Monday, 28 December 2009

Mohamed Hassan in Portugal and our new company and site (

My friend and partner Mohamed Hassan was in Gaia on 22 and 23 of December to have some meetings with companies with interest in Arab markets.

Our companies, GULF - Consulting & Investments ( ) and Tropical Line Investments ( ) are now very active and prepared to open the "gold doors" of Arab markets.

GULF - Consulting & Investment, Lda. is a newly formed company which provides management consulting and business development in the broadest sense of the term, since it covers different areas of expertise, but the focus on development of trade relations between Midle East masket and adjacent countries and the European market.

GULF, having been born as a spin-off group of large business, the result of an experience in business related to the constrution, energy, commerce and tourism developed in Arab markets over the past four years, intends to build on the experience acquired in the course of them, is the promotion of trade, business creation, assembly of consortia, establishment of personal relations of trust and business development, a set of very specific and difficult markets as are the Midle East markets.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Abel Xavier, portuguese football player, is now a Muslim

Former Portuguese international player Abel Xavier has announced his conversion to be a Muslim.
Xavier held a press conference in the Ras Al Khaimah stadium in the UAE before a league match in which he announced his conversion and his new name – Faisal.
The former Benfica and Liverpool defender held the press conference in the presence of members of the local royal family and announced his official retirement from football. He is now set to take part in a humanitarian project which will benefit the lives of millions in Africa.
"It's an emotional goodbye and I hope to participate in something very satisfying in a new stage of my life," said Xavier. "In moments of grief, I have found comfort in Islam. Slowly, I learned a religion that professes peace, equality, freedom and hope. These are foundations with which I identify. Only after a thorough knowledge and an intense experience, I took this decision. I'd like to thank the royal family for its love and affection. They embraced me and made me feel special."

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas in DUBAI

Christmas has arrived early and residents can now take their children along to celebrate the holiday cheer with Santa Claus.
Dozens of curious shoppers gathered outside the metro station at Mall of the Emirates to see Santa, along with his wife, Mrs Claus, who made their way to Ski Dubai on their sleigh on Wednesday night.
Accompanied by a dozen elves who sang "Santa's Coming to Town," Santa made a quick stop to light up the 13-metre high Christmas tree that is located at the Galleria.

Santa and Mrs Claus then went on their way to take up residence at Ski Dubai where they will be available until December 24.
"This place feels exactly like the North Pole and I am not home sick at all. It feels great and I cannot wait to meet all the good children in the UAE," said Santa.
Santa and Mrs Claus will be welcoming visitors at Ski Dubai from 2 to 10pm everyday, and guests can meet the jolly couple in front of the Christmas tree in the snow with Christmas Fairy Lou.
"This year is unlike any other because Santa, along with Mrs Claus, will be greeting children in the snow and they will also be offered lots of games and entertainment," said Mike Mahoney, General Manager of Ski Dubai. Every child entrance ticket into Snow Park comes with a complimentary photograph with Santa. Santa and Mrs Claus will also host a Christmas Carol stage show on Christmas Eve that will be performed along with the Dubai Choir and guests from the Dubai Centre for Special Needs.
As part of the festive season celebration, a number of activities will be held to raise funds for the Dubai Centre for Special Needs.
The main activities that will support the special needs centre including breaking the UAE record, where chefs today will be creating a 355 metre long Stollen at the Galleria.

Christmas on BURJ AL ARAB

Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Aspects of celebration may include gift-giving, Christmas trees, display of Nativity sets, church attendance, the Father Christmas/Santa Claus myth, and family gatherings. Users of the Gregorian calendar observe the holiday on December 25. Some Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate on December 25 by the Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 on the Gregorian calendar. These dates are merely traditional; the great majority of scholars agree that the actual birth date of Jesus is unknown. In Western countries and during the last few years, Christmas is the most economically significant holiday of the year, and is even celebrated by non-Christians. In Western culture, the holiday is characterized by the exchange of gifts among friends and family members, some of the gifts being attributed to Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, Saint Nicolas, Father Frost). Various International Christmas traditions are practiced in Dubai, due to the widespread influence of American and British Christmas motifs disseminated by film, popular literature, television, and other media.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎) "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims (including the Druze) worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran. Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).
Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Traditions and practices

Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer (ṣalātu l-`Īdi) in a large congregation in an open area or mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called uḍiyyah (Arabic: أضحية‎, also known as "al-qurbāni"), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old.
The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days.
Distributing meat among people is considered an essential part of the festival during this period, as well as chanting Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day and after prayers through out the four days of Eid. (See Takbir in "Traditions and practices" of Eid el-Fitr.) In some countries families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.

Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, due to the fact that the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International date line.

The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are calculated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day. Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia for the start of the month Dhul Hijja.

1427 (Islamic Calendar): December 30, 2006 announced (calculated date: December 31, 2006)

1428 (Islamic Calendar): December 19, 2007 announced (calculated date: December 20, 2007)
1429 (Islamic Calendar): December 8, 2008 announced (calculated date: same)
1430 (Islamic Calendar): November 27, 2009 announced (calculated date: same)
1431 (Islamic Calendar): November 16, 2010 (calculated)
1432 (Islamic Calendar): November 6, 2011 (calculated)
1433 (Islamic Calendar): October 26, 2012 (calculated)
1434 (Islamic Calendar): October 15, 2013 (calculated)
1435 (Islamic Calendar): October 4, 2014 (calculated)
1436 (Islamic Calendar): September 23, 2015 (calculated)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A Portuguese Women considered the "Woman of the Year" on UAE

Maria da Conceição is a Portuguese with 32 years old living and working for six years in Dubai as a flight attendant in Emirates Airlines.
Last night, the Portuguese won the award for "Woman of the Year" in the United Arab Emirates.
Maria da Conceição won the "Humanitarian of the Year" with the creation in 2005 of the Dhaka Project, an initiative that aims to take from the cycle of poverty hundreds of children in a suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh and was also elected in the maximum category with the award "Woman of the Year".
The categories and nominees in each for the 2009 Awards were:

The Achievers -- Business Category (Sponsored by Philips)
Mariya Kassam - The Dynamic Diva
Jelena Bin Drai - The Salon Success Story
Farah Foustok - The First Lady of Finance
Eileen Wallis - The PR Princess
Danielle Wilson - The Online Entrepreneur
Artists -- Art and Culture(Sponsored by The London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery)
Asmaa Al-Shabibi - The Design Diva
Nadine Knotzer - The Avant-garde Artist
Shivani Pandya - The Director's Cut
Sarah Belhasa - The Fashion Entrepreneur
Dalia Dogmoch - The Queen of Culinary Delights
Humanitarians -- Charity
Tala Dionisi - The Ambassadorial Angel
Isabelle Le Bon - The Queen of Hearts
Maria Conceicao - The Wings of Dhaka
Sonia Brewin - The Artist's Saviour
Dr Cathy Leibman - The Voice of Hope
Visionaries -- Lifestyle
Mariam Hareb - The Avid Environmentalist
Sahar Mekkauui - Lady of Luxe
Nicole Betts - Ms Movember

Lale Ansingh - The People Person
Padma Coram -- The Entertaining Philanthropist


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Luís Ferreira Master Thesis about UAE Urbanism

Luís Ferreira, an Architect that cooperate with Edigaia Architect Tânia Gama in the development of RAK Edigaia first project, did his Master Thesis based on UAE Urbanism and give it the title "Fresh Water Gulf".

I will post here the abstract of the thesis. Thank you Luís Ferreira for your collaboration in this blog.

Both architectural and urban practices in some Arab countries have been revealing an exponential growing way and also a degree of wonder that no one can disregard. Among all nations in the Arab League, a country emerge from its great achievements, especially in those fields - the United Arab Emirates.

With an oil sustained economy and ruled by a neutrality stance facing all conflicts that happen in its neighborhood, this 7 emirates federation reclaims its independence in 1971 and soon takes the economic growing path, supported by its natural resources wealth (oil and natural gas) and total openness to the rest of the world.

