The Abu Dhabi Police discussed with partners the issue of regulating the functioning of internet cafes across the Abu Dhabi Emirate. According to Abu Dhabi Police, there is a dire need to reexamine the regulations to be followed by internet cafes and to intensify efforts exerted by the various entities and institutions to closely follow-up and monitor the functioning of these cafes. These measures are designed to protect the Emirati society against Internet misuse and dangers at these cafes.

To this end, the Coordinated Committee on Reducing the Negative Effects of Internet Cafes, represented by the Department of Community Police at Abu Dhabi Police, recently held a meeting with strategic partners at the Community Police General Headquarters in Abu Dhabi.  Partners included the Abu Dhabi Municipality; the Department of Economic Development; the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat); the Ministry of Labor in Abu Dhabi; the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, and the National Media Council. The meeting tackled the optimal methods and means required to boost safety and security of community members who use Internet at these cafes, and acquaint them with the optimal means to leverage the advantages of Internet use.

Lt. Colonel Mubarak Bin Muhairom, Head of Department of Community Police at Abu Dhabi Police, explained that reducing the negative effects from Internet misuse at these cafes falls within the framework of the Abu Dhabi Police efforts to eradicate negative phenomena and controversial behaviors at these cafes that cause concern for society. “However, tackling the negative aspects of Internet use does not overshadow its positive aspects and advantages in e-learning and searching for purposeful information. Internet access varies depending on users’ needs and the purpose for which it is used,” he continued.

Adding further Lt. Colonel Bin Muhairom said, “We do recognize the significant advantage of the Internet; however, we are concerned by the alarming number of random internet cafes opening within residential areas, near schools and mosques. This has prompted students to visit these cafes during or after school hours; negatively affecting their academic performance.” He also indicated that such cafes are also a source of disturbance within residential areas due to the racket caused by youngsters who stay up late at these cafes. “These cafes are a cause of concern for the community in general, and especially mothers,” he said.

“Despite the financial profit made by the owners of such cafes and the public’s need for this influential service, which offers immediate and easy social interaction and communication with the rest of the world, the regulations of the law and stipulated conditions to be followed by those cafes need to be reviewed so as to ensure proper use of the Internet,” Lt. Colonel Bin Muhairom continued. He also suggested establishing a set of laws and regulations to prevent any attempts to bend the rules and protect the youth against Internet misuse and dangers at these cafes.

In conclusion, Lt. Colonel Bin Muhairom emphasized the importance of this initiative, which aims at reducing the objectionable behaviors and social negative effects of internet cafes, especially on the youth. It is also aimed at protecting community members against the damages resulting from misuse of the Internet by children and adolescents.

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