No balancing act: Dubai malls ban use of ‘Hoverboard’ scooter

The Dubai Department of Economic Development directed malls not to allow the use of balance wheels inside malls to ensure a safe and healthy shopping environment (Photo courtesy: independent.co.uk)

The use of smart balance wheels – battery-powered two-wheelers also known “hoverboards” – has been officially banned in all Dubai malls, in a decision announced on Monday.

The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) made the move after several complaints from customers and shop owners, according to Dubai-based newspaper Gulf News.

The newspaper reported that malls were directed “not to allow the use of balance wheels inside malls to ensure a safe and healthy shopping environment in Dubai and protect the right of shopkeepers to conduct business without fear of loss or danger.”

The ban follows the death of a six-year-old Emirati child in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, who was allegedly run over by a car while being on the hoverboard.

Read more: Abu Dhabi ‘hoverboard’ death: Panic over new phenomenon among kids

The incident prompted local police to warn people of safety concerns when allowing children to ride their electric scooters on roads, warning they could cause accidents.

The smart balance wheels are battery-powered boards which can travel at a maximum speed of 16km/h. To control the vehicle, users lean forward and backward to alter the direction it travels and to maintain their balance on the electric skateboard.

Director of Commercial Control in the DED said Abdul Aziz Al Tannak said in a statement reported by Gulf News: “We will put up signs banning the use of these scooters across malls in coordination with the malls’ management. Mall visitors are requested to cooperate and adhere to the ban.

“We also call on parents to prevent their children from using these devices in malls to avoid accidents and any legal liability that may follow.”

For the time being, hoverboards are reportedly allowed to be used in designated areas in parks in the emirate.

According to Gulf News, the use of the boards on roads, side roads, pavements, footpaths, jogging tracks and sports areas is not allowed.

Last week, Britain also banned the use of the boards on public roads and pavements by law – it is only legal to use on private property.

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Last Update: 08:58 KSA 11:58 - GMT 08:58
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