app.
  • You can report any bad situation to Uber via the app and also alert loved ones of your journey should anything happen.
  • An Uber driver would not be able to ‘wait and stay’ for another journey. Always order a fresh Uber for each journey. Also, don’t allow an Uber driver to take you to any shops or anywhere other than where you’re meant to be going. If they try to, instantly report it.

How much do Uber rides cost in Egypt?

Compared to normal taxis in Egypt, Uber’s are a steal!

Locals would always tell me what price they would usually pay (which was next to nothing!) and to ask local taxis to put the meter on.

But, putting this into practice was impossible! There would be countless reasons why they couldn’t do it and it would be a never ending haggling process.

A big example of this are taxis at the airport. As you have just walked off the plane, these guys are masters at trying to rip you off.

I wanted to go to Giza and a local told me I shouldn’t pay any more than £200EGP (£8). The airport quoted £600EGP (£25) for a limousine which isn’t what we know as the celebrities baller car FYI, just a slightly nicer cab.

Then, when I got outside, I was swarmed by cab drivers. All were quoting £400EGP (£20). I had to seriously haggle and finally got them down to £200EGP (£8).

If I had simply caught an Uber from the airport, it would have cost me an easy £150EGP (£6) – £200EGP (£8) and the service would have been far nicer.

When you’re travelling around Cairo, Uber journeys can cost as little as £20EGP (£1) to get around the city, whereas normal taxi drivers quote £200EGP (£8) for a 10 minute journey by car!

uber in egypt

Download the Uber app and get a discount by signing up with my invitation code:

how to use uber in india

How to use Uber in Egypt

  • Firstly you need to download the Uber App. If you already have an Uber app from elsewhere in the world, you don’t need to download one specifically for Egypt. Uber’s app automatically detects and updates to your current location.

If downloading for the first time use my invitation code sophiep4481ui for a discount on your first ride!

  • Then set up your profile and preferences. You can set a profile picture so the driver can recognise you. You can opt for the app to take money from your debit card or set it for the driver to take cash payments from you.
  • Click “Where To?” and it will set the pick up point from your current location. You can change the pick up location if you wish to be picked up from somewhere else i.e Giza Necropolis. Then you type in where you would like to go i.e. Cairo International Airport. 
  • This should then give you a list of options including the length of the journey, the time the driver will take to reach you and the estimated price of the journey. Uber X is a private taxi. Select your choice then press ‘Confirm UberX’
  • Now is the waiting game. Uber will find you a suitable driver that is in your area or close to you. But, this is Cairo and things run on Egyptian time. If in doubt, contact the driver on the app or call them. If they only speak Arabic ask a local to help you or if you don’t have roaming, use a local phone.
  • You will receive a nudge on the app that the driver is waiting for you. Double-check the profile picture of the driver and the licence plate before entering the Uber and make sure they ‘start the journey’ via their Uber driver app.
  • Tips are expected for Taxi drivers in Egypt and Uber is no different. You can tip in cash or ask them to raise the price of the journey on their app before they stop the journey. Also, remember to rate the driver through the app with compliments if he/she did a good job!
  • That’s it! You can also pre-order Uber’s. These are ideal for really early airport drop-offs or late at night journeys. You may find there are no drivers around at that time without doing this!
uber in egypt
Compliments and Comments can be left via the app and they are added to the driver’s profile.

Tipping Uber drivers in Egypt

A Baksheesh or tip for a service received is a big part of Egyptian culture and Uber rides are no different. Tips aren’t included in the total price.

Depending on the service I received, I would usually tip between £20EGP – £50EGP for a good drive. But, you don’t have to tip this much if you don’t want to. Some drivers would refuse tips!

I would certainly keep small change spare for taxi tips when you need them. If you’ve set your Uber app to take debit card payments, the Uber driver can raise the amount they will charge you via their app.

uber in egypt
If you ever get your hand on these roadside snacks (they cost about £5EGP)… you’ll never want any other sweet!

Scams to watch out for with Uber in Egypt and how to report it

I mean, it all seems plain sailing, right? But, this is Egypt and scams are common. So, it’s best to also keep your wits about you.

I met a couple of tourists who caught an Uber but then were brought to a random shop to buy some ‘souvenirs’ on the way, they were also bribed to keep him as their driver for the whole day. This shouldn’t normally happen!

I also met a guy who said the driver started their journey at the beginning, but then stopped it halfway through and quoted a massive price compared to the app. Always make sure the journey is started and ended and keep an eye on the GPS.

