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20 May 2024

Abu Dhabi shisha cafes face Jan. 31 deadline

By Wam

Abu Dhabi Business Centre of the Department of Economic Development has announced that the implementation of the regulations of the Federal Law No. (15) /2009 on Tobacco Control will be in effect after the end of the grace period on January 31.

This came during a joint coordination meeting held by the Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi Police and the Department of Transport. It was agreed that cafes in Abu Dhabi should abide by the regulations of the law and regularise their positions by the end of the grace period on January 31. The meeting reviewed all steps that have been taken to implement the regulations.

The concerned government entities called on owners of cafes to the review the regulations of the law and the stipulated conditions required to be met for carrying out their activities.

The Department of Economic Development presented an update on the plan for applying the regulation,  including  raising awareness  of  cafe  owners in the Emirate ; and  the preparations for  licensing  the new  establishments  in accordance with the  new  regulations.

Ahmed Taresh Al Qubaisi,  Acting Director of Trade Protection at the Business Center, said that the Department of Economic Development will begin, in cooperation with the relevant authorities to follow up the implementation of the plan, to ensure the commitment of all establishments with  regularizing their positions before the deadline at the end of January.

He said that establishments wishing to continue in this activity must change their status  as  required by the regulations;  and in  case they are not able to abide  by the regulations,  they should immediately cease  to offer hookah or shisha before the deadline, or change  the activity of the  establishment to avoid  being subject to the law.

Al Qubaisi said that many owners of cafes have begun to take serious steps to search for alternative locations, or by changing their activities. 

Abu Dhabi Business Centre of  the Department of Economic Development works in close  coordination with  the municipalities  of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region  to  unify procedures for the inspection of establishments, to ensure application of the law; where the role of municipalities  is  the supervision and  the issuance of approvals necessary for the  practicing of business activities  such as tobacco and tobacco requirements .

According to statistics of the Abu Dhabi Health Authority,   citizen male adults who smoke comprise 24 per cent of total male adults, while female citizen smokers constitute 0.08 per cent of total adult females. As for expatriates the percentages are 29 per cent for males and 6.6 per cent for females.

Studies show that one billion people approximately will die because of tobacco by the end of this century, unless immediate and decisive measures at the global level are taken to combat tobacco and reduce annual deaths. This represents a top priority for the Public Health Department of Abu Dhabi Health Authority which aims creating a smoke-free environment for healthy lifestyles in coordination and cooperation with various authorities and community institutions.

Abdulrahman Al Marzouqi, Director of Environment, Health and Safety at the Department of Municipal Affairs stressed the importance of implementing regulations of the law on tobacco control in accordance with the stated  deadline, for maintaining community health and safety.