Jubail’s shisha cafes defy order
Shisha shops in Jubail have not moved out of residential areas as required under regulations issued by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, citizens claimed.
Ghzai Al-Muhawes, a Saudi, complained that the proliferation of shops selling shisha equipment, and shisha cafes close to residential areas, have attracted teenagers and young adults.
“Municipalities must compel shisha shops to move away from residential areas to remote locations just like in Al-Ahsa.”
Fares Al-Nufaiee said that shops in neighborhoods and around schools blatantly violate the law. “The new regulations specify that shisha shops must be a minimum of 500 meters away from schools and residential areas.”
He said that the lack of official monitoring has allowed these shops to operate without any concern for the health of people.
Ali Al-Sharif, a citizen who lives in downtown Jubail, said the spread of shisha shops in residential areas makes people get used to them. However, they are a danger to people’s health, especially young people. He said citizens must “stand up and fight against them.”
“We citizens should not give up, we must keep fighting to have these shops moved out of our neighborhoods, so that our young people do not pick up this bad habit.”
Badr Al-Boqami, a coordinator and member of the anti-smoking committee at the Saline Water Conversion Corporation here, said: “This is a clear violation of the environment. Their existence attracts youngsters, who will start smoking and eventually become addicted.”
“The regulations prohibit those under 18 years of age from entering and frequenting shisha cafes. It’s not acceptable to make these products available for them within the city and in front of their eyes.”
Al-Boqami said the regulations require shisha shops and cafes to be 500 meters from residential areas, other shops and schools. “Many shops and cafes in Jubail have not complied with these requirements. We urge the authorities to take action.”