Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality has affirmed the role of Dubai Municipality in implementing the federal laws with the aim at maintaining the public health of citizens and residents in the emirate of Dubai.
‘The directives of His Highness the President and Vice President of the country reflect the keenness of our wise leadership in the protection of society’ public health ensuring a comfortable living in prosperity and welfare,’ Lootah said.
‘The UAE has stringent rules to maintain the public health with the aim at controlling many diseases especially the colossal damages caused by smoking such as cancer and cardiovascular disease as proved by studies in this field,’ he said.
‘The municipality has completed a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the Federal Law No. 15 of 2009 on combating against the use of tobacco and its Executive Order No. 24 of 2013 issued by the Council of Ministers dated 21.07.2014. The federal law obligates the owners of the company to obtain the permit to sell tobacco or its products meeting all conditions set forth in this regard,’ he said.
Lootah pointed out that the Executive Regulations are entered into force on 21.01.2014 after the expiry of the deadline (six months) given for shops and cafes to correct their situations in accordance with the conditions approved in the federal law.
‘In order to give everyone a real chance to implement the law clearly without ambiguity, the civic body has given an additional grace period (1 month) for the institutions that failed to meet the requirements to correct their situations, which has been announced in local newspapers,’ he continued.
‘The current conditions in the regulations of the federal law are almost the same as contained in the guide to regulate smoking issued by Dubai Municipality in 2007. Therefore, all the cafes are already aware of these requirements before more than five years, which is more than enough to correct their situations in accordance with the federal law rules and regulations,’ he further said.
Eng. Marwan Mohamed, head of public health and safety department said: ‘Dubai Municipality has started the mechanism and action plan for implementation of the federal law which will be ending in September 2014 conducting a field survey on shisha cafes operating in all regions of the Emirate of Dubai,’.
‘The initial phase includes the regulation of shisha smoking in cafes and restaurants located near educational institutions, schools, kindergartens, places of worship, hospitals, residential neighborhoods and shops that not meeting the space requirement. The second stage includes the regulation of shisha smoking in cafes located in areas of shopping malls, hotel facilities and private development areas as well as areas and shops that do not meet other planning and space requirements,’ Mohamed said.
‘The eligible business owners and cafes are requested to electronically apply to obtain the permit providing required documents through the self-service system on the site of Dubai Municipality / Health and Public Safety Department,’ he explained.
‘The health and public safety department will study the applications and decide on the issuance of permits for designated smoking areas for shops and cafes that meet the conditions set forth in the federal law no. 15 of 2009 and its executive regulations,’ he said.
‘Penalties will be applied on cafes that have not responded to repeated notices and warnings according to the approved penalty regulations in the federal law and the Local Order No. 11 of 2003 and the smoking regulating guide,’ he warned.
‘According to the conditions and controls regarding the places offering shisha in closed places (shisha cafes), the shop must be located in areas classified as commercial or residential commercial on the approved main streets, which must have minimum 200 meter internal space,’ he further said.
‘The distance between the shop (restaurant / café) and residential buildings or residential neighborhoods or homes should not be less than 150 meters. The same applies for kindergartens, schools, institutes, colleges and universities. The distance between the shop and the mosques or places of worship should not be less than 100 meters and the front of shop must be facing to the main street with a separate external entrance. The shop must be isolated from the rest of the building having entrance away from the main entrances of nearby buildings or shops with a distance of not less than 7.5 meters,’ he reminded.
‘An additional grace period will be given for some cafes in the event of pledge by owners to abide by the conditions contained in the federal law as required,’ he added.