Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi orders shisha ban

Decision comes as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also halted sales

Abu Dhabi has banned the serving of shisha in "all tourism establishments" to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday night, the Department of Culture and Tourism said businesses must halt sales of the popular tobacco products until further notice.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait imposed nationwide bans on shisha. It is not yet clear if the UAE ban will be extended to all restaurants and bars in Abu Dhabi.

Shisha pipes are often shared between friends and family and are a staple of social life across the Middle East.

Plastic tips for the pipes are usually handed to each smoker for hygiene purposes but are often not used.

The Abu Dhabi department said any establishment found to be flouting the order would face legal action.

"In line with the preventive measures for Covid-19, DCT is instructing all tourism establishments to refrain from serving shisha in all areas and facilities," it said.

"This should commence with immediate and urgent effect. Establishments not in compliance with these guidelines will be subject to legal action."