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Dubai shisha cafes found violating rules face fines, closures

52% of violators allowed children under 18 to enter their premises

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01 Gulf News

Dubai: More than 40 coffee shops and restaurants were fined for serving shisha while breaking rules regarding passive smoking during recent inspections.

The Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector of the Department of Economic Development fined 41 coffee shops and restaurants for violating the sector’s campaign against passive smoking.

The ‘No to Passive Smoking’ campaign that was launched by the department during Ramadan last year stipulates that shisha cafes and coffee shops must not receive pregnant women and children under 18 years of age to limit the effects of passive smoking.

The sector has carried out a series of campaigns and raids on shisha providers since the beginning of Ramadan to remind coffee shop owners, restaurant owners, and traders about the initiative and not to take advantage of the demand for shisha this month to achieve profits.

Ahmad Al Awadi, Head of Field Control in the sector, said the fines issued varied. More than half of the violations or 52 per cent involved shisha cafes allowing children under 18 inside their premises. After that came the presence of unlicensed closed cabins. Other violations related to the presence of unlicensed entertainment equipment and unauthorised signs and boards.

The sector initially issued warnings to erring cafes. Coffee shops that brushed off the warnings from the sector were shut down for a limited duration, he said.

Al Awadi added that the sector started a number of introductory campaigns in Dubai where there are more than 500 coffee shops and restaurants serving shisha.

“We also printed 10,000 awareness posters and booklets and distributed them around 114 coffee shops during our routine visits,” he said.

Al Awadi also added that a number of coffee shop goers had complaints about children below 18 years of age visiting these coffee shops at times and a number of pregnant women as well.

He said the inspectors also try to increase awareness about the dangers of passive smoking and urged coffee shop owners to abide by the department’s regulations and laws.

He called on community members to report any violations by calling 600545555.