Dubai, Dec 11: The Dubai Municipality has decided to slap hefty fines on those who smoke in public places from the next year. Smoking will be banned in all the public places of the emirate including shopping centres, malls, restaurants, cafeterias, nightclubs and bars.
Assistant Director-General for Environment and Public Health Affairs at the municipality Abdullah Rafeeu yesterday said, ''Hefty fines will be levied on both the smoker who is not abiding by the regulation and the shopping centre, mall, restaurant or cafeteria if it allows the person to smoke inside its premises and does not react.''
"The fines will be introduced from January. The inspectors of the Dubai Municipality will take rounds of the places where smoking is banned. The Dubai Police would help the municipal inspectors and they would be given the authority to fine the offenders," media quoted him as saying.
By setting up a computerised database, the authorities will keep track of offenders and decide on the fines.
Moreover, if a mall, shopping centre, restaurant or cafeteria is found flouting the guidelines for smoking areas like proper ventilation, then it would also be fined heavily.
The decision has come in wake of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2007-2015, which tries to protect public health and improve quality of life for the UAE nationals as well as expatriates in Dubai.
Also, it is part of the Strategic Plan of Dubai Municipality, which seeks to purify interior air and prevent smoking in public buildings.
According to the municipality's plan, all people below the age of 21 will also be barred from smoking zones.