Also, watch out for taxi drivers who will cancel journey’s on you and then charge you. Some will not be able to reach you due to traffic but then lie and say you didn’t turn up. Request a refund with Uber.

In the unfortunate event, something bad happens to you, even something like the air conditioning not being turned on. Report it immediately. You don’t want it happening to the next tourist that gets in!

uber in Egypt
The uber app allows you to report on anything bad that happens on the journey

Top tips for using Uber in Egypt

  • Grab a local SIM card from the airport, a popular choice is Vodafone. It’s handy to have a local number so you can talk to drivers and order on the go!
  • Not all drivers will speak English, ask a local to help with directing them to you
  • Licence plates will often be in Arabic, always double-check the profile picture and make of the car
  • Like everything in Egypt, Uber runs on Egyptian time. The original time to get to you may be extended due to traffic. If you’re running on a tight schedule or need to make a flight, always pre-order an Uber.

Are you looking for things to do in Cairo?

Cairo is an incredible city full of adventures to suit everyone. There is so much to do here beyond the Pyramids of Giza. You can go temple hopping, shop in the oldest souk of the Middle East, see the Nile, and find an oasis in the urban desert.

For more informative guides on Cairo, see here;

21 essential tips to survive visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

9 of the absolute best places to visit in Cairo you don’t want to miss

uber in Egypt
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Read more of my Egypt articles

My perfect 2 week Egypt Itinerary

My top travel tips for Egypt

The perfect Egypt packing list

The most Instagrammable places in Egypt

My guide to the Valley of the Kings

Things to do in Luxor

The ultimate 4-day Nile Cruise

Things to do in Aswan

Top places to visit in Luxor at night

The perfect guide for Abu Simbel

Why you NEED to visit Alexandria

Top tips for riding a hot air balloon in Luxor

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uber in egypt

12 thoughts on “Uber in Egypt- Is It Safe? Everything You Need to Know!

  1. Bruce says:

    Thank you so much for such a detailed, informative post. I was concerned about how to get from CAI to our hotel at midnight, had heard horror stories about Egyptian cabbies, but — as a long-time Uber user in the U.S. — I now know what to do.

    • Sophie Pearce says:

      Hi Bruce, thanks for your kind words and I’m so happy this helped you! Just make sure it definitely is your Uber when you arrive. Since writing this post a girl messaged me a cab driver at Cairo Airport pretended to be her Uber. Make sure it’s the same colour and profile picture and all will be well :) Have a great time in Egypt. Sophie x

  2. Elisa says:

    Hi Sophie! Thank you so much for sharing, it is definitely a relief to know that Uber could be an option at least in Cairo (I’m also planning on visiting Aswan/Abu Simbel and Luxor); just had a follow-up question: Regarding the Vodafone SIM card, are these easy to find at the airport?

    • Sophie Pearce says:

      Hi Elisa, yes it’s an awesome way to get around and quite cheap! When you arrive at Cairo airport and grab your luggage, head into the arrivals hall and there’s a Vodafone counter selling SIM cards. You’ll know as there will be a queue. Have an incredible time, Sophie x

  3. Stewart says:

    Great post.

