Egypt unveils 'dry' hotel: a destination for sober travelers?
The first of its kind in Egypt, an alcohol-free hotel has opened its doors to tourists in the Red Sea city of Hurghanda.
The Les Rois is a three-star hotel with 183 rooms, an alcohol ban and an entire top floor that is strictly a female-only area with a swimming pool.
The hotel opened on Saturday, and the celebration included a ceremony of pouring alcohol into a gutter and smashing bottles.
Providing 'a new kind of tourism'
In attempts to attract tourism after safety concerns emerged in 2011, the hotel aims to provide a different kind of vacation experience for guests.
"The idea of launching a hotel without alcohol is not to adhere to any particular movement but rather to provide a new kind of tourism," Yasser Kamal, the owner of the hotel, told MENA (Middle Eastern New Agency).
Kamal also notes that guests of any religion will be welcome at the hotel.
"Muslim, Christian, at the end of the day you are Egyptian," he said at the opening ceremony.
In the Middle East, religious convictions in many countries hold that hotels can't serve alcohol, and it may be a niche market for sober tourists, in particular.
Last month, a sober bar in the U.S. opened it's doors, providing a place for recovering alcoholics and addicts to socialize.