125 shisha joints in Dubai lose licence
Dubai Municipality has frozen licences of 125 cafes that violated hookah regulations. The step was taken after these outlets failed to respect the deadline to comply with the terms and conditions of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control and Regulation No. 24 of 2013, reported ‘Al Bayan’ Arabic daily.
The municipality had launched a campaign in February 2014, covering all areas of the emirate, to ensure places that offer shisha applied the Federal Law on Tobacco Control. One of the requirements of the regulations is to ensure outlets serving shisha are at least 200 meters away from ‘high priority institutions’ such as schools, kindergartens, mosques and residential areas. While, the minimum distance to the nearest mosque should be 100 meters, cafes offering shisha should be at least 150 meters from any residential place. Also these outlets should be located on the main road.
The campaign ensured all shops, establishments, cafes and restaurants were made aware of the law. According to officials, the law has been implemented not to fine people but to ensure their health.
Some of the restaurants that didn’t comply with the conditions were asked to stop providing hookah. However, they are allowed to continue offering other services, so as not to cause them loses, said officials.
Shops that did not shift to maintain the minimum distance after the deadline period offered to them have been asked to stop offering shisha. They will be fined, if they continue the service.
In fact, the outlets that offered shisha violating the regulations were given one month time to adhere to the law. The public health and safety management of Dubai Municipality communicated with Department of Economic Development to freeze licences of these outlets until they adhered to the laws. They will be fined Dh5,000 and given 15 days to stop the service.
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