Egypt allows its citizens and visitors to freely practice amateur photography in its streets and public spaces, the Ministry of Tourism announced last week.
In recent months, many voices were raised to denounce the obstacles posed to amateur photographers by the Egyptian authorities: interruption of photography sessions in the street and on tourist sites and sometimes even confiscation of equipment.
Until now, street photography has been conditional on obtaining a permit, but from now on photography will be allowed "in all public spaces in Egypt, free of charge and without prior authorization", announced the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement.
These new regulations apply to photographers wishing to use their images for personal, non-commercial use and not everything can be photographed, the ministry warned.
"It is strictly forbidden to take photographs of scenes that could damage the image of the country," said the authorities in the statement, without giving more details.
The ministry says the new regulations are aimed at reviving tourism in Egypt, a sector that employs two of the 103 million inhabitants of the most populous country in the Arab world and accounts for more than 10% of its GDP. Egypt, caught between inflation and devaluation, is banking heavily on its tourism, which is just beginning to recover from a decade of political turmoil, since the "revolution" that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the Covid-19 pandemic.