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



No polygamy for me ...

I find the fact that you reached that conclusion interesting.

To be clear, I am not saying polygamy is something I advocate, long for, let alone practice. I was putting the historical and cultural perspective on it, and that it is something tolerated in many societies, and not the abomination it is portrayed to be in the West.

Here is another case:

Societies that forbade divorce, ended up having backdoors for it, and then permitted it outright. For example most European and North American countries allowed divorced after being seen as taboo for two millenniums. Communities that don't have divorce, have backdoors, e.g. in the Coptic Orthodox Church one side of the marriage will just announce that they changed their sect (e.g. to Catholic or Anglican), and then the marriage is dissolved.

It is better to avoid these backdoors and face things as they are, which is what you are saying about polygamy.

For me, thanks, but no thanks. It would not half the housework, since each should have living quarters on her own. So it is twice the financial burden and twice the bickering and nagging :-)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts ...

From Ronnie

I have written before about my sister and a certain Hamadah, well, I have just returned from Luxor after another wonderful holiday and having confronted Hamadah about why he conned my sister out of money, (he borrowed money to put in his bank to show British embassy he had savings), I could not believe the nerve of him, he said my sister chased him and he did not really want an older woman, also she insisted on giving him the money to keep. I told him I would go to the police and lodge a complaint, he took fright and came to my hotel to give me back the money). So some good came out of this.I hope he tells his friends what happened, maybe they will think twice about doing this to other women.

Great site Khalid, from Ronnie.

Good that you got the money

It is good that you got the money back. At least it is no all a total loss.

As for the "nerve", it amazes me how certain tricksters, criminals and even politicians bend reality to fit their actions. When someone lacks a conscious there is no shame, no lost sleep. Just human in name, but more akin to a beast.

Con artists

I think what Ronnie did in getting the money back his sister gave to that man is wonderful. I just hope all women reading this site take notice of it. I cannot count the times I have heard women saying 'this one is different'. If genuine then no money should pass from the woman to the man.

I still go to Luxor, and I love it, I have genuine friends there who are decent Egyptians.

From Patricia.

I am amazed Ron got his

I am amazed Ron got his sisters money back, but it is good he did. I still like egypt but am so wary now of anyone making friends with me until I really know them, since I last wrote I have been to Turkey, I think it is worse there, loads of silly women believing what the young men tell them, and never checking to see if they are married.

From Jan. UK.

reply to pat ,con artists

Yes Patricia ,
I too have long standing genuine friends who are decent Egyptians! I can honestly say ..hand on heart ...that i have never ever fell for all the rubbish they spam out !
Ive been visiting Egypt with my Children (now grown up)for 15years and we have alot of respect shown to us when we visit !
Don't get me wrong ,we still come across the odd one or two ,but the majority of the scammers ignore us !
I get so frustrated when i see english women crying into their beer/tea/coffee ,whatever over a man ,then next time you see them ,they have moved on to yet another one ..." MY MOHAMED IS DIFFERENT" springs to mind on reading various forums .
One woman in st josephs early in the year was texing and crying to her man ...saw her a few month later ,she was happy because now she had got a new man !

Well said, thank you

Well said, thank you for that. I hope some listen to you.

"My X is different" is a sign that they never learn, or it will take them several painful affairs until they learn, often after a lot of emotional and financial damage.

Spare yourself the pain. Use your brains ...

my husband Hany has a brother called Hamadah

I know that his name is Ahmed but he is called Hamadah. This stuff is sickening. I know there must be some good Egyptian men ......but those who are bad make you sick. I am sick now....really sick.

read my story

hello there

i am egyptian who likes his country alot and also i am working in the tourism field so when i am speaking about this i really know what i am saying ,i am a tour guide so i am aware of everything and i believe that some people that you mentioned are into these stuff that you said but also there are alot of men honorable men who just want to give a good impression about their country i am from a city in egypt that is called as luxor it is on the south,abeautiful place really filled with monuments and ancient bulidings ,i think that everyone who comes here is an adult who knows what he or she is doing and they can tell the diference between someone who tries to scam or be honest ,i want to write some more but i am at work so later i will write again

Reply to Ahmed Hassan

Ahmed, it is easy for you to say when women go there they know what they are doing, but a lot of them are alone, taking a holiday because they are just divorced from an unfaithful husband and simply want to get away for a while. When a good looking young man turns on the charm and tells them they are in love with them, they don't know that these men are just looking for money, we do not get that kind of thing done here in Uk,it might be their first visit to Egypt so they don't know they are being conned. I have seen many women getting hurt, all they have known before is a long marriage to one man, so they are not 'man wise' I hope they all read these messages, I have learned a lot by them, and still love Egypt but would never allow any man to take money off me. If they start to hint, its goodnight Vienna.