In a timescale of three decades, its territory sees itself dominated by the desire to show the world its wealth and potential, its cities build themselves at a frenetic pace, moved by the ambition of its governors in placing the Emirates on the global scene.

The adoption of the modern language in their cities was believed since its ruling origins as a requirement for its worldwide recognition and so for the external investment catching. Dubai, the most mediatic city, also known as a superlative city, becomes an oasis for the catching of that kind of investment, tax free and providing a familiar lifestyle to the occidental expatriate/tourist, tolerating his vices. Abu-Dhabi, the oil soaked capital, has a more contained development at a first stage, only recently joining Dubai in the mega development and commercial openness phase.

Today, the social and ecologic echoes of an exponential urban growth pace based on the adoption of architectural and urban languages alienated from the social and climatic country’s reality are being felt. Non criticized urban strategies and Guinness Book mega developments captivated world attention, but were also them (and their subjacent strategy) that contributed for the social segregation atmosphere that dominates the entire country’s territory.

Both in the labor or touristic field, the United Arab Emirates economy and development was since its origins supported by the expatriate population sector. Nowadays, the expatriates constitute somewhat 80% of total country’s population. The greater part comes in search for some wealth, staying always for a certain period of time. Likewise, the Emirates acquire a virtual demography condition – expatriate population will leave without looking behind at first sign of trouble.

The climatic context was also neglected, the generic modernism that rules great parts of these cities forces an unmeasured waste of resources – the excessive energetic spend on cooling spaces and the extreme water consumption that some structures require are components that place the Emirates on the top of the list of countries with the biggest ecological footprint, which leads to some alerts and reprehensions by the international community.

Recently, there’s a positive sign on engaging all those issues by the government, shown by planning approaching that includes the city’s whole and their different social layers, by probably more efficient economic diversification strategies and by serious incursions in the use of renewable energies.

Will the United Arab Emirates follow the path leading to its territory and regime sustainability?"

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Information for Dubai expatriates

A typical working day in Dubai
A typical day of an average Dubai expat starts with a jogging session or a visit to the gym. Then they go to work. Most of the Dubai expatriates have their own vehicles. It is very easy to buy a vehicle in Dubai. Anyone can apply for a vehicle loan. Interest is next to nothing.
Dubai is not a very big city. However, traffic can be an issue if you stay far from the working place. It is wise to select your accommodation closer to the working place.
Some expats prefer to go to the gym or go for a jog in the evening. Some will spend the evening hanging around in a shopping mall or a nightclub.
Restaurants in Dubai deliver food free of charge. Most of Dubai expatriates do not cook. They order food or simply walk to a restaurant. Restaurants can be found within walking distance in most of the areas.

Friday is the weekend in Dubai. Usually nightclubs are crowded on Thursday and Friday nights. Some expats prefer to have a barbecue with their friends. There are plenty of places with barbecue facilities in Dubai. Parks and beaches are few of the places. Most of the Dubai expatriates are doing their weekly shopping on weekends. There are many mega malls in Dubai.
Fishing, going to a movie, go and relax in a beach or a park are few of other options available for Dubai expats.

Most of Dubai expats are living in apartments. The size and number of bedrooms will depend on the size of the family and the income. Apartments are the cheapest and the most popular accommodation type in Dubai. Most of the apartment buildings are nearly new and clean. There are furnished and non-furnished apartments.
High-paid Dubai expatriates are living in Villas. Usually, this is not affordable to an average Dubai expat.
Dubai does not have residential areas or suburbs. Many apartment buildings can be found among office buildings. Therefore most of the Dubai expats are living within a walking distance from the work place.

Dubai has few TV channels. Only one channel is showing foreign movies and good programs. Most of Dubai expats are using paid TV channels like Fox.

Type of Dubai expats

Dubai is full of expatriates. Majority of the Dubai expats are Indians and south Asian nationals such as Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis. There are many Phillipine nationals also can be seen.
Majority of the Europeans are from UK. US, Canadian, South African and Australian are the other major nationals among vast variety of Dubai expatriates.

