Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing times

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Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing times

Post by DJKeefy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:50 pm

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.

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.


Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/55391.aspx


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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by A-Four » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:22 pm

I heard about this idea some time ago, and thought it was crazy.

Most people in Cairo do their shopping at night up to about 11p.m., they then as a rule nip up to Orabi Sq for something to eat, this is especially so on a Thursday or Saturday night, and even more so during the hot summer,........and not to mention Eid, and other holidays. As for un-licensed street venders in down town Cairo being persuaded to pay tax,...............well that's a joke in itself.

There is more to this, than we see here,.......wait and see.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Bombay » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:03 pm

About time. I think they should make it 6pm for non tourist licensed restaurants lol :lol:

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Bombay » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:08 pm

ALL restaurants catering for the Tourist market will have to have the Tourist license with or without the additional alcohol license, they want the 10% and allowing the ministry to monitor their services.
This has been on the cards for sometime. There are 113 restaurants listed on Tripadvisor for Luxor however iirc only 18 have Tourist licenses.
Also part of the reason behind this is the electric shortage.
R

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Teddyboy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:53 pm

"only 18 have Tourist licenses."

Does this mean, then, that we are actually breaking the law every time we dine at one of these non-tourist-licensed places? Otherwise, what is the point of having them (special 'tourist licensed' places, that is)?

You had better list them R, so that we won't get carted off to the calabouche in the middle of enjoying a forbidden meal!!!!!

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by carrie » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:08 pm

Think it is a stupid idea, one of the attractions of Luxor is the bustling night life, everyone seems to go and do their shopping after 10pm, Egyptians seem to sleep all day and now they are supposed to be in beddy byes for 10pm forget it.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Bombay » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:28 pm

Does this mean, then, that we are actually breaking the law every time we dine at one of these non-tourist-licensed places? Otherwise, what is the point of having them (special 'tourist licensed' places, that is)?
Only if you drink alcohol in them then you are breaking the law.


Outside Sheraton

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Outside Sonesta St George Hotel

Murphy's
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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Winged Isis » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:51 pm

DJKeefy wrote:El-Zayat said the decision would have no real impact on tourists,


But what about the poor business owners trying to make a living? I think tourists like the extended hours; I know I do. And what about in summer, when it's so much cooler to shop at night? Someone didn't have their thinking hat on over this one! :x

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Teddyboy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:42 pm

"Only if you drink alcohol in them then you are breaking the law."

Now you're getting me befuddled! What has 'Tourist Licensing' got to do with serving liquor? Are they interconnected, or interdependent?

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Teddyboy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:42 pm

"Only if you drink alcohol in them then you are breaking the law."

Now you're getting me befuddled! What has 'Tourist Licensing' got to do with serving liquor? Are they interconnected, or interdependent?

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Bombay » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:49 pm

Its mainly due to the fuel situation, cooking gas and electric, turn off lights and A/C. It was supposed to have started in the summer. The tax and the Tourist licensing was always a different issue going back to pre revolution.
Do not forget there is only a certain amount of the country where there are tourists and they are catered for by the hotels if nothing else anyway.
As for restaurants closing at midnight many close well before that anyway whichever licenses they have. Also for a longtime now you do not see many tourists around much after 10/10.30pm in Luxor even before the revolution.
R

Below is a copy of my post from 6th Sept:
There are 2 types of restaurants in Luxor those that are Tourist restaurants and licensed by the Ministry Of Tourism in Cairo and those that are Local restaurants licensed for locals locally.
The tourist license which is a requirement to operate a restaurant aimed for tourists has many more requirements including higher hygiene standards fire & safety standards to name but 2 and many charges to obtain and maintain the licences.
In the near future all restaurants aimed at the tourist market will be required to have a Tourist licence as its a current law that will be enforced.
Local licensed restaurants do not pay the same taxes and charges to the government. You MUST have a tourist license with a minimum 3 star rating to obtain an alcohol license. Until recently your minimum prices were set by the government based on your star rating as 10% sales tax from every bill goes to them.

