Warning to female tourists thinking of marrying Egyptians

A word of caution for female tourists visiting Egypt: be careful of the many of the men working in tourist areas in Egypt.

Although the vast majority of Egyptians have a high sense of honor and good conduct, it seems that tourist areas seem to attract a relatively high concentration of people with lax morals, who would exploit tourists in many ways. It can manifest itself as persistent aggressive begging, peddling cheap goods, charging 10X the normal prices for services and goods, and what this article focuses on: exploiting female tourists.

Looking at the bulk of the comments on my notes on compulsory army service in egypt they are mostly from non-Egyptian women who married (or intend to marry) an Egyptian man, and army service has become an obstacle.

So, once you here the word "habibti" (meaning "my love" in Arabic), and before you call him "Habibi", let alone go down the marriage route, read on below for more information.

The exploitation happens in many forms, but is normally centered around one of the following:

Easy and Free Sex

Many tourists come from countries where sex is more freely practiced outside of marriage. Youn g Egyptian men working in tourist areas who
are not married see this as an opportunity, and are met with acceptance from the female tourists.

A source for Money

Many Egyptian men who practice this scam view the "wealthy" tourist as a source of income. They keep asking their "girl friend", "fiance" or "wife" for money for various excuses, just like a professional scammer would play a confidence game on a victim.

An Opporunity for Immigration

Some of those men want to get out of Egypt, and see their marriage as a way to gain residence and citizenship in a Western country. The economy in Egypt has been stagnant for decades, and poverty, lack of opportunity and the high cost of marriage lures some youth to trying these tricks.

Why it works?

There are several factors that work in favor of the Egyptian scammers here.

One factor that helps is that most Egyptian men look desirable to Western women, being of darker complexion than their compatriots. The fact that the foreigners are white blonds work in making the women attractive and desirable for Egyptian men.

Another factor is that the woman is coming to the tourist place to have a good time. It may be a break from stressful work or study, or perhaps a past relationship. This helps blind her to what is happening.

Yet another factor is the cultural differences which also create temporary blindness.

Moreover, those workers being away from their village or city of origin, where they would be observed by their extended family and friends tend to make it easier for them to engage in sexual relationships and scams without being scrutinized by acquaintenaces, and no stigma is attached to these behaviors.

Finally, the scammers have perfected their techniques over the years, and are very skillful at what they do.


Blacklists have emerged on the internet, to warn potential female tourists from known exploiters. These have all the faults of user contributed content on the internet in that they can be innacurate, biased, or even rigged by rivals or pranksters. However, in the absence of any other information, they can be useful, provided they are taken with a good deal of skepticism and research and common sense applied.

Happens everywhere, not only Egypt

Before someone gets the impression that Egypt is a cesspool, and Egyptians are crooks, let me say it is neither.

The problem above is not limited to Egypt by any means. Any country where tourists come in to spend money has its share of exploiters. The above black lists have a Turkish one, and a Tunisian one, and there are lots of stories about French, Italian and Spanish men exploiting women tourists as well.

Of course, there is also the Russian bride fraud targeting well to do men in the West.

So, the problem is universal, although this article focuses on female tourists to Egypt.

Final Thoughts

There are many non-Egyptian women married to Egyptian men happily, so over-generalizing from the cases mentioned, or from workers at tourist resort is wrong. Chances are you will be happy with an Egyptian as a husband if you met him in a more natural settings, e.g. while studying or working, and getting to meet his family as well.

The "artificial" environment in resorts, being on holiday, and surrounded by some scammers lend itself to the disasters described.

So, beware ... 

Further Reading




Thank you for the clarifications. Here are my comments/views.

1. Yes, the cultures are different. This is only natural. Some people prepare themselves that they are different, others just assume what they know from back home. No contention here.

2. For the "obedience demanded from women" and "woman are chattel" part, it is far more complex than that. This is not simply a male dominated society. Women have and do wield considerable influence, often more than men, but it is not overt. It is often subtle yet effective. Men are mostly dependent on women for many things, and in effect pass from care of one (mother) to the other (wife).

