Shisha banned in the UAE over coronavirus fears - GulfToday

Shisha banned in the UAE over coronavirus fears

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A woman smokes Shisha at a cafe in Dubai. File/ AFP

Adnan Okasha / Emadedddin Khalil, Staff Reporters

The Ajman Municipality and Planning Department has instructed all hotel and tourist establishments, cafes and restaurants operating in the emirate to stop serving “Shisha” in immediately.

The Department on Thursday issued an administrative decision regarding the temporary ban of serving “shisha”, calling on owners of establishments operating in the emirate to immediately stop this service until further notice. While the rest of the services and the accompanying activities, such as meals food, cold and hot drinks and the like will continue normally.

The decision came to preserve the safety and health of community members, and in line with the preventive measures related to the Covid-19, the Department added.

The Ras Al Khaimah Municipality has also banned serving all kinds “Shisha” in cafes and other facilities operating in all areas of the emirate as of Thursday, March 12, until further notice.

This came in a circular issued by the Municipality to the concerned facilities and competent authorities.

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A man smokes Shisha at a cafe in Dubai. File/ AFP

Munther Bin Shukr Al Zaabi, Director General of the Department, stressed that the Municipality has taken its decision and is working to ensure the implementation of its procedures in cooperation and coordination with the competent authorities in emirate. The moves comes out of keenness to take precautionary health measures, and to ensure the protection of public health and safety, and in line with the state’s plans and efforts in this direction.

Meanwhile, the licensed cafes and restaurants in Abu Dhabi committed to the circular issued by the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi regarding banning of Shisha on Wednesday. The decision has entered into force immediately and urgently, to ensure the public health and safety for all. In response to the circular, serving Shishas has stopped immediately in all facilities that serve it, the Municipality said.

The Department explained that the decision of ban Shisha would continue until further notice. This has come within the precautionary and preventive measures to curb the spread of coronavirus "Covid-19".

The inspectors at the Inspection and Follow-up Department will conduct intensive inspection campaigns on all cafes randomly, to monitor compliance with the circular.

Those who fail to abide by the regulations will face fine and other measures within the legislations in force.

The department indicated that cafes and restaurants that are in violation of the circular would subject to fines and penalties that may reach closure for specific periods, depending on the violation.

Dubai Government has also banned restaurants and cafes from serving shisha starting from Thursday, March 13.

That's according to a decision made by Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) and the Dubai Municipality, in a bid to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the emirate.

Establishments will not be able to provide customers with any Shisha products for two weeks, according to the decision.

Officials have also clarified that random inspections will be carried out and legal action will be taken against violators.

Dubai Government directs all shisha cafes and coffee shops to stop serving Shisha immediately for 2 weeks as a precautionary measure.

Shisha 2 A cafe employee tries a Shisha before giving it to a customer in Dubai. File/ AFP


For their part, a number of cafés officials confirmed on Thursday, their commitment to the decision to stop serving Shisha, according to the instructions of the relevant authorities and procedures to curb the Coronavirus.

Gulf Today monitored a number of cafes, placing Shishas in closed places, and away from the eyes of the café clients, while others put curtains on the corner designated for preparing shisha.

Basil Al Aridi, director of one of the cafes, said that the decision would affect the number of the visitors of the cafe, but the precautionary measures that are set by the concerned authorities to curb the spread of the coronavirus is a priority and ultimately feed into the health of individuals.

Muhammad Jamal, a café official, added that there are a large number of customers who come to the café and ask to serve them Shisha secretly, but the café strictly prohibits serving it after the decision. He also stressing that customers are alerted about the ban when come to the café, pointing out that a sign would be placed on the door about that in compliance with the instructions of the competent authorities.

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