Lifestyle of expat woman Dubai

You can design your own lifestyle. It is up to you. If you like bars, pubs and nightclubs then there are plenty in Dubai. If you want to join a particular club (sports, hobbies etc) then there are many registered and unregistered clubs in Dubai. If you are addicted to shopping then there is no better place in the world than Dubai for shopping.

Religions and expat woman in Dubai

Islam is the main religion in Dubai. However, Dubai has limited number of churches (catholic and Christian), Hindu temples etc. There are also different religious groups that you can join and work with. They are organizing various activities for relevant communities.

Work life

There is no difference to any other western country. Expat women are allowed to work in any industry in Dubai. Some expat women in Dubai are holding very senior positions. There is no limit or restrictions as far as the country is concerned.

Sports for Dubai expat woman

Dubai has facilities to enjoy most of the main sports with latest equipment. Either it is Tennis or Bowling, you fill find a place to play just around the corner. Most of the new residential apartment complexes are equipped with swimming pools, Gym and Tennis courts.

TV and DVD

There are only few free English TV channels in Dubai. Most of the expats are using cable TV. There are many cable TV providers in Dubai. Some are providing country specific channels.

Video and DVD rentals are freely available in Dubai. If you are an expatriate woman Dubai and want to watch specific types of movies (either Hollywood or Bollywood) the shop is just a short stroll away.

There are world-class theatres in Dubai. Most of the major Hollywood movies are shown in Dubai as soon as they were released in USA.

What you can do on weekends?

There are plenty of weekend activities available for Dubai expat women. The most popular among expats is having a barbecue in a beach or in a park. Barbecue facilities are commonly available in parks and beaches.

You can go to a beach and have a nice sea bath and relax. Jumeirah beach has enough space to accommodate a lot. Satwa, Al Mamzar, Jebel Ali are other popular beaches in Dubai. You can wear bikinis and general swimwear in Dubai beaches.

There are many attractions in Dubai that you can visit during the weekend. Visit Dubai short break page for a list of places to visit and things to do in Dubai.

Important information for expat woman Dubai

· Remember, alcohol is prohibited in public places.

· Do not drink and drive. Fines in Dubai are ruthless.

· Do not eat or drink anything (including smoking) outside during the Ramadan fasting period.

· Understand the law in Dubai very well. Ask if you do not know about a specific subject. If you are working then the PRO of your office is the best person to ask.

· Respect the local Arabic culture and religion. This is the most sensitive subject in Dubai. Do not cross the limit.

You won’t feel a big difference when you become an expat woman in Dubai. The Dubai community is comprises of many nationalities. You are not a stranger to Dubai. I am sure you will feel the same.

Top Five International Schools in Dubai

There are International schools in Dubai to cater expatriates from various countries. The cost can vary dramatically depending on the standard of the school. Here is a review of top five Dubai international schools.

Nowadays most countries have international schools that provide educational facilities to the children of foreigners in their country. In the same way, Dubai also has many international schools. The number and size of the international schools depend on the population of the expatriates and the number of local students enrolled in these schools.
Both expatriates and the local children willing to be enrolled are in large numbers in Dubai. This is the reason Dubai is witnessing mushrooming of international schools. Some of the famous international schools of this city are Dubai British School, Raffles International School, United International School, Varkey International Private School, Wellington International School, American School and so on.

Dubai British school
Dubai British School is located on the hills of Emirates. It’s a co-educational school for children of age between 3 to 18 years. To be a faculty in this school one should have at least two years of teaching experience. The curriculum of this school is same as that of Britain and Wales. The school takes care of the different stages of the children and there is a standard assessment test for the children to maintain the quality of the school. There is a provision of foundation course to match with the standard of the British school.

British English School
One more school in British pattern of education is British English School founded by Sheikh Rashid to fulfill the requirement of international schools in Dubai. It is a non-profit school for the children of expatriates and outsiders. A Board of Governors governs the school and the children of this school are given diverse opportunities and experiences in different fields. It provides opportunities to develop not only academically, but also create an ambience for all round development of the child.

