A New York Times article about Cairo's record-breaking delivery services went viral this week, as it shed light on a practice unparalleled worldwide.
Cairo beats all other cities in home delivery services. That’s what The New York Times says, as it highlights the unusual - and ever-growing - national custom of getting purchases sent to your home.
As more and more startups and tech companies inaugurate ‘delivery packages’ and niche services to get services sent home, the rising trend underscores a custom deeply ingrained in the Egyptian cultural fabric – a culture that sees women have their hair and pedicures done at home, and the iconic sabat spread across popular streets.
“Driving the trend is a middle class willing to spend money to avoid hassles, plus large numbers of poorer people willing to zoom around on motorcycles for less than $10 a day,” the newspaper wrote in a feature last Monday, while pointing out the influence of the return of Egyptians who were previously living in Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia or the UAE.
“Many were influenced by the Gulf. They think, ‘Oh I am a big deal and can act like a member of the upper class now. I am too big for queues.’ ” prominent novelist Ammar Ali Hassan told the newspaper.
From mobile phone recharge cards, to shisha, to a full Thanksgiving dinner, even the rarest products can be home-delivered in Cairo, a custom now extending to new services such as Engezi and Elves –which takes it further and acts as a personal shopper - and even global brands like Uber, sending puppies for a playdate at home.