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Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing times

Starting in November, Egypt's shops will have to shut their doors by 10pm and restaurants by midnight or face stiff penalties; tourist establishments are exempt

Bassem Abo Alabass, Thursday 11 Oct 2012
An Egyptian man emerges from a closed shop
An Egyptian man emerges from a closed shop (Photo: AP)
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Views: 5825

Egypt's governors' council has set strict new closing times for shops and restaurants due to the country's "current security and economic condition," the state-run MENA news agency reported on Thursday.

Under new laws to be enforced in November, Egypt's shops will have to shut their doors by 10pm, while restaurants will have to close by midnight.
 
Speaking to MENA, local development minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen warned of harsh penalties for violators but said that business owners who wish to keep their premises open later could apply for a licence from the Ministry of Tourism.
 
Establishments classed as catering to tourists, as well as pharmacies, will be allowed to operate as normal.
 
Enforcing closing times for businesses was suggested in August by petroleum minister Osama Kamal, then tackling persistent power outages, who said it would reduce Egypt's energy consumption.
 
The move was welcomed by Elhamy El-Zayat, the head of Egypt's Federation of Tourism Chambers, who said it would trim the number of unlicenced street vendors.
 
"Shops will turn off their lights by 10pm. That will mean customers won't be milling around the main streets and illegal vendors will give up," he told Ahram Online.
 
El-Zayat said the decision would have no real impact on tourists, adding that around 1,500 restaurants have licences from the Ministry of Tourism and will be exempt from the new hours.
 
New legislation may encourage other businesses to register, he said, allowing the ministry to monitor their services.
 
"Owners of these establishments are obliged to pay 10 per cent sales tax to the Ministry of Tourism which will push up public revenues too," he said.
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Ric
12-10-2012 03:55pm
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No more the real Egypt
The late hour of shops and restaurants and ofcourse bars was the best thing in Egypt. If this is gone I will surely not visit Egypt any longer. Furthermore this is already part of you guys culture to stay out late. Now you even want to change the culture. Lts see what the democracy will bring next!
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Zaki
12-11-2012 09:50am
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This is the real Egypt good for people of Egypt
Ric, please stay away from Islamic Egypt, and dont visit the Egypt, it will not allow the visa for bone head like you. It was in the culture of Pharoah Mubarak. He is siting in jail, you may visit him there if you like.
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eternal tourist
12-10-2012 02:25pm
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et
aah, you´re not fooling me. it must be the revival of candid camera.
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M V L
12-10-2012 12:38pm
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Let me understand this
So the idea is to force businesses to close b/c there is not enough electrical power available - in other words have people make less money so they can spend less on utilities and there will be less revenues for the power company. Seems like another ingenious plan to solve the economic woes of the country.
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Anne Ominous
12-10-2012 07:18am
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when is a curfew not a curfew?
doesn't this sound suspiciously like a curfew to you? with the exception of "tourist establishments" which no doubt have ichwann shareholders! The MB is turning into the NDP before our very eyes.....
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Millioni
11-10-2012 11:39pm
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Tourists like shopping late in Egypt too...
Tourists love the bustle and brightness of shopping in Egypt. This policy makes little sense.
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ST
11-10-2012 11:14pm
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Not free market
The shops and restaurants will close if they don't have customers. The governments job is to provide security not use the lack of security as a means to disrupt commerce.
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medo
11-10-2012 08:46pm
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why why why?
well, thats one way to cause even more problems to the economy!
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Pat
12-10-2012 10:24am
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Bad decision
It may solve a part of electricity problem, but in another way around it will cause more unemployment, economic crisis, and defenitely security issue (imagine now the streets will be empty after 10 pm and you just came back frome your job or doctor visits..walking in street alone. You may face robbery or even worse). I wonder how the new government of Egypt is basing their desicion without pondering more complex issues or side effects.(yes in europe and many other countries shops do close early but don't forget their customs, lifestyle dan situations aren't the same as Egypt)
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