Egypt's 'first' no-alcohol resort opens in Hurghada

Ahram Online, Sunday 28 Apr 2013

The hotel allocats a floor for women only; owner says he is promoting a new type of tourism

Sharm el Sheik,
A general view showing a partially empty beach at a Red Sea resort in Egypt. Tourism in Egypt was hit hard in the aftermath of the 2011 popular uprising (Photo: AP)

Hurghada saw the opening of a no-alcohol resort on Saturday – dubbed by state media as the first of its kind in the Red Sea – allocating an entire floor for women only.

Resort owner Yasser Kamal told state news agency MENA that the decision is not influenced by one ideology or force, but is an attempt to promote a new tourism approach.

"Tourists have alcohol in their countries, and they must find other alternatives in Hurghada for the purpose of diversity," Yasser explained, adding that the hotel is open for all nationalities and both Muslim and Christian Egyptians.

The owner added that only women will be allowed on the top floor of the hotel where female security will be placed.

The opening ceremony included lining up alcohol bottles on a bar and breaking them, spilling the alcohol, to announce the beginning of a new tourism approach under the new administration, the agency reported.

Muslims' holy book, the Quran, forbids alcohol consumption.

Tourism, an important driver of Egypt's economy, has suffered dramatically due to political unrest that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Rising fears have peaked since an Islamist government, headed by the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, was elected to power last June.

This article was published in Aswat Masreya

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