Saudi: The Saudi authorities has started levying annual fees on hotels serving sheesha to their customers in cafes and restaurants.
Owners of five-star hotels located in towns ranked in the first category will have to pay SR100,000 to issue or renew licences allowing them to exercise this commercial activity.
The list of towns ranked in the first category includes the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Mecca, the Medina and Jeddah, in addition to Dammam, Khobar and Dhahran in the Eastern province.
Owners of four-star hotels located in the first-category towns will have to pay SR50,000 to get new licences or renew them.
Fees would then decrease for hotels located in towns featuring in class 2, 3, 4 or 5 across Saudi Arabia.
For instance, owners of 5-star hotels located in towns in category 5 would pay the amount of SR10,000 to get new or renewed licences, compared with SR5,000.
Owners of restaurants and cafes in category-A towns will have to pay SR30,000 to get the licence to serve sheesha in their outlets – compared with SR5,000 for owners and cafes located in category-5 towns.