Alcohol-Free Hotel Opens in Egypt Resort Town of Hurghada: MENA

A no-alcohol hotel opened yesterday in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, state-run Middle East News Agency said, amid charges by the country’s opposition that an Islamist agenda is taking root.

The Lorwah hotel is an attempt to promote “a new tourism approach” that avoids entertainment forbidden by Islam, resort owner Yasser Kamal told MENA. The hotel also has one women-only floor with a swimming pool and concert hall guarded by female security, he said.

Alcohol bottles lined up on a bar were broken in the hotel’s opening ceremony, MENA reported late yesterday.

On Twitter and Facebook, critics assailed the move as Islamist encroachment on tourism and another clampdown on personal freedoms under President Mohamed Mursi, elected in June as the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate. In February, the government stopped licensing stores to sell alcohol in some urban areas

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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