Wellington International School
Based in the Al Sufouh of Dubai, this is one of the most famous international schools. It enrolls children between age group of 3 to 18. The school provides advanced educational facilities. Some of the facilities available in this school are large sports hall, health and fitness club, gym, swimming pool, dance club, tennis and basket ball courts and running tracks.
The capacity of this school is more than 1500 students. Students are provided virtual learning environment with all hi- tech facilities. This school also follows national curriculum of England.

Etisalat is the only company in Dubai, which is authorized to provide telecommunications and Internet services in the United Arab Emirates. Established in 1976, it has built up state-of-the-art telecom infrastructure and taken a leadership position of innovation and reliability among regional and international operators.
The Middle East magazine has ranked Etisalat first in the United Arab Emirates and fourth in the Middle East among the top 100 companies, based on its financial performance and capital growth. It was ranked as the 6th best performing Arab company by ‘Forbes Arabia’ magazine for the year 2006, which included more than 1600 Arab joint stock companies in various sectors.

American School of Dubai

This school is co-educational and follows national curriculum of America. It is located in the suburban area of Dubai. The textbooks of USA are provided in this school. This school is facilitated with e- governance and all the instructions are on computers. To be faculty of this school it is necessary to have at least four years of teaching experience in America.

Apple International School in Dubai

Established in year 1994, the Apple International School follows the British national curriculum. The school has divided its classes in three different stages called kindergarten, junior and senior level. In addition to the academic part, the school has excelled itself in providing all the sports and cultural activities to its students.

Thus, foreigners working in Dubai don’t have to worry about the future of their children. Dubai is well versed with all necessary infrastructural requirements for the expatriates. The variety of international schools in Dubai will help to find a fit for your child.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I created a new blog that will be only to show Edigaia Group traject in last 24 years. In February of 2010 we will do 25 years. It is the resulf of profissionalism, dedication and quality.

Thanks for all that helped in the grow up of Edigaia Group.

You can visit the new blog on

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup - UAE face Portugal in opener

Joan Cusco (left), member of the FIFA Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee, UAE beach soccer player Bakhit Sa'ad (second from left), Spanish player Ramiro Amarelle (third from left) and former French footballer Christian Karembeu at the draw for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009.

The UAE will take on Portugal in their opening match of the 2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup to be played at the Jumeirah Beach from November 16-22.

The draw ceremony, held at the Dubai World Centre late on Thursday, saw the hosts being drawn to face the European runners-up in their opener at 7.30 pm on November 16.

The draw was witnessed by Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and was conducted by Joan Cusco, member of the Fifa Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee, with assistance from the UAE’s Olympic gold medalist Shaikh Ahmad Hasher Al Maktoum; 1998 French World Cup star Christian Karembeu; Spanish star striker and 2008 adidas golden ball winner Ramiro Amarelle and UAE skipper Bakhit Saad.
Some of the top dignitaries present were Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Chairman, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, President, UAE Football Association, Salah Tahak, Tournament Director and Dr. Ahmad Saad Al Sharif, Secretary General, DSC.

“This is going to be one huge challenge, but one that we are ready and willing to face before our home crowd,” Saad remarked after the draw.

Despite being drawn in a tough group, Marcelo Mendes, the UAE’s Brazilian coach was confident of making at least the semifinals of the week-long competition. “I trust my players and I am confident in their abilities to deliver when it matters most. We have been training together for the past two years and the players have gained adequate experience playing in some tough matches and competitions during our build-up to this event,” Mendes noted.

Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi spelt out that the promotion of beach soccer in the UAE is one of the priorities before the UAEFA. “The UAE are the Asian champions and this will be their second time at a World Cup,” Al Rumaithi stated.

Spain’s Ramiro Amarelle, who went on to win the adidas golden ball in Marseille last year, saw the UAE among the prime challengers for a place in the knockout stages of the competition. “It’s a tough group for them [UAE], but the spectators will benefit by seeing some exciting matches,” Amarelle stated.

Karembeu, who flew in especially for Thursday’s draw ceremony, hoped to see European champions Spain take on three-time and defending world champions Brazil in the November 22 final. “A final like this will be great for the sport and Dubai,” Karembeu said.

