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Egypt Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

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

For an introduction to shooting in Egypt see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Egypt Film Locations

Egypt, the land of the pharaohs, is home to a rich bounty of film locations. Located in North Africa, Egypt film locations include Cairo, Nile River Valley and Delta, ancient wonders, souks, mosques, churches, cemeteries, palaces, museums, desert, oasis, resorts, beaches, and coral reefs.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of dates, figs, artichokes, cotton, rice, wheat, corn, sugarcane, and tobacco. Industrial locations include production of oil and gas, automobiles, chemicals, electronics, steel and textiles. Egypt mines tantalite, coal, gold, iron ore, phosphates, salt, asbestos, quartz, zinc, tin, lead, and copper. Energy locations include oil and gas fired plants, hydroelectric dams, solar, and wind farms.

Egypt has hosted films including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Jumper (2008), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), The Bucket List (2007), Syriana (2005), The Amazing Race 5 (2004), Independence Day (1996), Malcolm X (1992), Gallipoli (1981), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and The Ten Commandments (1956).

Film locations can be divided into the following regions:

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 feluccas gently sailing down the Nile River.

The region includes the following governorates:

Cairo. Cairo is a sprawling megacity located on the banks of the Nile River. It is Egypt’s capital and main film production centre. Cairo is the largest city in the Arab world. Film locations of note include museums, mosques, churches, cemeteries, palaces, ancient souks, and city gates. Cairo is also known for its traffic congestion and air pollution. Malcolm X (1992), and Gallipoli (1981) filmed in Cairo.

The Egyptian Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. Other Cairo museums of note include the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, Coptic Museum, Gayer-Anderson Museum, National Military Museum, Gezira Center for Modern Art, Egyptian Textiles Museum, Umm Kulthum Museum, Mukhtar Museum, Royal Chariots Museum, Mostafa Kamel Museum, and National Police Museum.

Cairo is home to over 800 mosques including the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Sultan Hassan Mosque-Madrasa, Al-Azhar Mosque, Al-Rifa’i Mosque, Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Amr ibn al-As Mosque, Al-Hussein Mosque, Al-Hakim Mosque, Al-Aqmar Mosque, Aqsunqur Mosque, Mosque of Sultan al-Mu’ayyad, Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex, and Qalawun Complex.

Orthodox churches of note include the Hanging Church, Cave Church, Saints Sergius Bacchus Church, Church of St George, St Peter and St. Paul’s Church, St Mercurius Church, and St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.

Ben Ezra Synagogue is located, according to legend, on the site where baby Moses was found.

Palaces of note include Abdeen Palace, Manial Palace, Baron Empain Palace, El Sakakini Pasha Palace, Heliopolis Palace, Manasterly Palace, Beshtak Palace, Amir Taz Palace, Koubbeh Palace, and Said Halim Pasha Palace.

Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle is a medieval Islamic-era fortification.

City gates of note include Bab al-Futuh, Bab al-Nasr, and Bab Zuweila.

Khan el-Khalili is a famous ancient souk.

Bayt Al-Suhaymi is a traditional Egyptian Islamic themed house.

The Nilometer on Rhoda Island measures the Nile River.

Cairo Opera House is Egypt’s main performing arts venue.

Tahrir Square is known for the Arab Spring protests.

Al-Azhar University is located in Cairo.

Cairo Tower is the tallest structure in Egypt.

Transport locations include Ramses Railway Station, and Cairo International Airport.

Sporting venues include Cairo International Stadium, and Cairo Stadium Indoor Halls Complex.

Al-Azhar Park is an impressive film location.

City Of The Dead is a sprawling ancient cemetery that is home to many living people.

Ezbet El Haggana is Cairo’s largest slum.

Manshiyat Nasser, also known as Garbage City, is another interesting slum film location.

The headquarters of the Arab League are located in Cairo.

Giza. The famed Giza pyramid complex, located on the outskirts of Cairo along the Nile River, is the sole survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The complex includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Menkaure, associated pyramid complexes, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Grand Egyptian Museum is a beautiful modern structure and the largest archaeological museum in the world. Other Giza museums of note include Egyptian Agricultural Museum, Islamic Ceramics Museum, Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, and Mit Rahina Museum.

Dahshur pyramids of note include the Bent Pyramid, Red Pyramid, White Pyramid, and Black Pyramid.

Saqqara is known for the Pyramid of Djoser.

