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Shisha Banned

Shisha banned on Al Muteena Street, Dubai
Surfers Respond
I personally don't agree with the ban.There are some things in life that you have to put up with. I think the constructions going on at various places are more unpleasant than sheesha joints , but then again you have to put up with it. And so I think people should just move on and let other people enjoy what they don't.
Sanjay, Dubai

A ban on cafeterias serving shishas outdoors on Al Muteena Street in Deira follows an expensive development of the area by Dubai Municipality making it one of the main focal points of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) activities this year.

Intrusive Element
According to the authorities, the shisha is an intrusive element in local culture and is bad for the smoker as much as it is an annoyance for families for whom Al Muteena Street has been developed.

Causes Infections
Smokers often congregate along vast swaths of sidewalk from 8pm till 1am, presenting an offending sight for families. Smokers can easily get infections from the shisha's pipe nipple, which is used by many. Some cafeterias cover the nipple with aluminium foil but smokers remove the cover.

Shisha - main income earner
For many cafeterias the ever-popular shisha is their main income earner. Cafeteria owners recently sent a petition to Qassim Sultan, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, protesting that the ban would hurt their businesses. The authorities have stated that they are not insensitive to people's concerns but the move has been introduced for the overall public good and it was unlikely the ban would be lifted. Smokers can have their shishas indoors if they wished while sidewalks and public promenades must remain free of them. The municipality will not permit the shisha in plain public view along the beautifully designed street. Offenders will be fined Dh500. The fine would be increased if the violation is repeated.

Surfers Respond
Perhaps the question isn't really whether or not shisha is bad (topic on which there are as many points-of-view as there are upbringings) - but whether or not the government has a right to ban a form of social interaction. Unlike nudity and alcoholism, shisha is most definately not a taboo - and the practice is an integral element of the cultural twerps which draw tourists to the Middle East. Finally, a question - are the cafe's whose business is hindered by the new regulations being offered compensation?

I completely disagree with the banning of Sisha. First of all it not harmful and secondly, people get together at such coffee-houses to meet and speak with each other - not just to smoke shisha. I have been smoking Shisha for two years now and can surely say that it is not harmfur nor is it addictive.If I don't smoke Shisha for a day or two I feel fine and normal - unlike people who smoke two packets of tar and nicotine daily.

I am supportive of the ban, being a resident of Rigga street, it is unpleasant to walk past the Shisha smokers especially with families. I guess all the residents around these places would welcome the decision. Such moves indicate the municipality's committment towards building a more healthy environment in Dubai.
Vijay - Al Rigga St. Dubai

Not wishing to step on any toes - I would like to say that these restaurants have taken over the sidewalk - leaving only enough space to squeeze through. Kindly note that each building has at least one restaurant, if not more. Add to this equation, the patrons of these restaurants who give you disgusting stares when you walk past because you block their view of the TV for a second or so. Also add the fact that they not only double park their cars but in most cases take over the first lane and "triple" park. When I take my 11-month-old daughter for a walk along Al Muteena Street every evening, after a hard day at work, I look forward to a pleasant walk - not to feel like I am negotiating traffic on a busy road. I was unaware that shisha had been banned. When I went for a walk last evening, I was surprised to see vacant seats on the sidewalk. Must say I am all for the ban... and I am sure most other parents I see on the sidewalk agree with me.

Look if you are going to ban shisha from Dubai or the U.A.E. than why don't you ban cigarettes from Dubai as well as Midwarkh (The arabian pipe.)?!!?
Dave, Dubai

As a Shisha (Argeelay) smoker I would like to say that is not a habit forming practice as some people have alluded to. The tobacco used has no tar and only 5% nicotine which is hardly enough to get addicted to it. It is only a social practice as is drinking coffee or tea with friends.
Sameer Zaman

I fully agree with the goverment and it should be banned everywhere (indoors as well). Children under the age of 18 should be prohibited from smoking Shisha.
Ziad, Dubai

I, fully support the shisha banning for a healthy community.
Alwafi, Jeddah

"...has fulfilled the dream of the guys to gather and play traditional games and spend their time there. In the cozy atmosphere of the Gahwa enjoying the shisha, sandwiches and drinks while playing games and sharing the latest gossip in town."
Excerpt from an Internet site for an Arabic coffee-house in Bahrain

I don't agree with this move. Smoking Shisha is fun outdoors! Even though I am a lady, I do believe that it is fun and should not be banned.
Hana, Dubai

A meeting place for my friends. That's what the coffee-house is and smoking shisha outdoors during winter is great fun.
Obaid, Dubai

I fully support the goverment on banning the smoking of Shisha. I do believe that it is a place for loafers and the habit is addictive, therefore harmful.
Sana, Sharjah
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