Thursday, June 6, 2024

82% of UAE hospitality businesses support a shift towards providing cleaner shisha experiences in venues

 AIR Global leads the charge towards cleaner, charcoal-free alternatives as it celebrates the first-year anniversary of OOKA, the world’s first pod-based shisha device

(BUSINESS WIRE)--New research from Advanced Inhalation Rituals (AIR Global), reveals that the majority (82%) of restaurant, bar and hotel owners based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would welcome a charcoal-free alternative to shisha, as consumer demand for cleaner alternatives grows.

This support has seen AIR Global’s innovative shisha device, OOKA, become a feature in many hospitality venues in the UAE since its launch in May last year. OOKA has set a new standard by providing a completely innovative way for people to enjoy charcoal-free, cleaner shisha options.

As OOKA commemorates its first-year anniversary since launching in the UAE, it celebrates significant milestones of growth and popularity. OOKA is now used by well over 100 catering and hospitality UAE-based businesses. And over a quarter (26%) of those businesses have attributed a significant portion of their earnings to shisha sales; the most popular pod flavours to be sold since launch are Grape Mint and Two Apple.

The manager of a local lounge service operator who has been offering OOKA right from the start expressed his desire to provide a charcoal-free, sustainable shisha experience for a new type of clientele emerging in the market, those who want to enjoy cleaner, hassle-free shisha experiences.

Garth Beer, General Manager and Partner at Blow Smoke Art, said, “Most consumers are becoming more eco-conscious, and want a shisha experience that is modern, luxurious and matches the desire for a sustainability minded way of living. So, it felt like a no brainer to add cleaner alternatives, like the innovative OOKA device and the nicotine-free pods, to our lounges. The demand for a reduced toxicant smoking experience has been gathering momentum.

“Serving OOKA to our customers has been a game-changer, and the ability to let customers make their choice between standard shisha tobacco, zero tobacco or charcoal-free has vastly improved sales. It’s an exciting time to be part of OOKA.”

Driven by its dedication to environmental sustainability and health-conscious innovation, AIR Global has made significant developments in reshaping the shisha industry. With a 94% reduction in a range of harmful chemicals and zero carbon-monoxide*, it has emerged as a pioneer of innovating solutions.

Since launch, AIR Global has driven the company’s broader ambition to evolve an industry and provide cleaner alternatives for shisha users in the UAE and around the world.

Paul Dawson, Chief Product Officer at AIR Global, concluded, "OOKA represents a culmination of our efforts to revolutionise the shisha industry technologically, as we push the boundaries of innovation and create new products that exceed changing consumer expectations.

“With its intelligent microchip ensuring consistent heating and optimal temperature control, OOKA sets the bar high for cleaner and enjoyable shisha experiences and it’s an exciting moment in our lifecycle – but our ambition and determination to do more is unwavering.

“We remain committed to advancing the technology that underpins the existing device, have ambitions to introduce new products in the near future and want to drive towards an eco-conscious future for the shisha industry."

Note to editors:

AIR Global commissioned research with a representative sample of 193 UAE businesses (hotels, restaurants, night clubs and bars) in August 2023.

*Based on laboratory aerosol tests conducted by AIR Global, CO was below the laboratory detection limit of 0.000097mg/ml. This does not mean OOKA is risk-free.


Advanced Inhalation Rituals is the market leader in the $19 billion global shisha market, with an aim to provide superior physical, emotional and mental benefits through inhalation. Launched in 1999 and headquartered in Dubai, the business has a multinational presence in over 100 countries across the UAE, Europe, North America, India, and Africa.

Advanced Inhalation Rituals holds 47% of the shisha category market share in the markets it is present in and is the leading business in a market set to grow to $22 billion in 2026. Its portfolio of companies includes Al Fakher, the world’s leading shisha brand;, the world’s number one e-commerce platform for hookahs and shisha; Shisha Kartel, a Dubai-based shisha manufacturer; and, a global online community of shisha and hookah users. Advanced Inhalation Rituals’ science program, conducted in partnership with independent accredited laboratories, enables the development of innovative products that combine centuries of tradition with cutting edge innovation to minimise harm and maximise enjoyment for millions around the world. The business has consistently outperformed competitors growing at 3x the market rate over the last 10 years, due to heavy investment in innovation, product, and user experience.



Shanil Nayee / Matylda Kesicka –