Authority stops issuing new liquor licenses in new areas

Authorities have put a halt to issuing new liquor licenses in some of Cairo’s recently built areas and new settlements, Senior Vice President of the New Urban Communities Authority Nabeel Abbas confirmed to the independent financial newspaper Al-Mal Sunday.

Abbas first said the authority would not issue any new liquor licenses to shops or trade centers operating in the new neighborhoods in a letter dated 11 November 2012, which Al-Mal obtained from one new neighborhood’s governing agency.

In the letter, Abbas wrote that establishments would be observed to see that they ended all alcohol selling operations. He said the authority had the right to revoke the rights of any activities that might disturb the residents of the area.

He also compared businesses selling alcohol to plumbing shops or car mechanics, which he said residents have also refused to have in the new neighborhoods.

The order was issued after a number of neighborhood councils wrote letters asking for its issuance, Abbas said.

One such letter came from Mamdouh Badr Eddin, a trustee of the Sheikh Zayed settlement, who wrote that by refusing to issue licenses, the city was preserving its quiet atmosphere and cleanliness.

He said the new order would not affect restaurants or tourist establishments that operate with approval of the Tourism Ministry.

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