3. For the examples of Mohamed Ali Mosque and Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria: these are still tourist haunts. Where there is a (perceived or real) prey there will be predators. This is no different from professional beggars in India demanding sympathy from tourists, or persistent and nagging peddlers elsewhere. Egypt is 80 million people. We never see this among Egyptians themselves, simply because it does not work and will quickly be quashed by the people themselves. So it only happens to tourists. I noted elsewhere in this thread that this happens in Spain, Italy, Tunisia, the Caribbean and Turkey, just to name a few other "European women" destinations.

4. Unlike other parts of the Arab word, Egyptian women are trained to be very jealous of the mere prospect of a rival wife sharing their husband, let alone actually having that rival. Even if it is allowed by both religious and civil law, it is not a common thing to see among Egyptians. The man's life is converted to a living hell by the rivalry of the two wives, each trying to best the other. So, the cases where you know that there is another family are unusual. It could be that the first wife is coerced, or helpless or otherwise (social or personality ills). I can assure you this is not normal in Egypt.

5. The so called Orfi marriage is sadly practiced among university age Egyptians in recent years. In my view it is not a real marriage unless it is "announced" and known to both family sides. If it is secretive and just a paper hidden, then it is nor real marriage and just a paper to facilitate (still unlawful) sex under a false guise of legitimacy, or to placate one side of the relationship (normally the woman) fooling them into thinking it is all lawful.

Thank you again.

another old english woman falls for it!

Thank you so much for this site whoever thought of it! You may have changed + saved my life! I have read every post + they have been so helpful + illuminating.

I have been on my own for 3 years, my partner died in 2006. In April this year, myself + my daughter had a wonderful holiday in Egypt. I felt so comfortable in the hotel I felt able to return again for 2 weeks in September on my own. I was not looking for love / romance at all - just a nice relaxing, warm, holiday. Again, it was fine + I had only friendliness, nothing untoward.

Then in November my Mother died. I did not want my Father to be in England over Christmas so I thought the same hotel would be fine. I knew the staff + thought we would be well looked after. And we were. But .......

Oh dear, I am an educated British woman + have let myself fall prey to everything that is warned against on this site. I began a relationship with a member of staff that I had talked to frequently on previous vacations. We had emailed each other but I thought we were just friends. When I returned he had different ideas. I have believed his protestations of love. I have given him money. Not much but money all the same.

He sat + chatted with my Father for an hour + seemed totally convincing about his wish to be with me. He has phoned my daughter to seek her approval. Why would he go to so much effort just for sex or small money?

He is a graduate + has a good job. He tells me that he doesn't need to move to England. His emails + texts are SO loving. I am now very cross with myself for being so naive + stupid. But a little bit of me still wonders if he really wants to be with me? He keeps telling me that he does.

He will probably not be able to have children with me + that seems to be a significant block to the success of a relationship with an Egyptian man. He told me it doesn't matter. Have already read posts about what that REALLY means!

Thank you for reading. Any comments would be appreciated but don't tell me I'm stupid, I already know that!

You are not stupid.

You are not stupid, just lonely after losing your partner.The simple way to find out if this man is real is don't give money at all, unless he is a hotel worker, then a nice tip at the end of your stay is ok.

If he starts to ask for money, say you don't have any left after your holiday.

I hope he is a genuine friend for you, it will help to heal the pain of losing someone you love. From Pat.

Thank you Pat, and also

Thank you Pat, and also Khalid, who, having re-read the whole site, I now realise is the founder!

My 'friend' keeps emailing and texting me but I am so reluctant to carry anything on having read the warnings on this site. Why would anyone talk at length to a grieving man (my father) and promise that he wants to be with me and wants to look after me for ever? And why would he put up with the nastiness of my teenage daughter? (She only cares / worries for me.)

He has a very good job, is multi lingual with a degree. He says he wants to be with me for me and doesn't need to leave Egypt to have a good life.

