Dubai Municipality has issued a guide to help shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes and other public facilities in the city to effectively regulate smoking in public places. The guide clearly defines areas where smoking is prohibited, where it is permitted, and lays down conditions for designated areas for smoking, licensing requirements, health and safety regulations. The guide also lists types of violations and the proposed fines for them. This was announced in a press conference held by the municipality and attended by Salem Bin Mesmar, Director of Public Health Department, and Zohoor Al Sabbagh, Head of Clinic and Community Health Section. Mesmar said the municipality’s decision to regulate smoking comes in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan (2007-2015) which seeks to protect public health and improve quality of life for nationals and expatriates residing in Dubai and in line with the Strategic Plan of Dubai Municipality which provides for ensuring purity of interior air and prevention of smoking in public buildings.
He noted that the municipality had already undertaken two phases of this programme under which smoking has been regulated in all shopping centres and malls with effect from 15 September 2007 and in all restaurants and cafes with effect from 18 November 2007. During the next phase, smoking will be regulated in hotels and hotel establishments including motels, resorts, dormitories and furnished apartments.
He said the guide would offer management of the public facilities, where smoking is being regulated, general instructions on the dos and don’ts of the programme that will help them effectively implement it. It would also help educate the general public on areas where smoking is not permitted inside a facility such as entrances, walkways, lifts & escalators, stair cases, lavatories, amusement & entertainment areas, places of employees, offices, cinemas, meeting & conference halls, stores, food courts, prayer rooms & ablution areas, closed car parking lots, shops & showrooms, reception & waiting areas, rest areas, and places close to food services. It also lists areas where smoking is permitted such as the specially-designated areas in the public buildings.
The types of violations, as listed in the guide, include violation of rules and regulations pertaining to import and distribution of tobacco and tobacco products, violation of rules and regulations pertaining to sale of tobacco, smoking in a prohibited place – individuals (, non-adherence by shopping malls, hotels and hotel establishments with the guide, non-adherence by restaurants and cafes with the guide, non-adherence by mass accommodations and health establishments with the guide, non-adherence by amusement and recreational centres with the guide, non-adherence by owners of public libraries, theatres, clubs, music party halls, museums, art galleries, wedding halls…etc, and violation of general rules and regulations on areas designated for smoking.