(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The shops near mosques educational institutions and residential areas were closed after being non-responsive to warnings by the municipality.
Abu Dhabi - The Abu Dhabi Municipality has shut 20 shops near mosques educational institutions and residential areas for breaching rules and regulations and selling tobacco products.
The municipality in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development also corrected and sorted out the status of 40 other tobacco selling outlets after spotting a lack of compliance with the conditions of the licence.
The closures were taken after inspection visits by municipality officials serving them with warning letters along with a grace period to abide by the stipulations. The final decision to shut the shops was taken due to lack of response and corrective measures from them.
The municipality has a string of conditions relating to tobacco shops like they should not be located within the premises of an educational medical sports religious institutions; industrial petroleum entities and cinemas or theatres.
They should be located at least 100 metres off the premises of worshipping places and 150 metres off the external entry points of educational institutions such as nurseries kindergartens schools colleges and training institutes.
The outlets must not be overlooking main streets and provisional approvals (no objection certificates) have to be sought prior to the commencement of works from the competent bodies including the Abu Dhabi City Municipality health authority and also owners of the premises.
Among other guidelines they are not allowed to place internal or external signs encouraging or promoting smoking or the use of any tobacco product and there must be a cautionary sign at the entrance of the shop preventing the entry of those under 18. Cleanliness of the place is also a matter of concern.
According to law shops are not allowed to sell tobacco or related products to those under 18 and sale of open packets is also banned. All products have to be factory-sealed and conform to the details stated in the product label approved by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology.
No discounts sale or special promotions or clearance offers are applicable to tobacco products and sale of such products online or via any other electronic means is also prohibitted.
All tobacco packs have to be compliant with the stipulations of the tobacco selling labels and it is strictly prohibited to process pack or process tobacco items within the shop.
The municipality has also coordinated with the Ministry of Interior to test 109 samples drawn from smoking materials to ensure that they are free from illegal drugs.
The public has been urged to cooperate by reporting violations or malpractices in the shops by dialing the toll-free number 800555.