Talk is cheap

Your questions:

Why would anyone talk at length to a grieving man (my father) and promise that he wants to be with me and wants to look after me for ever?

And why would he put up with the nastiness of my teenage daughter? (She only cares / worries for me.)

The answer is simple: future gain, in the form of money from you after his scam works. For these types, it is the cost of doing business.

Remember that he has an advantage: he is not in your own country. Back in England if someone swindles you out of money after promising love, you can go to the police and he will be questioned, ...etc. If that does not work, then at least the local community will know that such and such man is bad and no one wants to live with the with their name tarnished in his community.

These are long distance scammers, in two senses of the word: a) that you are from another culture, community, society, and jurisdiction, and b) they are away from their families, elders, friends, and peers, working in tourist areas with fear of being shamed.

He never has to face you and others again after the scam is over.

That makes them bolder and bolder ...

He has a very good job, is multi lingual with a degree. He says he wants to be with me for me and doesn't need to leave Egypt to have a good life.

Degrees mean little in Egypt. There are many graduates from university who can't find work in their specialization due to the economy, and go and work as labor. Being multilingual is nice too. Some Egyptians are well educated. That is only part of the picture.

Talk is cheap. Do not fall for it.

Thank you again for your

Thank you again for your frankness. I read this site every time I get tempted by his offers! And he keeps emailing and texting. It is so sad really. I never dreamt that I would be looked on as 'prey' when I went on holiday to Egypt on my own. I loved the place and thought that every one was just being friendly! Yes - I was naive! But I still would love to return on Monday! Especialy bearing in mind the weather in England!

Friendly = OK, Too friendly = Not

Most Egyptians are friendly to tourists. That is something everyone observes there when they go. It is different from the coldness/aloofness that you see in the West, and therefore it is more noticeable.

I would like to believe that most of the workers that you met are friendly because this is their nature, and that only a few are scammers.

Being too friendly and then vowing love and such is where things start to get wrong.

Don't confuse the two ...

screwed over by a tunisian,

screwed over by a tunisian, his name is mtir bel hadj hassen but he goes by the stage name of Dj James, he worked at the hotel phenicia in Hammamet and he has been known to work at the British bar, manhattan nightclub and cheers bar all in hammamet. I dated him for almost a year, we planned to marry and i to move to tunisia, i met his family and recieved gifts from them. I thought we were in love, after some time he asked to borrow some money i got the old army story but foolishy i fell for it, i didnt think he was like what i had heard, he was so genuine and i had met his family and spent alot of time out there. after i sent him the money i never heard from him again until someone from tunisia called me up and threatened to kill me if i returned to tunisia. Many of the boys who work in the animation teams at the hotels all do the same, dont be fooled by them. I lost over £700, a laptop, a mobile phone and dvd's. I also found out he had various women on the go at the same time and he would arrange that when one left another would arrive.

Con men family

Hi- was the family in on the con too? My Tunisian boyfriend introduced me to his family,which I thought meant that he really loves me?


Ok My story is I met an egyptian man he is from town near el monofia.we met in Sharm we have been in contact for over 1 year now and it didn't stop when i came home. I've been over to see him now 4 times since the initial visit. He has also been over to visit me I am european and I paid for his flight becos he couldn't afford it, I offered he didn't ask me. He was granted a visa and did have money with him when he came here for 2 weeks and he met my family etc. He is a mulim and I am a catholic. He is very sweet and we speak to each other every day via text / skype / msn etc. We are now engaged to be married in February of this year and I have ust sorted out my paperwork for same, I just dont' know after reading this am I being crazy. I am 31 he is 26. I am also very attractive and I know that sounds strange but I just wanted to say that I look egyptian but I am not I'm white that was my attraction to him he thought i was egyptian. I will be meeting his family now in Feb then we will get married in Cairo. Do you think I am insane should I trust him now Im really worried from reading this forum. I have been doubting myself so much and just dont know I mean I love him and I know he loves me but now I'm starting to panic after all these. I m not a stupid person and i'm a good person and not niaive but maybe I am being led?? Please help me out here with any comments

Thank you