'Obscene' words cost Dubai restaurant Dh20,000 fine

Restaurant was also warned it could be shut if offence is repeated

Dubai’s authorities fined a local restaurant Dh20,000 for hanging stickers carrying obscene words, prompted by a complaint by the head of an Arabic language newspaper in the emirate. 

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper sent to the complaint to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) after he was contacted on his Twitter page by a customer to the restaurant in Jumeirah. 

He sent a picture showing the name of the restaurant and the offending phrases hung inside to DED, which decided to send inspectors to the site. 

“Our inspectors visited the restaurant and found that some boards hung there did carry obscene words…our inspectors were surprised by those words, some of which addressed the clients and others addressed the workers,” said Omar Bu Shehab, head of the consumer protection division at DED. 

“We decided to fine the restaurant Dh20,000 for such offending phrases while we also give them a notice that it could be shut if the offence is repeated.” 

Quoted by Emarat Alyoum, Bu Shehab said such offences are punishable by closure of the restaurant but added that such action was not taken after the restaurant owner stressed that the manager was not aware of the local laws. 

“He apologized for such an act….DED assumed there was no bad intention in such an act, hence it did not shut the restaurant despite the strong obscenity of those words…we only warned them not to repeat such offences,” he told the paper.



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