The beach soccer tournament originated from the fabled Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the Beach Soccer World Championship way back in 1994. However, in 2004, Beach Soccer Worldwide aligned itself with Fifa to create the current competition.

After the first three editions held in Brazil, the competition moved for the first time to Marseille, France (2008), where Brazil went on to be crowned world champions for a third straight time. And hosting the 16-team event here will be the first time for an Asian country to organize the Beach Soccer World Cup.


Group A: UAE, Portugal, Uruguay, Solomon Islands

Group B: Spain, Asia 1, Cote d'Ivoire, El Salvador

Group C: Russia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Italy

Group D: Brazil, Nigeria, Switzerland, Asia 2

Egypt - Fantastic Country, Excelent People

Because my partner and good friend, Mohamed Hassan, is Egyptian, and because I love that country, I would like to post here something about Egypt too.

The government of Egypt consists of a semi-presidential republic, whereby the President of Egypt is the fact both head of state and head of government, and of a system dominated by the National Democratic Party. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the People's Assembly.

Egypt has been a republic since
18 June 1953. Since the declaration of the republic, four Egyptians have served as presidents. The first President to take office was President Mohamed Naguib. The fourth and incumbent president is Mohamed Hosni Mubarak who has been the President of Egypt since October 14, 1981, following the assassination of former President Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat. Mubarak is currently serving his fifth term in office. He is the leader of the ruling National Democratic Party. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was sworn in as Prime Minister on 9 July 2004, following the resignation of Atef Ebeid from office.

Legislative branch
Parliament meets for one eighth-month session each year; under special circumstances the President of the Republic can call an additional session. Even though the powers of the Parliament have increased since the 1980 Amendments of the Constitution, the Parliament continues to lack the powers to balance the excessive powers of the President.

The People’s Assembly (Maglis El-Sha’ab)
People’s Assembly is the principal legislative body. Out of the assembly’s 454 deputies, 444 are directly elected while no more than 10 may be appointed by the President (article 87 of the Constitution). The Constitution reserves fifty percent of the assembly seats for ‘workers and peasants’. The assembly sits for a five-year term but can be dissolved earlier by the President. All seats are voted on in each election. Four hundred seats are voted on using proportional representation while the remaining forty-four are elected in local majority votes.

The People’s Assembly may cause the resignation of the executive cabinet by voting a motion of censure. For this reason, the Prime Minister and his cabinet are necessarily from the dominant party or coalition in the assembly. In the case of a president and assembly from opposing parties, this leads to the situation known as cohabitation. While motions of censure are periodically proposed by the opposition following government actions that it deems highly inappropriate, they are purely rhetorical; party discipline ensures that, throughout a parliamentary term, the government is never overthrown by the assembly.

The Consultative Council (Maglis El-Shura)
Shura Council is the 264-member upper house of Parliament created in 1980. In the Shura Council 176 members are directly elected and 88 members are appointed by the President of the Republic for six-year terms. One half of the Shura Council is renewed every three years.
The Shura Council's legislative powers are limited. On most matters of legislation, the People’s Assembly retains the last word in the event of a disagreement between the two houses.

Parliamentary elections
There currently exist eighteen recognized political parties from across the political spectrum. The formation of political parties based on religion is prohibited by the Constitution. The official opposition and political pressure groups, like the
Muslim Brotherhood, are active in Egypt and make their views public. They are represented at various levels in the political system. However, power is concentrated in the hands of the President of the Republic and the National Democratic Party which retains a super-majority in the People's Assembly.

The November 2000 Parliamentary Elections are generally regarded to have been more transparent and better executed than past elections. This is due to the new Law put into force establishing universal judicial monitoring of polling stations. On the other hand, opposition parties continue to lodge credible complaints about electoral manipulation by the government. Moreover, many Egyptians feel their votes are being monitored by poll workers, and could face retribution for their votes. There are significant restrictions on the political process and freedom of expression for non-governmental organizations, including professional syndicates and organizations promoting respect for human rights which have been greatly loosened up in the past five years.

Below the national level, authority is exercised by and through governors and mayors appointed by the central government and by popularly elected local councils.

