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



Definition of stupidity

One of the definitions of stupidity is repeating the same action, but expecting different results.

If she was scammed once, then we can make excuses for her, if she was scammed twice, then she is the only one to blame.

"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me".

Egyptian husbands.

I was glad to find your site Khaled, because now I know I am not the only one hurt. I have been married to an Egyptian for seven years,we live on the East Bank Luxor in a house I built and paid for. When I went for my usual trip two years ago I found he had married a local girl, he has a separate home for her, and still stays with me when I am there. As he said to me, he is entitled to two wives, his new wife is for giving him children, but it hurts, as western woman I am not used to the idea of sharing my man. I dont think you should have said the previous woman was stupid, you cant help your feelings, I still love my man, and though friends have told me to forget him I cant, he is 35 and I am 47. From Shelly, Kent UK and Luxor.

A bit different

Shelly, seems your case is a bit different, just because of the length of the marriage. The scammers would normally just bail out after they get the money/house/...etc. In your case, he remained faithful to you for many years, and probably still is. He got her another home, and did not just take over the one you built.

Polygamy is allowed by civil and Islamic law, in Egypt and elsewhere. It is not the norm, but an exception. Wanting to have kids is one reason for it. It is practiced widely in West and Subsaharan Africa, irrespective of religion too. It was practiced among Jews since Biblical times, and was only "repealed" around 10 centuries ago by Jews living in Europe among Christians. If you think of it, the royalty and nobility in Europe also practiced it by using concubines, courtesans, mistresses, having illegitimate children, and the like. So it was polygamy in everything but name.

All this is just historical and cultural background on the topic, and does not help what you feel. But perhaps your case is not the normal exploitation scam, but rather him longing for children genuinely.

i want to know did u marry at

i want to know did u marry at canadian embassy in cairo ;my husband 16 years younger i am canadian and his mother never meet me and now shes trying to find him and real egyptian wife he cant marry if i not give permission i not divorce him never i love him and he loves me but hes asking me sell wedding ring to help him come to canada sorry i wont do that and he has 3 business he never helps me at all for money or medicine ;;my question is can he marry another if we married canadian embassy and without my permission

Yes he can marry

Under Egypt's law, he can marry up to four wives, and all that is required is that the court notify you that he has married another.

The fact that you were married in the embassy is immaterial. He resides in Egypt and is subject to Egypt's laws.

You are naive to think that this could last, him being 16 years younger, from a different culture, and him never helping you financially.

Shelly-You are glad because

Shelly-You are glad because others have suffered like you? What is wrong with you women? You like the fact that others have suffered? I would be happy if you were the only one. It's not a club you should be proud to have joined.

And there is a very clear reason this happened to you. You say how you went for your "regular visit." Sorry, but this is actually one aspect of the behavior of the foreign women that is abuse of Egyptian men--marrying them and then only seeing them on a vacation a few times a year. When you are married, you should live with your husband--full stop.


You have an interesting site Khalid, are you an author? You could write a book. What you said about jews is correct, we decided 1000 years ago not to take more than one wife, but did you know during operation 'Magic Carpet' when Israel was rescuing the persecuted jews from Yemen, husbands were turning up in Israel with two wives. This was in the 1950s, the government simply gave these men two apartments, one for each wife. Polygamy was never a bad thing, it meant that a woman could always be sure of getting a husband even with a shortage of men. So sorry to hear of the Egyptian con men though. My cousin is an Egyptian jew, but thrown out of Egypt in the 1950s, shame we cannot learn to love and help one another. Yuri, Israeli living in London UK.

More on Polygamy

No, I am not an author. Unless you mean software, then yes :-)

Polygamy was practiced for ages in many places of the world, and solved a problem of male mortality. Men went to trade or fight and many of them died on these endeavors. Also, women who were widows would have been deprived of physical and financial protection if they were to go without husbands.

Yes, I knew that the only Jews who still permitted and practiced polygamy are the Yemeni ones. Simply put: there was no social pressure to confirm to the surrounding norm of monogamy, so they kept the tradition while the Ashkenazi Jews bowed to peer pressure from Europe. I did not know that the Israeli government accommodated this when they immigrated.

Even the New Testament does not forbid monogamy either, see for example 1 Timothy 3, where the bishop and deacon are "husbands for but one wife".

It was Saint Augustine that urged Christians to confirm to the norm around them in the Roman Empire, by taking only one wife, and that evolved into the ban on polygamy among Christians.

It is always interesting to see how things evolve over history, and how something that is taboo now was not such a big deal for millennia.

Believe it or not, I was planning to write an article on the history of polygamy, and that discussion ended up in me writing the main points. But, it is now buried in comments.


You know I wouldn't mind having to share a husband with another wife, it would save them having affairs, and it would halve the housework. I do not care for the modern way we live now, too may unfaithful men about. Bring back polygamy is what I say.

Jan Yorkshire, UK.