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.