Filming in Egypt
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency, or production company looking for film/photography production support or shooting crew in Egypt? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Egypt is done throughout the year and the best time is from February to April and September to November. Contact us here for your planned shoot in Egypt we will give you an expert help ranging from securing all filming permissions, advice, and various services required for a successful shoot.
Egypt Film Locations
Egypt is the land of the Pharaohs home to a rich bounty of film locations. Film locations can be divided into the following regions, which include:
Nile Valley and Delta
Most of Egypt’s film locations can be found in this fertile region. The Nile Valley and Delta conjure images of ancient structures in desert landscapes and felucca’s gently sailing down the Nile River.
Cairo, the largest city in the Arab world is a bustling metropolis of 10 million people. It is Egypt’s capital and main film production centre. The Egyptian Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. Cairo’s old Islamic quarter is home to over 800 mosques including The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Sultan Hassan Mosque, El Refaai Mosque, and Ahmed Ben Tulun Mosque. The Hanging Church is one of the oldest Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt. Cairo is well known for its bustling markets including the famous souk Khan El Khalili. Ezbet El Haggana is Cairo’s largest slum. Manshiyat Nasser, also known as Garbage City, is another interesting slum film location. The Monastery of Saint Simon, also known as the Cave Church, is located in Garbage City. Tahrir Square saw significant protection during the Arab Spring. Other film locations of interest include Al-Azhar Park, Cairo Opera House, Baron Palace, Abdeen Palace, Manial Palace, Bab Zuweila, and Bab al-Nasr, and Bab al-Futuh.
On the outskirts of Cairo you can find the famous Pyramids of Giza and Great Sphinx, the sole survivors of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The Giza Museum is a beautiful modern structure.
Other ancient locations of note in this region include Luxor (Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple), the Valley of the Kings (tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramses II), Valley of the Queens, Deir el-Medina, Saqqara, Philae, Kom Ombo, Abu Simbel, Abydos, Temple of Horus at Edfu, Dendera Temple Complex, and the Tombs of the Nobles. Faiyum is one of the country’s oldest cities. Wadi al-Hitan is known for its whale fossils located in a desert landscape. Wadi El Rayan waterfalls are a beautiful film location.
Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great, is a Mediterranean port city known for Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel of Qaitbay, Montaza Palace, Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, and Ras El Tin Palace.
The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea running from Port Said to Suez.
Much of Egypt’s agricultural locations are located close to the Nile River water source. Locations of note include cotton, rice, wheat, corn, sugarcane plantations.
Western & Eastern Desert
The desert east of the Nile River consists of a rolling sandy highland stretching to the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. The area is rich in natural resources including Egypt’s major oil fields.
The desert west of the Nile River is known for the desert oasis of Siwa, Fayyum, Bahariyya, Farafra, Dakhla, and Kharga. The White Desert is known for its chalk rock towers. The Black Desert is known for its spectacular black volcanic hills. The Saharan sands of the Great Sand Sea stretch for thousands of miles.
Sharm el-Sheikh is the main entry point to Red Sea Coast’s beautiful beaches and world-renowned diving locations. The End of the World Cinema is a post-apocalyptic abandoned outdoor movie theatre in the Sinai desert. Mt Sinai holds religious significance for Abrahamic faiths. Saint Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest working monasteries in the world.
Requirements and permissions to film in Egypt
Film Location Permits are required for filming in Egypt however this depends on the location and nature of your shoot. A visiting crew will have to apply for location permits with their local Egyptian Embassy including the name of the local fixer company Film Fixer Ethiopia that will service your shoot in Egypt.
The embassy then sends this on to the Press Office in Cairo. Once the locations have been cleared with all relevant authorities, location permits are granted. A government minder may be required to accompany the production. Permits for shooting b-roll are free but take about 3 weeks to clear. Individual permits are required for each antiquities site. Prices and timing vary depending on several factors including the type of shoot, special dates, extent of location control required, and whether or not there are any current excavations or public access. Most antiquities, including the Pyramids of Giza, cost $1000 per day from 9am to 4pm for a documentary shoot. A commercial shoot featuring a product costs $3000 per day. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities costs $1000 for an hour and $750 for an hour after that. Filming outside of these hours is possible at extra cost. Long form projects such as films and TV dramas require extra permitting which can take up to 3 to 4 months to permit. Contact us here to guide you in processing the permits.
Drone filming is currently illegal in Egypt. Penalties for using a drone without a permit include arrest and confiscation of equipment. Although you will not be allowed to fly your own drone, one option to get aerial footage is to hire an Egyptian military drone operator (or helicopter and pilot). This costs around USD3000 for every 30mins of flight time. Contact us here to help you book an Egyptian military drone operator.
The often quoted paradox of permitting in Egypt is that nothing is legal, yet everything is possible once you contact us for an expert help. As such, a crafty approach from a well connected fixer and producer is essential to save on costs and carve the best path through the bureaucratic Egyptian permitting process. Please feel free to contact us for permitting questions on specific locations.
On top of the above you will need to cover accommodation, visa and work permits, transport and others for a successful shoot in Egypt as below;
Egypt Work permits and Visa Advice
You will need to purchase the tourist visa or a business visa for entry in Egypt. Many film crews prefer getting their visas before they come to Egypt however, nationals from most western countries can get a visa on arrival, which is valid for stays of up to 30 days. There is no special work permit required to film in Egypt. Proof of yellow fever vaccination and a COVID-19 free certificate may be asked if arriving from affected countries. Visa, work permit and other entry and exit conditions such as customs and quarantine regulations can change regularly. We advise you to contact your local Egyptian Embassy or diplomatic mission or us here for the latest travel information to Egypt.
Vehicle Hire Services in Egypt
We will help you organize transport for film crews to film in Egypt depending on your interest, budget and the nature of roads in such selected locations to film in the park. We recommend Customized 4×4 Land Cruisers. For us to estimate how much it will cost in terms of fuel, we will need to look at your filming schedule to establish mileage and distance to be traveled. Contact us here.
Kit Customs and Equipment Clearing in Egypt
Egypt is not an ATA carnet member country. You will need to have a permit to bring film equipment into Egypt so allow at least a month for processing this permit. Our Egyptian service producer/fixer handles safe import and export of your gear. All the standard camera, grip, and lighting equipment is available locally including Motion Control and Techno crane. Contact us here if you are interested in hiring filming equipment in Egypt.
Fixers in Egypt
All our vehicles come with drivers who act as location fixers and most of them have been to almost all parts of Egypt and are thus conversant with the local situations and are able to provide relevant information and fix any situation on ground. These work as intermediaries between you and our office while on location.
Where to stay during filming in Egypt
Lodge options to stay in during filming in Egypt range from Budget, mid-range to luxury options. You will choose what to stay in depending on your interests and budget. Contact us here for reservation and booking details.
Why use Film Crew fixers?
Film Crew Fixers is a local fixer company in East Africa. We assist filming companies and production agencies in countries located in the horn of Africa, including Egypt. We handle all fixer services required with our professional team of local fixers and driver guides. We have all relevant connections with other service providers and government agencies in Egypt to make sure that accreditation and filming permits for filming in Egypt are processed in the shortest time possible. Contact us for details and all relevant information you would like to know for successful filming in Egypt.