Businesses in Dubai and Hotels in Abu Dhabi to reopen with strict guidelines

Dubai businesses will gradually resume operations with no restrictions on movement between 6 am and 11 pm, while hotels in Abu Dhabi will reopen with facilities open from 6 am until 7 pm.

Businesses to resume in Dubai

Cinemas, gyms, retail stores, clinics, and recreational venues in Dubai will open, but with social-distancing rules that need to be strictly followed.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, issued the directives during a virtual meeting of Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

The decision to reopen from May 27, the fourth day of the Eid Al Fitrwas reached following a comprehensive analysis of health and socio-economic factors of the situation Sheikh Hamdan said in his tweet. 

The virtual meeting was also attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the committee; and other committee members. 

Sheikh Hamdan urged all concerned entities in Dubai to intensify awareness efforts and ensure that everyone, at organisational and individual levels, adheres to the precautionary measures and guidelines to protect the well-being of our society. 

"We are aware of the pressures many sectors are facing because of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UAE society has high levels of resilience to any crises and challenges. We have been following the severe impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on countries around the world. What makes us different is our ability to deal positively with changes and our agility. We have all the elements necessary to adapt to these challenging circumstances. I am confident that all members of the society will come together to overcome this crisis as soon as possible," Sheikh Hamdan said. 

The other updates issued post the virtual meeting are as follows:

  • Residents can move freely between 6am to 11pm.
  • Dubai airport to open for people who want to return to the UAE and for transit.
  • Gyms and fitness centre to open with social distancing and constant sterilisation.
  • Dubai retail stores and wholesale outlets to reopen.
  • ENT Clinics, children's health centres to reopen. Surgeries that go up to two and a half hours are allowed.
  • Cinemas to reopen with social distancing and sterilisation at all times.
  • Entertainment facilities and recreational venues like the Dubai Ice Rink and Dolphinarium to reopen.
  • All government centres like Amer and Tasheel to reopen.
  • Auction houses that cannot hold online auctions to reopen.

The restrictions, rules and regulations that strictly apply include: 

  • All businesses authorised to operate, should abide by the new sterilisation timings.
  • Everyone should wear a mask at all times.
  • Everyone should always maintain a two-metre social distance.
  • All passengers arriving in the country should adhere to a 14-day quarantine.
  • Children under 12, people over 60 and those with chronic diseases are not allowed to enter shopping centres, cinemas, gyms and educational institutes.
  • Sterilisation must continuously be carried out and only single-use utensils allowed.
  • Violators of rules and guidelines will be fined, according to the type of violation.

Dubai Tourism Authority and its stakeholders also held a remote meeting to discuss steps post-pandemic and strategies to support and revive the tourism and hospitality industry. 

Helal Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism tweeted his appreciation of Sheikh Mohamed and his management of the coronavirus pandemic crisis. 

Almarri looked ahead to a gradual reopening of tourism and said the focus will be on the key elements of success of the past 10 years. 

Hotels to reopen in Abu Dhabi

Hotels in Abu Dhabi are preparing to reopen its restaurants, lounges, bars, beaches, pools and gyms from 6am until 7pm as per the directives by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), Abu Dhabi. 
DCT issued detailed guidelines for emirate's hotels, in preparation for granting approvals for the reopening of the facilities. 

To obtain approval, the hotels must complete all the measures spelled out in the document compiled by DCT Abu Dhabi including not exceeding 30% of the facility’s capacity, health examination of workers, face masks at all times and continuous sterilisation.

Preventative measures  include: 

  • Social distancing rules and crowd control measures 
  • Rules for returning employees
  • Restricted operating hours from 6am until 7pm
  • Provision of hand sanitisers at the facility entrance 
  • Defining of clear and separate entry and exit points
  • Installation of thermal cameras integrated with the national emergency crisis and disaster management authority system.

Also mandatory are an isolation room to isolate suspected coronavirus cases,  a medical team on standby throughout operating hours and use of 'smart' payments as a preferred method to reduce contacts and contamination.

No entertainment activities of any kind will be allowed to begin with, and visitors will only be allowed to visit the facilities for a maximum of 3 hours.

Strict rules for returning employees include:

  • Each employee must undergo a Covid-19 test before being allowed back to work, COVID-19 test to be performed on a bi-weekly basis on employees
  • Temperature checks to be carried out on all staff on a regular basis throughout working hours
  • Staff to be trained for emergency response protocols for the Covid-19 virus.

The latest update of Coronavirus (Covid 19) in the UAE by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) brings the total cases to just above 30,300.