Published: Marriott Bonvoy Traveler
Location: Cairo, Egypt
With the longest-running film industry in the Arab world, Cairo has staked its claim as the Hollywood of the Middle East. Egypt’s rich cinema history began with silent films at the end of the 19th century and really exploded with the advent of sound in the 1930s, followed by government funding for filmmaking in the ’50s and ’60s.
Today, the vast majority of Middle Eastern and North African films are made in Cairo. And together with Egypt’s legendary music greats — including Umm Kulthum, who passed away in 1975, at the forefront — cinema has been responsible for exporting Cairo’s distinct Arabic dialect throughout the entire Arab world.
For any actor or singer in this region who wants to make it big, they must first come to Cairo.