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Bahrain issues new clamp on sheesha cafés

MANAMA, March 6, 2015

All new sheesha cafés wanting to open in Manama, Bahrain will now be subject to an inspection by the Capital Trustees Board.

Even if all technical, legal and financial requirements have been fulfilled by the cafe owner, the trustees will still have final say, according to board technical committee chairman Mazen Alumran, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

"In the past those with connections were granted exceptional licences to serve sheesha, by either having classifications changed or allowing them to operate using loopholes," he said.

"We want to put an end to that, so before allowing any cafe to serve sheesha, a team from my committee will visit the site, prepare a report and submit it to the board as a recommendation."

By making such a move, the trustees hope to cut down on streets becoming overcrowded with sheesha cafes to the annoyance of local residents.

"Without our approval, sheesha cafes will not be allowed to open," said Alumran, who is also the board's vice-chairman.

"It's an organisational matter, to ensure that the desired location is suitable and residents are not affected.

"There will be no firsts - so if the area currently has no sheesha cafes, then a new one will not be allowed to open there."

The official added that existing cafes, which do not have the correct licences to serve sheesha, will be closed down and their owners referred to the Public Prosecution.

"We have already asked the authority for lists of licensed outlets to compare with and if anyone is found violating, their cafe or restaurant will be closed down immediately by municipal inspectors and the police," he said.

"Repeated offenders will be referred to the Public Prosecution for legal action, but no one will be allowed to operate illegally, because that's chaotic and has huge repercussions on our efforts to impose organisation." - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Inspection | new | open | cafe | Sheesha |

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