This article is part of a series we are running ahead of the second edition of our Mada Market to feature the participating vendors.
The global wellness trend that landed in Egypt a few years ago has proven more than a passing fad. Not only is it becoming an integral part of the lifestyle of a young and health-conscious generation, it has also opened up an avenue for entrepreneurial endeavors catering to the growing demand.
As it develops, the industry has come to include much more than gyms or fitness programs, and has grown to become a broadly encompassing umbrella under which fall an array of projects, startups and brands built around the idea of promoting a sustainably healthy and active lifestyle for all ages.
In the second edition of the Mada Market, we’re highlighting players in the local market who stand out by offering interesting concepts in the field of health, wellness and adding a sense of adventure to life. Their selection also points to the diversity of products and services being offered in the health and wellness industry.
With a brand name that roughly translates to “take a risk,” Gazef has set out to push people outside of their comfort zone and into an adrenaline-filled adventure across different parts of the world.
This travel company steers clear of organizing mundane trips where food and shopping are the main attraction. Instead, Gazef focuses on exotic locations and activities, from climbing mountains to rafting through rapid rivers, zip lining through forests or paragliding over scenic landscapes. Their group trips in Egypt and around the world are designed to help travelers explore their surroundings in new ways.
Founded in 2013 by Omar Hesham Galal, Ayten Wahba, Mohamed el-Shabrawi and Yasmine el-Rashidy, Gazef began as a dream they had in college, and grew to become a passion project driven forward by the three self-proclaimed thrill seekers. The company continues to expand, adding seven new destinations to their repertoire this year.
In late 2015, Gazef introduced its new Destination Unknown concept, whereby a group of travelers sign up to join an adventure to an undisclosed destination. Some of Gazef’s most coveted destinations include Cuba, South Africa, Nepal, Cambodia, Costa Rica and Peru.
At this Saturday’s Mada Market, Gazef will be present as one of our premium vendors. To best showcase their brand in an active and engaging way, Gazef is organizing a scavenger hunt in whcih groups will be tasked with finding and gathering a specific list of items from around the market, as well as performing a few dares and challenges, for a chance to win a discount voucher valid until the end of the year.
With a belief that sportsmanship develops character and empowers young people, Elite International Soccer was founded in 2012 by Lee Paul and Zane Ahmadein, who have over 20 years of combined experience as college and professional players.
Noticing the lack of quality certified coaching and specialized youth training in Egypt, they set out to create a platform where young people can progressively develop their technical and tactical skills in the game.
EIS offers an academy, training camps, tournaments, college recruitment opportunities and various community outreach programs. Their goal is to become a regional student-athlete soccer development program “with the aim of building collegiate-ready soccer players that have the technical skills, character and confidence needed to understand and thrive in the modern game,” the founders say.
In these two years, EIS Academy has grown each season, most recently organizing an adult five-a-side league that has grown into two leagues with a total of 16 teams.
At Mada Market, EIS is running interactive soccer challenges and mini skills-training sessions, as well as giving grown-ups and kids the opportunity to meet the coaches.
Amid Cairo’s crowded streets, the Ain Bicycle project is on a mission to promote a healthier and more efficient mode of transport through their sleek, custom-made bicycles.
Karim Abdallah and Dirk Wanrooj founded Ain Bicycle in May 2013 as the first shop for custom-made bicycles in Egypt. Ain’s colorful, vintage-looking creations vary in cost depending on what components are used, ranging from LE1,200 to LE2,500. The two-man team handpicks the parts that go into each bicycle, some of which are imported from Europe, and then piece it all together at their workshop.
Ain Bicycle is taking part in the Mada Market for a second year, and will once again allow visitors to test-ride their bikes, this time around the more spacious Fish Garden in Zamalek.
Since we last hosted them last year as one of our best-selling vendors, the project has grown. In January, Ain founded Cairo’s very first Community Center for Cyclists in Darb1718 in Fustat, Old Cairo. The center is meant to be a hub where cyclists can exchange information and share a common passion, as well as help promote cycling in Egypt.
One of the basic components of a healthy lifestyle is a nutritious diet, which starts with a cooking routine that relies on natural and preservative-free ingredients. Inspired by Sinai’s celebrated olive harvest, Green Gold picks olives straight from the trees in Rafah to create an all-natural, healthy and smooth-tasting olive oil.
Green Gold founder Muhammed Shahin has gifted friends with his specialty olive oil for years, but as demand grew and word got around, he decided to focus on this as a new project and turn it into a sustainable and streamlined business.
After handpicking the olives from small-scale domestic farms across Rafah, Shahin produces the olive oil at a local press and bottles it up for delivery. “Unlike mass producers, our trusted farmers don’t use chemicals or irrigation water and only depend on natural compost and rainwater to grow their olives,” he says.
The result is a flavorful oil that is healthy and nourishing while also lasting for significantly longer than many store-brought brands due to its pure and high concentration grown in Rafah’s accommodating weather conditions and soil. “The city’s elevation above sea level and distance from the Mediterranean decrease humidity, preventing the excessive acidity of olives grown elsewhere,” Shahin explains.
Aside from its great taste, olive oil has been associated with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. That’s besides its many topical uses in masks and mixes applied to hair and skin.