Dubai Municipality has banned shisha or smoking in Ramadan tents throughout Dubai.
The ban is in place during the Iftar period from the moment the cannon is fired at dusk until 9pm.
It issued the ban to protect children or minors under the legal age (18 and under), pregnant women and non-smokers from smoking's harmful effects.
The municipality is currently vetting applications for Ramadan tent permits. Two have been granted and eight applications submitted in the e-system are under consideration, according to Dr Nassim Rafi, Acting Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality.
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Ramadan tents were usually not segregated into smoking and non-smoking sections due to the additional cost, as per Ittihad report.
Rafa pointed out, however, that anyone can be asked to present their Emirates ID to verify their age before serving them.
The Dubai Municipality directed all those in charge of Ramadan tents to comply with the provisions of Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on tobacco control and its executive regulations, including providing proper ventilation and air conditioning inside the tents. They need to obtain permits from the planning and buildings department at the municipality in conjunction with the civil defence. There cannot be additions or alterations to the approved plans, such as increasing the number of chairs and tables to attract additional customers. This would be in violation of space requirements determined as one square metre per smoking customer.
Hotels applying for permits to host Ramadan tents must provide a tent entrance separate from the hotel entrance.
Inspection teams will monitor Ramadan tents from Iftar time until they close. They must follow rules stipulating emergency exits, segregating smokers and non-smokers and providing separations between them. Smoking areas must be completely isolated from non-smoking areas.
Shisha areas cannot exceed 50 per cent of the non-smoking area.
"The services that all customers use, like the restroom, should be in a place closer to non-smokers, ensuring proper ventilation in smoking areas. Fire extinguishers must be placed according to the civil defense specifications."
"All fabrics inside the tents should be fire resistant."
Approval for tent permits are given after a municipality team conducts a field visit to the site to ensure the compliance of the tent layout with smoking and non-smoking rules, locations, and all safety stipulations prior to issuing a shisha licence.
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