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Mon 7 Jul 2008 10:19 AM

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Shisha cafes forced from residential areas

Shisha cafe owners must move by end of 2008, or face penalties, closure.

Shisha cafe owners have until the end the year to move out of residential areas or face heavy penalties or closure, Dubai Municipality warned on Sunday.

Announcing new smoking regulations, a senior Municipality official warned cafe owners that the fourth phase of the smoking regulations in public would be taken seriously, newspaper 7 Days reported on Monday.

“We will not hesitate to close down shisha cafés if they don’t follow our regulations. We are serious about this issue,” said Salem Mesmar, assistant director general of Dubai Municipality for the health, safety and environment control sector, the newspaper quoted.

Under the new rules all entertainment and recreation areas will be fined the equivalent of $544 if they do not adhere to the smoking ban, unless they have a licence allowing them to maintain a specific smoking area.