Disgusting. Coral Beach Club flouts anti-smoking law with impunity

1 Jun, '10

It was unfortunate that I accepted going to the Rotary Club of Adliya’s monthly social evening at the Coral Beach Club. I had forgotten that it was a Shisha bar. But with the experience of last night, I won’t be running back again there any time soon.

Shisha smoker :: Image coutesty of TimeOutBahrain.com

The company of my Rotarian friends last night I loved of course. It’s one of the prime reasons why I joined the Rotary. Professional, conscientious and fun people from various backgrounds getting together to share their wealth of knowledge and experience to help our community. It’s the venue and their complete flouting of the Bahraini anti-smoking law which I found extremely disgusting.

What made it even worse for me, and that of everyone else present at our table, was the horror of seeing a young mother who could not have been more than 19 years old with an infant of just a few months old sitting right behind us and puffing away at her shisha! If that’s not criminal I don’t know what is. To compound the situation, that table hosted 3 others of her friends or family all of whom exhaled poison right at that poor infant. How absolutely callous.

This reminds me of the following idiom: You are forced to get a license to drive a car; however, any two dimwits can produce babies! This was so apt for the horrendous situation we witnessed last night. I promise you that my throat is still soar as I write this and my head has not stopped thumping. Can you imagine what’s going on with that poor infant and other children allowed to be in that poisonous atmosphere?

Why does the Coral Beach Club allow such situations? Are they above the law? It most certainly seems so. On the day the world has dedicated to fight tobacco use, the Coral Beach Club flagrantly and irresponsibly not only offer poisons to their patrons, but refuse, when approached, to only serve smokers outside of the enclosed space to entertain such requests. The duty manager simply scoffed! The reply was “I can’t do anything, this is what the owners instructed me to do.”

That might be good enough for him. It most certainly is not good enough for me. They’re flouting both the anti-smoking law AND allowing infants, for goodness’ sake, infants to be brought into such a poisonous atmosphere, isn’t there also a law forbidding people younger than 21 years old to frequent such places?

I just called the owner, Karim Miknas, who was very apologetic and promised to immediately do something about the situation. There is no reason for me to doubt his sincerity, but to help him along, here’s what I suggest we do:

  • Email the owner: Karim Miknas and tell him that you do not appreciate him flouting Bahraini law, and for him to immediately do something concrete about smoking at his establishments and monitor the facilities for compliance.
  • Call Mohammed Saad, the head of investigation and follow-up at the Manama Municipality to follow up on complaints against establishments flouting the anti-smoking law and tell complain. His office is at 1722 1454. You can also email him here. I already have. He’s a very understanding gentleman with a huge task on his shoulders to accomplish.
  • Enter a comment on Karim Miknas’ Facebook page reminding him of his and his companies social responsibility goes beyond entertainment. If he really wants to help the local community, he should at least ensure the banning of smoking in enclosed spaces at his establishments, as the law stipulates.

Update: 11am: I’ve just received a notification from Karim Miknas that the responsible manager has just been terminated. I’m very glad that he has taken this matter seriously and appreciate his efforts.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Well done Mahmood, it just does to show that pressure can be applied by individuals for change in Bahrain. Time to get my list out and get started!

  2. A good example of positive action, you deserve a pat on the back.

    Hope people learn and understand how to express a complaint and follow up in a civilised manner, and in turn get a positive result.

    and Well Done to Karim Miknas for listening and doing the right thing!

  3. Anonny says:

    “What made it even worse for me, and that of everyone else present at our table, was the horror of seeing a young mother who could not have been more than 19 years old with an infant of just a few months old sitting right behind us and puffing away at her shisha! If that’s not criminal I don’t know what is. To compound the situation, that table hosted 3 others of her friends or family all of whom exhaled poison right at that poor infant. How absolutely callous.”

    Were they in an indoor section or sitting outdoors? Are the two spaces treated the same in the eyes of the law?

    • mahmood says:

      They were indoors.

      What the law prohibits

      • The advertising and active promotion of cigarettes.

      • Planting and manufacturing tobacco in Bahrain.

      • Cigarette vending machines.

      • Tobacco to be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

      • The importing of chewable-based tobacco products.

      • Smoking at closed public places, including airports, hotels, supermarkets and schools.

      • ‘No smoking’ signs must be displayed prominently where there is a ban.

  4. bahraini in saudi says:

    hey,
    im not sure if uve realized that you just got a manager fired for doing nothing other than what mr miknas asked him to do..
    also coral beach is amazing!! back off!!

    • mahmood says:

      Just like Hitler’s generals were just following orders you mean?

      I personally went and talked to the manager, privately, asking him nicely that the smoking was bothering us. He wasn’t interested and scoffed, using “the boss” ticket as an excuse. That was unacceptable.

      I did what I thought is right, him losing his job is his own fault, not mine.

      Hopefully with this criticism, that restaurant will become better.

  5. Observer says:

    i agree with “bahraini in saudi”. the manager was most likely following orders from the owner, coral beach has been struggling for years, with occasional nights featuring one really sad and pathetic singer, and have been trying to keep people coming.
    however, i doubt anyone got fired, perhaps he was reassigned somewhere else. i think you should be visiting soon to make sure there has been real change.
    finally, i must commend your enthusiasm and patriotic spirit.

  6. Michael says:

    Bahraini in Saudi, the beach club is a business and as such has to operate within the confines of the law.

    I hope you’ll agree that offering a clean smoke-free environment in line with the law is far more important than any head that rolls as a result of warranted criticism.

  7. Mark says:

    I am obviously sad that a person lost his job over this, but I am glad something was done about the situation. I went to Maki (Japanese rest – Moda Mall) last night and was told there was not a non smoking section. When I challenened the duty manager about this, he said it was something they were looking into.

    How are new restaurants allowed to open without having a non smoking section? I will contact Mohhamed and see if he can help.

    Great blog by the way

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