Dubai hotels with one to three stars ratings have been banned from serving shisha from January 1.
The Dubai Municipality’s Public Health and Safety Department has announced that only four and five star hotels will be allowed to offer shishas from next year onwards, that too in open spaces.
Fines starting from Dh10, 000 will be imposed on hotels violating the rules once the grace period given to them to implement the Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on Tobacco Control and its Executive Order No. 24 of 2013 ends by December 31.
“December 31 will be the last day for hotels to serve shisha without getting permit. All four and five star hotels should also get a new permit for offering shisha service as there are new conditions to be met as per the law,” he said.
Restaurants and coffee shops inside hotels are also not allowed to serve shisha inside the hotel buildings. “It has to be either outside the building or on the rooftop. They cannot serve shisha in closed places,” said Al Mohammed.
The municipality held a meeting with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the authority overseeing the hospitality sector, regarding the issue. DTCM will be conveying the new regulations to all hotels in Dubai.
“This is a serious matter. The hotels have to take up more responsibility. If they don’t want to obey the rules, we will shut them down,” the official said.
Hotels will face a fine of Dh20,000 for a second time violation and the next step would be to freeze their trade licenses and visas. “From January one, there will be strict action against offenders…. We will take action in cooperation with the economic, labour and immigration departments.”