Al Sahaba Mosque is located in Sheikh Zayed City.

Cairo University is located in Giza Governorate.

Orman Garden is a botanical garden.

The Black Desert is known for its spectacular black volcanic hills.

Bahariya Oasis is located in Giza Governorate.

Jumper (2008), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), The Bucket List (2007), and Independence Day (1996) filmed in Giza Governorate.

Aswan is located in the Nile River Valley. Covering most of Lake Nasser, Aswan is the southernmost governorate.

Ancient film locations include the Abu Simbel rock-cut temples, Temple of Edfu, Temple of Kom Ombo, Philae Temple, Kalabsha Temple, Temple of Amada, Monastery of St Simeon, Aga Khan Mausoleum, and the Unfinished Obelisk.

Museums of note include the Nubian Museum, Aswan Museum, Nile Museum, and Crocodile Museum.

Aswan High Dam is the world’s largest embankment dam.

Luxor is located in the Nile River Valley. Once the ancient capital of Thebes, it is known its rock-cut tombs and temples. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) filmed in Luxor.

Karnak Temple Complex includes the Precinct of Amun-Re, Precinct of Mut, and Precinct of Montu.

Luxor Temple Complex includes Luxor Temple, Sun court of Amenhotep III, and The Avenue of Sphinxes.

Museums of note include Luxor Museum, and Mummification Museum.

Valley of the Kings is where pharaohs were buried. Of note are the tombs of Tutankhamun, and Ramses II.

Valley of the Queens is where the wives of pharaohs were buried. Of note is the tomb of Nefertari.

Valley of the Nobles has tombs of other important figures including Sennofer, and Rekhmire.

Deir el-Medina is an ancient Egyptian workmen’s village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Deir el-Bahari Valley is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs including the Temple of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, Temple of Hatshepsut, and Temple of Thutmose III.

Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III is located nearby.

Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is an important temple.

Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II.

The Mortuary Temple of Seti I is the memorial temple of the New Kingdom Pharaoh Seti I.

Temple of Esna is dedicated to the god Khnum.

Dra’ Abu el-Naga’ is a Theban Necropolis.

Mosque of Abu Haggag is a mosque in Luxor.

Nile River boat cruises are available from Lake Aswan to Luxor.

Qena is located in the Nile River Valley.

The Dendera Temple Complex includes the Hathor temple, and Roman mammisi.

Sidi Abd Er-Rahim Mosque is located in Qena.

Sohag is located in the Nile River Valley.

The ancient city of Abydos is known for the Temple of Seti I, Osirion, Ramesses II temple, Umm El Qa’ab, Shunet El Zebib, and Kom El Sultan.

Other Sohag Governorate film locations include the Sohag National Museum, Red Monastery, and White Monastery.

Asyut is located in the Nile River Valley.

Film locations include Alexan Pasha Palace, and Monastery of the Virgin Mary in Mount Assiut.

Minya is located in the centre of the country along the Nile River.

It is an important agricultural and industrial region.

Beni Suef is located in the centre of the country along the Nile River.

Film locations include Meidum Pyramid, Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, and Wadi Sannur Cave.

Faiyum. Faiyum, located in the Faiyum Oasis, 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.

Monufia is located in the Nile River Delta.

It is an important agricultural and industrial region.

Qalyubia is located in the Nile River Delta on the outskirts of Cairo.

Sharqia is located in the Nile River Delta on the outskirts of Cairo.

Museum of Tal Basta Antiquities is located in Zagazig.

Alexandria. Founded by Alexander the Great, Alexandria is a port city located on the Mediterranean Sea in the Nile River Delta. Film locations include the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Citadel of Qaitbay, Montaza Palace, Ras El Tin Palace, Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, Pompey’s Pillar, Ancient Roman Theatre, Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, Al Qaaed Ibrahim Basha Mosque, Monastery of Saint Mina, St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, St Catherine’s Catholic Cathedral, Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria National Museum, Royal Jewellery Museum, Cavafy Museum, Greco-Roman Museum, Alexandria Naval Unknown Soldier Memorial, Alexandria Opera House, Alexandria University, Alexandria Shipyard, Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria Corniche, and El Maamora Beach.

Beheira is located on the Mediterranean Sea in the Nile River Delta. Film locations include Monastery of Saint Pishoy, Monastery of Saint Macarius The Great, Monastery of Our Lady Baramus, Monastery of Saint Mary El-Sourian, and Damanhur Opera House.

