It’s official — smart balance wheels are now banned in all Dubai malls.
The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) on Monday asked all malls in the emirate to prohibit the use of smart balance wheels within their premises after growing consumer complaints and concerns from shopkeepers.
Smart balance wheels are battery-powered two-wheelers that move according to the user’s weight distribution. Although it doesn’t hover, users, mostly young adults, teens and pre-teens call it hoverboards.
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED on Monday directed malls not to allow the use of balance wheels inside malls to ensure a safe and healthy shopping environment in Dubai and protect the right of shopkeepers to conduct business without fear of loss or danger.
Abdul Aziz Al Tannak, Director of Commercial Control in DED, said: “We will put up signs banning the use of these scooters across malls in coordination with the malls’ management. Mall visitors are requested to cooperate and adhere to the ban... We also call on parents to prevent their children from using these devices in malls to avoid accidents and any legal liability that may follow.”
The ban comes a week after a six-year-old Emirati child died when he was run over by a car while on a balance wheel. Although the incident happened on the road and not in a mall, authorities clarified that balance wheels can only be used in designated areas in parks. Roads, side roads, pavements, footpaths, jogging tracks and sports areas are off limits to balance wheels users for safety purposes.
Dubai residents welcomed the move, saying it is for the greater good.
Mohammad Khateeb, a Jordanian expatriate who fractured his right hand after falling off a balance wheel last month, told Gulf News: “This is good news. People using balance wheels in malls drive other shoppers crazy. They hit them, [roll on their toes]; it’s dangerous.”
Aisha, an Indian businesswoman whose son fractured his forearm on October 10 after losing balance on the wheel inside a mall, lauded the directive. “Banning its use in malls will make sure other people won’t get hurt. But parents need to make sure their children are safe when using it.”
Source: Arab Times