Political parties and elections
According to the
Egyptian Constitution, political parties are allowed to exist. Religious political parties are not allowed as it would not respect the principle of non-interference of religion in politics and that religion has to remain in the private sphere to respect all beliefs. In addition, political parties supporting militia formations or having an agenda that is contradictory to the constitution and its principles, or threatening the country's stability such as national unity between Muslim Egyptians and Christian Egyptians.
Today, there are 18 political parties in Egypt.

Civil society
Egyptians have been living under emergency law since 1967, except for an 18-month break in 1980. Emergency laws have been continuously extended every three years since 1981. These laws sharply circumscribe any non-governmental political activity: street demonstrations, non-approved political organizations, and un-registered financial donations are formally banned. Nonetheless, since 2000, these restrictions have been violated in practice. In 2003, the agenda shifted heavily towards local democratic reforms, opposition to the succession of Gamal Mubarak as president, and rejection of violence by state security forces. Groups involved in the latest wave include PCSPI, the Egyptian Movement for Change (Kefaya), and the Association for Egyptian Mothers.

Substantial peasant activism exists on a variety of issues, especially related to land rights and land reform. A major flash point was the 1997 repeal of Nasser-era land reform policies under pressure for structural adjustment. A pole for this activity is the Land Center for Human Rights.

Political pressure groups and leaders
Muslim Brotherhood currently constitutes Mubarak's most significant political opposition; Mubarak tolerated limited political activity by the Brotherhood for his first two terms, but has moved more aggressively in the past six years to block its influence (arguably leading to its recent rise in public support). Trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned.

Foreign relations
Main article:
Foreign relations of Egypt
The permanent headquarters for the League of Arab States (The Arab League) is located in Cairo.The Secretary General of the League has traditionally been an Egyptian. Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa is the present Secretary General of the Arab League. The Arab League briefly moved out of Egypt to Tunis in 1978 as a protest at the peace treaty with Israel, but returned in 1989.

Egypt was the first Arab state to establish diplomatic relations with the state of Israel, after the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty at the Camp David Accords. Egypt has a major influence amongst other Arab states, and has historically played an important role as a mediator in resolving disputes between various Arab nations, and in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Most Arab nations still give credence to Egypt playing that role, though its effects are often limited.
Former Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Boutros Boutros-Ghali served as Secretary General of the United Nations from 1991 to 1996.

A territorial dispute with Sudan over an area known as the Hala'ib Triangle, has meant that diplomatic relations between the two remain strained.

President of Egypt
Muhammad Hosni Mubarak: since 14 October 1981
Residence: Abdeen Palace, Cairo, Egypt
Term length: Six years, renewable

Prime Minister: Ahmed Nazif

The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the elected Head of State of Egypt. Under the Constitution of Egypt, the President is also the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces and head of the Executive branch of the Egyptian government.

The first President of Egypt was Muhammad Naguib, one of the leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, who took office on 18 June 1953, the day on which Egypt was declared a republic.

The fourth and current President of Egypt is Hosni Mubarak. His first term began on 14 October 1981 and As of September 2005[update] is serving his fifth term in office. There is no constitutional limit upon the number of terms that any one individual can serve as President.

Presidential powers
Under the system created by the 1980 constitutional amendments, the President is the pre-eminent executive figure, who names the
Prime Minister of Egypt. During martial law, the President also anoints deans of faculties and majors, and can also fire or hire people in the private sector. Egypt has been under martial law since 1981. When the President's political party or supporters control the Parliament, the President is in effect the dominant player in executive action, choosing whomever he wishes for government, and having it follow his political agenda. However, should the President's political opponents control Parliament, the President's dominance would be severely limited, as he would have to select a Prime Minister and Cabinet reflecting the majority in Parliament. By convention, the President controls foreign-affairs and defence related issues of the state, while the Prime Minister manages the day-to-day affairs including the economy.
In the late 1970s Egypt had several cohabitation governments which proved to be unstable, due to the struggle arising between the President and the Prime Minister. However, since 1981, the National Democratic Party has maintained a majority in the People’s Assembly and held the Presidency.