By Courtney Trenwith
Ministry has reportedly closed a restaurant for a month after staff refused entry to a Saudi man because he was wearing the traditional white thobe
The Egyptian Tourism Minister has apologised to a Saudi man who was refused entry to restaurant because he was wearing the traditional white thobe.
Tourism Minister Khaled Rami told local media authorities were investigating why the Saudi and two escorts dressed in Western clothing were accused of violating the restaurant’s dress code.
“There will be no leniency with the management of the restaurant,” Rami was quoted as saying during a meeting on Thursday with the Saudi visitors.
“This is an isolated act, which does not at all reflect Egyptians’ way of welcoming Arab brothers.
“The ministry does not allow any infringements from any tourism installation against tourists.”
Tourism official Abdul Fattah Al Asai was quoted by privately-owned newspaper Al Watan as saying the ministry closed the restaurant for a month and requested its manager to offer an apology to the Saudi man and his family.
Egypt is attempting to lure back tourists after years of political instability and violence. Tourism is one of the country’s most important industries but visitor numbers fell by about one-quarter after violence erupted in 2011.
The country is expected to launch a campaign later this month aimed at attracting wealthy Arabs during summer.