Zamalek / Gezira
History of Zamalek/ Gezira, and who developed it?
Visit Zamalek on the north end of the island to stroll in the quiet, tree-lined streets. In recent years the neighborhood has been more densely developed, but some of the grand villas that covered the island 100 years ago when it was an enclave reserved for diplomats, colonial officials, and Egyptian aristocracy still remain. Zamalek also hosts some of Cairo’s finest restaurants and shops.
Cairo Tower, the Gezira Club, and the new Cairo Opera House dominate the south end of the island. The Gezira Club was originally the British officers club during colonial occupation, but today it is an exclusive club populated by foreigners and the Egyptian elite. Cairo Tower, built-in 1962 by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, offers an impressive panoramic view over Cairo. On a clear day, you can see both the minarets of Cairo’s Citadel to the east and the peaks of the Pyramids in the west. The Opera House is a towering modernist update on Islamic architectural traditions and has a program consisting of opera, ballet, theater, and contemporary music performances.
Sequoia—a luxurious outdoor restaurant at the northern point of the island provides delicious Lebanese/Egyptian Mezza, beautiful views of the river, and unmatched ambiance. Review here.