Shisha and food don’t mix: Abu Dhabi issues ban at food outlets
This is the latest shisha ban to come out of the Middle East, following a decision to stop issuing and renewing shisha licenses in Jordan earlier this year
Abu Dhabi has cracked down on food outlets serving shisha, imposing a ban on the popular habit from June 1, local newspaper Khaleej Times reported on Friday.
The UAE capital’s Municipality was reportedly used a grace period to months ago to clear food outlets from shisha by next month.
“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,” A. Ghali, the manager of a restaurant in the city, told the newspaper.
But 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.”
This is the latest shisha ban to come out of the Middle East, following a decision to stop issuing and renewing shisha licenses in Jordan’s capital Amman angered café owners and customers alike earlier this year.
Waterpipe tobacco is one the most popular form of tobacco products in the world, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia estimated to account for over 40 percent of the market worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
In April, Egypt banned a competition dubbed the “World Shisha Championship,” stating it was in breach of the international anti-tobacco agreement Cairo signed up to, and said it would take legal steps against the event’s organizers.
Shishas, originally brought over by immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, pose a serious hazard to users, with the World Health Organization stating that a one-hour session on the water pipe involves inhaling 100-200 times the volume of smoke from a single cigarette.
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