Kafr El Sheikh is located in the Nile River Delta on the Mediterranean Sea.

Film locations include Sayidi Ibrahim El Dessouky Mosque, and Kafr El-Sheikh Museum.

Gharbia is located in the Nile River Delta.

Tanta Museum is located in the Gharbia Governorate.

Dakahlia is located in the Nile River Delta on the Mediterranean Sea.

Dar ibn Luqman is located in the Dakahlia Governorate.

Damietta is located in the Nile River Delta on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Damietta Governorate is known for its plantations of palm trees, wheat, corn, cotton, rice, potatoes, lemon, grapes, and tomatoes.

Ras El Bar resort is located where the Nile River empties into the Mediterranean Sea.

Port Said. Located in the northeast of the country, Port Said is the northern terminus of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. Other Port Said film locations include Port Said Opera House, Lighthouse of Port Said, and Port Said Military Museum.

Zohr gas field is an offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ismailia. The Suez Canal runs through the Ismailia Governorate.

Film locations include the Suez Canal Bridge, El Ferdan Railway Bridge, Timsah Lake, Abu Atwa Tank Museum, and Ismailia Monuments Museum.

Suez. The port city of Suez is the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

Other Suez Governorate film locations include Suez National Museum, Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Porto Sokhna Beach Resort, and the Monastery of Saint Anthony located in the Eastern Desert.

Western & Eastern Desert

The Western and Eastern Desert region includes the following governorates:

Matrouh. Located in the north-western part of the country Matrouh includes the Western Desert and Mediterranean Sea coast.

Siwa Oasis is known for Temple of Amun, Temple of Umm Ubayd, Shali Fortress, Cleopatra Spring, Gebel Al Mawta Mountain, Fatnis Island, and Siwa Salt Lake.

Western Desert sand dunes are part of the Sahara.

Beaches of note include Ageeba Beach, Al Nakhil Beach, Lagouna Beach, Island Beach, and Rommel Beach.

El Alamein WWII Military Museum is located in Al Alameen City.

New Valley. Located in the south-western part of the country New Valley is Egypt’s largest governorate.

The Kharga Oasis includes the Temple of Hibis, and El Bagawat necropolis.

Other oasis of note include Farafra Oasis, Dakhla Oasis, and Baris Oasis.

The Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert stretches for thousands of miles.

The White Desert is known for its spectacular chalk rock formations.

The desert crop circles of Sharq El Owainat are a remote agricultural outpost in the Sahara Desert.

Red Sea. 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.

Hurghada is a beach resort town known for its diving sites such as Abu Nuhas Wrecks, Rosalie Moller Wreck, Dolphin Reef, Salem Express, and Brothers Islands. Film locations in Hurghada include Al Mina Mosque, Abdulmoneim Riadh Mosque, and St Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church.

The Monastery of St Paul the Anchorite is located in the Eastern Desert.

Wadi El Gemal National Park includes coastline, islands, and coral reefs. Wildlife includes Dorcas gazelles, Nubian Ibex, dugongs, green turtles, and a diversity of fish and bird life.

Marsa Alam is a beach resort town known for its diving sites including Elphinstone Reef, Daedalus Reef, Fury Shoals, Dolphin House, and Abu Dabbab where you can film dugongs.

Beaches of note include Abu Dabbab, Al Nayzak, El Sawaky, White, Orange, Old Vic, Anemone, and Ras Hankorab.

Sinai Peninsula

Located in the northeast of the country, the Sinai Peninsula includes the following governorates:

North Sinai is the most north-eastern part of the country. The area has a predominately Bedouin population. North Sinai cross-border tunnels smuggle supplies into the Gaza Strip.

South Sinai. Sharm el-Sheikh film locations include Mustafa Mosque, Heavenly Cathedral, Sinai Grand Casino, and Sharm Old Market. Sharm el-Sheikh is the main entry point to film the Red Sea Coast’s beautiful beaches and world-renowned diving locations.

Ras Muhammad National Park protects coral reefs, deserts, and wadis. Diving sites of note include the Thistlegorm Wreck, Shark Reef, and Yolanda Reef.

Other notable dives sites in South Sinai include Dahab Blue Hole, Thomas Reef & Canyon, Jackson Reef, and Dunraven Wreck.

