Shisha is now banned across cafes and coffee shops in the capital Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: All shisha cafes and coffee shops in Abu Dhabi were ordered to stop serving hookah to their customers from Thursday, a circular from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said.

The announcement made on the department’s Twitter account on Thursday said the measure was taken as a precautionary step to limit the spread of coronavirus in the emirate.

“In line with prevention measures for coronavirus, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development directs all licensed restaurants and shisha cafes across Abu Dhabi to cease providing shisha in their facilities,” the circular said,

It stated that the circular has come into effect and must be applied immediately and with the utmost urgency.

“This is to draw attention of the owners of restaurants and cafes that the circular for the suspension of hookah has now come into effect. Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development invites you to implement it in a responsible manner keeping in mind public health and safety for all.”

However, inspection drives will be implemented by the department to determine adherence to the circular.

Due action will be taken against those violating these instructions, the department said.

On Wednesday, the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), which regulates the tourism and hospitality sector, nbanned shishas in hotels.

“The DCT is instructing all tourism establishments to refrain from serving shisha in all areas and facilities. This should commence with immediate and urgent effect. Kindly note that tourism establishments will be visited by DCT inspectors…to verify adherence to the circular [and] establishments not in compliance with these guidelines will be subjected to legal action,” a circular from the department said