General Cairo Neighborhood Descriptions
Maadi is ten kilometers (six miles) south of downtown Cairo and 20 km (12 miles) south west of AUC New Cairo. It is mostly an upper-middle class, cosmopolitan and Westernized suburb. Once a neighborhood of large old homes and gardens, it is rapidly being built up with apartment buildings. Though new high-rises line the corniche, a major thoroughfare along the Nile, and the outskirts of town, most of Maadi consists of low and medium-rise apartment buildings surrounded, in the residential areas, by shady trees and gardens, where something seems to be in bloom in every season.
Maadi is relatively quiet compared to Zamalek, and the streets are usually fine for walking. There is an abundance of grocery stores, shopping facilities, restaurants and fast food outlets, and several indoor and outdoor cafes. There are many private international schools, such as Cairo American College, the French Lycée and the Maadi British International School. There are also several nurseries, such as The Preschool Years, Irish Nursery, Small Talk and Small World. There are local churches.
Maadi offers family-oriented activities. The easiest transportation to downtown Cairo is by metro. Depending on the time, a taxi to downtown/Zamalek is not too time consuming or expensive. There is an AUC bus service to the New Cairo campus that takes around 50 minutes depending on the time of the day. Afternoon return trips may require more time owing to traffic congestion. This service is free for faculty and staff.
Most families with children find Maadi the best area in which to live.
New Cairo, where the new AUC campus has been located since 2007, is 35 km (21.75 miles) from downtown Cairo and the AUC Tahrir Square campus. While New Cairo is currently under development, it is considered an upscale suburb.
The AUC housing complex is located a mere 500 meters from the campus. For a description of the building and its facilities and to view pictures of a model apartment, click here.
Fresh air and quiet is a plus. The AUC campus, within walking distance, offers facilities such as a small grocery market and an extensive sports complex. A lot of entertainment options and commercial areas are functioning in the area. Also, AUC has established a special shuttle bus from the new housing development to commercial areas nearby. Click here for the shuttle bus schedule. Another option is to use the regular AUC buses that leave the campus throughout the day during weekdays to go to several neighborhoods of Cairo, including downtown Cairo, El Rehab, Maadi and Zamalek. Click here for the schedule of the routes.
Travel times to other areas of Cairo are roughly expected to range from approximately 40 minutes (Maadi, Heliopolis and Nasr City) to an hour (Garden City and Downtown), possibly longer for Zamalek. It may require more time at the end of the day owing to traffic congestion.
The AUC New Cairo housing may not be a good choice for those with children in school unless the school is in New Cairo, as the daily commute will be difficult for children.
However, there are schools in New Cairo including the New Cairo British International School, the Canadian International School, Choueifat International School, Modern English School, and the American International School. Usually, these schools provide transportation, but it is always wise to check with them while registering.
There is a private nursery/pre-school on the AUC campus that has an agreement with AUC to give priority to AUC employees. Since there is a waiting list for certain age-groups it is better to check with them early. Click here to get more details.
New Cairo is only 90 km from Ain El Sokhna. Ain El Sokhna is known for its crystal waters and pristine beaches.