On the 6th of March 2022, Law No. 8 of 2022 regulating the Hotels and Tourism Establishments (the “Law”) was issued nullifying its predecessor law No. 1 of 1973 and setting out the licensing and regulatory requirements for hotel and tourism establishments.
Regulation, Supervision and Compliance Period
The Law applies to entities that undertake hotel and tourism activities which are defined in Article 1 of said Law as follows:
“Hotel Establishments”: venues that provide residence to Egyptian and foreign guests and have obtained the required license by the competent ministry such as: hotels, tourist villages, floating, heritage or boutique hotels, camps whether ordinary or safari, hotel apartments or units and any other venues as determined by the competent ministerial decrees.
“Tourism Establishments”: venues that provide Egyptian and foreign guests food and beverages for consumption on the spot or takeaway provided such venues have obtained the required license by the competent ministry such as: restaurants, floating restaurants whether fixed or mobile, takeaway restaurants, food trucks, cafeterias, means of transportation provided for tourism, tourism trips whether land, Nile or sea, discos, night clubs, souvenir shops, diving and safari centers, gyms and spas that are located within the hotel or tourism establishments; and any other venues as determined by the competent ministerial decrees.
The Prime Minister should issue the Executive Regulation of the Law within six months from the date of its entry into force of the Law, which is the 7th of March, 2022. However, it is important to highlight that the Law stipulates that all previously granted licenses shall remain effective until the issuance of the Executive Regulation of the Law. Upon the issuance of the latter, Hotel and Tourism Establishments shall be required to comply with its provisions.
However, it is important to highlight that the Law stipulates that all previously granted licenses shall remain effective until the issuance of the Executive Regulation of the Law. Upon the issuance of the latter, Hotel and Tourism Establishments shall be required to comply with its provisions.
Key Article “Hotel and Tourism Establishments License”
Under the provisions of the Law at hand, it is prohibited for entities to undertake hotel or tourism activities and manage Hotel and Tourism Establishments without obtaining a license from the Ministry of Tourism (the “Ministry”) in accordance to the requirements and procedures provided in the Law and its Executive Regulation. The Law sets out a short and facilitated procedure for obtaining the license, which is as follows:
The applicant shall submit the template application provided by the Ministry in accordance to the requirements and procedures that are yet to be determined by the Executive Regulation.
Upon submitting the application, the Ministry shall review the aforementioned and reach to a preliminary decision within 30 days.
The applicant shall be notified of such decision within seven days from its determination.
The applicant shall be obligated in this stage to pay an inspection fees ranging from EGP 500 to EGP 100,000 within seven days.
Upon paying the inspection fees, the competent entity shall inspect the establishment and issue its decision whether approval or rejection within 45 days. In case of rejection, said decision entail the reason(s) for the rejection. Said applicant shall have a period of 30 days in order reconcile his situation.
The fees for issuing the license ranges between EGP 1,000 and EGP 1,000,000. Upon its issuance, the Executive Regulation are expected to provide clarity on how the fees are determined.
The Law further sets out compliance requirements which Hotel and Tourism establishments are required to abide with. Main examples of such requirements are:
CCTV Cameras: Article 21 provides that Hotel and Tourism Establishments are required to install CCTV cameras both inside and outside the establishment. Said provision further entails that Hotel and Tourism Establishments are required to abide with all the security measures that are yet to be determined by the Executive Regulation.
Disclosure of Guest Information: Article 22 provides that Hotel and Tourism Establishments are required to provide a list of their guests to the Ministry on a monthly basis.
Alcohol and Shisha: Article 23 provides that Hotel and Tourism Establishments are prohibited from serving alcohol and shisha smoking without obtaining a license from the competent ministry. The fee for obtaining said license range from EGP 1,000 to EGP 100,000.
Gambling: Article 24 provides that only non-Egyptians are allowed to undertake gambling in accordance to the specifications and royalty determined by the Ministry.
Manager of Hotel and Tourism Establishments License
According to Article 7 of the Law, any individual undertaking the management or the supervision of Hotel and Tourism Establishments shall be obligated to obtain a license from the Ministry of Tourism for a fee that ranges from EGP 300 to EGP 20,000.
Operating Hotel and Tourism Establishment’s without obtaining a license is punishable with a fine not less than EGP 50,000 and no more than EGP 500,000. In case of recurrence, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not less than 6 months and no more than one year and double the abovementioned fine, or any of these penalties.
The Law further sets out a penalty of imprisonment for a period not less than six months and a fine not less than EGP 5,000 and no more than EGP 50,000 or any of these penalties in case of failing to disclose the list of guests to the Ministry.