Coronavirus: Dubai to allow shisha smoking in cafes from Saturday

A ban on shisha in March was among the first measures taken to tackle the outbreak

Smoking shisha was among the first activities to be prohibited in March as the authorities acted to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
Smoking shisha was among the first activities to be prohibited in March as the authorities acted to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Dubai allowed cafes to serve shisha from Saturday - five months after it was banned due to the virus outbreak.

Dubai Municipality gave premises the go-ahead to resume service of the popular practice as long as precautionary measures were taken.

The tendency to either share a pipe with a friend or sit in close proximity meant shisha was one of the first activities to be restricted on March 12, a day after Abu Dhabi imposed an emirate-wide ban.

Bars and restaurants were closed soon after but have since reopened.

Officials warned operators that social distancing and strict hygiene standards must be adhered to and that "regular inspections will be conducted to ensure compliance'".

As with much of the service industry, staff must wear masks at all times and clean pipes and hookahs after every use.

Only disposable shisha hoses can be used and groups are not allowed to sit together.

Updated: July 19, 2020 12:58 PM

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