The introduction of strict regulations in several Middle Eastern countries is resisted by the tourism industry, which caters to Westerners and is worried rules will push tourists away.
Saudi Arabia’s General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities has imposed a ban on smoking at all tourism facilities. The ban includes hotels, furnished apartments, travel agencies and all closed areas where tourism activities are organised, local media have reported.
Saudi Arabia, a world leading cigarette market, has been pushing aggressively for restrictions on smoking in public. Last month, municipal authorities in the Saudi Red Sea resort of Jeddah shut down 242 restaurants and cafes for serving shisha.