Egypt's shorelines and bathing suit politics have grown nothing short of complicated. Look back a generation and you'll find your Shadias and Souad Hosnys and Mervat Amins lining the beaches from Gamasa to Alexandria in their stylish – yes, sometimes even polka-dotted – bathing suits. Fast forward a couple of decades and there are far fewer beaches in Egypt where women can comfortably wear those swimsuits without fearing gawkers or grabbers. Fast forward to the last couple of years and hotels have been restricting women from swimming in anything but a bathing suit – and that includes burkinis. The claim has often been a matter of material, where some women will take to pools or beaches wearing certain materials (read: regular clothes) that would otherwise be unhygienic; however, burkinis are supposed to be made from the same material as one-pieces and bikinis.
Egypt's Chamber of Tourism Establishments has been back and forth with statements around the burkini since 2017, issuing and revoking statements on whether the burkini should be allowed or banned, ultimately leaving the decision to the hotels depending on the type of tourists they receive during each respective season. In its most recent statement, Egypt's Chamber of Tourism Establishments issued a statement following multiple complaints that women were being banned from wearing burkinis at hotel swimming pools. The complaints addressed in the statement come mainly from beach towns surrounding the Red Sea – South Sinai, El Sokhna, and Ras Sudr. To combat the hygiene issue, the statement warned hotels from banning women in burkinis provided that the burkini is made of suitable material, doesn't have any negative effect on the general public's health, and complies with health standards.
While those new rules are now in place, does this mean women can comfortably wear their burkinis around all Red Sea resorts? That's a matter of perspective.
Source: Egypt Today