Heavy rains in Egypt (Reuters)
Thursday 12 March will be a paid day off for employees in Egypt's public and private sectors due to the "bad weather conditions" forecast for the day, the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement.
The decision does not apply to workers at vital services including water and sewage, transport, ambulance services, hospitals, mills and bakeries, and the police, the cabinet added. It said that holidays for such sectors are decided by their respective bodies.
Meteorologists forecast "very heavy rain" for the capital Cairo, the Nile Delta region, cities along the Mediterranean and other parts of the country on Thursday. Dusty winds that could reach sandstorm levels are also expected in various parts of the country, weather forecasters say, calling on citizens to exercise caution.
The country's stock exchange and all banks will also be closed on Thursday, the central bank and the stock market said.
Egypt is also shutting down schools and universities nationwide on Thursday due to the bad weather.
Earlier this week, the country's Civil Aviation Authority warned that the "extremely unstable" weather will continue through Saturday, urging authorities to take necessary measures to limit any potential negative impacts.