A six-month grace period for the almost 600 outlets that serve the kebab-like snacks had ended on November 1, with many operators still to implement new rules governing space, equipment and storage.
Only 318 shawarma operators had at least begun making the required changes to their operations in time for the deadline, Dubai Municipality said.
Sultan Ali Al Taher, head of the food inspection section at the municipality’s Food Safety department, said just a quarter had fully complied with new requirements in time, while 172 had started work on necessary changes, which were still ongoing.
Speaking to Gulf News, he warned outlets that had missed the deadline that they would not be allowed to operate any longer.
“There is no grace period for them [now]. They will have to stop the sale of shawarmas immediately. They will be fined if they are found selling shawarmas,” he said, adding that they would be allowed to continue selling other food items.
Under the new regulations, the biggest change concerns the location of shawarma stands, which are usually found outside Arabic restaurants. From this month, they must now operate indoors to prevent exposure to dust and pollution.
The regulations also make it mandatory to ensure proper refrigeration of raw materials, enough space for the storage utensils and separate facilities for defrosting meat.