    I just returned from Egypt and read this prior to having my 1st uber experience and thought I would share a few insights.
    1st, when it comes to mobile phone providers, I ended up with Orange which was a lot cheaper (especially with data) and worked in Cairo/Giza Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Hurghada without issue. (tip on data, if you are going to use data opt for the bigger data package, I only got the 5gb thinking that was enough, but ended up using close to 10 (Netflix haha) its not a lot more in cost and can save you the hassle of recharging.
    2nd When it comes to airport pickups at Cairo, my app told me where to wait (which was next to the B5 sign in the car park) not all drivers are aware of where this is, as it is literally in the middle of many card parking areas, no seats, no uber signs etc) One recommendation is to put your photo in the Uber app, this will help the driver spot you when they are searching. Also you will get hassled by every taxi driver from the exit gates to the pick up location who will try depict uber as unsafe and stating they can beat the price (don’t fall for this, as more times than none you will end up being charged a lot more when you arrive at your destination, even if the fare was negotiated, and while you have the upper hand, it’s a hassle you do not need)
    3rd most drivers will offer you a phone number and invite you to contact them for all transport needs while in the area, it is up to you weather you take the advice or not, as sometimes hiring private drivers can be cheaper for a whole day) however you will no longer have the safety of the app (or Uber) behind you, and the prices are cheap with uber
    Now, here is an experience I will share, one to help you watch out for.
    On my return journey several weeks later from Giza to Cairo airport I suffered a major headache using the uber app (let me state from the beginning this is not Ubers fault at all)
    I made a booking, it shows the driver 8 minutes away. A couple of minutes later while the driver had still not moved, I get a message asking where I was (even though the app and gps shows them this) I had an Egyptian friend talk to them and tell them (easy to find right next to a main attraction) he then said he was on his way, a couple more minutes, he still has not shown as moved, and bam.. cancelled
    New booking is automatically generated, driver showing 8 minutes away, once again a message is received (this time in Arabic) my friend tells me it is the same request asking where I am, again he calls this driver, the driver asked if I was paying visa or cash, I had my friend explain it was paid via the app. The driver hung up and bam cancelled.
    Once again a new booking is automatically generated, again 8 minutes away with a 3rd new driver, not longer after that we get a call from the 1st driver saying he is still on his way, I had my friend explain he cancelled the trip and was not longer my driver, to which he said we do not need the app, he will take me for the same price, to pay him in cash and to cancel current order, yeah not a chance.
    Meanwhile the 3rd booking was cancelled with no notice and a 4th drivers details is showing, 10 minutes away (then for some reason 21, 23, 20 while he stands stationary) we call the number on the app, while my friend is talking with him, we get another phone number sent to us via message in the app, my friend said we need to call that one, so we did that and explained the directions again and 10 minutes later he had still not moved, my friend called back and right away the driver started moving and made his way to my location.
    The uber arrived, and I got in and we were on our way, a couple of wrong turns but we eventually were on track for the airport.
    My driver did not know much English but apologised and said welcome, which was nice.
    During the journey he gets a call on his mobile, which he then hands to me, it was a guy welcoming me to his uber and that his brother will look after me and to have a good journey.
    This is when I looked at the app and realised the driver was not the one represented in the photo on the app (it was in fact his brother)
    I eventually get to the airport after waiting close to an hour to be picked up from initial booking then a little over an hour travel time (as luck had it, my watch somehow set itself to DST so I actually started booking an hour earlier than I wanted, but as a result ended up having the uber arrive at the time I actually needed them for, would have been a messy story if I had booked at the required time, although I still aimed to get to the airport 2-3hours early)

    1 thing I learned in Egypt, is that many are ready to rip off tourists and employers, and I came to realise that when it comes to some uber drivers, it is not different.
    Looking back through my story you will possibly see the same conclusion I have come to.
    They have your pick up location and a GPS, so there is not need to ask where you are before they start moving, the reason they do this is in hope for a conversation and to get your phone number, that way they can cancel your order, in hope to still get the job, maybe at the same price but with all the earnings going to them (none for uber) , the 2nd driver was similar but asked if I paid visa, this is their way to see if they too can pocket the cash for the trip without the app (I assume they would arrive, cancel, oh oops sorry sir, but I can still take you)
    Of course all of this was reported to uber but I thought I would make you aware of how things can happen over there and what to watch out for.
    Personally when it comes to airport returns I would rather pay the extra $5-10 and book through a company for private transfers next time, the drivers I had using private transfers were always on time (usually early) and brought peace of mind every journey. Uber can be hit or miss from what I have seen while there, but so much better than haggling for a taxi)

    • Sophie Pearce says:

      Hi Stewart! Wow, this is some great insights. I’m sorry for your bad experiences. I guess Uber is the lesser evil of the two in my opinion but it does have it’s low sides too. All taxis and transport had a low side in Egypt. Even the other day someone told me that a guy pretended to be her Uber driver at the airport. But, I really appreciate your input and I’m sure that it will help people decide on whether to choose a private taxi or Uber. Thanks for your feedback. Sophie x

  4. LoriKemi says:

    Hi Sophie, thank you so much for writing such a detailed and helpful post! I really appreciate the tips and scams sections especially.

  5. Waleed Moursi says:

    Great article Sophie! Really useful stuff. My only question is how can Uber drivers raise the fare through the app?? It is not possible to do and is not allowed by Uber. If this was the case there would certainly be a lot more scams going on.

    • Sophie Pearce says:

      Hi Waleed, thank you for the feedback! This usually happens when paying with a cash option. They stop the fare on the phone and then charge you. Or, offer you trips to a shop or something then stop the uber fare and charge extra. Or, they don’t ‘start’ the fare then try to charge cash. So, always make sure you check what options and what’s happening with the Uber app while you’re in the car. Most of the time, when I paid with card option, I had no issues but they seemed annoyed. Even though, you can tip them through the app after?! Haha. Anyway, it’s just best to be vigilant. Thanks. Sophie x

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