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Wed 27 Aug 2008 06:55 AM

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Shisha restrictions in place for Ramadan

Dubai's new anti-smoking laws to have impact on shisha during holy month, officials admit.

Restrictions are being put on Shisha smokers during the holy month of Ramadan, it has been announced.

While Shisha and Ramadan normally go hand-in-hand, only four and five-star hotels will this year be allowed to serve shisha in the temporary iftar tents, under strict new regulations.

The move comes as part of new anti-smoking laws that were introduced in Dubai this year, reported UAE daily Gulf News on Wednesday.

The ban on smoking in hotel premises is part of an ongoing campaign to regulate smoking in the emirate.

The Ramadan tents also have to follow some new regulations, such as displaying no smoking signs for under-20s.

From November 2007, smoking was controlled in cafes and restaurants, and shisha cafes have to comply with new regulations by the end of the year.

Shisha cafes smaller than 1,500sq ft are required to move to bigger premises by the end of the year, and smoking outside cafes in residential areas has also been banned.

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Rainigade 12 years ago

Such a shame... one of the great things about Ramadan was the tradition of going to sheesha tents or visiting your favourite local sheesha cafes and soaking up the local flavour. As an expat, that is my favourite thing about Ramadan.... and it's too bad it's being taken away. These big four and five star tents lack character and I shall miss our Ramadan tradition a lot. Luckily I have two sheeshas at home and a decent sized balcony!

ahmed 12 years ago

dont you understand?...the sheesha that used to cost you 20 dh will now cost dh.200....it has nothing to do with ramadan and tradition

steph 12 years ago

I agree, this is another way to erase the local or middle eastern culture in general. Should we really live only between big towers and 5 stars hotels ?? this is silly. Government should have thought twice about economic and cultural impact this decision will have...very disappointing.

Barry 12 years ago

Well, yet again i am not surprised by the sheer greed. so only the rich and famous are allowed to smoke??!! why take the culture from the people and turn this into yet another money making greed effort...oh yes and this type of attitude has no effect on the inflation figures? like the increase in housing. I think that there should be some regulations regarding smoking in public etc , but why like this? Please government; sense and sensibility must prevail somewhere!!

Nadia 12 years ago

I appreciate the smoking ban but I think this shisha ban everywhere is getting a bit too much. Shisha is part of the culture and UAE should at least keep the tradition of shisha gatherings alive. Those who are uncomfortable with shisha smoking could go to restaurants which do not serve Shisha.

Imi 12 years ago

Ahmed, i totally agree with you....this is just another way to squeeze money out of people and has nothing to do with tradition, health or anything....what a shame that dubai becomes greedier & greedier

Julia El-Hadidi 12 years ago

'While Shisha and Ramadan go hand-in-hand'? where did you get this fact from? Shisha is available throughout the year and if hotels establish tents during the holy month, its only their means to entertain and gain business. But shisha and tents or the entertainment that goes there, bears no relevance to Ramadan. I'm actually thrilled to read this news, it's about time such mal practices are corrected and people, especially non-muslims, can understand,experience, and respect what Ramadan is all about.

Suman 12 years ago

When I saw the header, I assumed that Shisha joints will now have a time restriction, but unfortunately its no where near to it. The writer, Andy, should change the header to SHISHA ONLY FOR THE RICH. While myself and I'm sure alot more can afford the shisha in 4/5 star hotels, we do not wish to spend 50-80dhs on shisha. Why should we, after all, Shisha in Ramadan is just a way of relaxation with either family or friends. As Julia stated, its got nothing to do with Ramadan. Its just a way of making extra bucks on the cost of the average person's salary. So please, do not blame it on tradition, or the holy month of Ramadan. Its plain simple GREED...

Samer Costantini 12 years ago

Just waiting for a complete, blanket ban on Shisha all over the place.

Mrs Martin 12 years ago

Being muslim i have to say this.. It is FORBIDDEN to harm oneself at any time of the year by inhaling chemicals into ones lungs. A muslim who fasts and then sit n smokes sheesha is at the mercy of his Lord. What we see here which is so common in the gulf now, is that hundreds of muslims have become slack in their faith and use sheesha and after fasting smoking sessions as an excuse to be with family & friends. Its more Islamic to sit at home with ur family over a cup of tea/vimto and discuss family things or have a walk in the park than it is to sit & guzzle sheesha & use it as an excuse for keeping ties with ones family. As for it being only in 5 star hotels, well it doesnt affect me & i dnt feel sorry for those who smoke it or wish to smoke it. The less sheesha and tobacco in the land the better i feel, will cut the rates of sickness.