On Monday, the UAE government announced its decision to close all shopping malls and certain commercial establishments for two weeks as a precautionary measure to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 virus within 48 hours of the announcement.
That closure took effect from March 25.
Dubai Economy has issued a press statement clarifying who were affected by this decision, the exemptions and the duration of the closure, reported news agency WAM.
All shops except food retail outlets, groceries, supermarkets, cooperative societies and pharmacies have to remain closed from Wednesday, March 25 until Wednesday, April 8.
These establishments can remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
However, the percentage of shoppers in each outlet at any time must not exceed 30 per cent of its total capacity and customers must adhere to social distancing norms by maintaining a distance of two metres from each other.
Also, businesses exempted from closing include bakeries, car workshops and other workshops, laundries, and technical and electrical services providers.
Restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops, and food services establishments must close, but restaurants and cafes operating in hotels and hotel apartments as well as food delivery and transport services are exempt.
Customers can order takeaways and delivery from restaurants. Restaurants within shopping malls can offer takeaway and delivery services, subject to approval of the mall management.
The closures also apply to commercial outlets across the main markets as well as streets and shopping malls in Dubai and also to fish, meat, and vegetable markets (except wholesalers supplying to supermarkets); shisha cafes; gyms and fitness centres; theme parks; amusement centres and electronic game (e-Games) outlets, cinemas, men’s and women’s salons, massage parlours and spas, and spring camps which should all remain closed for the two-week period.
Dubai Economy said that businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-commerce activities during the closure period.
Banks will continue to operate normally, and exchange houses and clinics can also continue operating as usual, though they must adhere to sanitation practices and undertake precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dubai Economy added that it would conduct inspections to ensure that commercial establishments adhere to its guidelines.