Ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) samples were collected at three locations, two in urban areas in Greater Cairo (Ramsis and Haram) and background one in rural area in Menofiya province (Kafr El-Akram), during the period of June, 2004-August, 2004. The highest concentrations of VOCs were found in Ramsis, whereas the lowest concentrations were detected in Kafr El-Akram, and the difference in mean concentrations were statistically significant ( p<0.001). Among all of the measured VOCs species, the contribution of individual VOC to the total VOCs concentration were very similar in Ramsis and Haram locations, toluene was the most abundant compound followed by ( m, p)-xylene. This similarity implies a similar emission sources of VOCs in both urban locations, vehicle exhausts are the dominant one. Greater Cairo has high levels of volatile aromatic hydrocarbons compared with many polluted cities in the world. The BTEX (benzene: toluene: ethylbenzene: xylenes) concentration ratios were (2.01:4.94:1:4.95), (2.03:4.91:1:4.87) and (2.31:2.98:1:2.59) in Ramsis, Haram and Kafr El-Akram, respectively. The average toluene/benzene (T/B), ( m, p)-xylene/benzene (( m, p)-X/B) and o-xylene/benzene ( o-X/B) concentration ratios were 2.45, 1.61and 0.85, respectively in Ramsis and 2.42, 1.61 and 0.78, respectively in Haram. The ratios in both urban locations were of the same magnitude and close to those obtained from automotive exhausts, indicating that the ambient BTEX originate mainly from motor vehicle emissions. However, the (T/B), (( m, p)-X/B) and ( o-X/B) concentration ratios were 1.29, 0.71 and 0.41 in Kafr El-Akram, respectively. These ratios were lower than those found in Ramsis and Haram locations and in automotive exhaust, suggesting that the BTEX in Kafr El-Akram do not come from a local source and are exclusively results from the diffusion and dispersion of VOCs produced from the traffic density in the surrounding cities. Significant positive correlation coefficients ( p<0.001) were found between the concentrations of BTEX compounds at the three sampling locations. The diurnal variation of VOCs concentrations in Ramsis location showed two daily peaks linked to traffic density.