The second largest city and the main port of Egypt, it was built by the Greek architect Dinocrates (332-331 BC) on the site of an old village, Rhakotis, at the orders of Alexander the Great. The city, immortalizing Alexander's name, quickly flourished into a prominent cultural, intellectual, political, and economic metropolis, the remains of which are still evident to this day.

It was the renowned capital of the Ptolemy's, with numerous monuments. It was the site of the Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as well as the Great Library. It was along these shores that history took a tragic turn at the time of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian.


Alexandria lies north-west of the Nile delta and stretches along a narrow land strip between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mariut (Mareotis). It is linked to Cairo by two major highways and a railroad line. It is one of the most notable summer resorts in the Middle East, for, in addition to its temperate winters, its beaches, with white sands and magnificent scenery, stretch for 140 km along the Mediterranean Sea, from Abu Qir, in the east to Al-Alamein and Sidi Abdul Rahman, in the west.

General Information

  • Time Zone: GMT + 2 Hours
  • Daylight Saving Time: From May 1 through the Last Thursday in September
  • Telephone Code: + 203
  • Weekend: Friday. Some businesses close on Saturday or Sunday as well. Shops and Stores are usually open on Friday, closed on Sunday


Official Holidays

  • Eid Al Fitr (Small Bairam) - Follows lunar calendar (3 days)
  • Eid Al Adha (Big Bairam) - Follows lunar calendar (4 days)
  • Mouled El Nabi - Follows lunar calendar (1 day)
  • Shamm El Nessim - First Monday after Coptic Easter


Other Holidays

  • January 7 - Coptic Christmas (Christians only)
  • March 26 - Sinai Day
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • June 5 - Suez Canal Day
  • July 23 - Independence (Revolution) Day
  • October 6 - Armed Forces Day


For More Information About Alexandria




Alex4all:  General about Alexandria and news

EgyptTour: Official site of the Ministry of Tourism.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Official Site. 


Copyright © 2010 IDC-Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport