17 June, 2007

Smoking in Dubai

Can any of you clever chaps enlighted me as to the current position with smoking indoors in Dubai. I seem to recall that some sort of ban was supposed to be coming into effect?

Thanks, HMHB


nick said...

As ususal, just continue smoking until somebody complains.
Never mind the security chaps, they are too afraid to bother anyone.

nick said...

LOL. This makes me sound like a right ignorant prick, doesn't it?!

Anonymous said...

Smoking in a hotel lobby on SZR while writing this. No one has called the Anti-Smoking-SWAT yet :)

secretdubai said...

Basically, a non-ban is coming into effect. It will be implemented "in phases". This means that malls can take it as slow as they like.

Restaurants will have to have special smoking-designated areas. Of course most of them already do. It's the 99% of the restaurant that isn't two poky dark tables by the restaurant door (always positioned perfectly "downwaft" of all the second hand smoke). So expect no change there.

They have put a "smoking area" in Dubai Airport. Instead of this being a sealed capsule cabin like at Heathrow, it's a kind of open topped cubicle - with the sides at about neck height at most - bang slap in the centre of the gangway. There are no extractor fans or anything above it. So effectively anyone walking past walks through the most viciously condensed smog of second hand tar and nicotine imaginable.

Someone, somewhere did not understand the basic physics of smoke and Brownian motion: that it rises, and disperses.

I know I sound rabidly anti-smoking (truly I think it is a disgusting and stupid habit) but whatever, if people want to smoke, let them. It's just that in six years here of being a non-smoker my right to clean air has never once been respected. There are only three cafes I know of that ban smoking or have a 100% smoke free floor. And no restaurants.

So the situation is currently amazingly unfair, especially given non-smokers (1) a majority and (2) not the ones causing harm, yet despite this I have little confidence that the situation will ever properly improve.

fellow atheist said...

First off, I'm not so sure that smokers are the minority here. Any studies done on this? I would imagine it would be quite difficult to do this, given the dynamic nature of the populace here.

Secondly, although seems unfair, most of the time, those who are not inflicting any harm on others are the ones who suffer the most. So, right, non-smokers get to suffer.

Thirdly, I don't remember a 'capsule' for smoking at Heathrow.. I remember having to step OUTSIDE the terminal building to smoke.. and even then, I had a very limited area where I can exercise my apparently disgusting habit.

Finally, I would very much rather have a smoke-free mall, etc. I would hate it.. but I think it is better for everyone -- especially the children who are needlessly subjected to my (and others') second-hand smoke. I am not really bothered by the fact that you (SD) or other adults who are also negatively affected by this. Maybe I should, but I am not.

However, it actually bothers me to see children being dragged across malls with everyone around puffing. That's a small sacrifice I'm willing to make, once it is actually a law and enforced.

samuraisam said...

I think you have to consider the thought-process of the region, which is pretty fucking hilarious.

For one thing, families bringing their pram-bound babies to shisha cafe's is a regular occurance here.

The most disturbing thing I've seen at a shisha was a 40ish year old man with his 4 year old son on his lap, holding his shisha pipe and putting it in his dads mouth so he could take a puff and every now and then taking a puff himself.

I think people here are completely ignorant of how cigarette smoke can affect others other than "oh, it's unhealthy". Usually midwakh (the little pipe thing locals smoke) is quite ok because they take one or two puffs and that is it for the next 30-40 minutes, but the tabacco still stinks like ass.

secretdubai said...

Finally, I would very much rather have a smoke-free mall, etc. I would hate it.. but I think it is better for everyone -- especially the children who are needlessly subjected to my (and others') second-hand smoke. I am not really bothered by the fact that you (SD) or other adults who are also negatively affected by this. Maybe I should, but I am not.

Sorry - I am confused by this - you mean you care about children but not about adults?

Thank you for being honest anyway. I am of course bothered that people are harmed by others when it would be so easy and so simple for them to be protected by law.

But even if you don't care about other adults, if you are bothered enough about children to support a ban, then great.

I've seen parents of all nationalities blow smoke in prams, hold children in one hand and a cigarette in the other, not give a shit that their smoke is reaching their kids or other people's kids. Frankly it is disgusting.

Surely our right not to be harmed trumps the right of people to pollute themselves and us?

fellow atheist said...


I know that sounds crude. It's not that I don't care about adults, period. It just doesn't make me upset as I puff away. I don't think about it. I don't feel bad or good. I simply don't feel anything about it. But, when I see children, I do get irritated. I am the smoker who goes up to people in the food court (where kids are running around and someone is puffing away like they are at home) and ask them to put out their cigarette.

I am the guy who gets pissed off at people smoking in elevators (mostly this happens in residential buildings), and tell them off. I don't smoke in my car when I have company. So, I try to be considerate, but I honestly don't think much about others who are there by choice. I'm not the law, not the government.. make the law, enforce it and get on with it.

Almulhama said...

Samuraism - Hear Hear!!!!

I am a smoker, I enjoy smoking, I ask people politely if they mind me smoking (anyone around)but I was I don't know what to call it, stunned? When I saw, not a 4 year old, but rather a baby, in a closed place servng shisha.

That and the beautiful scene of another baby in the front seat on mummy's lap the car moving.

I'm not religiously fanatic about a lot of things, but when it comes to babies who cannot make their own decisions... I can't take it.

The funny thing is: I was at DIFC in the parking, when the security guard asked my to put out my cigarette! I guess cigarette smoke MUST be more harmful than exhaust smoke...

I respect that each individual nust have their rights respected, so please let us not forget some smokers' rights.

The thing is there are only a few countries around the world that allow smoking, since Dubai & the UAE is a haven, perhaps it should be less stringent than others on this issue.

before ANYONE preaches... here goes: we have had cancer in the family, both throat and breast... we have asthma and many other illness including heart disease oh and they're either hereditory (the heart) OR due to the effects of the war on Iraq (the cancer)- so PLEASE I really do know the effects of smoking, including the effects of EVERYTHING else that can kill us, like drunk driving, reckless driving, heat exhaustion, stress, junk food, any food and all other things that tax us as a part of simply being alive... we will all eventually take the long road goodbye so perhaps since the whole world is going to hell, let us in some way try and live in a demise of civilized peace here in th UAE.

AAAAAh there... got it of my heart..

one more thing, a guy once wrote a letter to 7 days naming ALL the statistics that are behind the death caused by driving cars compared to smoking; obviously more (which is why I mentioned it) and he asked a question:

"are they gonna ban cars?"

Anonymous said...

Paul at the Mercato has a very decent non-smoking section inside a room. But it seems that most people prefer to sit in the middle of the open air(?) mall where they can be seen. Everyone here is glorious movie star.

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Thanks one and all but I still don't know what the current situation here is!!

So there is a ban, but being implemented in phases, and not being enforced?

Hmm, sounds like a typical Dubai solution.

Anonymous said...

Do people really enjoy sticking the candle of death into their mouth ?

I've got 2 words for you

Tee Bee

See ya in the hospitals, if not the ICU.

i*maginate said...

You ppl are talking about the smoking ban but it's not clear where the ban is due to be enforced. How?

I know right now there are designated areas for smoking in various restaurants and other public places like the airport, but how is that really a ban?

What are the planned changes?

Could someone pls clarify.

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