CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior denied claims that it has issued a decree banning Christmas celebrations at hotels this year.
Several hotels in Cairo canceled their Christmas carol recital plans this year, citing an official decree from the ministry banning the annual event in hotel lobbies.
However, the press office at the Ministry of Interior told Daily News Egypt, “We are the only body authorized to make such decrees and we have not issued it .Christmas celebrations will be held at hotels and other places all over Egypt.
Fairmont Nile City said it received the official decree two days before Christmas carols were scheduled to start in their lobby. “We were planning to have Christmas carols, then we got the decree so we had to cancel, a source inside the hotel told Daily News Egypt, adding that a Christmas tree and decorations were, however, allowed.
Several high-end hotels in Cairo confirmed to Daily News Egypt that they have received the decree and consequently canceled all plans to hold Christmas carols this year.
Sources in many hotels refused to have their names or the hotel names published, due to the “sensitivity of the issue.
Hotels said authorities didn’t give them any reason or justification for the decree, but one source said they were told that, “they didn’t want anything that would provoke terrorism.
Another five-star hotel did not even plan to hold Christmas carols this year after claiming they received a similar decree last year.
“We are not holding any Christmas carols this year because we went through a similar situation last year. We had Christmas carols in the lobby then we received a note from security bodies that they had to be removed from the lobby into a closed room, explained the public relations manager of that hotel.
“[Holding the event] inside a ballroom won’t have the same effect, so we canceled it altogether and this year we didn’t plan them at all to avoid going through this again, the sourse added.
The Ramsis Hilton, on the other hand, held a Christmas party for children earlier this month where Santa Claus gave out presents and Christmas carols were sung inside a ballroom.
The hotel did not cite any problems with security bodies, according to Maha El-Qady, the public relations manager at the hotel.