In the past, Egypt has been known for its lively belly dancing and cabaret scene, yet in the past few decades this has been on the decline, to be replaced by western-style nightclubs and bars. However, remnants of this piece of Egyptian heritage still remain hidden between the alleyways and streets of Egypt’s two major cities, Cairo and Alexandria.
Here is a list of some of the oldest, still operating cabarets in Cairo and Alexandria, and some other new spots that incorporate elements of the forgotten cabaret lifestyle.
One of the oldest cabarets in all of Egypt, Miami has withstood the test of time. The stage has witnessed the Egyptian Queen of belly-dancing Samia Gamal who used to perform with fellow Superstar Tahya, Karioka, and has seen Egyptian legend, Farid Al-Atrash, pour his heart out.
With half-naked Pharaonic murals behind the stage of Palmyra, you know you are in for an adventure. The straight-up cabaret has a reputation of having the best belly dancers in Downtown. Palmyra can be found on Scarabee Alley, Off 26th July Street in the heart of the capital.
Well, technically a bar/cabaret, Sherazade has been sitting on the corner of Alfy Street for more than fifty years. On the inside, the bustling cabaret has walls depicting sceneries of belly dancers and Arab princes on horses, with colorful lights hanging from above. It is flamboyant and sleazy, but in a way, it all comes together perfectly.
Aquarius Discotheque, Alexandria
One of the very few places in Alexandria that still offers belly dancing shows to attendees, Aquarius Discotheque is located at Al-Montazah’s Sheraton. The place is vibrant with disco lights, good music, and a welcoming vibe.
Mermaid Bar, Alexandria
With a breathtaking sea view, Mermaid Bar is one of Alexandria’s oldest nightlife destinations located at the Mercure Alexandria Dance Hotel. At night, the upper storey turns into a dance floor with Western and Arabic music being played. It is a cozy place to have a beer or two, dance and have an all-around good time.
Caesar Palace, Alexandria
Both a restaurant and a nightclub, Caesar Palace is a place to indulge in mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine and enjoy belly dancing and other folklore shows.
Steigenberger’s Monty’s Bar, Alexandria
Located at Cecil Hotel in the heart of Alexandria, Monty’s Bar is named after British Field Marshall, Bernard Montgomery, who fought in both World Wars and visited the hotel at one point in his life. Each day from 6 pm to 2 pm, you will find high-quality live entertainment shows and an exquisite list of spirits to order from.