Friday, 7 December 2018

Winter is here

The Beginning

Your Wealth is a custom Enterprise briefing for people just like you: Executives, entrepreneurs and builders who know that time isn’t money, but that time and money are feedstock for the one thing that matters most in life: Your family, however you define it.

Once a month, in partnership with our friends at CIB Wealth, we’ll bring you a hand-picked selection of ideas, tips and inspirational stories that will help you make the most of your time, enhance our wealth, and build a better life with the people you love.

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Your Life

Festivus for the rest of us: It’s the winter holiday season, and with this issue, we here at Enterprise wish you a happy Moulid, Christmas, Coptic Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. As for the rest of us, happy festivus.

What is this Festivus you say? Glad you asked: For readers born at the tail end of the 90s, and Friends fans who’ve seen the error of their ways, Festivus is a holiday celebrated on 23 December, made famous by Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza. In addition to being an outright protest on the pressures and commercialism of the holiday season, it is a wonderful chance to gather your family and friends and honestly tell them how they’ve been a disappointment. It is also proven to be the cheapest of holidays, where decorations and gift-giving (save for a Festivus pole) are not only frowned upon, but banned. Feats of strength are recommended but not required if you are not an orthodox adherent. You can catch an explainer on the history and glorious tradition of the holiday here (watch, runtime: 4:37).

Turn your winter vacation into an unexpected destination: Winter vacations provide a much-needed escape as we cap off this year and turn to the next. There’s just something about this season that sparks a sense of wanderlust, driving most of us to depart from our day-to-day and explore places anew. Usually, that something is the cold.

Haven’t planned the vacation? Then get on that now. Worried about visas? We have a list of countries Egyptians can enter visa-free. Heads up for all those looking to travel to South Korea, as the country just recently slapped visa regulations on Egyptians starting October 2018).

Winters in Europe (and not just for skiing)? Sounds nuts, we know. But the Wall Street Journal sees it differently, encouraging you to consider Europe to take advantage of the benefits you wouldn’t get during Europe’s busy summers. This includes cheaper tickets and easier hotel bookings, discount offers, spending more time with the locals, and fewer crowds at the main attraction sites. Conde Nast Traveler also agrees, recommending winter visits to Vienna, Edinburgh and especially Venice as the best time to enjoy your vacation.

Not feeling like travelling far? Consider local travel instead: As temperatures begin to cool, Egypt is the perfect destination your next vacation during the winter season. Cairo’s long sunny days and breezy evenings are in full swing this season, with plenty of opportunity abound to explore the city’s culture, art and festivities. Time Out Dubai has a long list of things to do this year in the city, whether it’s going old-school and visiting the Pyramids on a sunny winter day, or taking the Instagram-worthy path to renowned attractions like the Khan El Khalili bazaar, downtown Cairo and the Cairo Opera House.

And if you’re looking to escape the city, but stay nifty and budget-friendly this season, check out these fantastic affordable weekend getaway destinations that’ll take you far away from the city’s bustling streets and give you a taste of paradise. The top 6 list include known favorites such as Ras Sudr and Fayoum, but has a bunch of lesser known attractions such as Sekem eco-village and the stunning Coptic retreat of Anafora (pictured above).

Got the “winter blues” or are you just SAD? As the days get shorter and night falls earlier, look out for symptoms of seasonal affective disorders (SAD). SAD are bouts of depression that occur during the same season each year, even during the summer. While the causes of SAD are unknown, variations in exposure to sunlight may impact melatonin and serotonin levels in the body. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feelings of sadness, and getting too much or too little sleep.

Before you rush to get that note from the doctor to take off work from school, be aware that the diagnostic criteria for SAD is steep. An individual must meet major depression criteria for at least two years around the same time each year. So a touch of the winter blues does not qualify.

Either way, a little sunlight and eating comfort food can go a long way. Whether by sitting in front of a light box or basking in some winter sunshine, getting a few extra rays is a good idea. If you are suffering from SAD, treatments include medication and psychotherapy so if you suspect this impacts you, consult a medical professional.

Winter may be taking its time arriving in Cairo but cold and flu season is undeniably here, and so are the advice articles about how to survive the onslaught of sniffling colleagues and kids unscathed. Top of the list is perhaps an obvious one: keep warm. While we here in Cairo can hardly complain about the winter sunshine, drinking hot drinks and layering up can help combat the indoor chills in our thinly-insulated homes and offices.

Key to it all, of course, is getting good sleep. In addition to making you feel rested, regular full nights of sleep strengthen your immune system and lower your chance of catching that bug making the rounds. Power naps, if you can sneak them, can help top you up and get you through a heavy day at work and the cycle of Thanksgiving/Christmas/Winter parties. Just 30 minutes of sleep or rest can make a difference. Other tips for powering through this holiday season include drinking plenty of water, starting your day with filling and healthy breakfasts, and sticking to your exercise regimen.

If you’re looking to change up your exercise routine, try heading for a dip al fresco. The Guardian touts the health benefits of winter swimming, which include a boosted immune system. If this is your first foray into winter swimming, start with only a few minutes at a time. But don’t go full Russian, and stay in the water longer than you planned. Warm up carefully with hot drinks, a sugar hit, avoid hot showers, and enjoy the adrenaline rush.

