By Staff writer
Concerns raised of the health risks from passive smoking
Cafe and restaurant owners in Dubai Marina have allegedly failed to respect the set of rules on shisha smoking imposed by the Dubai Municipality, The National has reported.
Residents in the area have complained to the municipality about smoking near families and fumes entering their apartments, with more than 35 complaints sent from one tower alone (Marina Tower).
The residents are concerned that their health is put at risk from passive smoking.
“The smell is horrible,” a spokesman for residents told The National. “We had to put a lot of pressure on the building management to find out how cafes have managed to join the main building extractor. The law states a shisha cafe should have its own extraction.
“Thursday, Friday and Saturday are particularly bad, and when football is on. It is also very noisy. Families come here and you cannot have a child next to someone smoking shisha but it is very common here in the marina.”
In October, the municipality made 336 visits to restaurants and cafes while government inspectors made 1,680 visits, handing out 450 fines, between April and October.
The purpose of the visits is to check whether all conditions and rules, which must be fulfilled to get an annual permit, are being fully followed.
Fines for cafes start at AED5,000 ($1,361) for first offenders and AED10,000 for a second offence. In case of the third breach, a letter is sent by the municipality to Dubai Economic Department to close the business.
Old Town faces the same plague. Shisha regulations are enforced just about as effectively as traffic regulations are in Dubai and that's all you really need to say. In fact it's probably the same people who drive like lunatics who also think it's acceptable to shout their heads off in residential areas in the early hours of the morning while chilling with their buddies at the shisha cafes watching football. In the same way that the authorities must know where the traffic hotspots are but seemingly fail to concentrate on policing them, they must also know where shisha regulations are being ignored because it is happening in some of the most prominent parts of the city not hidden away in some back alley.