Shop my city: Cairo

Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf, founders of designer bag brand Okhtein tell us how to shop their hometown

Currently, the shopping scene in Cairo is shifting its focus to local designers rather than well-known brands. Since the government imposed strict laws on importing items, it has led more local designers to push themselves to create and sell here, so the style scene is growing slowly but surely. 

The chaos, culture and history of the city motivates designers like us to find beauty amid the mayhem. Most have a unique taste and will always stay true to their culture through design. As such, the aesthetic is unique, which definitely gives shoppers here an edge.

Designers find beauty amid the mayhem

Zamalek in western Cairo is home to a number of designer brands including, of course, Okhtein for handbags that champion Egyptian artistry; Azza Fahmy for handcrafted jewellery; and Ghazl Banat for contemporary labels.

More top spots for luxury shopping are: Maison 69 (15 Ismail Mohammed), which is dedicated to fashion, art and design; Pop Up Shop, a cool concept store stocking brands like DOU footwear and artisan jewellery; and Hype department store (31-33 Ahmed Heshmat), which carries brands like M Missoni.

Bonia at Mall of Egypt

For everything under one roof, City Stars shopping mall is home to Massimo Dutti, Ted Baker and Tory Burch among others, while Mall of Egypt is great for high-street brands.

Those seeking keepsakes should head to Khan el-Khalili bazaar, where you can barter for spices, silver jewellery and trinkets you can’t find anywhere else. 

Khan el-Khalili bazaar

Okhtein is available at Bloomingdale’s Dubai and Kuwait