The holiday season is a tough time to stick to your usual eating habits, particularly when these habits are being vegan. Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner or throwing a big Christmas party, incorporating plant-based dishes in your food offerings for the night is not as daunting a task as it seems. While some might think that eliminating dairy and other animal products will cause whatever you cook to be lacking in savoriness, creaminess, and depth of flavor, all it takes is a few tricks up your sleeve to mimic the same tones in plant-based dishes. The Telegraph has a great suggested menu for those looking to have a meatless Christmas, complete with starters, main course options, and dessert.

For those of you who aren’t vegan, but still want to watch their waistlines, we’ve got you covered. Beyond the obvious recommendation of limiting your mashed potato intake and maybe steering clear of that apple pie, Harvard Health Publishing suggests physically distancing yourself from food stations if you’re at a party. It is also recommended you take a lap around a buffet before you start filling up your plate to get a better idea of your options, which may reduce your inclination to “pile on items one after the other.” There are also some simple switches you can make when it comes to traditional holiday dishes, including making roasted sweet potatoes instead of candied yams, or opting for turkey breast rather than the dark meat from turkey thigh, Everyday Health says.

Your top 5

The top five business and economic news in Egypt in November and the first week of December are:

  • The central bank terminated the foreign exchange repatriation mechanism for new portfolio investments on 4 December.
  • The Madbouly cabinet signed off on proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act that would force banks and financial institutions to separately account on their income statements for returns from their investments in government.
  • The Financial Regulatory Authority suspended Beltone Financial’s investment banking arm, banning it from carrying out any market activities for a six-month period.
  • Egypt has scrapped a discounted customs exchange rate of EGP 16 for non-essential imports.
  • The CBE kept key interest rates on hold on Thursday, citing higher-than-expected headline inflation rates in September and October.

Your Time

Your winter reading list: Whether you’re old-fashioned like us and actually still enjoy reading books or running out of ideas while shopping for Christmas gifts, here’s a list of eight must-read books for this winter season compiled by award-winning author and broadcaster Sinéad Moriarty and Rick O’Shea, Meath Chronicle noted. Check below the list, which includes a wide variety of genres for all tastes to enjoy with a hot cup of cocoa this December:

But sometimes destroying brain cells under a blanket is the best way to spend the winter time. There’s also no shortage of holiday cheer, no romance unexpected and no plot twist that cannot be revisited in this winter’s Netflix Christmas lineup this year. The streaming giant sure has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a cheesy made-for-TV movie, or something festive to keep your tiny elves entertained. If you’re into serious Christmas TV binges, don’t forget check out 2018’s holiday TV movies, which includes holiday movies from Netflix and other networks.

Your Money

‘Tis the season to be shopping…online: Sneaking office breaks to browse holiday prices on your phone? You’re not alone. Online holiday sales are expected to hit nearly USD 125 bn in 2018 with smartphones predicted to drive nearly half of online shopping traffic, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers. Smartphone traffic accounted for 48.3% of visits to retailers’ websites and apps while desktops weighed in at 42.9% and tablets at 8.8%. Holiday shoppers have racked up a total of USD 1 bn on Thanksgiving Day using smartphones, and more than USD 2 bn on Black Friday.

Malls are investing in their online real estate: This is partly a result of increased consumer purchases online. But a much larger factor is major retailers investing in improving their mobile apps ahead of the holiday season. This investment is driven in part by pressure from Amazon signing up more than 100 mn US Prime members eligible for perks in the Amazon app. Many retailers are attempting to integrate the ‘in-store experience’ with their app or website. For example, Walmart’s app includes maps of each store that allow shoppers to plan their journey in advance or locate a specific deal or item in-store. Macy’s app includes an augmented reality tool that allows users to see furniture in their homes and Target’s latest updates merge its loyalty program, Cartwheel, with its main shopping app.

More like online window shopping: Though browsing traffic from smartphones has increased, it accounts for just 27.2% of revenue. This is up from 11.6% the year before but the relatively low percentage suggests that consumers are using their phones to browse and completing their purchase on a desktop.

Redeem CIB BONUS Points instantly for an e-voucher and get those last minute gifts: So you celebrate Christmas or waited until the last minute to buy your ticket or winter wear. What are you to do? Well if you are a CIB customer, you can rejoice as you can benefit from the “e-voucher” service as part of CIB’s BONUS program. Instead of paper voucher, customers can now redeem CIB BONUS easily and receive their e-voucher instantly via SMS.The service is now available at every merchant and store participating in CIB’s BONUS program, the strongest network of its kind in the market.

How to redeem:

  • Login to
  • Redeem your points and receive the e-voucher instantly via SMS
  • Shop with your points at your favorite stores in Egypt. Just show the e-voucher SMS to the cashier

For more details, visit

Your Family

Dealing with family cabin fever: Gearing up for a big family gathering and worried about the inevitable political arguments? Bustle’s got you covered. Whether you’re gathering with like-minded folks or your family spans the political spectrum, knowing how to talk about politics and other hot button issues without raising tensions can be key to preserving that warm fuzzy holiday glow.

Similarly, travelling with your partner can be a daunting challenge with the dreaded spectre of arguing on vacation hanging over what should be a relaxing break from reality. Elite Daily recommends a conversation before you leave about how you might handle arguments but even without that preparation, there are ways to make the most of the trip. Try to resolve the argument as quickly and conclusively as possible so you can both move on and enjoy the rest of your vacation. If one or both of you can’t get over it, spend some time apart to cool down. And if things don’t look like they’ll improve, bookmark the conversation for when you return home and make the most of your trip.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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