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Egyptian shops, restaurants to close at midnight, 2am

According to draft legislation prepared by the government, Egypt's shops and restaurants will be expected to close their doors at 12am, 2am respectively

Bassem Abo Alabass, Monday 5 Nov 2012
shops
An Egyptian man emerges from a closed shop (Photo: AP)
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Egyptian shops and restaurants will be allowed to remain open until 12am and 2am respectively according to draft legislation prepared by the government, official news agency MENA reported on Monday.

Following a meeting with the heads of Egyptian chambers of commerce, Industry Minister Hatem Saleh said the new closing times would be suitable for both shop owners and customers.

"The prime minister authorised me to handle this initiative last week," Saleh told Ahram Online by telephone. "And I've spent the last 48 hours working on it until reaching agreement with traders."

Saleh replaced local development minister Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, who had been tasked with leading a government initiative to institute earlier closing times for shops.

On Thursday, Abdeen announced that the controversial decision – which was initially met with significant public opposition – had been delayed "until further notice."   

According to Saleh, the new closing times – listed below – will come into effect on 1 December.

For all workshops in rural and urban districts (except automobile maintenance) will have to close their doors at 9pm.

In rural villages, shop owners will have to reduce their electricity consumption at 9pm and close their doors at 11pm.

For shops located in urban areas, owners will have to reduce their electricity consumption at 10pm and close their doors at 12am.

Pharmacies and petrol stations, meanwhile, will have to reduce their electricity consumption at 9pm in rural areas and 10pm in urban areas. They will be permitted, however, to remain open around the clock.

Restaurants and cafes in both villages and cities will have to reduce their electricity consumption at 12am and shut their doors at 2am.

According to the new legislation, citizens will be able to make purchases at these retailers – while the latter can offer delivery services – after the abovementioned times. Customers will not, however, be allowed to stay in these venues after official closing times.

Saleh stated that shops, cafes and restaurants would be exempted from the compulsory closing hours on weekends and on official holidays, when they will be free to open and close whenever they want.

Last month, the government had called for all shops to be closed at 10pm in order to conserve electricity. The new rules, however, which were meant to go into effect on 1 November, proved unacceptable to much of the public.

According to government officials, the previous scheme was supposed to save the country up to LE6 billion (roughly $1 billion) a year in electricity costs, but it is unclear how much the redrated scheme will reduce electricity consumption.

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flute
06-11-2012 10:25am
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Wake up People
This is just another example of Egypt tackling the symptoms not the problem. It gets dark too early, that's the problem. Ok I understand it was to make Ramadan easier by bringing If-tar forward, but for two years now that has lead to increased electricity usage. Wake up people and change the clocks. It's easy and a damn sight easier and cheaper to enforce than having an already useless police force benefit from yet more baksheesh to look the other way.
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Jo Lotfallah
06-11-2012 09:59am
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Same Policing Different Face
Clearly we've just exchanged one tyrant for another.
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Ansari
12-11-2012 09:44am
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Same Policing Different Face, this time for the state of Egypt, not for Pharoah
Jo, get use to it. You have no choice. The people's government will let you and your cohorts waste precious and expensive electricity without limiting the usage.
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Flute
06-11-2012 09:42am
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Wake up Egypt
This whole idea is a farce. How about you reset your clocks to daylight saving. They have not changed the last couple of years so that if-tar would come early during Ramadan. Not only would this reduce electricity consumption it would extend the working day for those who require daylight. What is the point of sunrise so early when Egyptians are sleeping? As usual it is another example of Egypt treating the symptoms not the problem
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Sarah
05-11-2012 11:04pm
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great decision
Being able to accommodate reasonable closing time is great another great decision is that to close discussion in that issue and be firm because even if the government decide for the shops to close at 4.00 a.m people will still be unhappy and protest
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expat
05-11-2012 09:31pm
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first step to dictatorship...
well the first step is done to restrict the peoples live in five years you have to follow the prayers in order to do your business and after the last one its lights out!
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medo
05-11-2012 06:21pm
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LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!
Who is going to decide "how much" is "reduced consumption?" If a restaurant has to reduce the amount of electricity is uses after 12... should they turn off the lights?? I am sure all the couples will love that idea! LOL! Having different times for rural and cities just adds to the confusion of this whole idea... I feel that a better idea would be to use the profits that the companies make and build power stations and improve the infrastructure of the whole system, what exactly happens to the profits? Lets be honest, most of the street lights don't work.. so what does happen to our money?
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Ashok
06-11-2012 09:00pm
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Great Idea Egyptian shops, restaurants to close at midnight, 2am
Medo, your math is very poor. The power is consumed by the time. So closing hours are great to implement. Even in US and EU, the shops closing times are defined to save power. Go back to school and learn math and learn to live within your means.
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