The Dubai government has banned cafeterias from serving shisha outdoors on Al Muteena Street in Deira much to the dismay of some store owners, according to the Khaleej Times daily.
The ban, which does not forbid indoor smoking, was imposed following expensive developments of the area by the Dubai Municipality, which is hoping to turn the area into a central point of this year's Dubai Shopping Festival. Those who violate the ban will be fined Dh500 and more for subsequent violations.
The area normally attracts smokers from between 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Calling shisha-smoking an ``ugly sight,'' Salem Mesmar, municipal Health Department director, said this activity is a turn-off to families wishing to visit the area, and that it runs contrary to the kind of atmosphere the municipality has spent Dh20 million trying to create.
But cafeteria owners contend that this is their main money generator and are fighting the government ban. They have sent a petition to Qassim Sultan, director general of Dubai Municipality, in protest. (Dh3.67=$1).
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