Western chain hotels are where gay travelers will want to stay in Cairo. See recommendations below.
Most likely you already know that homosexuality is unofficially illegal in Egypt. You've probably heard of the "Cairo 52" case from 2001, when a group of 52 men were arrested at a gay party in the "Queen Boat" moored on the Nile. They were subjected to beatings in jail, and during their 5-month-long trials were vilified in the media, which reported their names and addresses. Twenty-nine of them were acquitted, but the others served prison terms for up to 3 years. Despite intervention by international human rights organizations, the situation for homosexuals remains quite alarming in the country, with arrest and torture being common practice.
As a gay traveler, don't use local chat rooms to meet local men, and be cautious in cruising areas. With common sense you'll be able to enjoy Egypt and still find your gaydar peaking in places. Simply hang out where the trendiest straight crowds do, and you'll see plenty of gay locals and expats. Those places are usually hotel bars and other Western-style restaurants and clubs. Other apparently gay-friendly places are:
Recommendations for Gay Travelers in Cairo
The Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel Bars
The Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel is home to a number of bars and restaurants that attract a cosmopolitan crowd. Some of them present a weekly program of live music and themed nights, attracting the most fashionable Cairo crowds and hotel guests. Everyone sits people-watching from the sofas as they enjoy specialty cocktails, and this is where you're most likely to find a discreet mix of straight and gay.
Hotel Information: The Nile Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Harry's Pub at the Cairo Marriott
Fashionable gay men playing straight head to the Marriott for the expensive drinks at its Harry's Pub. It tries to recreate an authentic English pub and serves a wide selection of imported beverages.
Hotel Information: Cairo Marriott Hotel
No hotel in Cairo advertises itself as gay-friendly, but the large chains do attract wealthy gay couples, especially those looking out to the pyramids and offering all sorts of pampering services such as spa and fitness center.
Look for the hotel or apartment that best matches your budget, type of trip or personality. You may guarantee your reservation but do NOT pay anything at the time of booking. Payments are only made at the property, and there are no booking fees. Most hotels and apartments allow cancellations with no penalty if done up to 24 or 48 hours in advance. You'll see that information at the time of booking and again in the confirmation email:
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