Music & Dance Tour to Egypt

Join us for two weeks out of this world and into the magic of Middle Eastern music and dance in its own home!

  • Visit Cairo & Alexandria's major tourist attractions.
  • Shop, ride the camels, smoke the 'shisha' and relax by the Nile
  • Dance and study with the stars at "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Dance Festival AND/OR study your favorite instrument with top instructors from the College of Arabic Music in Cairo
  • Relax and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Visit Alexandria's tourist attractions and tour the Alexandria library.
  • Several "off the beaten path" trips, excursions and surprises!!
  • See Egypt with a native dancer who knows where the best deals are, how to navigate the Egyptian culture and social interactions and loves to travel and bridge the gap between cultures and people!
See our Frequently Asked Questions Here!
Date :
June 21 to July 5, 2012

Itinerary :

Thursday June 21: Depart the U.S.A.

Friday June 22: Arrive at Cairo airport to be met by our guide and transferred to the Hotel. Relax for the evening.

Saturday June 23: After breakfast (included), we meet our Tour Guide and start the day by visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Three Pyramids, erected by Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. When you finish exploring the Great Pyramids our next stop is the Sphinx Monument guarding the royal burial chambers and temple of Khufu.
Then you will proceed to Sakkara and tour the Step Pyramid, built for the 3rd Dynasty Pharaoh Djoser by the architect Imhotep.
At the end of the tour, you will visit Memphis, the capital of the Pharaohs during the old kingdom, built by King Menes and is located 24 kilometers southwest of Cairo.
Evening in the Khan El Khalili bazaar; a vast network of avenues filled with shops for Egyptian goods and souvenirs. Shopping!

Sunday June 24: Breakfast at the Hotel (included). More Cairo sightseeing, we meet our Tour Guide and start the day by visiting The Egyptian Museum, housing the largest collection of ancient monuments in the world, including the golden treasures of King Tutankhamen.
Then, you will visit Mohamed Ali Mosque and The Citadel of Salah El Din, which is one of the world's greatest monuments to medieval warfare, as well as a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline.
Dinner aboard a Nile cruise boat with a wonderful dance show and Tannoura dance (whirling dervish).

Monday June 25: Churches, Mosques, Synagogues; Cairo has it all and we'll travel through biblical Cairo. We start with Coptic Cairo and the Hanging church (Al-Muallaka church) built on the wall of the Greek church of St. Sergio & St. Barbara church. Then we move on to the Jewish synagogue of Ben Ezra. We then proceed to Islamic Cairo. Cairo is known as the "City of 1000 Minarets", and so it should be no surprise that there are many historical mosques in Egypt. The El-Hussein Mosque sits on the site of the cemetery of the Fatimid caliphs and was entirely rebuilt under the khedive Ismail. Then, we drive to Al-Azhar Mosque, the symbol of Islamic Egypt. This historic mosque was built in 358AD by Gohar As-Siqilli, the Army commander of the Fatimid ruler of Egypt, Al-Muiz Lidinillah, in the course of building the city of Cairo.
In the evening we travel to Alexandria!

Tuesday June 26: One and a half day excursions in Alexandria. Visit Montaza, Alexandria Library, Fort of Quit Bay, Anfushi Tombs, Pompei's pillar, the Graeco-Roman Museum and much more. This is Hala's home town, so we'll go to town, literally :-). Experience for yourself what makes this ancient city special and unique.

Wednesday June 27: This is the day to relax on the beach, swim in the sea, experience the mediterranean lifestyle...etc. We suggest relaxing and recharging your enery to get ready for a week full of dance ahead. Later in the afternoon, drive back to Cairo, dress for the "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Dance Festival Opening Gala Dinner and Show!

Thursday - Wednesday June 28 - July 4: Dance, dance, dance and study with the best dance teachers at "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Festival at Mena House Oberoi Hotel.
Six full days of Festival Events: Opening and Closing Gala Dinner and Show, Dance Parties and Participant Performance Night are included in the Festival package. (We will make your hotel reservation and register you for the Festival.)
Optional workshops, private classes and Festival Bazaar shopping are extra. Optional Cairo Nightclub Dinner and Show.
Musicians take private or semi-private classes at the College of Arabic Music.

