New Law for Hotels and Tourism Establishments
A new law No. 8 of 2022 regulating Hotels and Tourism Establishments is issued in Egypt on 6 March 2022 (“Law”). The Law cancels and replaces Law No. 1 of 1973 and it regulates the licensing and regulatory compliance requirements for hotels and tourism establishments. The law relies heavily on the executive regulations which should be issued within 6 months, in addition to the executive decisions to be issued regularly by the Ministry of Tourism (“MOT”).
The law defines hotels broadly to include any premises that is intended for the accommodation of Egyptian and non-Egyptian guests including:
- tourist villages,
- floating hotels,
- boutique hotels,
- eco-friendly accommodations,
- safari camps,
- branded residency and
- accommodation units.
Tourism establishments are also defined broadly to include any premises that is intended for receiving Egyptians and non-Egyptians for the purpose of serving food and drinks including:
- boat restaurants,
- takeaway restaurants,
- food trucks,
- tourism means of transportation,
- land trips, Nile River and sea cruises,
- night clubs,
- souvenir shops,
- diving and safari centers,
- gem and spa existing inside hotels.
Any hotel or tourism establishment from among the above lists is required to obtain a license from the MOT as the regulator.
The Law provides that a permanent committee will be established to determine the general specifications that must be satisfied by all hotels and tourism establishments in order to be able to obtain the license. These specifications will include the required firefighting system, the environmental and health requirements as well as the occupational safety and health measures.
The Law provided for a short and facilitated lichening procedures. The MOT is mandated to preliminary issue its decision on the request for a license within 30 days from the application date. Non reply within this period will be considered as a preliminary approval.
Within a week from the preliminary approval, the MOT will notify the applicant with the compliance requirements. The applicant will satisfy these requirements and request the MOT to inspect the premises to ensure compliance. The applicant will pay an inspection fee that will not exceed EGP 100,000 (around USD$ 6,300). The fees for the final approval ranges from EGP 100,000 (around US$ 6,300) to EGP 2 million (around US$ 127,000).
Applying substantial modifications
Any substantial modification in the hotel or the tourism establishment or its activities requires a special license from the MOT. The executive regulations of the Law will define what would constitute a ‘substantial’ modification.
Assignment of the license
The license can be assigned to a compliance third party against a fee that is ranging from EGP 10,000 (around US$ 630) to EGP 2,000,000 (around US$ 127,000).
According to the law any individual who is working in the management or the supervision of hotel or a tourism establishment must have a special license from the MOT against a fee that ranges from EGP 300 (around US$ 20) to EGP 20,000 (around US$ 1300).
Regulatory Compliance Requirements
Hotels and tourism establishments are required to install inside and outside CCTV camera and abide by all security requirements as will be detailed in the executive regulations of the Law.
Disclosure of Guests Information
The Law requires hotels and tourism establishment to disclose to the MOT a list of all guests on a monthly basis, this is in addition to the lists that are also required to be disclosed to the Ministry of Interior. A question here arises as the scope of information need to be disclosed and the liability of hotel owners under the Personal Data Protection Law No. 151 of 2020.
Alcohol and Shisha/ narghile smoking
Tourism establishments are not allowed to serve alcohol or shisha/narghile smoking without a special license from the MOT against a fee that is ranging from EGP 1000 (around US$ 60) to EGP 100,000 (around 6,300).
Gambling is only allowed for non-Egyptians according to the specifications and against a royalty to be determined by the MOT.
Running a hotel or a tourism establishment without a license will be punished with a fine not less than EGP 50,000 (around US$ 3000) and not exceeding EGP 500,000 (around US$ 30,000). In case of recurrence, the penalty will be imprisonment for a period not less than 6 month and not exceeding one year and/or double the fine. This is in addition to the administrative closure of the hotel or the tourism establishment.
Applying any substantial modification in the hotel or the tourism establishment or its activities without a license or the violation of the alcohol and gambling rules will be punished with a fine not less than EGP 50,000 (around US$ 3000) and not exceeding EGP 500,000 (around US$ 30,000). In case of recurrence, the penalty will be imprisonment for a period not less than 6 month and not exceeding one year and/or double the fine.
Violating the requirement to disclose the lists of the guests to the MOT and the Ministry of Interior is punished with a fine not less than EGP 5000 (around US$ 300) and not exceeding EGP 50,000 (around US$ 3,000). The manager of the hotel or the tourism establishment will be punished with the same penalties in case it is proven that s/he was aware of the violation or that a s/he breached her/his professional duty of care and that breach contributed to the occurrence of the violation. In all cases, the hotel or the tourism establishment will be jointly liable with the manager.
For more information about the Law, please contact Dr. Fatma Salah.