Abu Dhabi releases guidelines for reopening of hotels, beaches and other amenities 

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Abu Dhabi
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Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) has released comprehensive guidelines for the emirate’s hotels towards conferring approvals to reopen their restaurants, lounges, bars, beaches, pools and gyms.

Having closed due to health and safety precautionary measures imposed to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus, hotels will now be able to reopen their facilities and return to business as soon as approval is given from DCT Abu Dhabi. To obtain approval, the hotels must fulfill all the measures which are described in the document which DCT Abu Dhabi has compiled.

According to a statement issued by DCT, the guidelines outline “readiness assurance requirements” that cover general measurements, social distancing rules, crowd control measures and rules for returning employees in order to continue trading safely.

Working Hours

Operating hours for outlets will be restricted to 06:00 AM until 07:00 PM, the statement noted.

Additional rules involve the sterilization of the facilities on a regular basis, the provision of hand sanitizers at the facility access, clearly defined separate entry and exit points, and the installation of thermal cameras which have been integrated with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority system.

Isolation rooms and Medical team at Standby 

An isolation room to isolate suspected coronavirus cases is mandatory. A medical team that is on standby throughout operating hours is also required. All guests must also wear masks at all times and should be encouraged to use ‘smart’ payments as a preferred method to decrease contacts and contamination.

“As per our mandate to support and guide the tourism sector in Abu Dhabi in all aspects, the set of measures we have shared with our hotel partners will ensure that not only will they be able to resume trading at the earliest opportunity, but that when they do they will be following guidelines which will keep all members of the community safe and secure,”
– Ali Hassan Al Shaiba
Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing – DCT

Stringent criteria

“The guidelines set out stringent criteria for the hotels to follow, which our inspectors will confirm with on-site visits. Once these high standards of health and safety are met, DCT Abu Dhabi will approve the reopening, and trading can resume. We are adamant that both hotel staff and visitors should be 100 percent confident in their own safety, as we start the resumption of ‘normal’ activities since the pandemic situation arose,” he added.

The DCT Abu Dhabi guidelines also elaborate strict social distancing and crowd control measures, which will also work to reassure staff and visitors that safety is paramount. Social distancing markings will be clearly defined on floors and escalators and elevators will be entirely dedicated to People of Determination.

Seating Arrangements 

Only four people will be allowed on each table, with 2.5 meters between each table.

Capacity for each facility will be ‘capped’ at 30 percent only of the total capacity of the facility, and restaurants and lounges will be required to hang signage at the entrance to indicate the maximum number of allowed customers are already inside.

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.

There will also be very strict rules for returning employees, with each employee having to undergo a COVID-19 test before being allowed back to work, with these being performed on a bi-weekly basis. Temperature checks will be carried out on all staff on a regular basis throughout working hours, with staff also trained for emergency response protocols for the COVID-19 virus.