Smoking could soon be banned in all public places across the UAE by the end of 2016.
That would mean an end to designated areas in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and workplaces, if a proposal from the National Tobacco Control Committee of the UAE is approved.
Similar bans are already in place in other major countries and cities around the world, including London, where the streets outside restaurants and bars are flooded with people taking cigerette breaks.
The committee are set to push for amendments to the Federal Tobacco Control Law and its bylaws, according to Dr Wedad Al Maidour who heads up the Tobacco Control Programme at the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
The announcement came on World No Tobacco Day, and as the World Health Organisation placed the UAE in a 'red zone' when it comes to the consumption and sales of tobacco products.
“They are pushing us to change the law from having designated smoking areas to 100 per cent smoke-free areas in public spaces,” said Dr Al Maidour said.
People caught flouting the current rules on smoking in designated public places - and also in cars while in the company of children under the age of 12 - can be fined Dhs500.