Egyptian tourism authorities have closed a restaurant in Cairo for one month as punishment for refusing to host a Saudi tourist and his family recently.
The tourist was refused entry because he was wearing the Saudi dress, the thobe, and it led to a verbal argument between the tourist and his family on one side, and the restaurant owner and his workers on the other.
The tourist considered this action as discrimination and an insult to him personally, his family, and at large to his country and submitted a complaint to Egyptian Tourism Minister Khalid Rami.
The minister responded to the complaint by ordering an investigation into the incident and calling the Saudi tourist to his office to offer him an apology.
President of the Saudi Council for Tourism and Antiquities Prince Sultan bin Salman commended the Egyptian minister’s stand in a phone conversation, saying that the minister’s action was not unusual in light of the strong, long-lasting relations between the two brotherly neighbors.
The deputy chairman of national committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, Majid Al-Hokair, told Arab News that he highly lauded Prince Sultan’s gesture of calling and thanking the Egyptian tourism minister for his just stand on the Saudi citizen’s problem.
“Prince Sultan’s stand is a strong signal of the Saudi government’s stand that Saudi tourists deserve respect in Arab and other countries.
All Saudi officials should take him as an example and defend just causes of Saudis abroad, not only in tourism but in all other fields like business, health care and education,” he said.
“Though the majority of Saudis behave well abroad and present a good image of their religion and country, there is need to urge those who might indulge in disputes or disagreement to be cautious to avoid unfavorable consequences.
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