These are the restaurants (not Hotels) with a tourist license in Luxor that I know of as of today.
Jems
The Grand
7 Days 7 Ways/Royal Oak
KFC
Murphy's
Kings Head
Sunrise
Joans
The Lantern
Oasis Cafe (finishing)
A Taste Of India
The Fortune Cookie/The King And Thai
Regal Lounge Bar & Grill
Puddleduck
Esquire/Pub 2000
McDonalds
Hamees (Operates on the old Luxor Hotel License)
Sindbad (Operates on the old Luxor Hotel License)
Ali Baba (Operates on the old Luxor Hotel License)
JJ's Bar & Restaurant
Genesis
First Restaurant.
Ali Baba on the West Bank had a Tourist license don't know about now.
So if you drink alcohol anywhere else you're breaking the law and all the other restaurants aiming for Tourist market are charging Tourist prices without paying for the privileged or possibly undercutting those that do!

Quoting from the UK FCO Travel Advice For Egypt:

"Drinking in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar is not allowed and can lead to arrest."

R

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Teddyboy » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:06 am

Thank you.

Now that we seem to be getting some sort of action from the police, maybe they'll start to enforce these laws/regulations, I certainly find it offensive to see people drinking in the streets.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by carrie » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:30 pm

Why does everything have to revolve around "us" what about "them" you know the Egyptians, the people whose country this is. What about the doctors dentists etc who suppliment their salaries by holding clinics in the evening. Will the dark streets lead to an increase in crime? I walked down Medina last night about 11pm and Medina club was full of families with children playing on the swings all having a great time. I cant see Medina Club having a tourist licence, and why should they. I honestly cant see the closing everything up at 10, except for the tourists, regulations ever working. Can you imagine in Britain if they introduced a law that all the Brits had to be in by 10 but everything was open for the tourists.
I like TB hate to see anyone drinking in the street but then I have only ever seen tourists doing it.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Chocolate Eclair » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Seems that by naming and shaming Bombay some might dissapear.

I remember as a tourist I was in bed around 10.30pm anyway so late night drinking and shopping was of no interest to me anyway.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Goddess » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:49 pm

and what about the coffee shops?

Now I'm all for the shops shutting a bit earlier (in the hope that they may start to open a bit earlier) and contrary to public opinion, shops in Alex aren't open that late anyway. For the last 5 years or so the shops that used to stay open til 2 am are now closing their shutters by 11pm anyway, so there has been a big shift in general opening times regardless.

But what I object to is ordinary shops serving ordinary people such as kebab and kofta shops, chicken spit shops, coffee shops, etc may have to close earlier in big cities if they don't hold a tourist licence. Just whiffs a fair bit in that respect IMHO.
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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by TonyC » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:21 pm

There's a lot on here about "everything" closing up by 10pm. Surely that ignores the first line of the story:
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.

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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by Goddess » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:52 pm

Phew!
Thanks TonyC ....my late night chicken dinner may still be safe!

Still think it stinks to force a tourist licence though instead of an extended hours licence.
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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by DJKeefy » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:32 am

Shops in the Delta governorate of Qalioubiya will be among the first to abide by Egypt's strict new closing hours, governor Adel Zayed said on Tuesday.

From 3 November shops will be forced to shut their doors by 10pm, as the northern governorate joins a controversial Egypt-wide initiative the government says will cut electricity consumption and ease pressure on the state budget.

Restaurants will have to close at 12am on weekdays, but can remain open an extra hour on Thursday and Friday. Pharmacies and establishments officially classified as catering to tourists will be exempt.

The intiative will be reviewed in April 2013 to evaluate its results, Zayed told Ahram's Arabic-language news website on Tuesday.

The mid-October announcement of the new curfew by Egypt's governors' council prompted a chorus of disapproval from the country's small business owners, who fear it could have a devastating effect on trade.

Government officials claim early closing could save up to LE6 billion ($1bn) in electricity, but have not presented details of how they reached this figure.

Night-time shopping is a deeply ingrained habit among Egyptians, with shops selling all manner of goods remaining open well into the early hours.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/56330.aspx
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Re: Egypt's shops and restaurants face strict new closing ti

Post by LivinginLuxor » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:04 am

Maybe a similar result could be obtained by the shops closing during the day - still late-night culture - instead of shutting at about 2 and opening again at around 6.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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