The world’s most expensive swimming pool is set to be added to a Dubai shopping centre in the UAE, after a court ruled it would not violate the country’s strict anti-smoking laws.
The pool, which will be open to the public from May to November, is due to open to all ages at the end of this year and is expected to attract up to 50,000 visitors a day.
It will be located at the Dubai Marina, near Al Arabi International Airport, with an estimated capacity of 5,000 to 6,000 people.
The court ruled that the swimming pool had not breached the smoking ban, but it said that the new pool would “impose a significant restriction” on the freedom of people to “exercise their freedom of choice”.
The court said the pool, set to open in the early hours of next week, would allow smokers to take advantage of a smoking-free zone in the pool.
The decision, announced on Friday, follows a similar ruling in July by a court in Dubai.
Dubai has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, according to a report by the World Health Organization, which said that almost one in five smokers in the city smokes.
The new pool will come with a smoking ban of two days in advance.
It was not immediately clear whether the court would order a ban on the swimming pools outside the capital, or whether the ban would be enforced in the rest of the city.
It is not the first time the swimming facility has been criticised by the authorities in the Arab world’s richest country.
The government recently banned public swimming at the Marina in protest against the number of smoking bans in the area.
In August, a court ordered the removal of a swimming pool at a shopping mall in the southern port city of Sharjah, which is not included in the new shopping centre.
It said the swimming area was not in conformity with the ban, and that it would have to close for the duration of the ban.