Dahab is a bohemian diving town.

The End of the World Cinema is a post-apocalyptic abandoned outdoor movie theatre in the Sinai Desert.

Mt Sinai (Jabal Musa) is where, according to the Abrahamic faiths, Moses received the Ten Commandments. Mt Sinai featured in The Ten Commandments (1956).

Mount Catherine is the highest peak in Egypt.

St Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest working monasteries in the world.

Salah El Din Citadel is located on Pharaoh’s Island.

Coloured Canyon is a rock formation on the Sinai peninsula.

Egypt Film Location Permits

Much depends on the nature of your shoot. Generally speaking a visiting crew will apply for location permits with their local Egyptian embassy including the name of the local fixer / service company that will service the shoot. 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 / day from 9am to 4pm for a documentary shoot. A commercial shoot featuring a product costs $3000 / day. Filming outside of these hours is possible at extra cost. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities costs $1000 / hour and $750 / hour after that. Long form projects such as films and TV dramas require extra permitting which can take up to 3 to 4 months to permit.

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.

The often quoted paradox of permitting in Egypt is that nothing is legal, yet everything is possible. As such, a crafty approach from a well connected fixer / producer is essential to save on costs and carve the best path through the bureaucratic Egyptian permitting process. Feel free to contact us us for permitting questions on specific locations.

When To Shoot?

The Mediterranean coast is mild and wet, while the Sahara in the south is hot and dry. Egypt has two main seasons, a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The shoulder periods from February to April and September to November are the best months to film for costs and weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

• Mawlid an-Nabi parades and processions take place in cities across Egypt during the fifth month of the Islamic calendar.
• Abu Simbel Sun Festival takes place in February and October.
• Leylet en Nuktah is celebrated in June.
• Wafaa El-Nil takes place in August.

Egypt is a predominately Muslim nation, with a minority of Coptic Orthodox Christians. Ramadan is widely observed with many services limited or closed during this period. Coptic Orthodox Christmas, Easter, and New Year is observed.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Egypt.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Egypt has one of the least expensive shoot day costs in the Middle East. Our Egyptian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films shooting in Egypt.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Egypt has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Key crew is available in Cairo and Alexandria. Working in Egypt can be a slow process so allow plenty of time to get all the shots you need.

Contact us if you are looking for a Cairo or Alexandria based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Egypt.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Talent costs are some of the lowest in the Middle East.

Arabic is the official language. English is also widely spoken.

In terms of local looks, nearly all citizens are ethnic Egyptians. Small minorities of Bedouins, Berbers and Nubians also exist. All other talent needs to be cast abroad.

Egypt Film Equipment

Equipment. All the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally including Motion Control and Technocrane. More specialized equipment can be easily brought in from nearby European production centres or Dubai. 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. To save you on costs they guarantee this with a local bank instead of working through a customs broker. For small projects it’s best to bring in gear as handheld luggage.

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department beyond Egyptian looks is relatively basic beyond local looks.

Set Construction crews are skilled and inexpensive.

Studios and backlots. The Egyptian Media Production City, located 20km from Cairo, offers extensive facilities including 80 studios, 16 permanent outdoor sets including a Pharaonic area, Alexandria, and Egyptian villages. The Egyptian Media Production City offers a 30% cash rebate on all spending on its site.

Post Production. Egypt has post production facilities but it’s generally best to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

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. US passport holders who plan to get a visa before arrival, see here for more information. Contact us for notes on the best approach for your shoot.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Intercity roads are up to international standards. Moving from location to location especially in Cairo can be a challenging and time consuming exercise so make sure to allow plenty of time to get all the shots you need. Heading into desert areas, heavy fog and sudden sand storms can slow travel. Several international airlines service flights to Egypt.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Cairo include:

Kempinski Nile Hotel
Fairmont Nile City
InterContinental Citystars

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Visit the Pyramids of Giza or Luxor. Or head to the coast where the Red Sea offers some of the best underwater photography in the world. For a break try some local cuisine such as ful medames, tamiya, koshari, shawarma, kebab, kofta, mulukhiyah, baklava, feteer meshaltet, baba ganoush, Egyptian fatteh, mahshi, besarah, Alexandrian debdah, sayadiyah fish, hawawshi, kanafeh, umm ali, and basbousa.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Egypt, please see below:

Hire Egypt Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Egypt, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Egypt, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.