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Taking a photo when traveling in Egypt: Allowed?

Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Egypt’s Prime Minister has issued a decree regulating personal and non-commercial photography in public places.

Egypt’s Prime Minister has issued a decree regulating personal and non-commercial photography in public places. Three weeks ago, the country declared that Egyptians and tourists are allowed to take photographs in all public places free of charge and without requiring any permit, but it seems this needs further clarification.

A new decree addresses the regulations governing photography and videos for personal use (non-commercial) for Egyptians, foreign residents, and tourists, for free and without a previously obtained permit. The Egyptian Prime Minister issued decree No. 2720 for the year 2022, governing the regulations for personal uses (non-commercial) photography in public places, following the approval of the cabinet during its last meeting on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

The decree stipulates allowing photography for personal use (non-commercial) for Egyptians, foreign residents, and tourists in public places throughout the country, according to established regulations, free of charge and without obtaining a permit, using all kinds of analogue traditional and digital photography cameras, personal video cameras, and tripods.  However, the decree prohibits the use of equipment which would block public roads, or professional photography equipment, umbrellas, and artificial outdoor lighting gears unless a permit is obtained beforehand, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

It was also decreed that:

Photography for personal use is not permitted in certain public places.

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Unless the person doing the photography has obtained prior approval from the concerned authorities, photography in these public places are not allowed: lands, edifices and facilities affiliating the Ministries of Defense and Military Production and Interior as well as other sovereign, security, judicial bodies, and Parliamentary councils. The decision also applies to other ministries and governmental premises and facilities.

The decree also emphasized that photography for personal use should not be in violation of relevant laws. It also prohibits the taking or publishing photographs that may damage the country’s image or offend its citizens or violate public morals. It also prohibits photographing children and photographing and publishing photos of Egyptian citizens without their written consent. 

In light of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ aim to promote cultural tourism, encourage inbound tourism , and to motivate local and international producers and production companies to shoot inside archaeological sites and museums under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Board of Directors of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (BDSCA) took a decision in 2019 allowing  the use of mobile phone cameras as well as traditional, digital and video cameras inside museums and archaeological sites without using the camera flash.

In 2021, incentive regulations were additionally approved by the BDSCA to allow commercial, promotional and cinematic photography in Egyptian museums and archaeological sites, with the option of daily, weekly, and monthly photography permits for these services.

The permit service for commercial and cinematic filming could be obtained by applying through the Ministry’s official website which will soon be launched. The website will include regulations in different languages for taking photographs in public areas.

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About the author

Linda Hohnholz, eTN editor

Linda Hohnholz has been writing and editing articles since the start of her working career. She has applied this innate passion to such places as Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University, the Hawaii Children's Discovery Center, and now TravelNewsGroup.

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