No shisha in Ramadan tents before 10pm
Tent owners have been warned against distributing shisha in the presence of children and pregnant women.
Dubai - Serving shisha directly after Iftar can affect families with children
Ramadan tents will only be allowed to serve shisha after 10pm this year, a Dubai Municipality official has said.
The Public Health and Safety Department said two options are given to tent owners: Dedicate a section for nonsmokers or serve shisha after 10pm.
Marwan Al Mohammed, Director of the Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said the decision came after complaints from owners about low demand in nonsmokers' area.
Last year, owners were obliged to dedicate an area for families and nonsmokers, but empty places affected their services.
"Iftar time brings everyone together at Ramadan tents. Serving shisha directly after Iftar can affect families and children," Al Mohammed told Khaleej Times.
He added that the new system allows owners to use up the space provided.
Applications for about 10 new tents have already been approved, with the number expected to increase closer to Ramadan. He confirmed that no increase in number of tents has been witnessed over the past few years.
Al Mohammed warned against distributing shisha in the presence of children and pregnant women.
"Owners have to make sure children leave before serving the shisha during the holy month," he said.
Violations will result in a fine of Dh10, 000. Failure to use disposable items will also result in fines that increase with the number of violations before the licence is withdrawn.
To serve shisha, owners apply for a licence from the Health and Safety Department, after receiving a permit from the Planning and Construction Department to set up Ramadan tents at locations deemed suitable.
Al Mohammed stressed that inspections will intensify during Ramadan. In March, the municipality launched a public service campaign restricting access to pregnant women and toddlers in shisha cafes.
Commenting on it, Al Mohammed said it was a "great success."
"The majority contributed, including smokers themselves. While you make your own choice to smoke, a child does not."
He urged visitors to call 800900 in case a child or toddler was present in shisha places.