During the festival : Depending on the class schedule, some days may be free for your own activities. An opportunity to visit costume designers to shop or order a custom costume. Or, perhaps a return visit to the Khan El Khalili bazaar, we are sure you will want to collect more treasures! Or, visit Mohammad Ali Street to purchase instruments.

Thursday July 5: Transfer to the airport for a flight back to the USA.

Price :

Advance reservations must be received by May 10, 2012. A deposit of $500 is required with registration. After May 10, 2012 the balance is due in full.

  • Total amount due by May 10, 2012 : $1900. per person.
Registration :

Space is limited (we take small groups). Please register early to avoid disappointment.
There are 2 easy options to register for this dream trip...

  • Mail: print out our registration form, fill it & mail it to Hala Dance with your check
  • Email : email for an email pre-registration form

What is included in the price :

  • All transportation within Egypt for itinerary above.
  • 5-stars Hotel accomodation in double occupancy rooms. If you are traveling alone, we will arrange for you to share a room with someone of the same sex. Single supplement is available for travelers who prefer private accommodations.
  • Breakfast provided daily and dinner provided most days (as specified in itinerary) giving you some opportunity to sample local Egyptian cuisine.
  • Entrance fees to museums, ancient sites, trips, sightseeing excursions as set forth in the itinerary.
  • Personal meet and greet service at Cairo Airport including transportation to hotel and back on day of departure to the USA.
  • Costume Shopping: We make this dance tour a complete dancers' dream vacation with special shopping trips to visit our favorite costume designers. Why not have something created especially for you? We are sure you will find your dream costume among the finest in raks sharqi costuming available. Don't forget the "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Festival Bazaar for more costuming, dance accoutrement and Egyptian souvenirs.
  • Fully escorted for all included tour activities by an English-speaking guide. You will have the services of knowledgable, licensed English speaking tour guides on all included siteseeing tours in Egypt.
Not included in the price :
  • Specific dance and/or music classes attended during the dance festival, you get to select those from a menu of classes offered and pay for them separately.
  • Lunch and dinner unless included in a group event as specified in the itinerary. Daily breakfast is included in the price.
  • Cost of obtaining a tourist visa to Egypt, tips, gratuities, any taxes or fees either in the US or Egypt related to the import or export of goods for personal or business use.
  • Airfare from your city in the US to Cairo and back. We will gladly assist you in obtaining cheap air fare once you let us know your exact itinerary.
  • Air travel, passport and visa fees, travel insurance, inoculations and vaccinations, any expenses prior to arrival in Egypt, meals not specified as being included, any beverage such as mineral water, soft drinks or liquor, room service, valet, laundry, telephone calls.
  • Food not listed, optional dance classes, casino gambling, camel rides, soft drinks during tours and purely personal items. Tips to hotel staff, tour guides and drivers are NOT included.
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Responsibility :
The sponsors and their representatives act only as agents in making arrangements for hotels, transportation, sightseeing, restaurants, or any other services in connection with the itinerary, and they will exercise all reasonable care in making such arrangements. However, they do not assume any liability whatsoever, for any injury, damage, loss, accident or delay to person or property due to any act of default of any hotel, carrier, restaurant, company or person rendering any of the services included in the tour. The tickets, coupons, tariffs, rules or contracts currently in use by any carrier, hotel, restaurant or other contractor rendering services shall constitute the sole contract between contractor and the tour member. The tour operator accepts no responsibility for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, protests, labor disputes, machinery breakdown, quarantine, government restraints, weather or any other cause beyond their control. No carrier will be responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are on board its own conveyance. In view of statutory or contractual limitations which may apply to personal injury or property damage losses, the purchase of accident and baggage insurance is strongly recommended. The right is reserved to cancel or change itineraries or substitute services without notice - in the case of the unavailability of any of the artists, performances, etc., noted in the itinerary, care will be exercised to supply reasonable substitutes. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Frequently Asked Questions:

How much is the airfare?
Depending on where you are flying from. Many people have favorite airlines, frequent flyer miles, side trips to other places, special deals that they prefer to use so we leave airfare as an option. We'll be happy to arrange airfare for you if you let us know where you want to fly from and the dates of your departure and arrival (if they are different from the tour dates)

When will we know the class schedule for the Dance Festival so we can select classes? How does it work and how much do they cost?
The schedule will be posted weeks in advance so that we can select classes and pay for them. Prices range from $40-$80 per workshop and $40-$50 to perform or compete. They only accept cash (dollars & euros). "Ahlan wa Sahlan" requires participants to purchase at least $200 worth of classes to participate in the event.
The opening and closing galas are included. Many teachers sell DVDs and CDs. These are anywhere from $10 to $40 each.

