(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) From next month (june) there will be a total ban on shisha (smoking pipe) served at food-outlets across the emirate of abu dhabi.
according to food-outlets the regulation by the municipality of abu dhabi was issued two months ago with a grace period to clear their premises from shisha services from next month.
however when contacted no officials were available for ascertaining the details of the ban on shishs. an official at abu dhabi food control authority said it was the municipality that has imposed the ban on shisha. the ban will be imposed in coordination with health authority - abu dhabi (haad) with the support of abu dhabi police.
abu dhabi municipality has been tightening it rules over shisha services for over last five years with crackdowns on outlets serving teenagers with shisha. a number of outlets have also been closes and their licenses cancelled while outlets at luxury hotels have also been warned against serving teenagers with shisha. there are over 100 shisha outlets across abu dhabi city that also includes luxury hotels. one shisha of various flavours the most famous being strawberry and apple costs from dh20 dh100 depending on outlets like a roadside joint to a five star hotel.
“we received the notice end the shisha services more than a month ago. now we have a fresh notice from the municipality asking us to stop shisha services completely. this may also lead to hundreds of workers losing their jobs. in our restaurant we have six workers handling the shisha services. with this notice they will have no jobs” said a. ghali the manager of a restaurant in khalidiyah which is famous for its shisha outlets in the area.
another shisha outlet in the same area told khaleej times they continue serving shisha and have not received any notice from the municipality.
he said: “shisha is the main source of our income. we get our earnings from shisha service and if it is banned we may be forced to close the restaurant. however so far we have not got any warning or notice from the municipality asking us to end the shisha service.”
the decision to ban shisha at food-outlets has however was received with good response from the residents. according to some of the residents in abu dhabi it was good decision for health safety.
mohammed omar an emirati resident said shisha has been becoming notorious specially affecting the youth.
he said: “shisha had become a fashion among the teenagers. if you visit food-outlets serving shish the majority customers are the young — both girls and boys. it has become a fashion and a lifestyle for the youth. i’m happy the municipality has banned it.”