While international stores seem to have everything you’re looking for in terms of style and products, occasionally boredom sets in. And when you go to Cairo’s Khan El Khalili market to buy yourself Arab-style home decorations, disappointingly, many things are stamped: “Made in China.” And while Egyptian cotton is famous, worldwide, anyone living in Egypt knows that it gets exported.
Here is Ahram Online’s starting point for unique, Egyptian items.
Nefertari: 100 per cent natural beauty products:
It’s Nefertari’s pleasure to (re)introduce to Egyptians 100 per cent natural oils, creams and other products. Every piece of every product is made in Egypt – even the containers!
Chahira Adel, the owner, is committed to all-natural, all-Egypt, which makes the items more expensive than the mass-produced, sweat-factory counterparts, yet are far cheaper than L’Occitane products, which, by the way, do not adhere completely to all-natural. Adel has become a sort of go-to person for advice on what natural products are good to help common problems.
The wide product supply line includes, among many things: natural eye-lining kohl, lip balms, olive oil soaps, lavender massage oil, a good variety of scrubs, Moroccan mud, gift sets and baby products.
Although you can shop the Nefertari website online and they deliver, there are shops in all major Cairo districts: Maadi, Zamalek, Dokki, Giza, downtown, 6th of October, City Stars (Nasr City) - not to mention Alexandria and El-Gouna.
Designer’s Boutique Catalogue:
For the most part, the catalogue highlights Egyptian designers. It’s an opportunity for the locals to get their products known outside of the fairs circuit.
Some of the more eye-catching items include Bedouin-embroidered I-Pad covers, Japanese-Egyptian designer, Aya Sugita’s gold-plated earrings; Gazelle hot-in-season neon clutches and Arab-inspired candle sets.
Pick up their catalogues in any of the shops (see Designer’s Boutique site for locations), call them up with your order and they deliver.
Cotton, textiles, designers and furniture
Malek Luxurious Home Linens manufacturers Egyptian cotton products to sell internally.
Shubra-based El-Malah Weaving Company has been manufacturing since 1949.
Road 9 in Maadi has both a woven carpet shop, mostly with the geometric, bright Upper Egypt designs as well as two or three shops selling wood tables, shelves and can custom-make mashrebeyya furniture on the spot.
Check out some local designers that you can contact directly: Deana Shaaban, Zeina Hosni.
The Made in Egypt website might satisfy your curiosity about what else is made in Egypt.