How much should I budget for food/tips/extras?
Meals & tips:
Food is very cheap in Egypt and the exchange rate is currently $1 = L.E. 6. Breakfast is included and it's a full breakfast buffet with LOTS of food (so you can easily skip lunch). You can get a very good filling meal for the equivalent of $3 - $10. Tipping is not required and it's typically to round up the numbers.

Side trips & excursions:
We typically include optional side trips and excursions depending on the group dynamics and what people want to do. They range anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the duration and what's involved (dance shows, side trips, extra shopping trips,...etc)

Completely up to your budget. With the exchange rate, you'll find LOTS of cheap good quality goods to buy. From costumes to jewelry to spices to everything else you can imagine. It's good to make a budget and stick to it

What if I arrive in Cairo at an inconvenient time? do I have to find my way to the hotel?
No matter when you arrive, you'll be met at the Cairo airport. That's why we need to know your flight details.

What airlines fly into Egypt?
Almost ALL major European and Asian airlines fly into Egypt.

Once paid and if I have to cancel, how much will I forfeit and what would be the final date to withdraw?
Final date to withdraw completely: May 10, 2012.
After May 10 and before May 30, you may find a replacement (someone else to go in your place and pay you the money). If an emergency happens and you absolutely have to cancel and cannot find any replacements, you forfeit $900 of the $1900.
As for the airline ticket portion, most travel agents will give you the option of purchasing travel insurance. You pay extra and if you cannot go for medical reasons, you get a partial refund (exact amounts vary depending on the airline). No refund is issued on unused tour services. In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary to change or cancel any part or all of the tour, we reserve the right to do so. If we cancel the tour a full refund will be issued.

Will my family be able to reach me when I'm in Egypt?
Yes, we provide you with the phone numbers of the places we are staying once they are booked. Internet email can be accessed in all the places we go to in Egypt so they can keep in touch with you by email as well.

What's the weather like in Egypt in June?
Very hot! It's best to bring light colored, cotton, baggy and loose clothes for the outdoors. Suncscreen and hats are highly recommended. The nights are cool and comfortable. Most Egyptians start going out after dark in the summer time and shops are open till 2:00am and later.
Because the summer is hot in Egypt, we spend part of the trip on the beach. The Mediterranean shore is at least 10 degrees cooler than Cairo and we stay within walking distance to the beach. In Cairo, all the dance activities are indoors in air-conditioned rooms. When we're outdoors, a hat, sunshades and sunscreen will do the trick. With all the new things to see and absorb, you won't have time to worry about the weather :-).

What kind of clothes should I bring with me? do women have to cover up?
You can dress pretty much the same way you would dress in public in the USA. You want to bring light cotton baggy clothes for the hot outdoors, fancy evening wear for the dance shows and parties at night, dance class attire for classes (all classes are in air-conditioned rooms), swim wear for the beach and the pool, hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals (the streets are not always evenly paved) and only a very light jacket just in case. Very casual wear during the day and outdoors but you can get very fancy for the parties and dance shows if you so choose.

Will I be able to drink the water and eat Egyptian food?
Yes, all the hotels we stay at are top 5-star quality so their food and water are safe to eat and drink. You can buy bottled water and almost all western consumer goods everywhere in Egypt. When you eat outside tourist establishments, you might want to avoid raw vegetables and fruit that cannot be peeled. Our guides will be happy to assist you if you have any questions.

What other options are there besides a double room?
If you want a single room, it costs extra. Please contact us for details.

When are lunch and dinner included?
Dinner is included in the Opening & Closing Galas of the festival and on our Nile Cruise.

How much does it cost to get a visa to Egypt?
The Egyptian visa costs anywhere from $15 to $20. It is highly recommended to get the visa BEFORE you leave the USA to avoid delays in the Cairo airport. It can take up to 1 month to get the visa so you want to apply ahead of time. Expediting it is possible but it will cost more. The Egyptian Consulate's website has detailed information about obtaining a visa. Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel date.

Do you have other questions or concerns that are not addressed above? please contact us and we'll be happy to assist you!