Clearing the fumes
The UAE plans to introduce a federal law to ban smoking in public places across the country. But will it manage to stop the smoke?
January 13, 2009 12:58 by Aarti Nagraj
Abu Dhabi has just delayed the introduction of a smoking ban in the emirate until a federal law is created to regulate smoking in public places across the UAE.
“We don’t want there to be any conflict between the two, so this is why we have received the federal law for review,” an official told The National.
Smoking is already banned in Dubai’s hotels, malls, restaurants, cafes and sports halls, and violators will be fined AED1,000. The city started implementing the ban in phases from 2007, and there have been several additions to the public places as specified by the ban: in December 2007, nightclubs and bars were included, and in August 2008, public parks also entered the banned list. The Public Health Department also said that it was planning to make Dubai’s roads and beaches smoke-free.
While all that is great, it still leaves one confused as to where smoking is allowed. Though a UAE smoking ban will certainly make the country healthier, it is essential to have clear rules and directions on where the ban will take effect, and more importantly, to enforce it.