Dubai: Smoking shisha in parks and beaches will no longer incur a mere warning, as authorities have now implemented a Dh500 fine for those who want to light up in recreational areas.
“We are intensifying our efforts in prohibiting smoking shisha in all public parks, beaches and other recreational centres across Dubai. We have formed a special team of 23 inspectors who have been assigned to fine people on the spot if they are caught violating the health rules,” Talib Julfar, director of Public Parks and Horticulture Department at Dubai Municipality, said.
Although smoking shisha in parks and beaches has been prohibited by the Dubai Municipality, the move of imposing fines was only enforced on Sunday.
He pointed out that the civic body has already installed notice boards in the vicinity of such recreational facilities supervised by the municipality, which clearly informs visitors about the new Dh500 fine.
Julfar explained that all visitors who regularly visit such public places are also urged to maintain its cleanliness, and to refrain from carrying out such activities that pose a risk to public health and safety.
“We have adopted policies and implemented several programmes and initiatives to protect public health, apart from imposing laws and regulations,” he said.
The move against shisha smokers has come in line under the federal law issued in 2009, to ban smoking in enclosed places.
Dubai is not the only emirate to fine shisha smokers in parks and beaches, as Abu Dhabi earlier announced that it will ban restaurants and cafes along Abu Dhabi Corniche from serving shisha as of February.
Municipal authorities said they have already given out notices to owners of more than 10 restaurants and coffee shops along the Corniche, asking them to stop serving shisha when they renew their licence at the start of next year.