In 2010, over 1.8 million people live on
Zamalek is more correctly called Gezira (the "island"), although most people refer to him as Zamalek. There is a large island, about 4 km long and 1 km wide.
The southern half of the island is very green. The southern tip houses the super-chic Sofitel Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, the Nadi al-Qahira Sporting Club, and the Museum of Sculpture Mahmoud Mokhtar. Just north by the Cairo Opera House Complex, near the Opera Metro Station. And Opera, this complex houses the Planetarium and the Museum of Modern Islamic Art, Sports Club Nadi al-Ahli Club teacher, Anglo-American Hospital and the Cairo Tower. The Gezira Sporting Club, Nadi al-Gezira covers much of the entire island. This exclusive club has been created by the British in the early 20th century and was famous for its horse racing and polo. Today it is still reserved for the elite Egyptian, who spends his free time playing golf and tennis.
The northern half of the island is the area which
is properly called Zamalek. This is an upscale
fashionable, westernized, residential, home to many embassies,
hotels, restaurants, bars and shops.
At the west end the local cultural center al-Sawy can see regular concerts, exhibitions and workshops, and, unusual for Egypt, is a no smoking!
Although you can never really escape the smoke and noise of downtown Cairo, the streets of Zamalek are friendly enough for strolling, window shopping, and antiquing in the many antique dealers on the Island.