Tougher rules for shisha cafes in UAE from 2014

Published On: 
Mon, 28/10/2013 - 08:14
Reported by: 
Khaleej Times

Shisha cafes to be restricted to places 150 metres away from residential buildings and populated neighbourhoods, schools, mosques, and others.

Tougher rules related to shisha smoking in cafes and eateries, both public and private, across the country’s Capital will be implemented early next year, in a bid to promote a stop-smoking message.

Abu Dhabi Business Centre (ADBC), affiliated to the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, announced that it would start the application of the Regulations of Federal Law No. (15) of the year 2009 on tobacco control.

The announcement came during a joint coordinating meeting between the Department of Economic Development (DED), the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the Department of Municipal Affairs and Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture.

During the meeting, it was agreed on to determine the time remaining for cafes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to adjust their positions until January 31 of next year, calling for the owners of cafes to review the Regulations of the law and the terms contained therein for the exercise of their activity.

The new regulations prohibits the exercise of these activities in residential areas not authorised by the department unless only in specific places, 150 metres away from residential buildings and populated neighbourhoods, schools, mosques, and others.

The opening hours for cafes have been set from 10am till 12am, and the regulation also stipulates that cafes must not provide water pipe tobacco and tobacco products to those who are under 18 years and prohibits their presence in places providing shisha. The distance between two smokers has also been specified at two square metres.

Ahmad Tarish Qubaisi, Acting Director of the Department of Trade Protection at the ADBC, assured that the DED will begin, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, to implement a plan designed to clarify the regulations and conditions contained in the law to cafes and private areas offering smoking-related activities.

Qubaisi stressed the necessity of not hiring any commercial sites to exercise the activity of smoking shisha unless approval has been given by ADBC.

Violating the provisions of the law amounts to imprisonment for a period of two years and a fine of up to Dh1 million, doubled in case of repetition of the offence, according to the provisions of Articles (13), (14), (15), (16) of the Act.

Director of the Department of Environment, Health and Safety in the Department of Municipal Affairs Abdul Rahman Marzouki, said the issuance of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control, aims at promoting a stop-smoking message.

Marzouki also said the Department has prevented smoking in each of the malls, men’s and women’s salons, while coordinating with the authorities concerned to implement and enforce the provisions of the Act and the Regulations.

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